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All about Installing Carpets, Underlay & Floorboards

Our staff have mastered laying carpets, underlying floorboards and underlay for over 20 years in Melbourne. Although there are plenty of DIY guidelines out there, we’d recommend using a professional carpet layer to ensure you get the best use from your carpets and finished installation is clean and functional. If you’ve experienced water damage in your Melbourne property and your carpets have been removed temporarily, you may notice the underlying structures including the floorboards and the foam underlay. These are important components for the installation of carpets which we’ll explore in this article.

What is Carpet Underlay?

If you’ve ever had your carpets removed due to flooding, you may have seen the thick, soft rubbery-like layer of foam that sits underneath your carpet on top of the underlying floorboards. This underlay serves a variety of very useful purposes including:

  • Providing cushioning and comfort for walking on the carpet
  • Insulation and keeping the flooring warm from cold draughts
  • Preventing the carpets from wearing and tearing due to friction on the floorboards
  • Allowing sound insulation
  • Providing insulation from too much heat radiating from the flooring upwards in warmer seasons

The carpet underlay is made from sponge, rubber, foam or crumb rubber that has been rolled into a flat shape and cut depending on the size of the carpeted area. Insuring that this layer is installed properly is critical for ensuring your carpet can be properly stretched and re-layed after water damage and it allows your carpets to last through the years. The thickness of carpet underlay varies too and your professional carpet layer will offer the best thickness depending on the area in your property where carpets are being layed. For example the thickness may be a little more than usual on staircases where carpet is being installed compared to a regular bedroom. The thickness varies depending on the materials the underlay is made from as well as the recommendation. It generally varies between 8mm – 12mm.

What are Underlying Floorboards?

These floorboards may already be installed in your property. They provide the foundation on which the foam underfelt or underlay can be placed on top of. Before laying carpet after flood damage, our professional staff dry the underlying floorboards and remove the underlay and replace it with a new one if the water damage is extensive. The flooring underneath provides a stable, flat surface for carpets to be placed on top off to ensure comfort and a clean, flat finish. Usually the underlying floorboards are floating floorboards that have been placed on the existing flooring structure of concrete or tiles. Throughout our years of restoring flooded properties across all of Melbourne and the surrounding suburbs we’ve removed, dried and replaced countless underlying floorboards as part of the structural drying process. If you ever have an unexpected flooding in your home and your carpets and flooring are saturated, it’s best to call a professional instead of attempting a DIY drying attempt.

Choosing the Right Carpet

When choosing the correct carpets for your home, office or warehouse, always consider its wear and tear across the years, comfort, colour and thickness to ensure you get the best use of your carpets during the years. For example, if you own a large apartment complex and need to choose between a light or a dark coloured carpet for the shared areas in the apartment building, including the corridors and the lifts, we recommend choosing a carpet that is thicker than the standard carpet but also in a darker colour to ensure over time, the wear and tear does not immediately show. Darker carpets are easier to maintain for situations such as these. If you have a home however you would need to consider the aesthetics of the area as well as the use, comfort and choosing a carpet that is easy to maintain over the course of many years. We can help you with choosing the right carpets if you ever need advice.

How is Carpet Installed?

When we professionally lay new carpet we follow a strict process that yields the best results. Firstly, we ensure that the underlying tiles, concrete or floorboards are completely dry and clean, as well as free from dust and other materials. We do this by throughly sweeping the area and vacuuming to ensure the best possible results. Additionally, if there has been any flooding to the area, we professionally dry the sub-flooring to ensure no risk of mould. Once the smooth edge has been properly installed at the right distance from the wall (you don’t want it to be too close or too far away, otherwise the carpet will not fill the entire room properly and there can be gaps). Following this step, we lay the underfelt and cut it depending on the size and shape of the room and attach it to the flooring by using a staple hammer to secure it. We then install another layer of underlay to provide maximum comfort as well as reduced friction between the carpets at the subflooring. After this point the carpet is rolled on top and placed correctly to ensure the entire area is sufficiently covered.

If you’re unsure about the processes above, best to leave it to a professional to install your carpets. If you’re based in Melbourne, call Kleen-Tech on 1300 30 50 30 to have your flooring inspected following a flooding and wet carpets.

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