Finding the best carpet underlay for your specific needs can seem tricky at first. Here’s a summary to show you which product is best for which purpose to get you started.
Best products depending on priorities and location in the home
The most important consideration when choosing your product is whether you intend to lay it on the stairs or not.
Best products for rooms excluding the stairs
- For rooms where sound reduction is a priority (usually bedroom with wood floor) choose our Carpenter Deep Step 11mm
- For rooms where insulation is your highest priority (usually on a concrete sub floor), choose our Midas 12mm Underlay
Best products for laying on the Stairs
Use the links below to navigate through this comprehensive guide on helping you choose the best underlay for your needs
Section 1: Advice on ‘What’s the BEST Underlay?’
Section 2: General Advice
Section 3: Underlay4u Specific Advice
Section 4: Specialist Advice
Advice on ‘What’s the best underlay?’
Should I use the same underlay for the whole house?
We normally recommend using a different type in bedrooms and lounges to that used on stairs and landings. Although there are types that work as all-rounders (such as our Carpenter Richstep 9mm and Deep Step 11mm) there will be a slight compromise on comfort in some rooms. You need something denser for stairs and landings so it can handle the foot traffic, whereas in bedrooms and living spaces the priority is comfort. To plan out the flooring for your house, have a look at our different options on the site, and please feel free to get in touch with any questions you might have that can’t be answered on this page.
What is the best carpet underlay to use?
As with any product there are a few important variables to consider when trying to decide which one will work best for you. The following all need to be considered:
Room – which room is the floor going in? Generally stairs, halls and landings need a denser product to cope with foot traffic, while bedrooms and living areas need warmth and comfort. Kitchens and other rooms also benefit from underlayment with moisture control that can work well with laminate or tile floors.
Floor type – under what sort of floor material will it be placed? This will determine what thickness and material will work best in the room, and there is more advice in these FAQs and elsewhere on the site to help you choose the best option.
Thickness – the thickness will be different for a variety of needs and purposes.
Tog rating – the higher the tog rating, the more thermal insulation it provides – keeping your rooms warmer.
Noise reduction level – if reducing noise of impacts and foot traffic is important, then make sure to pay attention to the noise reduction decibel level.
Delivery conditions – sometimes you need your delivery fast, and we offer a rapid courier delivery service that can deliver your product on the most suitable day for you. If you order before 2pm you can choose next working day delivery.
Price – the all important one! Our prices are highly competitive and we do our best to pass on any savings to our customers. Take a look at our products today and see of you can find one that works for you.
What is the best underlay for a bedroom?
Bedrooms should be relaxing and comfortable places, so need one that makes the floor feel great in socks or bare feet. We usually recommend the Midas 12mm – it provides excellent softness at a great price. Alternatively, our Deepstep 11mm offers excellent comfort, warmth and sound proofing qualities.
What is the best underlay for a living room?
We believe that the best kind for a lounge or living room is Midas 12mm. The living room is a place where we spend so much leisure time, and often entertain guests, that it deserves a comfortable floor that makes it easier to relax and unwind. Another great choice is our Deepstep 11mm, which is a little thinner but still makes the floor of any living room warm and soft under foot and is one of our best sellers.
What is the best underlay for a kitchen?
Most kitchens have wooden, tile or laminate floors, and need a material that will be able to provide warmth and noise reduction through the hard materials, while handling moisture. For your kitchen we recommend Laminate Underlay 3mm with Build in DPM. It is able to retain heat and reduce noise, and also have a built in vapour barrier in the form of a damp-proof membrane to handle moisture.
What is the best underlay for a hall, landing or stairs?
Landings and stairs see a lot of traffic in a day, but they aren’t usually rooms where people tend to hang around. People often ask what is the best for stairs as the choice isn’t an easy one. You need one that is durable, with high enough density to take the foot traffic, thick enough to feel warm and comfy, but thin enough to give a nice finish when it is shaped to fit over steps. To achieve this balance we recommend our 9mm Magic Carpet Underlay – it does the job, in style! Another premium option is our Ultra Step 9mm, which features dense foam and excellent durability.
What is the best underlay for a room on a budget?
We know that re-modelling a house can be an expensive time – costs can quickly add up when you start spotting all of the different things you would love to fix, change or buy! We often field customer queries from people who want to know what is the best and cheapest, and we like to help whenever we can. To save some of the financial headaches we think that you should be able to buy cheap but high quality that meets your needs. So, when it comes to picking for a room on a budget we recommend our Midas 12mm – this offer excellent comfort at a fantastic price.
What is the best underlay for a concrete or tile floor?
For hard floors you need one that is able to provide warmth and noise reduction through thick flooring, while also being able to deal with dampness. For concrete and tile floors we recommend Super Gold underlay. This material retains a large amount of heat and features a built-in damp-proof membrane (DPM) that acts as a vapour barrier. Another great option is the Laminate Underlay 3mm with Build in DPM. This is slightly thinner and is made from 100% recycled materials. It also features high levels of warmth, noise reduction and a built in DPM to protect your flooring from any possible damp coming from below.
What is the best underlay for a laminate floor?
Laminate flooring needs a membrane material that can retain heat, reduce noise and manage moisture effectively. For this floor material we recommend either thicker 5mm Super Gold or thinner Laminate Underlay 3mm with Build in DPM, depending on the space available. Both types are high quality and feature in-built damp-proof membranes (DPM) to block moisture and vapour.
What is the best underlay for a luxury vinyl tile (LVT) floor?
Luxury vinyl tiles are very durable floor material and are available in a wide range of attractive styles. You can make the most of your LVTs with a product that is thin and protective. We recommend the Combat Plus 3mm which has a 3mm thickness and a built in damp proof membrane that provides a moisture and vapour barrier.
What is the best underlay for noise reduction?
Plenty of our customers want to reduce the noise that their floors generate. Perhaps your upstairs rooms are being stamped all over by noisy kids, or maybe you live in a flat and want to reduce the noise for downstairs neighbours. For the best noise reduction performance we recommend Tredaire Colours Red. This is a sponge rubber carpet underlay with a thickness of 11.4mm. It has a sound proofing capability of 46db, for the highest levels of noise reduction. An alternative option at a lower price is the Carpenters DeepStep 11mm, which also acts as an excellent barrier to excess noise.
Which underlay is best to cover a ceramic tile floor?
Properly covering over ceramic tile floors with new carpets or other kinds of flooring can be tricky. Tiles may not have been originally fixed all at exactly the same height and sometimes the grout lines can show through a newly laid carpet that is supposed to cover them, making the floor uneven or lumpy. In order to give your floor a comfortable and even finish over ceramic tiles we recommend our Deepstep 11mm. The thickness and high quality material will help ensure the ceramic tiles are covered consistently across the room. Lion 50 which is a natural fibre underlay is also helpful in evening up a floor level.
How much underlay do I need?
Make sure you order just the right amount by calculating the area of your floors. We offer a simple calculator on our home page that will show you how to do just that. The calculator can be used in metres or feet. Calculating how much you need for stairs is a bit trickier, but you can work it out by simply multiplying the amount of stairs you have by 0.9. Alternatively, this blog post will walk you through exactly how to work out the amount you need so you can save time and money.
What’s the easiest way to fit my underlay?
There are a few different ways (and we recommend speaking to experienced carpet fitters if possible) but the easiest, depending on what sort of flooring you have, is to use double-sided tape.
Do you sell carpets?
Unfortunately we do not sell carpets. It may be something we offer in the future, but right now, we consider ourselves underlay specialists and work hard to seek out the best possible products to fit with carpets as well as with all other kinds of flooring that might be used around the home.
What is underlay?
It is a piece of material that is placed under different types of flooring. The characteristics of the material, such as what it’s made from, thermal properties, sound reduction and density all vary from product to product.
The different characteristics are all suited to different types of flooring and environments.
Why should I buy underlay?
Many of our customers first came to us asking “do I need underlay”? Well, we’re obviously a bit biased, but we think that purchasing underlay is a great choice for many different room and floor types. Primarily, we think you should consider buying underlay for the following reasons:
It absorbs the pressure of foot traffic, and reduce wear and tear on floors and carpets,
Underlay provides thermal insulation to help keep your rooms warm and comfy,
It can reduce foot traffic and impact noise,
Underlay can smooth out any inconsistencies or imperfections below your flooring,
It can help provide your home with a real luxury feeling,
Underlay helps carpets retain their appearance by reducing flattening.
Why is underlay needed?
It’s primarily needed to protect your flooring, as it absorbs shock from foot traffic. However, other than prolonging the life of your carpet, there are other benefits such as:
• Sound reduction
• Heat insulation
• Under foot comfort
What are the different types of underlay?
There are many different types to suit every environment. Here are some of the areas you should be using it:
• Hotel lobby
• Function room
• And much more!
When it comes to what underlay is made from, here are some of the top ones:
• PU foam
• Sponge rubber
• Crumb rubber
What is the difference between PU foam and sponge rubber underlay?
There are a few notable differences between PU foam and sponge rubber, and both are suited to different rooms and types of flooring. To find a full breakdown of these two materials, you can read our PU foam vs Sponge Rubber comparison.
Can underlay be soundproof?
Technically, it can not be soundproof. There are two types of noise: airbourne and impact noise. It can reduce impact noise reduction, but is not designed to reduce airbourne noise.
To find out what airbourne and impact noise is and how to reduce sound in your home, you can find more information on our Guide to Sound Reduction with Underlay.
What should I consider before purchasing underlay?
There are a few important factors to consider before purchasing, here’s a few things to clear up before making your decision:
• What is my budget?
• Where is the underlay going?
• What is most important to me; comfort, heat insulation, sound reduction, durability or all of the above?
Can underlay be used for laminate flooring?
Yes, it can, and we recommend using it with laminate flooring to prolong the life of the laminate, to provide comfort and it also helps to smooth out an uneven subfloor. You can read more about laminate flooring underlay here.
Can underlay be used for wood flooring?
Yes. It will provide many benefits to your wood flooring such as:
• Even out sub floor imperfections
• Reduces sound
• Offers heat insulation
• Provides comfort
• Aids in moisture resistance
Can I use old carpet as underlay?
We don’t recommend using old carpet or re-using old underlay. This is because carpet is not designed to protect flooring and won’t absorb shock from foot traffic, which is what ultimately damages flooring. It’s also not a good idea as it may have deteriorated with age and be unable to protect your carpet the same way underlay would.
What can I use for underfloor heating?
There are a few options here for underfloor heating. We recommend using a good one as the heat can damage your new flooring by drying it out. You can find the best products on our guide to underlay for underfloor heating.
Underlay4U Specific Advice
How can I order underlay from Underlay4U?
Simply place your order directly from the product page on our website
Can I get a sample of one of your underlay materials?
We might be able to help you with a sample of one of our products. To discuss your needs please send an email to email@example.com.
How much does delivery cost?
We currently offer a number of delivery options depending on the value of your order. Our rolls are large and heavy when securely packed for safe delivery, but we do everything we can to keep the costs as low as possible for our customers.
How long does delivery take?
If ordered before 14:00 you can have your order delivered the very next day. However we know that this doesn’t always work for our customers, so we allow you to choose the best day for you to have your delivery made. When ordering, simply tell us when the best day for you to receive an order is, and we’ll plan that with our shipping partners to make things as easy as possible.
My order hasn’t arrived! Where is it?
If you’re order is late, please can you send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help. We are very sorry about this – our trusted courier partners deliver the vast majority of orders at the agreed times, and inform both us and our customers of any issues. To track your specific package please get in touch.
Do you deliver on the weekend?
Unfortunately our delivery partner does not do weekends – however in our ordering process we do allow you to choose which day you prefer to have your order delivered on, so you can pick the day that suits your needs best.
How do I return my product?
On rare occasions that our customers need to return a product (in case you ordered too much perhaps!) we’d be more than happy to discuss things with you. Simply send us an email to email@example.com with your details and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible. Please note, we can only accept full, unopened rolls.
What is the thickest underlay you sell?
Our thickest product is our Midas 12mm. The is durable and comes with a long life guarantee for your piece of mind. The 12mm produces warmth under foot, and is ideal for bedrooms and lounges where comfort is the main driving factor.
Where is Underlay4u? Can I come and visit?
Underlay4u is based in the North West. We’re unable to offer a place for you to visit because we don’t have the insurance for the warehouse. And it’s quite a hazardous place. Sorry about that!
Does foam underlay react with asphalt flooring?
In general our foam products do not cause any significant reaction when used with asphalt or other forms of flooring. However, if you want to be absolutely sure that you don’t cause any issues then we recommend laying down lining paper between the two materials.
Which underlay has the highest tog rating?
The one with the highest tog rating (and hence the highest thermal performance) is the Midas 12mm with a rating of 3.26. This makes the Midas 12mm is an excellent choice for colder rooms or dealing with those winter months.
What is the best underlay to cover old and draughty floorboards?
If you are renovating an old cottage or house with wooden floorboards then you know about the importance of ensuring a warm floor. Draughts can enter the room through gaps in the floorboards which need to be covered with a thermally insulating and comfortable product that doesn’t break the bank. For this purpose we recommend the Super Gold 5mm. In addition, it can also help if you put a layer of lining paper over the boards for a little extra protection.
Do you have an alternative for crumb rubber underlay?
Another option is our Super SRF combination. This material offers crumb rubber for strength and felt for comfort.
What is the best flame retardant underlay?
To ensure safety where there is a risk of fire or flame damage we recommend the Lion 50 carpet felt 10mm. This hard-wearing material is tested according to BS5808: 1991 ~ Underlay’s For Textile Floor coverings, and will help to ensure safety in your home or workplace.
Do I need to install gripper rods in front of a door or trim underneath it?
Usually no because the trim should have its own grips on it. You can find more detail about our underlay carpet grippers at this page.