Carpet and Underlay Advice
Buying new carpet and underlay for the home is a serious investment that will give it a new look and feel. But with so many product options available for the consumer to purchase, it can make the buying process extremely confusing. Knowing what constitutes a quality underlay or carpet, and what features to look for, are extremely important if you are going to make the right choice.
Carpet and Underlay
Enhance the long-term appearance of your new carpet.
Tip: No. 1
Underlay is an integral ingredient that shapes the way your carpet will feel, wear, and look long-term. Low-density foam underlays whether cheap or expensive with a density of less than 110kg will quickly lose their resilience. This includes high-density foam products 120kg or more that are also too soft. It is important to note that if your underlay flattens quickly, the pile of your carpet will also flatten quickly and delamination can occur when secondary backed carpets are stretched over too soft an underlay.
Reduce Impact Sound and Footfall
Impact noise and footfall in multi-level homes and apartments is typically caused by the sound of footsteps, playing children, and objects that have been dropped on the floor above. The noise generated from these actions is dispersed throughout the property, causing disruption and/or frustration for those people below. When it comes to reducing impact sound and footfall a quality underlay is your best and most cost-effective option. Look for an underlay that is no less than 11mm in thickness and between 120kg/m3 and 130kg/m3 in density. Note: Make sure the underlay also has a dB (decibel rating) no lower than 44dB.
A quality underlay can reduce your energy bill by 15%.
Improving the insulation for a home and ensuring it stays warm and dry during the cold winter months is usually a top priority for many families, and with the cost of living increasing, having an energy efficient living environment is important if you want to reduce those expensive monthly energy bills.
What to look for: Look for an underlay with an R-Value higher than R.30 (NZ) or a TOG rating of 3.0 (UK), and the thicker and denser the underlay, the better. The most effective options for holding the heat are bonded foam carpet cushions due to the intrinsic insulation properties of the material, trapping the warm air in and keeping the cold air out.
It is important to consider the TOG value of the carpet you are purchasing as well. This will add to the overall TOG value of your installation.
No to low grade Foams
A mixed foam chip underlay is usually manufactured from a low-grade, post-consumer foam, and has a multi-coloured appearance. These underlays are inherent for the lumps and bumps that can be felt under the carpet once installed and are generally inconsistent in thickness, density, and weight.
Post-consumer foam differs from pre-consumer foam in the way that its condition is dependent on what it has been exposed to during its use-phase. It can also contain….
Post-consumer (Recycled) content comes from a finished product that was purchased by a consumer, used, and then used in the production of other products.
Pre-consumer (Reclaimed) material is waste generated during the manufacturing of a product and reused in the production of another.
Skin flakes, dust mites, mold, bacteria and body fluids. These need to be considered when working with and recycling post-consumer foams, as it can cause problems regarding hygiene and health in the future. Traces of hazardous materials in the foam can cause problems due to the varying restrictions on different hazardous materials between industries. It is therefore important to further investigate this aspect when purchasing a product made from post – consumer foam.
The Carpet is Just as important
The construction of a carpet is also important for long-term appearance retention. There are 4 key factors to look for in carpet. They are the twist rate, the gauge, if the tips of the yarn are heat set and the thickness of the linear density of the fibre used in manufacturing.
What to look for: The higher the twist rate, the better. Anything over 220 twist per yarn metre is satisfactory, 280 + recommended, with a 1/10th gauge stitch.
Important: The softer the feel of your new carpet, the less resilience the fibre will have. In this case, you will need to compromise on overall appearance performance if a super soft feel is your goal.
Maintenance of carpet
The most important step in caring for your carpet is regular vacuuming. Vacuum thoroughly and frequently particularly in high traffic areas. A good quality vacuum cleaner is vital to prolonging the life of your carpet.
It is recommended to use either an upright or quality barrel vacuum cleaner, fitted with a power driven rotating brush. A light vacuum is recommended at least twice a week with the power driven rotating brush turned off, and then a thorough vacuum performed weekly, with the power driven rotating brush turned on. Do not leave the power driven rotating brush running on the carpet if the vacuum is unattended as it may damage your carpet.