Your carpet purchase will most likely cost you several thousand dollars, especially if you plan to cover most rooms in your home. Carpeting is not cheap, but it is an investment in comfort and your home’s value that should not be underestimated. As important as your carpet is, the underlying carpet pad can make your carpet feel like a winner or cause you to regret your purchase. Here’s what you need to know about your choice in a carpet pad.
No carpet sits directly on a floor. A carpet pad sits between your carpet and the floor, protecting your carpet from wear and tear. Without a pad in place your carpet would quickly wear out. Padding protects your carpeting and flooring from heavy furniture as well as from the frequent traffic that crosses the room.
You may think that your carpet is providing the great feel you get as you walk upon it. Carpets do part of the job, but the pad is important too. With a pad in place it helps create a softer walk. A pad also helps the vacuum cleaner reach deeper into the carpet’s pile and keeps the room warmer as well as quieter.
The carpet manufacturer may insist that you choose a certain type of pad when installing carpeting. The wrong pad could cause premature wear, effectively voiding the warranty.
If you already have carpeting in place, get rid of the current carpet and pad together. Some people may think that the old pad is sufficient. It is not. Again, it may void the warranty so take no chances — replace it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
There are several types of carpet pads. Carpet manufacturers recommend padding that is 7/16 of an inch thick to no more than 8/16 or half an inch thick. The thickness recommendation provides proper cushioning while still enabling the carpet to fasten to the tack strips along the wall.
One of the most popular pads is urethane foam. It is prized for its density as well as for its thickness. Some retailers steer customers aways from urethane, mistakenly thinking that the foam is not dense enough to do the job. Provided that its density rating is strong, it will do the job.
Waffle rubber also offers protection, but earlier rubber was prone to break down and turn back to clay. These days, however, waffle rubber performs much better and can withstand much traffic.
Bonded urethane is also known as rebond. It remains the most popular carpet padding choice today. In fact, some stores sell bonded urethane only as it is cost effective and sufficient for the task at hand. Rebond is composed for the same foam used in automotive and furniture manufacturing. Choose one with a higher density to provide the protection you need.
Two other types of carpet padding are also used — flat rubber and fiber cushion. Flat rubber is much more expensive and provides the best protection. Typically, flat rubber is offered with the most expensive carpets and may be worth your investment if you demand a top notch look. Fiber cushion is derived from scrap products to promote “green-friendly” protection. Unfortunately, it isn’t as durable as the other choices and it may not last as long as your carpet.
Talk with your carpet retailer about your padding options. Padding may be out of sight and out of mind, but its importance should never be underestimated. Purchase the right pad and you will protect your investment, making it easier for you to vacuum and clean your carpets as needed advises Chem-Dry, the carpet cleaning professionals.