Published on Thursday, March 18th, 2021
When the time comes to shop for carpeting, most people tend to overlook underpadding. Among all the carpet materials, styles, and options, padding is the last thing that comes to mind. However, that’s where most people make a crucial mistake. The pad is just as important as the carpeting (if not more), and it’s one of the first things you should consider when choosing the best carpet for your home.
Why is carpet padding important, you may ask? Follow our guide to carpet pads, and you’ll learn everything there is to know about the topic, including how to pick the best carpet padding for yourself.
Let’s start with some historical data. The first carpet padding was made out of cattle hair, which was considered a highly resilient material. Over time, the need for carpets increased, and manufacturers had to come up with new options to meet the market demand. Rubber sponge became the new material used for carpet padding. It was highly popular after WWII mainly because of its elasticity. This material also opened the door for some other modern materials. These days, carpet paddings are most commonly made from synthetic foam, but we will get to that part later on.
We hear many customers question the function of the carpet underpad and the need to pay more for it. Why would you spend extra money on the material that goes underneath the carpet and can’t even be seen? The answer is simple – because you get the overall better product. The carpet underpad is a piece that determines the quality and durability of the entire carpet and gives it functionality.
Let’s take a look at some of the factors that make carpet underpad so important:
First thing first, the pad is designed to keep the carpet in place and prevent pulls and slips. No matter where you install the carpet, a quality pad will glue it to the surface and protect users from dangerous slips. This is especially important for hard flooring surfaces such as laminate, tile, and hardwood because they are known to be more slippery. A non-slip coating on one side of the carpet resolves this issue and allows users to walk around without worrying about the slippery surfaces.
The second most important thing about carpet padding is protection. This piece of the underlying material significantly improves the overall lifespan of the entire carpet. Because it acts as a soft barrier between the surface and the carpet, the pad protects the fibers on the carpet and ensures its longevity. Without this layer of protection, the fibers would deteriorate quickly, affected by debris, heavy pressure of footsteps, and other similar factors.
Without the supportive material underneath, every carpet would feel stiff and odd under the feet. The pad adds softness to the carpet and increases comfort with every step. Plus, the extra layer provides thermal insulation and keeps the room warmer in winter. That’s why it’s essential to choose not only thick but quality material for the carpet underpad.
Do you know that carpet underpad also makes carpet maintenance super easy? The underlying material gives more room for the air to flow between the surface and the carpet, which means it allows you to vacuum the carpet with more efficiency. When you have a quality carpet pad, you can remove the dirt and debris in a breeze and keep a sparkling clean and allergy-free environment for you and your family.
Carpet padding types can be various, but most of them are made from three basic materials: foam, rubber, or fiber.
This type alone comes in three versions: prime polyurethane foam, bonded polyurethane foam, and froth polyurethane foam. All three of these materials are of great quality, they only differ in thickness.
These usually come in waffle rubber or flat sponge rubber. Waffle rubber creates a soft and resilient cushion with a luxurious feel suitable for residential surfaces. On the other hand, flat sponge rubber is firm, dense, and ideal for commercial settings.
Natural fibers and synthetic fibers are often found in carpet padding. Natural fibers come from felt or animal hair, and synthetic fibers include nylon, polyester, polypropylene, and acrylics. Both types can be highly resilient, but it depends on the overall design and density.
Considering the information we provided above, it’s essential to pick a quality carpet pad to suit your needs. If you get the wrong one for your purpose, you run at the risk of canceling your warranty, or even worse, having your carpet wear out rather quickly. But how do you choose the best carpet pad?
Firstly, you should check the carpet pad thickness. Don’t go for the thickest pad out there because it might ruin your carpet’s aesthetics. A 7/16” thickness should be good enough for most residential surfaces.
Secondly, pick the density depending on your lifestyle. Low density (3-5 pounds) is usually recommended for apartments as a budget-friendly option because frequent carpet replacements are expected. The carpet of mid-range density (6-8 pounds) is most commonly used in residential spaces, although the numbers can go as high as 10.
Lastly, look for a trustworthy seller and installer to advise you on the best underpad, help you pick the one to suit your needs, and install it properly afterward. This way, you can get a full package without much effort, and rest assured your beautiful carpet will last for many years.
Scottsdale Flooring America is here to guide you through the carpet shopping process and help you pick the best pad for your needs. As a family-owned business operating in the valley for over 20 years, we know what every single customer needs. Contact us today and consult our team of professionals about your chosen flooring option. We will help you make an informed decision and enjoy your carpet for many years to come!