What Lies Beneath: Carpet Padding 101
For so many things in life, laying a good foundation is essential. Carpet is no exception! Carpet cushion or padding is the foundation that’s going to make all the difference in the performance of your carpet.
As a quick overview, carpet padding adds value because it:
Prolongs the life of the carpet
Adds cushioning underfoot
Helps reduce moisture damage or staining to sub flooring
What is carpet padding?
The simple explanation is that it’s the cushiony/spongy layer that goes underneath your wall-to-wall carpeting.
Now for the more complex:
Bonded Urethane (Rebond) is recycled cushion or padding that originally comes from the furniture industry. The premium foam is ground up and put together with adhesive. It is then peeled to the desired thickness and density. This carpet padding is then typically stapled onto the floor, and the carpet is placed overtop. Rebond is measured in pounds per cubic foot and ranges from 3 to 10 pounds.
While you definitely want a padding density of at least 6 pounds, and carpet retailers such as Next Day Floors typically won’t sell anything less, more doesn’t always mean better. The denser the padding, the stiffer it will feel. Paul Allen, a district manager for Next Day Floors who has some 30 years of experience in the flooring industry, explains that customers might think a 10-pound density would be best. However, he said that, while it is extremely durable and is expected to last for the life of the carpet, it’s also “very, very dense.”
“I personally don’t like it,” Allen said. “It’s like walking on a hard carpet.”
“Obviously our customers want a quality product,” said Allen, who typically recommends an 8-pound density rebond carpet padding.
Check the carpet manufacturer recommendations to see what they suggest as well.
What are the benefits of carpet padding?
The number one benefit of carpet padding is that it helps prolong the life and performance of the carpet. The padding protects the back of the carpet from wearing out against the sub floor, and it also absorbs the brunt of the foot traffic, enabling the carpet to “bounce back.”
Vacuuming is more efficient when you have padding, because your vacuum cleaner can raise the carpet slightly and remove more dirt.
Once nice perk of carpet padding is that it creates a softer walk.
Carpet padding also acts as a barrier to the sub floor below. Moisture-proof pads are available, which are 8 and 10-pound spill-guard. Allen said the advantage with the moisture-proof pads, especially when pets urinate on the carpet, is that there’s a moisture barrier on top of the pad so the liquid will not go through to the sub floor or wood flooring.
Most carpet retailers will not install carpet without padding, as it would void any of the carpet’s warranties.
Have more questions about carpet padding or ready to order? Give us a call at 1-800-916-6112 or visit one of our six showrooms to talk to one of our certified flooring professionals.