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F is for Felt Back

Cross profile of a felt backed carpet

When it comes to carpet, we all pay attention to the ‘fluffy’ side, but what about the material on the back? It may be a surprise to learn that there are in fact different types of backing, including felt back, foam back, jute and polypropylene, but all are there to hold the tufts of yarn in place.

Why do some carpets have felt backing?

Produced to replace an old version of foam backing, which had been deemed unsafe (although some carpet manufacturers are now using a safe foam backing), felt backing offers a low-cost alternative to the more traditional woven or hessian backed carpets.

Why choose a felt backed carpet?
Since felt backing is generally used for carpets of an inexpensive construction, it makes them a great choice for bedrooms and low traffic areas. Felt back carpets are generally not recommended for high traffic areas such as stairs, hallways and lounges since the combination of high traffic and economical construction reduces their lifespan. 

Felt backed carpets are a popular choice as they can feel softer underfoot when coupled with a good quality underlay.

The felt backing shown as the bottom blue layer in this carpet.
What else should I consider?

The most common myth we hear in relation to a felt back carpet is that no underlay is needed due to the cushioned feel of the backing. Whilst this is technically true the carpet will perform poorly without it, and the lifespan of the carpet is reduced by about 30%.

A different type of carpet gripper should be used for felt back carpets too – a specialist microplast gripper is the professionally preferred choice for installation (because the pins on normal gripper can penetrate through the, usually, thinner material leading to some prickly edges!).

At Grimley Flooring we can offer a range of felt backed carpets and advice on the best method of installation to suit your required area and budget.

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