Free Carpet Information and Buying Guide
Alan Fletcher - 30 yr Carpet Expert / Consumer Advocate - I do not sell or install carpet.
Choosing the Right Carpet Padding
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.
Carpet 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.
In the next few pages I will discuss the various types of pad that you will encounter when shopping for new carpeting your home.
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. Types of Carpet Padding
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 pad is required. It is your responsibility to make sure you select the correct type of carpet padding.
Padding Price Chart
Rebond Type (Residential)
This Chart is for Standard Rebond Type Foam Carpet Pad Only.
(Cash and Carry Prices Shown)
This Chart does not cover pricing for Moisture Barrier, Memory Foam
or other Types of specialized Carpet Padding.
Carpet Padding Thickness Explained
For 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 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.
Carpet Padding Density Explained
Padding is also rated by its density. Some 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. Carpet 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. Some folks 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 wear better, especially in high traffic areas like stairs and hallways. I prefer the 8-pound density for most residential homes.
The higher the padding density rating the more firm it will be underfoot. The higher the density rating the higher the cost. Firmer pads provide better the support for your carpet. Better support means a lower chance for wrinkles to form over time.
What To Know about CARPET PAD: