Unbiased Carpet Buying Information for Homeowners
Selecting the Right Carpet Pad
2021 by Alan Fletcher - Carpet Expert and Consumer Advocate
You must choose the correct Carpet Padding if you want your new Carpet to last as long as possible. The last thing you want to do is choose the wrong Carpet Padding. You could cut the intended lifespan of your new carpet in half, not to mention voiding your new carpet warranty.
Here's what you need to know about choosing the correct type of pad, the proper thickness and the density rating to match your new Carpet selection!
Carpet Padding Basics Explained
Choose your new Carpet first, then select the correct padding to go under it. There are many different types of carpet padding available today in order to accommodate all the various carpet types and styles. In the next few pages I will discuss the various types of pad that you will encounter when shopping for new carpeting your home. Learn about Types of Carpet Padding
But first you need to know a few things about what makes one padding better than another. Carpet Padding quality is always determined by three factors. The materials used to manufacture it, the density rating and the thickness.
Carpet Padding Thickness Explained
A certain type, thickness and density of padding is specified by the carpet manufacturer to properly support the carpet and maintain your new carpet warranty. For most residential plush style carpets, a 7/16" padding thickness is most common. Berber styles require a thinner padding. 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 new carpet rather quickly. If so, then you will void your new carpet warranty. In most homes, 7/16" is the thickest padding you should select to keep your new carpet warranty in force. That said, 1/2" thick padding is still a common choice and widely available from most carpet retailers. Read your new carpet warranty.
Some folks choose a 9/16" thick pad for their bedrooms to make the carpet feel super soft underfoot, however this type of padding is getting harder to find these days. Instead, they may opt to have the installer glue together two layers of thinner pad to obtain the same result.
I don't recommend installing a super thick padding unless you understand the possible consequences. It will certainly increase the chance of developing wrinkles in your new carpet over time and will instantly void your new carpet warranty. However, a super thick padding can be a most enjoyable addition to your bedroom for many reasons. Why not? As Austin Powers might say...Groovy Baby!
Looped Berber carpet styles and most commercial grade carpets tend to be more prone to wrinkling and therefore require a special low-profile and high density padding, usually 1/4" or 3/8" thickness, and 8-pound density or higher. If in doubt, you can always call the carpet manufacturer to get the correct padding requirements needed to keep from voiding your new carpet warranty.
Carpet Padding Density Explained
Padding is also rated by its density. Some pads have a low density rating of 3 to 5 pounds and is typically used in apartments because it is less expensive and will be replaced frequently. Carpet padding recommended for residential applications usually have a density rating of 6, 7 or 8 pounds, but 10-pound density pads are also available. Some padding types are rated in ounces instead of pounds.
For example, 128-ounces is the equivalent of an 8-pound pad. Wool, Felt, Fiber and Rubber padding densities are generally rated in ounces. Some folks prefer the 6-pound density padding because it is slightly softer underfoot than an 8-pound pad. 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. I prefer the 8-pound density for most homes.
The higher the padding density rating the more firm it will be underfoot. The higher the density rating, the firmer the padding and the higher the price. Firmer pads provide better the support for your carpet. Better support means a lower chance for wrinkles to form over time.
What Homeowners Need To Know:
More about Carpet Padding:
It's hard to find a reputable carpet store these days! That's why I have created my own special hand-picked list of carpet stores who are locally owned, give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and hire qualified installers. Homeowners want to know... Are there any reputable Carpet Stores Near Me?
Carpet padding basics, Carpet padding thickness, Cost for carpet padding, Types of carpet padding, Carpet padding density.
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All content is the opinion of the author.