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How to choose the best carpet underlay for my home

“Always pick your yard based on your Summer lifetstyle.”


August 20, 2018 - Karl Yeh

Planning on installing new carpet in your home? What's the best type of underlay to install? In this episode, we discuss how to choose the best underlay for your home, different types, underlay for homes with pets, and when to upgrade. 

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Karl Yeh:

Hi everyone, I'm Karl Yeh, welcome to another Homebuyer's School video, a channel where you get the latest strategy, tactics, and tips from home buying experts.

And remember, if this is your first time on this channel and you want to get the latest strategies from the experts, hit the subscription button below, hit the little notification bell so you don't miss anything.

So, today I'm joined by Deborah Armstrong, senior interior designer with Brookfield Residential. And the question we're going to answer is

How to choose the best carpet underlay for me?

So, Deborah, first of all,

What exactly is a carpet underlay?

Deborah Armstrong:            

So, a carpet underlay is either a chip foam rubber, or a memory foam layer, usually somewhat half an inch thick, that goes underneath your carpet.

Karl Yeh:              Okay.

Deborah Armstrong: :             

The reason for this is that it actually helps your carpet wear longer.

Karl Yeh:            Okay.

Deborah Armstrong:             

So, if you're going to upgrade anything, sometimes it's best to upgrade first the carpet underlay, and then the carpet.

Karl Yeh:             The carpet itself.

Deborah Armstrong: :             Yeah.

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Karl Yeh:             Okay. So,

Where would you put carpet underlay?

Deborah Armstrong: :             Under all your carpeted areas.

Karl Yeh:             Okay.

Deborah Armstrong: :            

You should never install a carpet without a carpet underlay.

There's different thicknesses, maybe you want to put a six pound carpet underlay through your main living area, or an eight pound, depending on your main traffic flow.

Karl Yeh:            So, the bigger the ...?

Deborah Armstrong: :             The heavier the pound, the more dense it is.

Karl Yeh:             Okay.

Deborah Armstrong:             

So if you have a really heavy traffic flow, you might want to go up to a 10 pound underlay throughout.

Stairs, it's a good idea to put a little heavier underlay there, because it gets a lot of traffic going up and down those stairs, and you get that wear pattern right down the middle of the stairs.

And we can't train ourselves to go up one side and down the other, as much we start off thinking that's what we're going to do. But it's best to put a better underlay on the stairs.

Carpet underlay for noise reduction

Karl Yeh:             Now, there's been talk about ... does it reduce noise?

Deborah Armstrong:           

It can, if you're putting it on a main level, or an upper level, where you don't want noise traveling through the floor.

It won't go from room to room, side to side, that's where you going to need insulation between the walls.

Karl Yeh:             Okay. And how about let's say on concrete?

Deborah Armstrong:            

Concrete, yes you can put ... again, you're going to definitely want to put an underlay down there. It adds a little bit of warmth.

But again, no carpets should be installed without an underlay.

Best carpet underlay for pets

Karl Yeh:             

Okay, and besides the protecting the carpet from wear and tear, let's say you have pets, does it have any impact?

Deborah Armstrong:             

Now there are special underlays that have antimicrobial, whatever that word is, properties to them, which will help reduce odors, trap moisture down below so that it crystallizes, and it reduces the odor as well.

Karl Yeh:             Okay.

Deborah Armstrong: :            

And yeah, it's just going to be much nicer to have in your home for your carpet.

Karl Yeh:            

Are there different types of underlays?

Deborah Armstrong: :            

Yep, there are rubber underlays, chip foam, where they're made out of lots of different chips adhered together. Or memory foam.

Karl Yeh:             Memory foam?

Deborah Armstrong: :             Yes.

Karl Yeh:             And why would you choose either of those?

Deborah Armstrong: :            

I guess it's a preference. You want to walk on it, see the feel that you get.

Karl Yeh:             Okay.

Deborah Armstrong: :            

I recommend always putting an underlay down under the carpet that you've chosen, chose several different kinds, walk on it and get the feel that you want, other than the other properties of being waterproof, spill proof.

Karl Yeh:            

And if I wanted to upgrade any of these underlays, should I do it, or does it even matter?

Deborah Armstrong: :            

Yes, it's going to make your carpet last longer, it's going to make it feel better. I wouldn't pick your lowest end, especially if you're using a very expensive carpet. So if you're going to put in a really, really expensive carpet, make sure that you put in a really, really high quality underlay as well. It's going to make it wear longer.

Every time you change out your carpet, you should change out your underlay.

So if you're only going to put in ... say you're in transition, ultimately you want to have hardwood in a certain area but you're putting carpet for now, just for a few years, don't spend a lot of money on the underlay, don't spend a lot of money on the carpet.

Karl Yeh:             

Okay. And let's say I only want to upgrade certain places with a new underlay, what are the most important areas?

Deborah Armstrong: :            

Stairs, number one. And maybe hallways that are going to get that constant wear in the constant same spot all the time.

Karl Yeh:             Okay, perfect. Anything else to add in terms of carpet underlays?

Deborah Armstrong: :             No, I think we've covered everything.

Karl Yeh:             Great, well thank you very much for joining us, and we'll catch you next time.


Your turn:

Let us know if you have additional interior design questions that we can answer by submitting them in the comments section below. 

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