Ultimate Guide To Installing Underlay For Your Carpet Tiles

Carpet tiles are becoming an increasingly popular option for many households and workplaces. The reasons are obvious, carpet tiles are generally more durable than carpet and can be replaced in sections when damaged, without having to replace the entire floor.

The good news is that carpet tiles can also be as comfortable to walk on as standard carpet and offer the same level of insulation. The secret is in using high-quality carpet tiles and underlay. Of course, you need to install the underlay properly first:

Choosing The Right Underlay

The first thing you’ll need to consider is which underlay would you like to use under your carpet tiles. There are several different options available:

Polyurethane Foam

This is the most popular option because it’s the cheapest. It’s made from recycled foam and is surprisingly good for comfort and insulation. You can purchase it in a variety of thickness levels.


Crumb is actually a type of rubber and it’s an excellent choice for heavy foot traffic. Of course, the durability means it’s less comfortable than the PU foam.

Sponge Rubber

This is another type of rubber that is a surprisingly good all-rounder. It can handle an array of weights and heavy foot traffic while maintaining comfort levels.


As the name suggests, this is a combination of sponge and crumb, giving the best of both types of underlay.


This is the most traditional underlay and cost-effective. Today’s versions are made with recycled materials. This underlay is dense and very good at thermal insulation.

Sticky Underlay

It is possible to get an underlay that has already got an adhesive layer. It is very easy to install, simply peel and stick. This type of underlay is only available in PU foam and felt.

The Right Direction When Laying

The secret to installing underlay is a clean floor. Before you can do anything you’ll need to sweep the floor, vacuum it, and damp mop it. This is the best way to ensure you have removed all the debris and potential issues.

Even the smallest of items can create a bump in the underlay. It may not show through to the carpet tiles but it will increase the wear pattern.

Once the floor is ready you need to choose which direction to put the underlay down in. You need to consider the width of the underlay and the width of your carpet tiles. The aim is to prevent the tiles from sitting on a joint in the underlay. This will increase the risk of them working loose.

Take your time working out which way to place the underlay and then cut it to the size that suits. Don’t forget to tape all joins to ensure you get a smooth and consistent surface.

Fastening It In Place

The final step is to fasten your underlay in place. The underlay can be attached to grippers at the edge of the room. Staple it onto the grippers, this will keep it taut and even, allowing for a perfect finish with your carpet tiles.

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