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What Kind of Carpet Padding Is Best?

Consumers spend most of their time debating over carpet color, styles, and texture. However, equally important is finding the best padding to support the carpet and your feet. Just as your home’s foundation is imperative to a lasting home, the cushion underneath the carpet helps increase longevity, improve comfort, and provide insulation.

How to Choose the Best Carpet Padding

The padding is important enough that even the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has specific guidelines and classifications. Currently, HUD specifies 2 classes of cushion. Class 1 works for light to moderate traffic, and Class 2 works best for multifamily areas, corridors, and stairs. Below are a couple of things to keep in mind to help in the floor shopping adventure.

1. Thickness and Density

Typical carpets require a padding thickness that ranges between 7/16 to 1/4 inch. For Berber or low-profile options, choose no more than 3/8 inch thick. Additionally, the recommended density for Berber is 8 pounds per cubic foot. Professionals and carpet manufacturers recommend 7.5 to 8 lbs for most other installations.

2. Material

Carpet padding comes in a variety of materials. Consider the following possibilities for your padding.

  • Prime Polyurethane Foam

Made from large pieces of foam, this soft material is the same one used to cushion car seats and furniture. HUD recommends 0.375 thickness, 2.2 lbs per cubic foot. However, professionals do not recommend prime polyurethane for high-traffic areas.

  • Frothed Polyurethane Foam

This type of foam is versatile, resistant to furniture indents, and extremely durable. It is the same material used in carpets with attached foam. Use this foam in light, moderate, or heavy traffic areas. HUD minimum standards recommend 0.25 thickness, 10 lbs per cubic foot for light to moderate, and 12 lbs for heavy.

  • Bonded Polyurethane Foam

Bonded polyurethane foam features 100% recycled foam scraps bonded to fabric, net, or plastic for added strength. About 85% of installations use this option. The HUD standard is 0.375 inch, 5 lbs for light to moderate traffic, and 6.5 lbs for heavy traffic.

  • Flat Rubber

Rubber is solid, heavy in weight, and long-lasting. Additionally, flat rubber is good for high traffic areas. The HUD standard is 0.22 inches, 18 lbs for light to moderate traffic, and 21 lbs for heavy traffic.

  • Waffled Rubber

Likewise, waffled rubber features a spongy, porous material that provides a soft cushy feel. Typically, waffled rubber is best used in light traffic areas.

Is Carpet Padding Necessary?

Both carpet and padding share equal importance in maintaining longevity, beauty, and resilience. Recent research defined that carpet with no cushion had an average of 19.3% loss in pile height versus 5-10% loss with a separate cushion. Consumers armed with the best knowledge can find the right combination between both that results in better performance over time.

Call Bloomsburg Carpet Today!

If you are interested in learning more about the best carpet padding or the variety of carpet styles, do not hesitate to call us today. We have been weaving carpet at its finest since 1976, and your satisfaction is our utmost priority.

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