What’s the Big Deal?
It surely isn’t one of the most interesting topics in the world but picking the right carpet padding is one of the most important factors when choosing new carpet for your home. Padding provides support, strength, and cushioning; it also helps even out the imperfections in your subfloor. Padding also acts as insulation and helps to control the temperature in your home. Choosing an inadequate padding will result in faster wear and tear and your carpet will show its age much faster.
Did you know that your padding also acts as a shock absorber? Beyond that, the padding helps buffer sound! Selecting the wrong padding will cut down the effectiveness of these benefits that come with installing the correct cushion.
Where to Start
Make sure to check with the carpet manufacturer’s requirements for thickness and density. It’s so important to match up your new carpet with the proper type of cushion. You also need to take the traffic patterns and levels into consideration. The highest traffic areas in your home are most likely the common rooms: your living and family rooms, hallways and stairs. Those spaces will require a more compact, thinner and firmer padding options. In areas with lighter traffic, such as bedrooms, you can pair that up with a thicker and softer padding.
Types of Carpet Padding
Carpet padding comes in a variety of types and styles to best fit your home’s needs. Most cushion is made primarily from rubber, polyurethane foam, or fiber. Typically, most residential carpets utilize a carpet padding that is no more than 7/16 of an inch thick and no less than ¼ of an inch and the padding should be 6 pounds per cubic feet density. If you’re installing Berber or a thinner loop or cut pile carpet, you probably want a cushion that is no more than 3/8 inch.
If you don’t know where to start, The Carpet And Rug Institute has a wealth of information for the consumer on what to look for when purchasing carpet.