There are many different types of
available today in order to accommodate all the various carpet types
and styles. Lets discuss the various types of pad that you will encounter when
shopping for new carpeting your home, office or rental property.
What is the Best
Carpet Padding Thickness?
A certain padding type, thickness and density is required by every carpet manufacturer to maintain your carpet
warranty. For most residential carpets, a 7/16" thickness is most common
and either a 6-pound density or an 8-pound density will be recommended. Berber
styles may require a special padding with higher density and thickness
of 1/4" to 3/8".
Don't make the mistake of thinking that a
thicker pad is a better pad. If you chose a padding that is too thick it
can cause wrinkles to develop in your carpet over time. In most homes 7/16" is the
thickest padding you would want to select to keep the carpet warranty in force,
although many dealers still offer a 1/2" padding.
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Much Does Carpet Cost?
What is the Best
Carpet Padding Density?
Padding is also rated by its density. Some pads
have a low density rating of 3 or 4 pounds and are typically used in
apartments because it is less expensive and will be replaced more frequently.
Looped Berber styles and commercial grade carpets require a special padding
and you should call the manufacturer to get the correct padding requirements
needed to keep from voiding your carpet warranty.
carpet padding used in residential applications has a density rating of 6 to 8 pounds, but other densities are
available including 10-pound density. Some pads are rated in ounces instead of pounds.
This is mainly true with Rubber Waffle Pads, Rubber Slab and Wool Felt or
Synthetic Fiber Pads. For
example, a 128-ounce Rubber Waffle Padding is the equivalent of an 8-pound
homeowners prefer to use a 6-pound density padding
because it is softer underfoot. However, an 8-pound padding provides better
support for your carpet and will generally make it wear longer, especially in
high traffic areas like stairs and hallways.
The higher the density rating the more firm the
feel is underfoot. The higher the density rating, the firmer the padding will
be. Firmer pads provide better the support for your carpet. Better
support means a lower chance for wrinkles to form over time.
higher the padding density, the more costly the pad will be.
expect the carpet salesperson to choose the correct pad for you, it is your
responsibility to make sure the correct pad is selected and installed.
If the wrong type, thickness or density
pad is used, your carpet may develop wrinkles which is costly to fix and can
significantly decrease the life span of your carpet.
can always contact the carpet manufacturer to find out what type of
padding they recommend.
Carpet Pad (The
Bang for your Buck!)
pad is most commonly
used in the
residential setting. It is made from recycled materials, mainly from recycled
urethane foam and is multicolored. It is available
everywhere, and in almost every thickness and density. Rebond is the most
economical padding choice for your home, rental or office, and it does a good
job of supporting your carpet if you choose the specifications wisely.
Not all rebond padding is
high grade or
is top-quality. Every padding manufacturer offers several grades of Rebond
padding to their distributors. Retailers have a choice of which grade of
rebond padding to offer to their customers. The main difference will be the
type of recycled materials used to manufacture the padding. The higher the
quality of recycled materials used, the better the rebond pad will be.
Reputable carpet dealers always offer top-quality rebond padding to their customers. The price you pay for a good
quality padding may be slightly higher than at the shady discount carpet store
down the street, however you should never skimp when it comes to buying a good-quality padding to go under your good-quality carpet.
The higher the carpet quality, the higher your pad quality should be also.
Homeowners Need To Know:
Grade of Padding you select must MATCH the Grade of Carpet you
select. If you buy a carpet designed to last 15 years, then you must
buy a padding that is designed to last at least 15 years. The question is,
how will you know what grade of carpet or padding you are buying?
of Carpet Should I Select?
a 6 to 8-pound density Rebond pad is about $3.50 - $5.50 per square
yard or about 39 to 45 cents per square foot. The higher the density
rating. the higher the cost.
specifications being equal, what makes a pad worth $2 to $4 more per square yard than
a standard Rebond pad? Assuming the specifications are similar... It is
usually due to a popular brand or maybe just a higher profit margin at the
dealer where you are shopping!
Urine and Moisture Problems
are a lot of specialty pads offered today that you might want to consider. But
don't fall for those "solve your pet urine problem" pads, or those
"moisture barrier" pads that they claim will help you solve a
serious moisture problem you may have in your home. If your basement floods
from time to time or if you have pets that have wet accidents frequently, then
there is no pad available anywhere that will solve your problems. Learn more about Moisture
Carpet Padding (Lightweight or
This type of
carpet pad is very inexpensive
and lightweight. If a retail store tries to give you free pad with your carpet
purchase, this is usually what they plan to give you. This type of padding
will not tolerate much foot traffic. It will soon become completely flat as a
pancake after a year or two and is not a good choice for a residential setting. This
type of padding is often used in apartment settings where the carpet life span is less than 3
years. This pad comes in 40-yard rolls with a low density rating of 2 to 4
pounds and is so lightweight that a young child can easily lift the entire
Urethane Foam Carpet Padding (Prime
Not made of recycled materials, this type of
pad is called
prime or virgin urethane. It's a much better grade of foam pad (frothed
foam) that could be a good choice for the home. It is made of very
dense urethane (polyurethane). It is designed primarily for commercial
applications, but is becoming more common in residential applications. The cost
more than a standard rebond and not a common choice among homeowners. Select a
6 to 8 pound density and no more than 1/2" thick.
Memory foam is constructed mainly from
polyurethane and it is often referred to as visco-elastic polyurethane foam.
This is a relatively new type of padding on the market and is generally more
costly than other standard foam or rubber padding choices. Memory foam padding has the
unique ability to gradually return its original thickness after being
compressed. As memory foam ages and wears, it tends to lose some of its memory
resulting in reduced support for the carpet.
Unlike other types of padding that have a
spring to it, memory foam does not spring back quickly when walked upon.
Unfortunately there is a limit to how many times memory foam will return to
its fully inflated condition and may eventually end up laying completely flat on the
floor. This is of special concern for main walkways and stairs.
padding can be temperature sensitive too, being firmer in cool temperatures and
softer in warmer temperatures. Life span of memory foam padding varies due to the application and
density rating of the type and quality of the memory foam padding selected. Personally, I do not
usually recommend memory foam padding and prefer using a good-quality Rebond
padding for most residential applications.
Felt Carpet Padding and Synthetic Fiber Carpet Padding
Natural wool or synthetic
padding is used primarily for Berber styles and commercial-grade carpets. They are very dense,
breathe well, and are not spongy at all. They are made from recycled or shredded
fabrics or natural wool. They are designed to fully support and allow looped Berbers
and commercial carpets to wear very well in heavy traffic situations, and to
prevent these types of carpets from stretching out and developing wrinkles. A
Synthetic Fiber pad is also a great choice for basements with concrete floors as it
breathes well, resists mold and mildew and has anti-microbial
Carpet Pad (Waffle Pattern) or
Rubber Slab (Flat Slab)
I seldom recommend
using a rubber waffle carpet pad in residential
applications. Rebond pad is a much more economical choice and it does a great job at
supporting your carpet as long the correct thickness and density is selected. Rubber
padding is often used in commercial applications over
Carpet Pads: Moisture barrier pad, odor
eating pad, pet odor
and baking soda infused pad.
salespeople may try to convince you to upgrade your order with a specialty
that has claims of being able to eliminate odors or claim to have a moisture barrier
surface that will help reduce negative effects from pet accidents.
I don't generally recommend these type of
and suggest you avoid the extra expense. I believe it will just cost you more money and not solve
or diminish your pet accident problems for long. If you have a pet accident problem,
there is no padding on the market today that I know of, that will solve your
problem. Spending more money on a specialty pad will not significantly reduce the
severity of your pet urine problem, nor will it help you with the cleaning of
your carpet in the long run.
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Assume an Expensive Specialty Pad Can Solve All Your Pet Urine Problems!
you have a serious pet accident problem, if so, upgrading to a more expensive
carpet pad will not
help you solve your problem. It won't make it easier to clean your carpet or reduce the severity of your
pet urine problem.
If you have a moisture problem in your
basement, no "moisture barrier" padding is going to protect you from the dangers
of mold and mildew forming under your carpet and padding.
carpet salespeople try to encourage homeowners to spend more to purchase a
padding that has a moisture barrier they claim will help solve some common
issues. Don't be fooled into thinking that spending more money on a specialty pad
will solve your pet or moisture problems, it
just doesn't work that way. You need to address your problems first and then I
recommend you select a good quality pad that is designed to properly support
your carpet and meet your needs and goals.
Moisture Problems Under Your Home
you have water leaking in your basement, or evaporating up through your
concrete slab, or if you have standing water in your crawlspace underneath
your home, you must fix the problem before buy and install new carpet and pad.
This may mean you may need to call in a company that can find and correct the
moisture problem before you install new carpet or flooring.
is a useful link to help you address, diagnose and hopefully solve
your moisture problems.
is a Specialty Carpet Padding?
physically enhanced types of carpet padding are
typically much more costly than a standard Rebond type carpet padding.
Specialty pads claim to offer unique benefits for certain applications, but in most cases I do not
believe any of these Specialty Pads are a wise or necessary choice for most homeowners. I
have not found that there is a way for homeowners to effectively
determine if a specialty pad is able to providing a cost-effective or
worthwhile benefit, regardless of what salespeople or padding manufacturers
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