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Choosing the Right Carpet Padding for Your Home

Knowing what type of carpet padding to install can be overwhelming at a first glance but we are here to make it easy to understand and guide you to the right carpet cushion for your space. At S&G Carpet we carry 4 types of residential carpet padding to fit your budget and flooring needs. Whether you need something budget-friendly, for high-traffic areas, or for areas prone to spills – we have the carpet padding you’re looking for.

Use the chart below to find the carpet padding that fits your space, or keep reading to discover more detailed information about carpet cushion.

Carpet Padding Comparison Chart

Special

Carpet Padding
  • Made From Polyurethane
  • 7/16" Thick
  • 6 lbs.
  • Adds Thermal Insulation
  • Sound Absorbent
  • Eco Friendly - CRI Approved

Integrity

Carpet Padding
  • Made From Polyurethane
  • 7/16" Thick
  • 8 lbs.
  • Great for high-traffic areas
    (Meets FHA Class II Specifications)
  • Adds Thermal Insulation
  • Sound Absorbent
  • Eco Friendly - CRI Approved
  • Warranty - Life of the Carpet

Oasis

Carpet Padding
  • Made From Memory Foam
  • 7/16" Thick
  • 8 lbs.
  • Great for high-traffic areas
    (Meets FHA Class II Specifications)
  • Adds Thermal Insulation
  • Sound Absorbent
  • Eco Friendly - CRI Approved
  • Warranty - Life of the Home
  • Spillsafe™ Moisture Resistant Barrier
  • Inhibits Growth of Mold, Mildew & Odor Causing Bacteria
  • Pet Friendly

Scotchgard™

Carpet Padding
  • Made From Memory Foam
  • 7/16" Thick
  • 8 lbs.
  • Great for high-traffic areas
    (Meets FHA Class II Specifications)
  • Adds Thermal Insulation
  • Sound Absorbent
  • Eco Friendly - CRI Approved
  • Warranty - Life of the Home
  • Scotchgard™ Protector Moisture Resistant Barrier
  • Fresh Dimension® Antimicrobial Protects Against Growth of Mold, Mildew & Odor Causing Bacteria
  • Pet Friendly

What Is Carpet Padding?

Carpet padding, also known as carpet cushion, is the foam underlayment that helps to give carpet that softness when you stand on it. The carpet fibers can only provide so much cushion, but with support from quality carpet padding it can be made to feel like walking on clouds.

What are the Benefits of Carpet Padding?

Some important benefits of carpet padding is that it provides additional support for your carpet, increases longevity and performance, and is required to be installed if you want to keep your carpet manufacturer’s warranty intact. 

Carpet cushion also offers some sound absorbance and thermal insulation to help regulate the temperature of your home. Some carpet cushion can even help prevent spills and stains from becoming permanent while allowing for easier cleanup through spill-trap technology.

Carpet Padding Cushion Installation
Carpet Padding Cushion Construction

Carpet Padding Construction

Carpet padding is constructed in a variety of ways that provide different benefits depending on your budget and needs. All of the carpet padding S&G carries is 7/16” thick to maintain warranties and is Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Approved.

Carpet padding material is often made from the same foam as mattresses, car seats, and similar products. When these types of products are being manufactured they start with a large piece of foam and shave off pieces until the desired shape is achieved, similar to an artist carving a statue from stone, wood, or clay. The leftover shavings and chunks of foam are then recycled into carpet padding.

This allows flooring providers to offer affordable carpet padding that has all the same qualities and benefits as premium foams including popular memory foam.

Choosing the Best Carpet Padding Weight for Your Space

Carpet padding weight is used as a guide for how firm the material is. A higher weight number usually means the carpet padding is more dense and firmer. This is not a hard and fast rule as there are other factors to consider such as the type of foam used and how it’s constructed. To get a true feeling for how a carpet pad will perform, we recommend visiting a showroom or trying our FREE Shop at Home program to physically feel the differences yourself.

S&G Carpet carries 6 lb. and 8 lb. carpet padding weights to allow homeowners to choose a firmer pad for high-traffic areas such as hallways and staircases where people are likely to step in the same places anytime they pass through that space.

While it may be tempting to put higher density carpet padding only in those areas for high traffic, this is bad practice as the feel underfoot changes with padding weight. If you use different carpet padding in the same home it will be noticeable to everyone as they walk through those spaces that something is different. It’s best practice to choose a single carpet pad type and place it everywhere throughout the home for a uniform feel.

Different Carpet Padding Weights
Scotchgard Carpet Padding Pet Friendly Cushion

Quality Carpet Padding Traps Liquids for Easier Cleanup & Maintenance

Unlike budget-friendly carpet padding products are ready to be installed after the foam material has been reformed into a pad, higher quality carpet padding products go through additional manufacturing steps to provide greater benefits than the foam cushion alone. This includes different linings and treatments that repel liquids, and some even have antimicrobial ingredients in it’s core to fight odors that could result from food spills.

Most quality carpet padding will have a treatment known as a ‘spill-trap’ to prevent spills from soaking through the pad and into the foundation or subfloors. Without this protective layer, spills that soak into the cushion could re-emerge after being cleaned up as during cleaning it’s very difficult to pull all of the moisture out of the pad itself. Instead only the carpet is cleaned, leaving the liquid stuck inside the carpet padding. After time has passed that liquid will wick up into the carpet fibers again – resulting in a spill that seems to reappear after being spot cleaned.

Choosing carpet padding with a treatment such as Scotchgard™ or Spillshield will also provide better cleaning results from professional carpet cleaning. When carpet is professionally cleaned via truck mounted hot water extraction method, the carpet backing is lifted off the pad allowing for that trap area to be cleaned thoroughly.

Best Carpet Padding for Pets

A common request we get asked is what carpet padding is best for pet owners who understand sometimes pets have accidents in the home. Whether it is throw-up from your furry friend eating something they should not have or if there is a new puppy that isn’t quite potty trained, the best carpet padding for pets remains the stain resistant cushion that is treated to create a moisture barrier.

The spill-trap from the higher quality carpet pads will prevent urine from soaking in, it should be noted that to prevent the odor of urine from remaining you will need to get a pet spot cleaner that includes enzymes to break down the crystals that form when urine dries. S&G offers Carpet Cleaning if you’d like to have a professional spot clean the area to ensure all remnants are removed and your carpet is properly cleaned.

Carpet Padding Cushion Best For Pets

Some Pet-Friendly Carpet Has a Moisture Barrier Built-In

You should be aware that instead of purchasing stain-resistant carpet padding with a moisture barrier, you can purchase carpet that is built with a special backing that is the equivalent of the moisture barrier found in the premium carpet cushions. If you purchase one of these specialty pet-friendly carpets you do not need a carpet pad with a moisture barrier. S&G carries Pet-Agree carpet that provides the same protection spill and moisture protection with a standard carpet pad.

Shop Carpet Padding Cushion Guide

Shop for Carpet Padding

Shopping for carpet padding can seem daunting as there are several options but we hope that with this information you feel well armed to make the right decision for your space. 

If you are still unsure about which carpet padding is right for you or would like additional information, please visit one of our showrooms across Sacramento and the Bay Area or try our FREE Shop at Home program where we bring the floor to your door.

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