To follow on from our article “New underlay – do I need it?” I wanted to talk a little about the different types of underlay as it is not as straight-forward as choosing the thickest you can find, it is always the case of buy the best you can afford as price is a good sign of quality but it doesn’t always have to be a thicker underlay and I will explain why.
Underlays are not what they used to be, but in a good way. Do you remember the rubber wavelike structure that was attached to brown paper? This is the old underlay that is not so good for the environment and not good for your carpet in the long run because the rubber in time perishes and crumbles away leaving your carpet laying directly on to the floor.
The new style of underlay is high density polyurethane (PU) foam that is 100% recyclable and has a longer lifespan than rubber, it does not perish in the same way as rubber and is much lighter than rubber so the carpet fitters have a better time lifting it.
So to answer the question is thicker underlay better underlay? This depends on one thing, the density of the underlay. Both the density and the thickness work together to give you the best underlay, I will compare 3 of the underlays we regularly use.
Cloud 9 – Connoisseur 10 is a 10mm thick underlay with a nominal roll weight of 22.1kg
Cloud Nine – Cirrus a 9mm thick underlay with a nominal roll weight of 15.7kg
Cosi 8 underlay is a more basic underlay that is 8mm thick with a nominal roll weight of 11.1kg.
As you can see they all have different thicknesses, but thickest at 10mm is also the highest density, but this means the underlay is actually less comfortable under-foot, but ultimately longer lasting. The 9mm Cirrus underlay really is a good all-rounder as it has good density for durability but also has good under-foot comfort. The Cosi 8 underlay is our basic underlay, but is still a good underlay for budget applications such as rental properties or lower use areas such as bedrooms.
So I have explained the differences between old and new style underlays and the differences between 3 of our underlays. There are plenty more underlays on the market but you should remember the two key factors of thickness and density, these really do work together to show the best quality underlay.
Happy underlay hunting!
Mark and the Team