Key Differences between Underlays and Underpads

Most of people focus only on the type and quality of the floorings in their home. Very few of them understand the importance of what’s beneath them.  There are two different types of material that can be used, underlays and underpads. Both of these play a vital role in avoiding issues due to installation as well as maintaining floor durability.

Underlays and underpads are important for your floor. However, they are not the same thing. They have different features as well as usage. Let’s take a look at the similarities and differences between them.


  • Are placed between the floor and the subfloor. They act as a cushion layer and are used as a vital element in brand new flooring.
  • The right type of underlayment beneath the floor ensures more comfort, durability, insulation and soundproofing.
  • Are beneficial in the long run as they help in avoiding problems like floor squeaks, irregular surface, cracking, open seams, etc.
  • Provide protection to wooden boards against moisture.
  • Can be found for affordable prices.
  • Are made from a variety of materials. Hard underlays are made from recycled wood or plywood, whereas soft underlays are made from foam, cork, rubber, fibre, etc.
  • Humidity level, expected load your floor will carry and kind of heating system are some of the factors to consider while you choose the right underlayment for your floor.


  • Are placed between carpet and its subfloor. They are padded layers that are found beneath carpeting.
  • Absorb shock and prevent breaking down of carpet fibres.
  • Adds years to the lifespan of carpeting.
  • Installation of underpads reduces sound, makes the carpet softer and provides insulation.
  • Pricing differs from underlays, they tend to be more expensive
  • Assist in stain and odour reduction, by protecting the subfloor from spills and dirt that can form into bacteria, mold or mildew.
  • Bonded urethane, foam rubber, flat rubber pads, waffle or sponge rubber pads are some of the varieties available in underpads.
  • Carpet quality, expected everyday traffic and the area where the carpet will be installed are some of the factors that contribute to choice of underpad.

Underlays are installed under hard surface floors while underpads are installed under carpeting. They both play a vital role in increasing the lifespan and durability of carpeting or flooring. With all the options available, it’s important to choose the ones that best suits your needs for long-lasting endurance.

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