In this study, we propose a new "atomic wall" approach to underlayer design. In this design, a CrX underlayer is used where X and Cr are not miscible in the bulk phase, resulting in a reduced grain size. We have studied the addition of Zr to Cr layers and found that CrZr gives magnetic properties comparable to those of CrMo underlayers. In addition, a CrZr underlayer gives rise to a smaller grain size of 5.5 nm, in comparison to a grain size of 6.2 nm in the case of CrMo underlayers. To our knowledge, this is the smallest grain size reported for Co-alloy recording media. The recording measurements also show a higher signal to noise ratio for CrZr underlayers than for CrMo underlayers, suggesting that CrZr underlayers have potential for use in ultrahigh areal densities.