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Types of Carpet Padding & Their Pros and Cons

Carpet Padding provides a foundation beneath your carpet that extends the carpet’s life, creates a more comfortable walking surface and reduces noise. It can also act as a barrier against moisture reaching your subfloors. Your carpet style, amount of foot traffic, manufacturer’s warranty, and budget are all factors in deciding which carpet padding to buy.

Carpet Padding Density and Thickness

Keep in mind which carpet padding density and thickness is appropriate for your home or office needs. As with padding type, carpet manufacturers insist that you have a certain density and thickness to keep your warranty in good standing. The wrong density could also wear faster and lead to carpet damage. The wrong thickness could deteriorate faster and cause problems with installation. Generally, you’ll want at least a 6.5 pound density, and up to 8 pounds to guarantee a longer carpet life. Those specifications depend on the carpet type and the manufacturer.

Carpet Padding Pro and Cons

Rebond Carpet Padding

This economical carpet padding is made primarily of recycled urethane foam and is suitable for most homes and carpets. It occasionally comes with a nylon mesh top to provide extra durability. It’s worth paying extra for higher quality Rebond to ensure your padding provides sufficient support and doesn’t need to be replaced too often.

Fiber Padding

Certain carpets, like Berber, require a flat, dense padding. Fiber padding is ideal in that situation and when a warranty requires fiber. Fiber’s available with the more common synthetic fibers and less common natural fibers, like jute and felt (which mold easily). If you have radiant heat flooring, consider synthetic fiber padding, or waffle rubber padding, as it allows heat to pass through.

Waffle Rubber Padding

Waffle padding is more expensive than Rebond but provides similar durability. This, along with synthetic fiber, is also one of the best paddings for homes with radiant heat floors because it’s thin enough to allow heat to escape.

Slab Rubber Padding

Along with frothed foam, slab rubber padding is one of the most durable options available — enough to remain in place through several carpet replacements. It’s also one of the most expensive carpet pads. It’s most suitable if you’re investing in a home for several decades or have high-traffic areas that need the extra durability.

Foam Padding(also Prime Foam)

Foam padding is one of the least durable carpet pads. It often comes free with a carpet purchase but is not always worth the savings. Over time, it doesn’t provide your carpet backing the necessary support to keep it from breaking. Though if you want to save money on padding for unused rooms, or for temporary living situations, this could be a smart option.

Frothed Foam Carpet Padding

This foam padding is, like slab rubber padding, one of the most durable carpet pads on the market. It’s similar to Foam Padding but includes a non-woven material that attached using a carpet-backing machine. While it’s also one of the most expensive, it could save you from having to replace it when you replace the carpet.

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Memory Foam Padding

Memory foam is ultra comfortable, so if comfort is your top priority it’s a good choice. But, like Foam Padding, its squishy quality makes it a poor choice if carpet durability is your priority. Like other foam padding, it won’t provide your carpet’s backing with the support it needs.

It’s worth noting that there are specialized carpet pads that provide a barrier against moisture, whether against flooding in a basement or pet urine. They’re beneficial in that they’ll keep moisture away from your carpet or subfloor. But they can also trap that moisture against the subfloor or between the barrier and the carpet, creating other problems. Breathable moisture barriers are an alternative that block moisture from reaching your subfloor while also breathing enough to avoid the mildew problem when water gets trapped beneath the barrier.

For more information about Carpet Padding, call or visit one of our Northern California S&G Carpet showrooms near you.


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