Why is Carpet Padding Important?
Carpet padding, otherwise known as underlay, is often an overlooked flooring component due to its hidden residence underneath the carpet however it has an important role to play, particularly in regards to protecting your flooring. By preventing direct contact between carpet and floor, it reduces the impact of foot traffic and heavy furniture while also alleviating wearing from friction. Its other functions include:
- Giving the carpet a softer feel; however, the degree of foot comfort doesn’t necessarily make one padding better than the other.
- A carpet pad not only betters thermal insulation but also facilitates easy vacuuming as it provides maneuvering space thus enabling easy cleaning thereby reducing allergies.
- Carpet padding aids in soundproofing a room which is particularly helpful for upstairs rooms but it also dampens sounds in basements just as well.
- Padding hides unappealing drafts synonymous with porous carpeting and also helps maintain ambient room temperature.
The Origin of Carpet Pads
A couple of decades ago, carpet pads were fashioned out of a discarded by-product of the leather tanning process i.e. cattle hair. The material proved durable and resistant which is why it became a scarce commodity during a 20-year period spanning from the 1930s when tufted carpet demand exploded exponentially.
It was not long however before a better alternative was found in rubber sponge, which had interconnecting cells with elastic capabilities. The material was employed in carpet design at the end of the third world war. Fast forward to the present age, and the industry has blossomed with a variety of woven fiber entering the fray such as polypropylene, nylon, polyester, and popularly reused polyurethane foam in a bid to find the best flooring agent.
Deconstructing Carpet Pads
Pads are usually strewn together from a trio of materials namely fiber, foam, or rubber.
Foam pad varieties include:
- Bonded polyurethane foam: It is a recycled, unique foam variety that is made by bringing together shredded and chopped foam pieces of various shapes and colors into a singular piece.
- Froth polyurethane foam: Manufacturing often involves applying liquid ingredients onto non-woven materials, or existing carpet designs, thereby creating a dense foam which is perfect for extensive carpeting needs like those required by commercial spaces.
- Prime polyurethane foam: This variety is a firmer alteration of the foam found in car seats, upholstered furniture, and mattresses and is made by integrating two liquid ingredients to form large masses which are sliced up for use.
Rubber pad varieties include:
- Flat sponge rubber: It is great paired with loop type carpeting that is popular in larger commercial spaces, and earns its name from its thick and flat nature.
- Waffle rubber: This rubber is created by molding synthetic or natural rubber, and its unparalleled luxurious feel makes it perfect for residential spaces.
Fiber varieties are made by interlocking existing fibers into a strong felt sheet. Variations include:
- Synthetic fiber: Comprises materials of firm density such as acrylics, polypropylene, nylon, and polyester. It is categorized according to foot traffic i.e. heavy, medium, or light.
- Natural fiber: Consists of the popular timeless jute, animal hair, and felt.
Finding the Right Carpet Pad to Fit Your Needs
Here are the important aspects to consider:
Thicker doesn’t always mean better; as a general rule of thumb, 7/16” is the right amount of thickness to curb wrinkles and thereby, keep your warranty enforceable.
Carpet density is also vital, with a higher density providing extra reinforcement for your carpet, hence increased longevity. The density ranges from 6 pounds, common in rental properties due to convenience and comfort, to 8 pounds which is more suited for residential settings. High-density options are also available up to 10 pounds.
Now that you are in the know on everything related to carpet padding, here are a few examples of good brands that make the best flooring backdrop:
Leggett and Plat Pads
They increase carpet life, improve aesthetic poise while providing unrivaled comfort.
StainMaster Select Pad
This carpet cushion is the best for guarding against spills of all kinds from seeping through to the delicate subfloor thanks to its breathable moisture barrier.
Apart from being a great companion to any carpet variety, the Mohawk also aids a good cause by donating the pink SmartCushion earnings to Susan G. Komen’s cancer research foundation.
The best flooring pad is just a phone call away, so get in touch with us ASAP!