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Why Do Carpets Wrinkle - Reason #2

By Alan Fletcher (aka) The Carpet Professor


Was The Wrong Padding Installed?


It is your responsibility to choose your padding wisely! The padding you select is entirely up to you, even if the salesperson didn’t give you a choice. If you agree to purchase the wrong padding, even if they told you that it was the correct padding for the carpet you chose, then YOU and only you can be held accountable for your selection.


I suggest you be proactive with the carpet and padding you decide to purchase and not rely solely on the advice of any carpet salesperson.


What Type of Carpet Padding Should You Purchase?


Different carpet styles require different padding specifications to make sure your new carpet warranty stays in force. It would be wise to check with the carpet manufacturer before you make your padding selection to see what they recommend.


Plush and Textured carpet styles for residential applications can have a pad up to 7/16” thickness and a density of a least 6-pound density rating. Personally I prefer at least 8-pound density to help support your carpet and help prevent wrinkles. Some carpet retailers offer a ½” padding and although it is thicker than suggested by carpet manufacturers, it is a common practice.


Looped Berber carpet styles require a thinner pad but a higher density rating. The usual padding is at least 8-pound density and a thickness of ¼” to 3/8” maximum.


Frieze carpet styles usually require padding with at least an 8-pound density rating.


The Wrong Padding?


Most homeowners like their carpet to have a soft feel underfoot. This is why most residential wall to wall carpet is installed over some type of padding.


In the home, carpet padding must be selected carefully and follow the carpet manufacturer guidelines for thickness and density specifications or risk voiding the warranty and developing wrinkles. New carpet can quickly develop wrinkles if the wrong thickness or density of pad is installed.


Padding Thickness


With most residential carpets, padding should be no thicker than 7/16” although many carpet retailers commonly use ½” thickness with no problems. However, an issue may arise when you need to file a warranty claim and the manufacturer required a padding thickness lower than was used.


Padding Density


Padding density can be rated anywhere from 3-pound to 10-pounds. The higher the density the more support it provides underfoot and the better it is for your carpet. Most homeowners prefer padding with a 6-pound to 8-pound density.


I generally recommend using an 8-pound density padding to get the optimum level of support for your carpet and to help reduce the chances of developing wrinkles. The difference in cost for a 6-pound Rebond pad and 8-pound Rebond pad is minimal.





Padding Types

There are many padding types available today and many are considered “Specialty” pads. By that I mean in certain situations your carpet or application may require that you choose a particular type of padding to help address a certain issue. 


Some specialty pads have a moisture barrier or are anti-microbial, or are made from wool, felt or various recycled fabrics or other materials.


Some pads are made from virgin foam and some are made from rubber. While rubber padding is usually really good, it is also really expensive. Dollar for dollar, Rebond type padding is the best value for your hard earned buck.


Rebond Padding


Rebond padding is a type of pad made from recycled foam and comes in various colors and surface layers. Some come with a nylon mesh on the top and some just have a layer of plastic. 


In most residential applications a Rebond type of pad is a very good choice and does a good job of providing sufficient support for your new carpet. 


Rebond pad typically has a lifespan of 10 to 15 years depending on the grade and manufacturing specifications.


For most homeowners who are buying a medium grade carpet, a Rebond pad, 7/16” thickness and either a 6-pound or 8-pound density will do the job. Like I said before, I prefer and 8-pound density Rebond type pad for most homeowner applications and that should cost about $3.50 to 4.50 per square yard. (Equal to .32 cents to .50 cents per square foot)


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