How To Choose The Best Underlay (When You Have Kids And Home Improving!)

How To Choose The Best Underlay (When You Have Kids And Home Improving!)

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Do you need help deciding on an underlay for your new floor? As a parent, you want to make sure your children are safe in their home. Whether you’re renovating or simply updating your floors, it’s important to choose the right underlay that can keep them safe and sound. With so many kinds of flooring materials out there, it can be confusing to know what the best choice is when ensuring safety for smaller kids – but don’t worry, I did the research for you and I have all the answers here!

You’ll find out how to pick the best underlay when you have kids – whether they are playing on or even beneath your floor surfaces. We’ll also go over helpful tips for making sure your little ones remain guarded against any potential accidents and spills while living life’s everyday activities during homeschool lessons and quiet times. Learn exactly how to prioritize comfort and protectiveness by choosing the perfect underlay!

Are you looking for the best underlay option for your home improvement project when you have kids? Learn all about different types of underlay, their benefits, and how to choose the best one for your family. You'll find out how to make sure your children are safe and comfortable while still enjoying a beautiful home improvement!

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What Is An Underlay?

Let’s start with the basics. When you have children in the home, there are certain qualities to look for that will ensure your underlay is safe and comfortable. First, you need to know which underlay will work best if you recently purchased a new floor or if you are replacing an old one.

An underlay has three purposes:

  1. insulating against heat flow
  2. improving floor comfort
  3. reducing noise.

But before you buy any, you need to consider a few things. When hiring a local flooring installer, they can give you advice before installing your underlay; however, having an idea of where to start will go a long way – trust me!

Underlay prevents the carpet pile from flattening and functions as a shock absorber against wear and tear, extending the lifespan of your flooring up to 50%. Additionally, underlay significantly enhances heat and sound insulation, can reduce noise by up to 30%, and can save up to 15% energy costs!

What Specs Should You Choose?

Learn your TOG

You can use the TOG rating to assess an underlay's quality. For example, it is used to assess the

effectiveness of thermal insulation. The level of insulation is improved with a higher TOG grade.


You need a DPM for sure if your subfloor is concrete. A damp-proof membrane (DPM) is typically installed underneath to prevent moisture from spreading through a concrete subfloor.

Homes and new construction constructed after the 1970s must have a DPM installed beneath the concrete.


You might believe selecting a thick underlay is acceptable for greater comfort, but regrettably, that’s not always the case. When deciding on the thickness of your underlay, there are several things to consider.

The installation of underfloor heating will impact the thickness of your underlay. Heat will struggle to penetrate the boards if the underlay is too thick. Another illustration is that a 6mm foam underlay wouldn’t be suitable for laminate flooring since it would cause the click-fit mechanism to malfunction.

What Kind of Material Should You Choose?

Foam Underlay

Ideal for laminate and wood flooring

Foam underlay is inexpensive, warm, and functional if you have a limited budget. Mostly because it provides more comfort, laminates are growing in popularity.

Foam, sometimes called PU foam, is one of the most environmentally friendly underlay solutions because it is manufactured from recovered foam scraps. It also works well as a sound deadener, so you won’t have to worry about squeaky floorboards again.

If you have underfloor heating, be careful to take the thickness and TOG rating into account. For example, foam can stop the heat from trying to enter the room because of its high TOG rating.

Thermal Underlay

Ideal for engineered wood, vinyl, and laminate flooring

You need thermal underlay if you’re considering installing underfloor heating but need to decide which underlay to pick. The thermal barrier prevents moisture from damaging your floor, keeping your floor warmer for longer and keeping your house dry!

You need a low TOG rating floor if you intend to install an underlay on top of underfloor heating. This will warm the room by allowing as much heat as possible to pass through the underlay.

Fibreboard Underlay

Ideal for laminate and engineered wood floors

Fiberboard is an excellent option. It aids in levelling uneven floors, lessens noise, and is a superb thermal insulator.

The fibreboard helps even with any dips and dents you cannot level out if your subfloor is uneven. If you’re installing a fiberboard over a concrete subfloor, keep in mind to add a DPM because moisture can cause your floor to deform. Although fiberboard can be laid loosely, we advise using joint tape to secure the boards.

Keep in mind that water and wood don’t mix! Therefore, bathrooms and other wet areas should not have fiberboard flooring.


Cork Underlay

Perfect for stone and tile.

Some luxury vinyl tiles come with a cork underlay already attached. Cork underlay can solve your issues if attenuating sound is a priority in your home. One of the most hygienic options on the market is cork underlay. It inhibits the development of bacteria, mould, and mildew. Additionally, it is very environmentally friendly and a great insulator.

Cork is not waterproof, though. Therefore, it is not advised to install cork underlay with laminate flooring in areas that are likely to become wet.

Gluing cork underlay to the subfloor is the best technique to apply it. Solid and engineered hardwood floors are excellent for cork. Cork can be installed beneath floors made of stone, tile, carpet, and linoleum. There are countless options!

PU foam Underlay

Ideal for carpets.

Because it provides a beautiful soft feeling underfoot, PU foam is a highly popular choice. Polyurethane underlay is created from recycled furniture foam, making it an environmentally responsible option that you can recycle once more after usage. It provides great heat and sound insulation.

Depending on your budget, PU foam is available in various thicknesses and densities. The underlay’s insulation, sumptuous feel, and noise reduction improve with increasing thickness and density. It is a preferred material for carpet underlayment since it is pleasant and strong.

Additionally lightweight, it is simple to carry and adaptable.

Underlayment and Radiant Heat

When contemplating installing an underfloor heating system, one frequently asked question by wood floor installation specialists is if underlayment installation is necessary. Yes, you do need to spend money on an underlayment. However, you need only take into account specific types of underlayment that can endure these special conditions due to the unique temperature conditions of the underfloor heating.

For instance, most absorbent and semi-permeable underlayment materials contain asphalt, which you should avoid. Remember that it is crucial to pick an underlayment material that can produce a barrier membrane to safeguard against moisture and humidity.

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How To Choose The Best Underlay When You Have Children

Choosing the right underlay for a home with children can help make the overall experience of living in the house better. It’s important to take into consideration all aspects of the family’s lifestyle when making this decision. Overall, there are several things to consider when it comes to choosing the right underlay, but it’s essential to dedicate time and do extensive research so that you make the best decision for your home and children! Hope this research helps!

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