Pad helps extend the life of your carpet and increases the insulation making your home quieter and warmer. Poor quality of pad with lack of support for the carpet will allow the carpet to wear out quicker and begin to wrinkle or buckle. Pad comes in different types, weights, and thickness. Your pad choice will depend on your subfloor, type of heat, type of carpet and the use of the area being carpeted. Generally for residential use pad should be no more than 7/16”(pad thicker than ½” voids many manufacturer’s warranties) and no less than ¼’ thick with a 6 to 8 pounds per cubic feet density. This makes it soft enough for comfort and dense enough to wear well.
- Foam pad There are two different kinds of foam pad: A – recycled rebond foam pad is the standard pad that is used most often. It does not use foam that is recycled instead it uses new foam scraps from furniture manufacturers and other industries. This pad looks like what it is- a bunch of small foam pieces stuck together. This is a good functioning pad and works well for most residential applications. Not only does this product keep scraps from other industries out of the landfill but it is also recyclable. B – pure or solid foam specially manufactured to be carpet pad. This is a solid piece of foam cut into sheets and has many of the same properties as the rebond pad but is firmer and a better insulator, due to these qualities we wouldn’t recommend it for a floor with radiant heat. It is also costs 3-5 times more than the rebond.
- Rubber pad comes in 2 types as well: a molded waffle pattern that is soft and resilient and good for residential use and a flat sponge rubber that is used more in commercial applications and under flat weave carpet.
- Fiber pad is made of natural and or synthetic fibers that are interlocked and pressed into sheets of felt in different thicknesses that usually comes graded as to how much traffic it can take: light, medium, or heavy. Fiber pad is usually used under commercial carpet if the carpet is not glued down or if commercial carpet is used in a residential setting.
Take a moment in your shopping experience and discuss pad with your carpet supplier and ask to see what they recommend and why, especially if you have radiant heat or other concerns. You can also get pad coated with plastic to make it moisture resistant, moisture proof and or pet proof. Some pads perform better depending on the dryness or humidity of your climate.
A good overall pad would be a rebond either 3/8” or 7/16” 8 pound.
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