Carpet Pad

paddingToday’s carpets require special padding unlike the carpets of even ten years ago. If you do not follow the manufacturer’s padding guidelines, you will void your carpet warranty. This is why we educate our customers, to help them choose the correct padding for your particular need. Remember the most expensive pad you will ever get is the FREE PAD offered by many floorcovering stores.

Types of Padding for Residential and Commercial

Foam Padding

This type of padding is made from urethane foam and is available in different densities and thickness. Generally this type of pad is referred to as “prime foam”, but, regardless of the thickness, is not recommended for heavy traffic of any kind. All that air under the carpet just causes the carpet to move up and down so much that the backing soon breaks down. Some enhancements have been tried like loading the foam with binders to make it heavier, or compressing the cells. However, both of these methods leaves a foam that still does not support the carpet like other types of padding.


This type of padding is used most often by the floorcovering industry. It is made from of scraps of the high density foams used in furniture making that are bonded together. Rebond padding comes in various thicknesses and densities. The density is rated at so many pounds per cubic foot. For example, a 5 lb rebond pad would weigh 5lb per cubic foot. The carpet cushion council recommends a pad of at least 5lbs and 3/8 inch thickness for light traffic (your living room), and a pad of 6.5 lbs and 3/8 inch for heavy traffic (hallways). These are minimum guidelines, and I suggest that a 7 to 7.5 lb pad for longer wear. Also, the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) recommends that for residential use, the pad shall not exceed 7/16ths inch. I am sure this is because proper alignment with the tackstrip is best for a nicer looking finished product, and there is a less of a chance for too much up and down movement in the carpet. This could contribute to wrinkles in the carpet.


These pads are used when one wants to limit the movement in a piece of carpet. This pad can be made from jute, or hair mixed with jute, or synthetic fiber, or recycled textile fiber. Most often these pads are used under area rugs, under commercial carpets, and under some berber carpets. The key here is density. Spun nylon is best. Stay with at least 7.5 lbs per cubic ft. density on the synthetic fiber, and 12 lb density on the jute pads. Thickness should be between 3/8 and 7/16 inch. Total weight should be 40 ounces per square yard.

We get asked all the time “is it ok to go over our existing pad?”   We tell all our customers “if the pad is in good shape why spend the extra dollars. . .”

Another question we get asked is “will inexpensive carpet over expensive padding making our inexpensive carpet feel like better and last longer?”

There is no question that a good cushion is critical to carpet performance, but remember that you walk directly on the carpet so you want carpet constructed to meet your needs and life style. If you buy an inexpensive carpet, that doesn’t meet your needs, you’ll have a cushion that feels great, but you may not be satisfied with the look or wear of your carpet.

Call Mr. Karpet Today, (435) 467-9747