Differences in Good Carpet Padding

April 29th, 2014

Just like the many varieties of carpets, I bet you didn’t realize there are many selections of carpet paddings for your needs.  There are many to choose from for your daily life style.  But it’s all about quality and durability.  High quality carpet padding will last much longer in high traffic areas then lower cost padding you will need to replace more frequently.  Padding is constructed in many different materials including sponge rubber, foam rubber, urethane foam, bonded urethane and felted combinations of hair and jute.

The right padding will:

•Make carpet feel better by absorbing the constant pressure of foot traffic

•Keep your room quieter and warmer through sound-absorption and thermal insulation

•Keep the carpet from matting down and looking worn: no more ugly carpet

•Keep your carpet cleaner by providing air space allowing the carpet to “breathe”.

The wrong padding can:

•Cause wrinkling and buckling

•Trigger the carpet to separate from the backing or pull apart at the seams

•Break down the carpet

•Invalidate the warranty

Different types of padding:

Urethane Foam Pad -foam padding, prime foam, and primate polyurethane foam padding: This is a denser version of the foam found in upholstery. As a general rule of thumb, stay away from this type of carpet padding. It lacks the support to hold up to normal foot traffic in a residential home. There have been some premium versions of this type of padding introduced that are supposed to provide better support and durability, but they come with an excessively large price.

Rebond Pad- bonded urethane, bonded polyurethane: This is a great value choice for many homes. It is made of high density recycled foam—this will be obvious when you see it because it is composed of multicolored chunks of foam. Its durability is much better than urethane foam pad. Rebond isn’t the top of the line carpet padding. In fact, it’s often the cheapest padding available. However, if you choose the right density and have average foot traffic, this padding should last for 10 years.

Synthetic Fiber-fiber padding: This is a dense flat pad. It’s not very spongy. It is mostly used in special and specific situations; examples are commercial and Berber carpet. It typically comes in low, medium, and high traffic grades. Only purchase this padding if it is called for by the carpet manufacturer.

Waffle Rubber: This rubber padding looks similar to a tire tread. Since the dimples in the tread are air pockets, it does not provide the same support as solid rubber. You’ll want to make sure the waffle rubber is at least 90 ounces. It is possible that you could get this padding used. It holds up better than foam padding but not as well as solid rubber. If you get it used, have a trusted carpet installer inspect it to make sure it will serve you well.

Flat rubber Pad-slab rubber padding: This is the premium carpet padding. Flat rubber gives the best performance of any padding. It is soft yet it resists crushing even in high traffic areas and under heavy furniture. Flat rubber is expensive, so consider it a luxury for most homeowners. It might be a good choice in the following situations: people planning on living in the same home for 20 years or more, areas with very high traffic, to improve the durability of some Berber carpets, or for anyone who is willing to pay extra to have to keep their carpet looking new as long as possible.

Not only do carpet pads allow for extra comfort, they also serve two practical purposes. When a carpet pad is installed, cold air and noise are minimized. Cold air tends to seep through flooring causing unwanted drafts, while noise tends to float from one room to another due to poor insulation. Installing a proper carpet cushion can prevent both of these things from occurring.  The cost of carpet padding largely depends upon location. In addition, carpet padding will range in price depending upon the width chosen. In most instances, thicker padding is more expensive.

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