How Long Underlay Lasts

How Long Does Underlay Last?: Tips for a Longer Lifespan

Laying floor can be a confusing and time-consuming process. Not only do you have to figure out how to install the flooring, but you also have to decide which underlay to use.

But fret no more; Mersey Flooring is here to guide you through the process. Depending on the type of underlay you decide on, each one has a different lifespan, and there are various approaches to keeping them in good condition for years to come.

The Different Types of Underlay 

Each type of underlay is designed for a specific use. They can be installed in homes and commercial buildings for kitchens, bathrooms, offices, living rooms, etc. Here is a brief overview of the different types you can find:

  • Foam Underlay- Used for laminate and engineered wood flooring.
  • Rubber Underlay- Beneficial for hardwood and tile.
  • Felt Underlay- Hardwood and laminate flooring.
  • Cork Underlay- Hardwood, laminate, and tile flooring.
  • Combination Underlay- Used for carpet installations.
  • Polyethylene Film- Used under floating floors like laminate.

How Long Does Underlay Typically Last?

Underlay can last anywhere between 5 and 20 years.

Foam and Felt underlay can last up to 8-12 years. However, if foam underlay isn’t properly installed or maintained, it lasts only 5 years.

Acoustic and rubber underlay have the longest lifespan, lasting 10-20 years. Acoustic underlay is commonly installed for commercial offices to reduce noise obstruction. 

It’s important to consult a professional to understand your specific needs and choose the best fit for you. 

The Factors that Affect the Lifespan of Underlay

Various factors can affect the lifespan of underlay, which should be considered when purchasing and maintaining the quality of your floor.

Material Quality

The material of the underlay you’re installing has a lot to do with how long your floors will last. More expensive materials, such as rubber and felt, are more likely to increase the lifespan of your floor as they have more resistance to wear and tear. 

Lower-quality materials, such as basic foam or Oak, may damage quicker than others leading to the need for repairs and replacements.

Foot Traffic

High-traffic areas, such as living rooms, hallways, and kitchens, are more susceptible to wear and tear. 

The constant pressure on the underlay can cause it to break more easily, causing it to lose its cushioning effect, sound insulation, and aesthetic appeal.


​​Excessive moisture can cause certain types of underlay, such as Foam, to degrade more quickly. A humid environment can lead to the growth of mould and mildew, affecting the quality of your floor.

A dry environment can also affect certain types of underlay, such as Cork, leading to cracks in the flooring.

Installation quality

A poorly fitted underlay can lead to gaps or overlaps and premature wear and tear.

If the seams aren’t joined properly, your floor will start to split and deteriorate quicker, and inadequate adhesive can lead to shifting or bubbling, reducing the underlay's quality and lifespan.

Tips for Extending the Lifespan of Your Underlay

1. Choose the Right Material

Choose a high-quality, durable material that is appropriate for your specific needs. 

Choosing the right one can set you on the path to longevity for your home. High-quality options such as Cork, Rubber, and Acoustic underlay have the greatest resistance and life span.

2. Proper Installation

It’s best to hire a professional to install your underlay or meticulously follow the manufacturer's guidelines.

This will ensure that the underlay is fitted up to standard and performs optimally, extending its lifespan.

3. Use Area Rugs

Placing rugs in high-traffic areas like hallways and living rooms will reduce the friction and pressure directly impacting your floor. This will distribute the weight and reduce the wear and tear on the underlay.

4. Rotate Furniture

Constant pressure from furniture can cause the underlay to compress and wear out faster. Periodically rotating your furniture will distribute this pressure across different areas, reducing damage in certain spots.

5. Regular Cleaning

Dirt and moisture can degrade the underlay over time, so keeping up with a regular vacuuming and mopping regime will reduce the risk of built-up dirt and mildew.

6. Monitor the Humidity

To control the humidity in a room, use dehumidifiers in damp areas and humidifiers in dry areas to accommodate the different needs of your underlay. 

This will reduce the risk of saturating or drying out the underlay, leading to a longer lifespan.

Choose Mersey Flooring for Your Underlay! 

Now that you know how to make your underlay last longer, browse our selection of underlay to find the perfect fit for your home!

Our knowledgeable staff can answer any questions and help you choose the perfect flooring for your home. Contact us today for more information.
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