- How to choose new carpet and flooring like a pro!

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Selecting the Right Carpet Pad


Carpet manufacturers have certain padding requirements you need to follow to keep your new carpet warranty in force. Just as important, is choosing a pad that will last as long as your carpet.


Here are the facts about choosing the right padding type, the best padding thickness and the correct padding density rating to match your new Carpet selection.



1. Padding Specifications Explained


Choose your new Carpet first, then select the correct padding to go under it. There are many different types of carpet padding available today in order to accommodate all the various carpet types and styles. But first you need to know a few things about what makes one padding better than another. Carpet Padding quality is always determined by three main factors; The Materials used to manufacture it, The Density Rating and The Thickness. 


"Select the Correct Pad or Your Carpet Will Not Last as Long as Expected."


The Carpet Manufacturer decides what padding is required for every carpet they make. A certain type, thickness and density of padding is specified by the carpet manufacturer. The pad must be capable of properly supporting the carpet in order to maintain the new carpet warranty. 


You can always call the carpet manufacturer to find out what padding specifications are required for the carpet you select. Here is my List of Carpet Manufacturer Websites and Phone Numbers. Don't assume the carpet salesperson knows what type of pad is required. It is your responsibility to make sure you select the correct type of pad.



2. Padding Thickness Explained


Roll of Rebond PaddingFor most residential plush style carpets, a 7/16" padding thickness is most common. Berber styles require a thinner padding. Don't make the mistake of thinking that a thicker pad is a better pad.


If you chose a padding that is too thick it can cause wrinkles to develop in your new carpet rather quickly. If so, then you will void your new carpet warranty. In most homes, 7/16" is the thickest padding you should select to keep your new carpet warranty in force.  


That said, 1/2" thick padding is still a common choice and widely available from most carpet retailers. Read your new carpet warranty.


Some homeowners choose a 9/16" thick pad for their bedrooms to make the carpet feel super soft underfoot. However this type of padding is getting harder to find these days. Instead, they may opt to have the installer glue together two layers of thinner pad to obtain the same result. 


I don't recommend installing a super thick padding unless you understand the possible consequences. It will certainly increase the chance of developing wrinkles in your new carpet over time and will instantly void your new carpet warranty. However, a super thick padding can be a most enjoyable addition to your bedroom for many reasons. Why not? As Austin Powers might say...Groovy Baby!


Looped Berber carpet styles and most commercial grade carpets tend to be more prone to wrinkling and therefore require a special low-profile and high density  padding, usually 1/4" or 3/8" thickness, and 8-pound density or higher. If in doubt, you can always call the carpet manufacturer to get the correct padding requirements needed to keep from voiding your new carpet warranty.



3. Padding Density Explained


Rebond PadSome pads have a low density rating of 3 to 5 pounds and is typically used in apartments because it is less expensive and will be replaced frequently. 


Padding recommended for residential applications usually have a density rating of 6, 7 or 8 pounds, but 10-pound density pads are also available. 



Some Pads are Rated in Ounces Instead of Pounds. For example, 128-ounces is the equivalent of an 8-pound pad. Wool, Felt, Fiber and Rubber padding densities are generally rated in ounces. 


Most homeowners prefer the 6-pound density padding because it is slightly softer underfoot than an 8-pound pad. However, an 8-pound padding provides better support for your carpet and will generally make it more abrasion resistant, especially in high traffic areas like stairs and hallways. I prefer the 8-pound density for most residential homes and many carpet makers are leaning that way.


The higher the padding density rating the more firm it will be underfoot. Firmer pads provide better the support for your carpet. Better support means a lower chance for wrinkles to form over time.




Rebond Padding Prices (Residential)

This Chart is for Standard Rebond Type Foam Carpet Pad Only. It does not cover pricing for Moisture Barrier, Memory Foam or other Types of Specialized Carpet Padding. (Cash and Carry Prices Shown)


Rebond Cash and Carry Prices 2022

(Click to View Full-Size pdf file)



Points To Remember:

  • The higher the density rating, the more costly the padding will be. 

  • Do not rely on the salesperson to choose the correct pad, it is your responsibility to make sure the correct pad is selected and installed.

  • If the wrong type, thickness or density is selected, your carpet may develop wrinkles and your new carpet warranty will be voided. 

  • If unsure, call the carpet manufacturer to see what minimum Padding Specifications are required for the type of carpet you have selected.



Learn more:

 - How to choose new carpet and flooring like a pro!


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