Do I need an underlay for my new carpet?

Have you bought a new carpet?

Need help deciding if you need underlay, or can you get away with saving some money?

Well, the short answer is. Yes, you do need underlay for your new carpet.

This article tells you if:

  1. Can you lay a new carpet straight on concrete?
  2. Can you use the old carpet as an underlay?
  3. How important underlay is for a new carpet?

I know, I know, I’m working for a company that does all this, and this is just another sales trick to get me to spend more money, No!

Quite the opposite, I will show you how to save money in the long run!

  1. Can you lay a new carpet straight onto concrete?

We don’t recommend laying a carpet straight onto concrete for a few reasons.

  • Underlay is designed to soften your carpet, making it pleasant and cushioned to walk on.
  • Also, underlay lengthens the life on your carpet.
  • Underlay lessons the risk of forming mould. It develops because of how cold and hard the concrete is, and then you put a layer of carpet to warm it. (The sad thing is you probably won’t know until it’s too late.)
  1. Can you use the old carpet as an underlay?

I can see why this seems like a good idea. It saves money and recycling, so we don’t add to the landfill. Why would this not work, right?

  • Firstly – this will cause a lot of problems with installation. The carpet needs to be tacked down properly on the edges. Imagine having a carpet to try and get through. It makes a lot of hard work for the person laying it.
  • Secondly – Carpets require a firmer new base to ensure the carpet last longer. If you lay on top of an old carpet, all the indents from people walking on the old carpet will very quickly come through.
  • And lastly, your old carpet will have dirt and grime that will transfer to your new one.

So, you buy a lovely new carpet, and dirt is already forming, and so is mould and mildew from humidity that will develop and cause future issues.

Yes, you could have a professional clean your carpet beforehand to prevent issues, but you may as well put that money to the underlay, which would be a better option anyway.


  1. How important is underlay for a new carpet?

Most people think it’s just to make it softer to walk on. But there is more than just this to consider.

  • Now, it does make it softer under foot, but it is essential to have underlay as it Lengthens the life of your carpet. (Most important as they aren’t cheap)
  • It helps to make it easier to hoover too, yes, that’s right. It helps to make hoovering easier.
  • Did you know it also helps as a sound barrier and helps to insulate your room? (I have children, so the noise reduction is perfect and with the environment in mind, helping to keep the house warm is a bonus!)
  • It prevents moisture from forming on the underneath of the carpet, which can cause mould.

So, in short, underlay is essential if you don’t want to be buying a new carpet every year.

For further advice or information on our Carpet and Soft Furnishing care, please do not hesitate to contact the Art of Clean team on 01223 901551 in Cambridge. Our services include Carpet Cleaning, Upholstery Cleaning, oriental and area Rug Cleaning, Curtain Cleaning, Patio, and Driveway Pressure washing, Leather Cleaning, Stone and Tile Floor Cleaning, and Wood Floor Sanding and Restoration. We also supply new flooring and carpets through our sister company Art of Flooring. Our Dry-Cleaning service is provided by Farthings Cambridge

Written by Tracey Gilbey, Marketing and admin coordinator at Art of Clean.


Another article you may find interesting:

Why has my Carpet gone flat?


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