Thursday, 14 July 2011

Carpet Underlay

How many people think about carpet underlay on a regular basis? I for one don't. I think the only time people ever think about carpet underlay is when you are laying new carpet. The exception to this would obviously be if you work in the carpet business!
So, what do we non carpet workers know about underlay? If you are anything like I was a couple of weeks ago, then probably not much. Though once you've been thrust into the depths of home renovation, you'll most likely get a fair understanding like I have.
So I'm going to share some of my new found carpet padding (that's another word for it) knowledge with the rest of you folks.
First and foremost; what is carpet underlay?
Well you know how when you're walking on your carpet at home it feels kind of spongy? That spongy feeling is the carpet underlay! It's basically a layer of material (we'll get into what the material is made of later), that is laid directly onto your floor, regardless of whether it is a concrete slab or wooden floorboards, and then your actual carpet is laid over top.
Why do we need carpet underlay?
There are a few good reasons why every home should have carpet cushioning (yes, it's another word for it). I'll tell you about the most important ones.
Insulation
By adding the extra layer to your floors you not only help trap the heat in your home but you also help dull those sound waves so your rooms aren't so noisy. So you get two types of insulation with the same piece of underlay, heat and sound insulation!
Comfort
For some people this isn't a very important factor, but for me it is a major bonus! I'm the sort of girl who spends quite a lot of time on the floor. I like lying on the floor in the lounge room in front of the fire place, or doing yoga in front of the TV. So spongy carpet is definitely a good thing!
Have you ever tried lying on the floor in your office at work? I'm a little ashamed to say I have... it's not what you think; I was trying to stretch my back not take a sneaky nap. But you'll notice a difference in the comfort levels. The carpeted floor at work is hard, that's because most work places don't have carpet underlay, or if they do, it's that industrial grade stuff which is useless for lying on!
Carpet Protection
Yes, even though it's underneath your carpet, it is actually protecting it. You see that spongy-ness that makes your carpets so comfy to lay on actually serves a more practical purpose. It allows your carpet to spring back when weight is applied; weight such as people walking all over it and furniture placed on top of it.
Have you noticed when you move your furniture around there are always indentations where it used to sit? Well your carpet underlay will help to push out those dents and bring your carpet back to its usually flat state.
So there you have it, three pretty great reasons to use carpet underlay! 

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