Different Carpet Padding Types: Which Works Best with What Type of Carpet?

Published: 11th November 2010
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Different carpets work with different carpet padding types, and there are many types available in various materials and varying thicknesses. But before we delve into the merits of each one, let me first stress just how important the padding is in the general performance of your new carpet.

Many people pick out a good carpet type and then use inexpensive padding that's not suited for the it. That's a big mistake. In the same manner, a high-quality (with a steep price tag) carpet pad paired with a carpet of inferior quality can only go so far.

Another common misconception is that the primary use of the pad is to provide a comfortable cushion for the foot. While that is definitely one of the obvious effects of having carpet cushioning, the deeper purpose of the pad is to absorb the impact of abuse that without appropriate padding, the carpet would have to absorb on its own. This would shorten its life.

Simply put, your carpet, no matter how pricey it may be, is only as good as the pad that is used to cushion it. Now take your pick from these different types of carpet padding:

1. Flat Rubber

Next comes the flat rubber carpet pad. It is one the more high-quality, costly pad type and rightly so because it has the right firmness and density. Because of its high price tag, flat rubber is more commonly used in commercial settings.

2. Fiber Cushion

Composed of natural or synthetic carpet fibers meshed into felt sheets, fiber cushion carpet pads are firm, even to the point of restricting movement on the carpet and effectively limiting the wear and tear as well. Common materials for fiber pads are jute, hair mixed with jute, or recycled textile fibers.

3. Waffle Rubber

Carpet pads should ideally be at least half an inch thick and waffle rubber fits the bill in this respect. It is made of natural or synthetic rubber, molded into a waffled (also called rippled or wavy) surface. This process produces a pad that has a plush softness making it seem great for home areas. But the waffled nature of this pad actually makes for a thickness that has a lot of air, making it too soft for a lot of carpets.

4. Urethane Foam

Urethane foam pads are available in many different densities and thicknesses and because of this, they are a popular choice for home and business settings. This cushion type is formed by combining two liquid ingredients which forms into a large mass foam. Prime urethane foam used as pads are firmer than the kind used in mattresses and automobile seats.

5. Bonded Urethane

The most popular of the common types of carpet padding is the bonded urethane carpet cushion. Also called rebond, this type is made by combining shredded/chopped pieces of high-density urethane foam from furniture and automotive industries. One major disadvantage of this variety however, is that it utilizes a preservative called BHT or Butylated Hydroxytoluene, which may leave a yellowish tinge on carpets.

Your choice of carpet pad is as crucial a decision as that of the carpet itself. So before making that decision, take time to know the carpet padding types that are best for your home beforehand.

Wiczek's Floors & More has provided carpeting in Brainerd and surrounding areas since 1960. Visit their website to see what types of carpet in Brainerd are available!

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