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How to Select the Correct Carpet Padding

Carpet Padding Types

Selecting the perfect carpet padding (or carpet cushion) is one of the most important parts of new carpet installation. Carpet padding protects the subfloor, eliminates loud creaking, and makes the floor more comfortable to walk on. The right carpet padding may double the life of your carpet, the wrong pad will surely take years off its life.

It is very important that the padding is compatible with the carpet. A thicker, denser pad is not always the best pad. Carpet manufacturers often include instructions on the type and thickness of pad that should be installed with your particular carpet. A 15-year carpet should be installed with a pad that will also last 15 years. Failure to follow these guidelines may void the carpets’ warranty.

Padding Material
Carpet pads are made of a variety of materials. Rubber, urethane foam, bonded foam and recycled fibers are the most common materials. Most residential carpet pads are made from bonded foam (commonly referred to as rebond). These pads are made from recycled foam scraps that would typically go to waste. High density rubber pads are very expensive but lasts longer than any other pad. Fiber cushions are not typically used for residential carpet installation, but may work well in commercial spaces.

The density of the carpet padding is measured in terms of weight. Most residential carpets are installed with a density of 6 to 8 lbs. With a higher density pad, the carpet will become firmer, wrinkle less, and hold up better in high traffic areas. However, some prefer the softness of a lower density pad. Carpet pads with a 3-5 lb. density are less expensive, but they are only recommended for rooms where the carpet will be replaced frequently.

The thickness of the carpet padding will depend on the type of carpet and the amount of traffic the room will see. As a general rule of thumb, the carpet pad should be no thicker than 1/2”. Some common thicknesses are 1/4”, 3/8”, 7/16”, and 5/16”.


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About the Author

ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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