carpet manufacturers have a new special offer for homeowners!
their "Specialty Padding" they will double your new carpet
warranty! But there's a
catch. The padding they want you to buy is very costly and the increase in warranty
coverage only applies to the "Texture Retention" portion of their warranty.
Is extending your new carpet warranty worth the extra cost?
Take? Buying their High
Priced" padding may double a 10 Year Warranty
to 20 Years when you purchase certain carpet products, however, this may only
apply to their "Texture Retention" portion of their warranty. What
does "Texture Retention" really mean?
Take the time to
Residential Carpet Warranty to see exactly what a typical
manufacturers carpet warranty will and will not cover.
According to Shaw Industries:
Shaw warrants that this carpet
will not exhibit significant twist loss or loss of texture from foot traffic
for a period of ten (10) years when used in an owner-occupied residence in a
proper indoor installation. Proper installation requires use of a suitable pad
with a thickness of 7/16" or less and minimum 6-lb density, following the
Carpet & Rug Institute Installation Standard effective October 1, 2009.
Consult your retailer for details.
If your carpet does not perform
according to the warranty, Shaw may offer a credit equal to the cost of the
carpet material only in accordance with the following schedule: (example)
Year. . . . . . . 100%
6th Year. . . . . . . . 90%
Year. . . . . . 100% 7th
Year. . . . . . . . 80%
Year. . . . . . . 100% 8th
Year. . . . . . . . 70%
Year. . . . . . . 100% 9th
Year. . . . . . . . 60%
Year. . . . . . . 100% 10th Year. .
. . . . . 50%
Carpet installed outdoors or in
areas subject to other than ordinary
shoe traffic is excluded from this warranty. Crushing caused
by furniture, including impressions left by legs of furniture,
is not covered by this warranty. (NOTE:
The texture of any carpet will change to some degree in heavy
traffic areas. Such conditions constitute normal wear and tear
and are not covered by this warranty, which is intended to protect
you from excessive appearance change)
According to Mohawk Industries:
“Texture retention” is
the ability of the carpet tufts to retain
their visible shape, as measured by the degree of
bursting, opening, or untwisting of the tufts at the surface of
the carpet. Texture retention is measured against standardized rating
scales ranging from 5.0 (new or no change) to 1.0 (severe
change), ISO Standard 9405-1990. To perform as warranted, this
carpet must retain a texture rating of at least 2.5 under
warranted conditions. If, within the warranty period, a
texture rating of less than 2.5 occurs under warranted conditions,
Mohawk will handle such claims as
stated in the “Mohawk’s Limited
Liability” section of Mohawk's warranty
A certain type, thickness and density of
padding 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 selected.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that a
thicker pad will be a better pad. If you chose a padding that is too thick it
can cause wrinkles to develop in your carpet. In most homes 7/16" is the
thickest padding you would want to select to keep the carpet warranty in
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 is less expensive and will be replaced more frequently.
Looped Berber styles and commercial grade carpets require a special low
profile and high density padding. If in doubt, you can call the carpet manufacturer to get the correct padding requirements
needed to keep from voiding your carpet warranty. See my List
of Carpet Manufacturer Phone Numbers.
Padding used in residential applications
usually has a density rating of 6 to 8 pounds, but 10-pound density pads are
also available. Some padding are rated in ounces instead of pounds. For
example, 128 ounces is the equivalent of an 8-pound pad. Rubber pad densities
are usually rated in ounces.
Some folks prefer the 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 better, 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.
Types of Padding
Rebond pad (Best
Bang for your Buck!)
This type of pad is most common 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. This is the most economical choice for your home,
rental or office.
Not all rebond padding is of high grade or
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.
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
Cost for 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.
Foam Padding (urethane)
This type of pad is often 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 traffic. It will soon become completely flat as a
pancake after a year or so and is not a good choice for a residential setting. This
is often used in apartment settings where the carpet life span is less than 3
Prime Urethane Foam
Not made of recycled materials, this type of
pad is called prime or virgin urethane. It's a 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.
Wool or fiber pad, synthetic
These types of natural wool or synthetic pads
are used primarily for Berbers and commercial 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 support and allow
looped Berbers and commercial carpets to wear 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 properties
Rubber pad (waffle) or
Rubber slab (flat)
I seldom recommend using a rubber waffle 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 slab padding is often used in commercial
applications over concrete. Rubber padding density is usually rated in
barrier pads, odor eating pads, pet odor pads, baking soda pads,
Some carpet salespeople may try to convince you
to upgrade your order with a specialty pad that has claims of being able to
eliminate odors or have a moisture barrier surface that will help with pet
accidents. I don't generally recommend these type of pads 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. 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 likely not
reduce the severity of your pet accident problem.
Don't Assume a Specialty Pad
Will Solve Your Pet Urine Problems!
If you have a pet accident problem, upgrading
to a more expensive pad will not help you. It won't make it easier to clean or
reduce the severity of your 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.
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.
enhanced types of carpet padding are typically much more costly than a
standard Rebond padding. They may offer certain unique benefits for some
applications, but in most cases I do not believe any of these Specialty
Pads are a wise or necessary choice for most homeowners. I don't believe
there is a measurable way for a homeowner to effectively determine if a
specialty pad is having any worthwhile, positive or beneficial effect over the
lifespan of the carpet.