Carpet padding is an often overlooked, but very important part of any wall-to-wall carpeting project. They both go hand-in-hand and while it’s generally unseen, it’s a vital part of your floors. Carpet padding is also called underlay as it serves as the foundation where the carpets are installed.
The main purpose of carpet padding is to protect your carpeting. The pad keeps the underside of your carpet from wearing against the bare floor. It also helps the impact of heavy furniture and foot traffic. Carpet pad serves a variety of other helpful purposes:
Earlier carpet pads were made out of cattle hair, which was a by-product of the leather tanning trade back in the day. Cattle hair was such a resilient and durable material, which is what made it become very limited from the 30’s-50’s when the demand of tufted carpets grew so much. So, to help keep up with that demand, a new material was used–the jute plant, which had a similar feel to cattle hair.
Then as WWII ended, another material, rubber sponge was introduced. This material was an elastic mass with interconnecting cells. In our current decades, there has been a massive growth of synthetic fibers like polyester, nylon, and polypropylene. These fibers are needle punched together, interwoven to create a fiber pad. And these days, most carpet pads are made from rebounded polyurethane foam, which is knows as the world’s most reused material.
Carpet padding is normally made from three basic material categories like rubber, foam or fiber.
There are three different types of foam pads:
There are two types of rubber carpet pads:
Fiber, unlike foam and rubber pads, uses existing fibers, which are interlocked into a useful sheet of felt. There are two basic types of fiber carpet pads:
Well, a certain type, thickness and density of padding is required by every carpet manufacturer to maintain your carpet warranty and its fresh feel.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a thicker pad will be better for you. Choosing a padding that’s too thick can cause wrinkles in your carpet. A 7/16″ thickness is the best to choose to keep your carpet warranty enforced.
Carpet padding is also rated by its density. Some pads have a low density rating of 3 to 5 pounds and are typically used in apartments because it’s less expensive and will be replaced more frequently. Carpet padding used in residential spaces usually has a density of 6 to 8 pounds, but 10 pounds are also available.
The 6 pound density is the most popular because it feels softer on the feet. However, the 8 pound density provides better support for carpeting and will make it wear better especially in high traffic areas.
The higher the density, the firmer it will feel. Firmer pads provide better support for your carpet, meaning lower chance of wrinkles to form.
Now that we’ve broken down all the important facts of carpet padding, let’s get into the kinds we provide. We have a variety of brands that you can easily choose from. Here are some:
Not only is this a good match for your carpet, Mohawk also donates a portion of every one of its pink SmartCushion purchases to the Susan G. Komen foundation for their ongoing cancer research.
StainMaster Select Pad
StainMaster carpet cushion features a great breathable moisture barrier that helps keep many common household spills, whether they’re from pets or drink spills, from soaking through the carpet and into the cushion and subfloor in your home.
Leggett and Platt Pads
Leggett and Platt carpet cushions provide luxurious comfort and support along with enhanced carpet appearance and longevity.
So when it’s time to pick your next carpeting, don’t forget to pick out the perfect carpet pad for you. If you’re not sure, just ask one of our design experts and they’ll help you choose from the finest ones we have!