Frequently asked questions
Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions (and answers!) relating to the installation of Estillon carpet padding and sub-flooring, an explanation of technical descriptions and symbols, and where you can order the products
Need more? Then please fill in the contact form and we’ll get in touch with you as quickly as possible.
The product filtering options indicate the characteristics of Estillon’s underlays to help you select the right product. To see these, go to the product list.
- it reduces noise, nice for your neighbours and for your own experience of home comfort;
- it increases the comfort and softness of the floor covering above it;
- it protects the floor covering from damage that could be caused by faults in the subfloor;
- it acts as a barrier to harmful moisture, dust and grit;
- it provides heat insulation.
Selecting the right underlay is a complicated matter. The main factors determining this choice would include the users’ living situation, preferences and requirements. Examples would be a noise insulation requirement posed by an owners’ association or a landlord’s refusal to permit gluing an underlay onto the basic floor. Be sure that you are acquainted with this important information and that it is considered when selecting an underlay. The right choice can have a substantial impact on your experience of home comfort, the improvement of acoustics, and the possible inconvenience for neighbours. Always get the advice of a specialist, and, if in doubt, always ask questions to try to prevent problems later.
The product filtering options indicate the characteristics of Estillon’s underlays to help you select the right product. To see these, go to the product list at this website.
Underlays are made from many types of natural materials and plastics, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, we can distinguish between a number of types of underlays in which certain underlays can be used for a number of types of floor covering. Most underlays, however, have been specifically developed to meet the explicit requirements of a type of floor covering, thus making them unsuited for use with a number of types of floor covering. So be sure to verify the compatibility of the underlay and floor covering: do not simply combine them without professional advice.
The basic categories of types of underlays are:
- Carpet underlay;
- Laminate/parquet underlays;
- PVC vinyl & linoleum underlays.
For carpet: Avoid the use of a soft thick carpet underlay that has a high rolling resistance. We would advise the use of harder, more stable underlays that you would then have to install with the double-stick method to promote rolling resistance. Fitting carpet also involves the risk of the carpet pulling away from the underlay due to castors being rolled across it. We would advise the use of such products as Black Magic, Black Onyx, Elegance Black FR or Black Pearl.
For vinyl: Use Floorfixx fini in combination with a highly plasticiser-free double-sided tape for floating vinyl floors. If you still decide to glue the vinyl, choose Floorfixx smart or Floorfixx regular.
For PVC click-lock flooring: Use Timberbase Plus. For wheelchair use, however, we would not advise PVC because friction and local pressure can occur as the wheels turn over it, and this can result in damage to the joints between the flooring elements.
There are three techniques for installing an underlay beneath carpet:
- the stretching technique;
- the double-stick technique;
- the single-stick technique.
Always refer to the installation instructions provided by the carpet manufacturer.
In this technique, carpet gripper strips are nailed to baseboards between which the underlay is installed. Next, the carpet (seamed together if not in a single piece) is installed by using a power-lock stretcher and/or a knee kicker to stretch it onto the carpet gripper strips. Advantages:
- Installation using the stretching technique provides a high degree of comfort and luxury;
- extends the life of the carpet;
- and looks more beautiful;
- makes it easier to remove and re-install.
By this method the underlay has to be glued (perhaps using an anti-slip glue) onto the subfloor, and the carpet has to be glued onto the underlay. Advantages:
- easy to install;
- no need to re-stretch;
- the underlay adds to comfort.
This method is used when fitting a carpet over Egalsoft carpet underlay. This is because Egalsoft has a self-adhesive layer that adheres directly to a dry, dust-free subfloor. Carpet glue is then applied to the upper surface of Egalsoft and the carpet is fitted over it. Advantages:
- a quick way to fit carpet;
- uses less glue;
- Egalsoft is easy to remove. It leaves hardly any glue remnants behind on the subfloor.
Emissions involve the release or discharge of pollutants. Our home and work environments contain many sources of emissions such as furniture, floors and wall coverings. The way in which these pollutants are distributed in the atmosphere depends on the height of the emission source, air turbulence, the temperature, and the nature of the emissions. Once the substances are emitted into their surroundings, they are diluted, distributed and transported. Ultimately, these substances (known as emissions) reach a height at which we are exposed to them and where they exhibit a certain concentration.
To improve the quality of indoor air and to contribute to a healthier indoor climate, products designed for use inside buildings and rooms have to meet certain limit values. The limit values for chemical emissions are usually established per country or per set of standards. In general, this process considers the product-specific emission classification.
All materials, even natural materials, emit a certain quantity of substances. Various chemical substances emitted from building materials and home furnishings then become suspended in the indoor air. The emission classification for building materials determines the emission requirements that the materials being used will have to meet in order to guarantee indoor air of good quality.
Estillon’s carpet underlays and underlays for hard surface floor coverings are tested for their emissions. Estillon is thus contributing to the quality of indoor air.
Today, the use of floor coverings designed to be flame-retardant is essential in homes, business premises and public buildings such as hotels, concert halls and casinos. After all, everyone wants safe living and work environments. Estillon supplies specialised flame-retardant underlays for installing beneath both carpets and hard surface floor coverings.
Obviously, good material designed to be flame-retardant can save lives. (Consider, for example, a hotel that accommodates many people in various rooms.)
Floor covering designed to be flame-retardant is required for such major projects as hotel chains, casinos, theatres, cruise ships and office buildings. But a flame-retardant floor covering would also be a good safe choice for installing in houses and apartments. This is why Estillon is continually developing new flame-retardant products. Our products are extensively tested and will also add to the comfort of any interior space.
Our flame-retardant underlays have been successfully tested and used in many different projects in the hospitality sector. You can find our reference list of various prominent projects in which Estillon’s products have been installed at our site under Projects. The product filtering options indicate which underlays are flame-retardant. To see these, go to the product list at this website.
An increasing number of houses and apartments are being heated with an integrated underfloor heating system. Essentially, there are two kinds of underfloor heating: ‘dry’ (electric) and ‘wet’ (hot water) systems. Dry systems are mainly electrical systems, and wet systems are buried in a screed.
Traditional underfloor heating operates with the use of hot water from the existing central heating system. It is also the most commonly used type of underfloor heating. In addition to systems using a central heating system, systems using a heat pump are rapidly gaining popularity. The principle underlying both systems is that the home is heated by hot water flowing through a system of pipes buried in the screed. The biggest and also the most important difference between these systems is the temperature of the water flowing through the pipes. The temperatures in a traditional system are considerably higher than those in a heat pump system. What applies to all the systems is: the higher the flow temperature, the more you save on your energy consumption. This could, however, affect your choice of floor covering. You will not have as many laminates and carpets to choose from.
You can determine the compatibility of the combinations yourself by adding up the individual thermal resistance values (R-values) of the screed (if used), the underlay and the floor covering. If this exceeds the maximum recommended tog value for a certain combination of products, we advise you to contact the underfloor heating installer.
The maximum recommended tog value for a combination of products used for underfloor heating as the main source of heat: (0.13 m2 K/W)
The maximum recommended tog value for a combination of products used for underfloor heating as a supplementary source of heat: (0.17 m2 K/W)
The maximum recommended tog value for a combination of products used for underfloor heating that uses a heat pump system: (0.09 m2 K/W)
The product filtering options indicate which underlays are suitable for combining with underfloor heating. To see these, go to the product list at this website.
Traditionally, a functional requirement of a carpet underlay or an underlay for hard surface floor coverings is the insulation of the floor. When used with underfloor heating, however, an underlay should have the lowest possible insulation value. Most carpet underlays and underlays for hard surface floor covers contain a high percentage of air since this will enhance comfort and is also a natural heat and sound insulator. When selecting a carpet underlay or an underlay for hard surface floor coverings, it is thus advisable to choose a dense carpet underlay that has the lowest possible thermal resistance value (R-value).
The sound insulation of most houses and apartments is often not effective enough to suppress all irritating noises. Sounds such as music, footsteps, or the closing of doors, together with step noise, are the greatest sources of irritation and they substantially reduce living comfort. Step noise is a form of contact sound which can best be controlled at its source. In addition to making changes in living habits (exchanging shoes for slippers) or choosing a soft floor covering, there are also technical solutions – namely the use of underlays. Read more about Sound Deadening Underfloor: click here!
Sound is classified as airborne sound and contact sound.
Airborne sound: In airborne sound, the air is made to vibrate. This sound is then distributed throughout a room as it bounces off the walls, ceiling and furniture. Speech and music are examples of airborne sound. Airborne sound cannot be reduced by underlays since they are not in direct contact with the sound (vibration) and, thus, cannot absorb the sound. Curtains and soft furniture such as upholstered sofas and chairs, etc. can absorb this vibration and thus reduce airborne sound.
Contact sound: In contact sound, a source of sound makes a surface vibrate by means of direct contact. This happens when walking over a surface of sliding furniture around. In most forms of contact sound, the surface being struck, such as the floor, produces a stronger vibration than would be produced by airborne sound. When you walk over a parquet floor in hard-soled shoes, for example, this makes the floor vibrate which is heard by your neighbours as step noise – and not just the neighbours below you but the ones living beside you as well. Contact noise resulting from using a hard surface floor covering or walking up and down stairs can be insulated very effectively with underlays.
If a home has a wood floor separating it from the home below, contact noise on the surface of a floating floor cannot be reduced by a floating underlay. A wood floor has too little mass itself to reduce contact noise enough to achieve the level established in the Dutch Buildings Decree. Unlike a standardised concrete floor, a wood floor has to reduce sound by much more than ΔLin = 10 dB, and this cannot be achieved by any floating underlay. Although there are other ways to reduce this kind of noise, they will require the expertise of an acoustic specialist.
On many technical data sheets, characteristics to describe sound reduction are given as Δ(delta)Lw and Δ(delta)Lin, but what is the difference between them? The ΔLw value is usually much higher than the ΔLin value but the ΔLin value (always referred to in the Netherlands as the minimal required reduction) is ΔLin = 10 dB. To explain the difference, we have to go back to the basics. A sound can be described by its composition of various frequencies and sound levels. Its frequency is expressed in Hz (Hertz) and its sound level is expressed in dB (decibel). Also used is the Δ, the symbol for delta. This expresses the improvement in contact noise resulting from the contact noise insulation provided by a floor finish or floor covering as measured according to NEN-EN-IS0 140-8. In fact, this is the difference between the bare test floor and the test floor after installing the floor covering elements (the underlay plus the floor covering). The ΔLw standard is in common use in Europe which means that what is being measured is within a certain frequency range where the focus is less on the lower frequencies.
In the Netherlands a decision was made to use a wider frequency range, including the lower tones, so that these lower tones – the kind that penetrate further through a construction – could be measured. This is done by using an index for contact noise insulation. This is ΔIco in which the ‘I’ stands for ‘Index’ and the ‘co’ stands for ‘contact noise’. In this way, a single number can express the positive or negative effects of an underlay in which, according to the Dutch Building Decree, a bare concrete floor must achieve a value of ΔIco=5 dB or higher. (ΔIco is actually equal to ΔLin.) ΔLin expresses the positive contact noise-reducing effects of underlays as compared to the original bare concrete floors. The Dutch standard (NEN) only makes use of this ΔLin.
Underlays with a TÜV Rheinland label are tested in combination with a certain prescribed floor covering by accredited metrology institutes. If the test findings satisfy the 10 dB norm, as measured according to the BRL 2003 assessment directive, it is suitable for applications that require this standard. Most products with a TÜV 10 dB label have been tested in combination with laminate which does not mean that their installation under wood floors or parquet would also deliver a 10 dB noise-reducing result! Products with TUV label: Floorfixx comfort, Floorifxx fini, Floorfixx regular, Floorfixx smart, Egalfloor 10dB and Vapoflex. Read more: click here.
On the data sheets for our products, you will see the PIT/PRODIS symbols that are used for carpet. The PIT/PRODIS symbols are a simple, clear way of indicating the suitability of that product for a certain application.
The PIT/PRODIS system divides the symbols into two groups:
- The applications
- The characteristics
The symbols used to indicate the applications are based on a series of tests that determine how intensively a carpet can be used. The range of applications runs from light use to very intensive use. The range of applications running from light to very intensive use is indicated by means of these symbols
|Light residential use|
Suitable for bedrooms and guest bedrooms.
|Normal residential use|
Suitable for use in living rooms, kitchen/living rooms, children’s rooms and hobby rooms.
|Normal to heavy residential use|
Suitable for intensive use in living rooms, hallways and kitchen/living rooms.
|Heavy residential use|
Suitable for very intensive use such as workrooms used for work at home.
These last two symbols are used for products that are suitable for contract carpeting used in business/commercial projects. Products accompanied by these symbols are not really intended for purchase by consumers.
Because you may come across these symbols on carpet samples, they are provided here for your information.
In addition to the various applications, there are also symbols for special characteristics such as suitability for use on stairs, for use in humid rooms, etc. The products have been tested to measure these characteristics.
A product that is suitable in residential situations for use on stairs with rounded treads.
|Stair (intensive use)|
A product that is suitable in work situations for use on stairs with rounded treads.
A product that is suitable in residential situations for rooms where use is made of
furniture (including seating furniture) equipped with castors (wheel width of at least 2 centimetres).
Castors (intensive use)
A product with a minimal risk of static shock.
A product that does not contribute to the starting of a fire. This symbol indicates the product’s fire classification.
A product suitable for effectively insulated rooms in which underfloor heating is used as the main source of heat, as long as this heating satisfies the conditions of using water heated to no higher than 40° C. In addition, the temperature of the floor surface may not exceed 28° C
A product suitable for use in rooms in which the product will occasionally become wet.
|Electrical resistance (vertical electrical resistance)|
A product with a vertical electrical resistance of ≤ 10.6 Ω (conductive) or .≥ 10.9 Ω (dissipative). These symbols apply to specific uses for contract applications.
A product that is slip resistant.
|Light fastness |
A product that retains its colour when exposed to light.
A product that absorbs sound and contributes to better acoustics.
|Sound dampening |
A product that contributes to the dampening of sound and reduces contact noise.
A product that does not start to fray when cut.
|Carpet, vapor-permeable||< 1,0%||< 0,5%||< 3,0%||< 2,0%|
|Carpet, closed back||< 0,5%||< 0,3%||< 2,5%||< 1,8%|
|Carpet tiles||< 1,0%||< 0,5%||< 3,0%||< 2,0%|
|Linoleum||< 0,5%||< 0,3%||< 2,5%||< 1,8%|
|LVT||< 0,5%||< 0,3%||< 2,0%||< 1,8%|
|Parquet, laminate||< 0,5%||< 0,3%||< 2,0%||< 1,8%|
|* = with floorheating|
|** = without floorheating|