Choosing the Right Carpet Pad

Just as important as the carpet material that you pick, your carpet pad will help prolong the life of your carpet.  Carpet pads come in a variety of materials and forms. Choosing the right carpet pad means pairing your needs with the type of carpet you've purchased.

When selecting your carpet pad, check your carpet's warranty and manufacturer's recommendations. It is possible to void the terms of your warranty by selecting the wrong type of carpeting pad.

What's Your Carpet Pad Made Of?
Carpet pads are made of several different materials, each with unique properties.

  • Prime Urethane: This inexpensive padding compresses quickly, but has a high insulation value and can withstand moisture and heat.
  • Frothed Polyurethane: A bit on the high side in terms of price, frothed polyurethane resembles memory foam in its ability to bounce back from compression. Frothed polyurethane can also be used in high moisture and heat environments.
  • Rebond: The most common residential carpet padding, rebond is made from recycled foam material. Rebond carpet padding is a good economical choice and is available in a wide range of thickness and density.
  • Felt Fiber: Recommended for use with Berber carpets and in low traffic areas, fiber carpet pads may not be a good choice for people with allergies becaue they have a high content of natural materials that may be an irritant.

Size (And Density) Matters
Carpet padding comes in various thicknesses and densities.

The thickness of a carpet pad determines its comfort level and insulating value. For residential use, a thickness of 3/8 to 1/2 inch is appropriate. Use thicker carpet padding on low-traffic areas and use thinner carpet padding on high-traffic areas.

The density of carpet padding is measured in pounds (per cubic feet). Density can range from 6 to 8 pounds. Higher density carpet padding will last longer, but lower density carpet padding will have a higher insulating value.

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