Quite a few times you have probably been amazed at the cushioning effect of a carpet you walked on. If you thought, it was the magnificent carpet which gave you that incredible feeling, you are in most probability, wrong. It is, actually, the cushion under the carpet, which makes the carpet soft – referred to as carpet cushion or carpet padding.
When installing a carpet, you will need to have the right carpet padding under the actual carpet. Carpet padding has several benefits.
- It can enhance the life of a carpet as well as give it the coveted rich, lavish and soft feel.
- It can improve the thermal insulation properties of the floor since it retains heat and makes the interiors warm.
- It can as well reduce noise as it absorbs sound.
- Whenever vacuum cleaning carpets, the carpet padding allows more air to be sucked up, thus removing more dirt from the carpet, which gives you a cleaner home.
- In the end, maintenance costs are considerably reduced, when you have the appropriate carpet pad under your carpet.
Similar to carpets, carpet pads are also available in a range of materials, density and thickness. Generally, it is the professional carpet dealer who can educate you about the correct carpet padding for your carpet. Some of the most well-known carpet padding available in the market are:
- Fiber padding: Fiber carpet pads are manufactured from jute, horsehair, camel hair, synthetic fiber or textile fiber. If selecting fiber carpet pads, make sure to buy one of the right density. In this category, spun nylon is recognized as best.
- Foam padding: Foam Padding is manufactured out of urethane foam and is available in different densities and thickness. Although the air under provides the cushioning, with foam carpet padding, the carpet moves up and down excessively, which shortens its life. It is not well suited for heavy traffic.
- Frothed foam padding: Frothed foam carpet pads are incredibly durable and popular. This carpet pad can be used beneath all carpets. Believe it or not, it prolongs the life of your carpet and is considered better than rebond, fiber, waffle rubber and prime foam.
- Rebond padding: Rebond carpet padding is also created from scraps of high-density foams bonded together. Even though sturdy, the chemicals used in making rebond carpet pad can sometimes have adverse effect on certain carpets. Occasionally the off gas released from the rebond carpet pad can result in yellowing on the carpet surface.
- Slab rubber padding: Slab rubber carpet padding is great for high traffic areas. It also helps resist furniture indentation and even crushing of carpets.
- Waffle rubber padding: Although soft, it has clay type binders used for binding rubber that can crack and wear out fast with use.
Prices of carpet pads are determined by the density and thickness. One of the economical carpet pads are fiber carpet pads, but frothed carpet pads are true worth for money. It costs about the same like a good quality slab rubber padding and lasts for a longer time. Avoid purchasing carpet padding that is too soft or too thick. Carpet cushion that is too soft can’t endure heavy foot traffic. The carpet cushion council recommends a pad with a minimum of 5lbs and 3/8 inch thickness for light traffic just like your living room and a pad of 6.5 lbs and 3/8 inch for heavy traffic such as corridors. Basically, it is better never to exceed ½ inch. A ½ carpet cushion offers adequate cushion and still allows the carpet to hold on to the tack strip along the walls. Additionally, placing a quality cushion under your new carpet is often a condition of your warranty.
A few retailers market carpet padding along with the carpets. However it is always a good idea to check the material, density and thickness. An incorrect choice of carpet pad can considerably shorten the life of your carpet. So make an educated decision of buying the suitable carpet pad when installing your carpet.
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