Carpet padding is an often-overlooked piece of carpet maintenance and preservation. It is, however, a very important part of any wall-to-wall carpeting project. Though generally unseen, carpet padding is a vital part of your floors; also known as underlay, it serves as the foundation where the carpets are installed.
The primary purpose of carpet padding is to protect the carpet itself; the pad keeps the underside of your carpet from wearing against the bare floor. It will also impede the impact of heavy furniture and foot traffic, preserving your carpet’s longevity. They create a softer walk and feel, stop drafts from seeping through porous carpeting, and dampen sound. Additionally, they can expedite your cleaning process—your vacuum will be able to slightly raise the carpet, allow the removal of dirt and potential allergens.
Carpet pads come in a variety of materials. From various foams (prime polyurethane, bonded polyurethane, and froth polyurethane) and rubber to fiber (natural and synthetic), these materials will impact the feel and durability of your pad. Furthermore, choosing the right carpet pad for your home is just as important as its existence. Below, we have included the two necessary factors to consider when purchasing your pad.
Padding Thickness—A thicker pad is not always better; a too thick pad will cause wrinkles in your carpet. A half inch thickness is the best way to keep your carpet protected.
Padding Density—Most pads come with a density rating. A 3 to 5 rating is best for apartment carpets—it is less expensive and will be replaced more frequently. A density of 6-10 is great for long-term residential spaces—they are more expensive, but more durable. The higher the density, the firmer it will feel. A firmer pad will provide better support for your carpet, lowering the chance for wrinkles to form.
Though additional precautions are necessary to ensure the longevity of any carpet, investing in a carpet pad is a great step toward preservation.