How to Make the Right Carpet Padding Choice

Your choice of carpet padding can be almost as important as the carpeting. The right padding can extend the life and vitality of the carpet. The wrong padding will shorten the lifespan and can void your warranty. Below are the critical aspects of carpet padding to keep in mind when choosing correct underlayment.

Brief History of Carpet Padding

Carpet padding has been in use since the first carpets came into use more than a century ago. The first materials were agricultural and straightforward. Cow hair was in plentiful supply with the constant need to tan leather hides. The animal hair used became less available in the 1940’s, which made the industry turn to another source to create padding, which was the jute plant. Jute mimics the course, fibrous consistency of animal hair. WWII brought about a material known as rubber. Foam and synthetic fibers add to the lineup seen in product choices today.

How is carpet padding beneficial?

The more obvious benefit of carpet padding is a softer feel as you step on the surface. Padding also provides added insulation from drafts and temperature changes. It lifts the carpet up from the floor enough to allow deeper cleaning and protects the backside of the carpeting. You will experience less wear if you choose the right padding. Carpet padding provides a barrier to noise. It is recommended for upstairs rooms and basements to reduce foot traffic noise.

Retaining Your Warranty

No one wants to pay the price for new carpeting before it is a necessity. Most carpeting comes with a warranty, but there are procedures of installation and underlayment products that have to be followed to keep the warranty valid. Using the wrong type of carpet padding can cause the carpeting to ripple and wear faster than usual. Always use the recommended padding for the kind and brand of carpet you buy to keep your warranty in effect.

h2>Choose Density Over Comfort

Thick, soft padding with a low-density rate might feel nice underfoot, but it will not guarantee the best life-preserving qualities for your carpet. The higher the density number, the harder the padding will feel. You need a density of six or more to protect your carpeting. Rooms that will need to have the carpet replaced frequently can use a density of six. Use eight and higher for the best protection for the back of your carpet and floor. The carpet will feel harder, but it is still softer than without having carpeting in the room.

Fiber Carpet Padding

Fiber carpet padding is still in use today. It is a mix of animal hair, natural, and manufactured fibers. It is considered to have the most extended life of all types of carpet padding. It is less desirable to individuals that are sensitive to allergens. It tends to retain some dirt and dust over years of use.

Rubber Carpet Padding

Rubber carpet padding is touted as one of the “cleaner” products in that it rarely allows the penetration of dirt and dust into the material. It can last quite a few years with proper care.

Flat Rubber Padding

Flat rubber carpet padding lasts longer for commercial building environments. It provides a harder surface for more durability. The density of this material is in the higher numbers.

Waffle Rubber Padding

The design of waffle carpet padding gives it a “waffle” appearance. The light and airy design allow for a softer feel as you step on the carpeting. It is the perfect choice for homes and small offices.

Foam Carpet Padding

Foam carpet padding is one of the more common types used today. It is the material found inside furniture, vehicle seats, and mattresses. It is relatively inexpensive to manufacture, which gives it a great price point on the market.

Froth Foam

Froth foam is a liquid applied to the back of commercial designed carpeting that reacts with the appropriate applied liquid, forming a thick pad of protection for the carpet.

Prime Foam

Prime foam is a material that is created in one large piece and separated into thin layers. It is firm and provides excellent comfort and carpet protection.

Bonded Foam

Bonded foam product has a unique look. It is chunks of foam pieced together into sheets. The variety of colors and texture provide a one-of-a-kind look and is a great way to reuse products. You can feel good about using a greener carpet padding.

Recommended Density and Thickness

You should stick with a thickness of no more than 7/16-inch to avoid buckling and wrinkling of the carpet. Thicker pads might seem more comfortable, but it does not provide the needed stability and protection. Use padding that has a density rating of at least six pounds to get the most extended life out of your carpet.

Contact us at On the Spot Floors and get the answers you need to make the best buying decisions for carpet padding. Stop by our showroom in Powhatan, and we can demonstrate the differences in available carpet padding products. We provide sales, service, and installation throughout the entire Richmond area.

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