Are you planning to install carpet tiles as part of your next project? If so, it’s crucial that you answer the question – do you need underlay for carpet tiles?
Carpet tiles have had a reputation in the past for being a bit utilitarian. Underlay is the key to changing all that. If you’re looking to up your carpet tile game, underlay for carpet tiles is the way to do it.
Let’s get down to brass tacks and learn everything about underlay for carpet tiles.
Do Carpet Tiles Need Underlay?
The simple answer is no, but at the same time yes.
Confused? Well, many carpet tiles already come with underlay attached. So yes, they do need underlay, but technically there’s no need to supply more.
But the fact is that the underlay attached to the bottom of carpet tiles might not be up to scratch. That brings us to why carpet tiles haven’t always had the greatest reputation in the past.
The New Face of Carpet Tiles
If you visited a carpeted office in the nineties, it was almost certainly bedecked with carpet tiles. They’re easy to put down, hardwearing and look the part.
The problem is they provided about as much underfoot cushioning as granite. Many were laid directly onto hard surfaces, with little thought given to comfort.
Comfort is not the only factor to consider. Carpet tiles can also be noisy and cold.
Carpet tiles have come a long way since the bad old days. More stylish designs and weaves are now available. They are still an excellent choice for high-traffic areas, such as busy offices, hallways, and even homes.
What Underlay Can Do For Carpet Tiles
Adding carpet underlay can make a huge difference to the experience of walking on carpet tiles.
Rather than your foot striking a hard, unforgiving surface, floor underlayment provides cushioning. It gives it a much more luxurious feel to walk on.
It also has acoustic benefits. Sound bounces off all hard surfaces and can be very unpleasant. This is especially true in closed environments like hallways and communal working spaces.
Laying carpet tiles is a great choice for deadening sound. Even without extra underlay, they will absorb both impact and atmospheric sound better than a hard floor surface.
Soundproof carpet underlay takes this effect to the next level. It helps to deaden the sound of walking on carpet tiles. It not only lessens the sound in the room itself but also for people working below.
Underlay also doubles up as an effective insulator. There are many techniques for insulating floors. Underlay for carpet tiles adds another layer of insulation, helping to keep heat in the room where you want it.
The Benefits of Carpet Tiles
Carpet tiles are a great choice for the following reasons:
- Easy and quick to lay
- Easier to cut to size than a carpet roll
- Thermally and acoustically insulating
- Easy to replace sections, rather than the whole carpet
- Many types are suitable for underfloor heating systems
If you add good quality underlay for carpet tiles, they can also become a more luxurious and pleasant experience to walk on.
In the home, they provide a hardwearing surface. They can take a lot of punishment from kids and pets without losing their looks. You can also soften them in some areas with the addition of a rug and non-slip carpet underlay.
What Types of Underlay for Carpet Tiles Are Available?
When choosing underlay for carpet tiles, you need to know a little jargon. Look out for these key terms:
- Tog rating – this tells you how effective a thermal insulator it is
- Sound rating – in decibels, this tells you how effective an acoustic insulator it is
- Underfloor heating – this will be either yes or no, depending on the material
The higher the tog and sound ratings, the more effective it is at keeping the heat in, and sound at bay.
Underlay for carpet tiles is available in a few different materials.
Rubber underlay is a traditional material that is still going strong. That’s because it is great at absorbing sound and insulating the carpet. It also has a lot of give in it and feels great to walk on.
PU Foam Underlay
PU foam underlay has several qualities that make it an excellent choice for underlay for carpet tiles. It’s one of the most popular types of underlay available because of its excellent spring back. This gives you cushioning that lasts and lasts.
It is also 100% recyclable and can itself be made from recycled products. It offers thermal and acoustic insulation that is as good as rubber, and in many cases is better.
Combination underlays combine crumb rubber with PU foam. Both use materials from recycled sources, making it an excellent eco-friendly option. The combination creates a product that is both comfortable and very hard-wearing.
Latex underlay is easy to install and offers good thermal insulation and sound absorption. It is ideal for heavy contract use, making it suitable for commercial, high-traffic applications.
How to Choose Carpet Underlay
The best choice of underlay for carpet tiles will depend on where you are laying them. It will also depend on whether you have underfloor heating or not.
Consider your priorities. Are you looking to provide a luxurious feel underfoot? Will soundproof carpet underlay better fit the brief?
Some materials are not suitable for use with underfloor heating. Also, you do not want to choose a material with too high a tog rating if you have underfloor heating beneath.
You need the heat to be able to rise up through the underlay and the carpet tiles. Choose carpet underlay with a tog rating of 2.5 or less in this situation.
Choose the Best Underlay for Carpet Tiles
Carpet tiles may come with underlay attached. But to take them to the next level, choose a luxurious underlay for carpet tiles. This will provide a comfortable feel underfoot, as well as keep heat in and noise at bay.
At Buy Flooring Online, we have a huge selection of carpet underlay for you to choose from! We have choices for all situations and budgets. Filter by sound and heating tog to find the perfect choice for your project.
Check out our wide range of carpet underlay and accessories today!