It’s What Underneath that Counts

underlay

There’s no denying that a renovation project, be it a room, a hallway or an entire house, can end up being very expensive. Once you start pricing things up, you start looking for corners to cut, the cheapest selections, ex-display items and special offers. You want to keep spending to a minimum, that’s for sure.

Flooring is important

It’s important not only because it’s what you walk on, it’s because every room needs some kind of flooring, and most people set aside a huge portion of the overall budget to make sure they get what they want – be it vinyl, ceramic tiles or parquet. Many people, however, are tempted to skimp on their flooring underlay – you can’t see it, so why blow your budget on it? It’s tempting to leave the old underlay in place, or just find any old cheap solution and hope for the best.

The problem is, however, that underlay is much more important than you might realise, so you should buy the best you can afford and replace it as often as you replace your flooring.

Underlay can get old

When it comes to pulling up that old carpet or laminate, the underlay has seen quite a lot of action – footsteps, spills, countless cleanings and temperature fluctuations. This can result in thin, worn, cracked and crumbling underlay that just isn’t up to the job anymore. It needs to go, but not before you have a chance to think about how your everyday comings and goings would have affected your flooring and the sub-flooring without it there as a buffer.

An important foundation

Even though you never see your underlay, it’s actually vital to the eventual look of your flooring, as well as to its lifespan and effectiveness. A little extra spend on the underlay will mean it’s under your feet for a few more years! It’ll also act as a good insulator, keeping your feet comfortable and helping to reduce your heating bills. In addition to this, it will also act as an effective sound insulator, especially if you live in an apartment or in a busy family home.

It’s easy to see, then, why money spent on a decent underlay is a good long-term investment.

Know your underlay

There are many different types of underlay, each one suited to particular flooring materials or even to different rooms, so it’s important that you choose the right one.

Carpets

Carpet underlay acts as a cushion between the carpet and the subfloor, which is often concrete or even flagstones. It helps to even out the surface, and makes the carpet feel softer and deeper for your feet.

Laminate flooring

The underlay for laminate flooring helps to reduce the flexing that happens when people walk on it and place furniture on it. It also acts as a brilliant insulator, so don’t skimp on it.

Engineered wood flooring

This type of underlay helps to keep engineered flooring looking stable, smooth and great for longer, as well as to protect it from any moisture damage.

Written by Julie Hanson

Julie is passionate about property – development, investment and portfolio planning. Along with husband Alec, Julie is actively building a property portfolio while helping others to do the same.

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