*Options for Carpet Padding

March 21, 2011
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Choosing the right carpet padding is just as important as choosing your carpet.  Like your carpet, it will be something you live with for years.  Each one has its advantages and disadvantages as well as its ability to be customized with extra treatments, depending on the family’s lifestyle. “Extras” include stain guards or even odor control if you have kids and pets in the house.  These can come in different materials with different properties. Although you can always ask your carpet dealer for advice, it is still a good idea to learn more about your choices to assist you with making an intelligent decision beneficial for you and your family.

1.  Polyurethane Foam -  The most commonly used carpet padding in the US is polyurethane foam because of its density and durability.  It is the same material used to pad car seats and furniture.  These vary in thickness — the thicker the foam, the softer the carpet will feel under your feet.

2.  Rubber/Sponge Rubber – This is made from natural and synthetic rubber, available in 2 styles: firm or cushion.  The disadvantage of rubber is its’ lack of durability compared to other carpet pads.  The clay binding the rubber together usually wears faster over time compared to other carpet cushions.

3.  Fiber/Felted Fiber – These are made from synthetic and natural fiber woven into felt.  Most often, the fiber used for these pads are recycled, making it the most eco-friendly choice.  Fibers are usually polyester, acrylic, nylon, wool, or jute.  However, fiber padding is not as comfortable as polyurethane and are recommended for high traffic areas.

It’s normal for homeowners to choose different carpet pads for different rooms.  Carpet padding not only serves as cushion for making walking comfortable but it also serves as an insulation for the room and can even prolong the life of your carpet.  Carpet cushions absorb the impact and stress carpets are subjected to which can break down the fibers and stretch the backing.

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