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Carpet pad....does it really make a difference?

Design Time on WMEN TV5

November 2020

TV5 Design Time WNEM
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Carpet pad....does it really make a difference?


So we have been learning lots about different flooring and about their installation requirements, but today, we are going to talk about carpet pad and does it really make a difference!


We know there are a lot of differences in carpets, but are there a lot of different types of padding that is being used today?

  • Yes, there are several different types of padding which vary in thickness and density


So how do you know what pad to select?

  • It really has a lot to do with the cost! Everyone has probably heard about free pad?  Well, it is a lot of air, and usually thin.  It might be a 4 or 5 lb density, which compresses very easily do to the air, and then flattens in a short time!  Hence the reason it is free!  Usually a store, will try to get you to upgrade from this pad because they to know it is not a product that will stand up, and will actually end up hurting your carpet!  There are specifications for the minimum density of pad required from the carpet manufacturers....usually has to be at least 6.1 density or you void the warranty on the carpet.  Many carpets have higher requirements so it is impossible to know those! You always want to know what the manufacturers require.


So what does density refer to?  

  • It is actually the amount of pressure that is required to compress the pad, so a lower number compresses with less weight as compared to a higher number like 9 lbs.....the lower number has more air content, so easily compresses, where the higher numbers have more foam and so it takes more pressure to push it down! When you step on the carpet, you should not go right to the floor, that is referred to as bottoming out!  There should be enough cushioning that it feel good under foot....and the pad is helping the carpet yarn not compress, which is the pad’s job!

Are the thickness requirements as well?

  • Yes, usually the thickest a carpet manufacturer wants is a half inch or less.  When you get thicker, heavy furniture pieces can stretch the backing of the carpet which will cause stretching and wrinkles!

How do I know if I am getting a quality pad?

  • With flooring it is so difficult....because there are so many things that affect price!  I only like the best pad, as I know it will hold up, and it actually lengthens the carpet the long run, it will be the lowest cost because it will allow the carpet to last a much longer time!  Inferior pads will advance the carpet to wear out.....and because it is down under, we like to blame the carpet! I have seen carpet taken up where it looks like a pile of sand, the pad has totally disintegrated!   The best pad you can afford is the best investment!  Maybe take a little lower cost carpet, and upgrade the pad.....would be a wiser investment!  In carpet, you really need to realize, nothing is free!

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