carpet installation

Carpet Installation 101: Carpet Padding

It?s no wonder why carpet padding is so overlooked; aside from being a boring subject, padding looks pretty hum-drum when compared to the star of the show: Stunning soft surfacing. But while you may yawn at the very thought of padding, it?s a material your carpeting installation can?t survive without. A vital aspect of soft surfacing, underlay (as padding is often called) acts as the foundation upon which your carpet installation will lay, and protects your precious new fibers from wear and tear, foot traffic and heavy furniture.

Padding: Overlooked, Underrated
Let?s go over a few additional details from our Carpet Mart Benton Harbor, MI showroom experts:
?Padding creates a cushioned element that results in a softer feel when walking across the material.
?A softer feel, however, is not a signifier of quality. While an inexpensive underlay may feel more comfortable underfoot, it may not necessarily be the ideal padding for your particular carpet installation.
?Underlay makes it easier to vacuum and deep clean your fibers, as it creates a space between the subfloor and soft surfacing, that allows for more efficient cleaning.
?One of the best features of underlay is that it provides thermal insulation, keeping energy costs down.
?With a higher R value than fiber surfacing, padding stops drafts from seeping through the carpet layer, essentially keeping a space warmer.
?Natural sound dampening abilities is really helpful when you?d like to limit noise in the home, and keep sound from travelling.

Padding: Thickness and Density
Soft surfacing manufacturers require underlay to be installed with their products to maintain its warranty. Thus, homeowners will also need to consider the density, thickness, and type of padding they?ll need, to ensure a longer lifespan for their surfacing.

Padding Density: Padding is rated on a density scale; the lower the density, the less firm it will feel, and the higher the density, the firmer the padding will feel. Typically, firmer pads provide better support for the surfacing, reducing the likelihood of wrinkles in the material.

Padding Thickness: The thicker the padding, the better, right? Well, that?s not necessarily the case. It all depends upon that type of soft surfacing you purchase. While underlay that is too thin may not offer enough support, padding that?s too thick can cause wrinkles in the material. Usually, the ideal thickness is 7/16?, but it?s best to discuss the matter with the showroom professional to ensure you get the best padding for your installation and keep your warranty valid.