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Types of Carpet Padding

Types of Carpet Padding

There are many different carpet padding options, so we know how difficult it can be to decide which type is right for your floor. Your selection will depend on several different factors. Here is a list of padding types, the pros and cons of each, and which carpet they typically work best with.

Rebonded Foam Carpet Pad

Rebonded foam carpet padding is the most commonly used. According to the Carpet Cushion Council, it makes up 85% of total carpet padding produced in the United States. Rebonded foam carpet pads have a multi-colored appearance, which results from several types of scrap foam being bonded together. It contains 100% recycled foam, which saves billions of pounds of foam from landfills every year.This type of pad comes in several different thicknesses and densities and offers the most value for your dollar.

Pros

  • Most popular choice: Sometimes the most common option isn’t the best one, but in this case, it is. Bonded foam pads are popular because of their moderate durability and value.
  • Value: Bonded foam comes in a wide range of thicknesses, densities, and prices, making it the biggest bang for your buck.
  • Eco-friendly: Bonded foam carpet padding is the most eco-friendly kind. They are made from 100% recycled foam.
  • Durability: Bonded foam padding is highly durable, with many different options for density and thickness, so it is easy to properly match your carpet pad to your carpet.

Cons

  • Foot traffic: Bonded foam is durable enough for everyday wear at home or in places with moderate to low foot traffic, such as you and your family. If you have a high amount of foot traffic, such as in a commercial setting, you might consider something even more durable.

Prime Foam Carpet Pad

Prime foam pads are made from “virgin” polyurethane foam, meaning it is not made from recycled materials. It is a denser form of the same foam used in most furniture.Prime foam padding tends to be more firm than other types of carpet padding, but it is softer, which means it can sink quickly.

Pros

  • Soft step: Air pockets in prime foam allow for a very soft, comfortable step.
  • Inexpensive: You can find a lot of variety in thickness and density options available, which means it is usually pretty inexpensive.

Cons

  • Air pockets: Prime foam's air pockets collapse over time, making this a poor option for high foot traffic.
  • Durability: In high traffic areas, this foam does not maintain its quality very well.

Memory Foam Carpet Pad

Memory foam carpet padding is essentially frothed foam with an extra element added to give it that signature memory foam feel. Just like a memory foam mattress, it is incredibly soft and comfortable. A memory foam carpet pad will make each step just as soft.

Pros

  • Comfort: Memory foam carpet pads are the softest and most comfortable on the market.
  • Durability: In areas with low to moderate foot traffic, memory foam is as durable as frothed foam and bonded foam pads.

Cons

  • Expense: Memory foam's softness comes with a higher price tag than most other types of padding.
  • Durability in high traffic areas: Memory foam will squish down over time, and if the carpet backing is constantly being stretched, it will damage your carpet in the long run. Therefore, memory foam is not ideal for any high-traffic areas.
  • New: Memory foam is still relatively new in the carpet pad industry. It’s hard to say how well it will hold up over time.

Fiber Carpet Pad

Fiber carpet pads are not made from foam, but rather a combination of different fiber types: nylon, polyester, felt, etc. Fiber carpet pads are not very soft, but they are flat and dense, making them ideal for Berber carpet and other commercial carpeting. They are very durable, but unless your warranty requires it, it’s not a top choice.

Pros

  • Inexpensive: Fiber carpet pads tend to be the most affordable choices out there.
  • Flat and dense: Fiber carpet padding is ideal for looped carpet types or commercial carpeting. It gives some comfort to your carpet without damaging low-pile carpet types.
  • Traffic: Fiber pads can accommodate low, medium, and high traffic.

Cons

  • Not the most comfortable: Fiber carpet pads aren’t the top choice when it comes to comfort. They are usually picked for high-traffic situations and warranty requirements.
  • Natural fibers: Natural fiber pad can be prone to mold.

So What Carpet Padding is Best for My Floor?

Every individual floor and situation is unique, of course, but will give our best recommendations. Below you will find some common installation types and our best advice on what to buy.

Residential Carpet

Carpet installations in your home are all about comfort. For this reason, we recommend a thicker carpet pad. Here are our top two choices:

Carpet Pad Type: Bonded

Density: 6.5lbs - 8lbs

Thickness: 7/16" - 1/2"

Carpet Pad Type: Frothed Foam

Density: 10lbs - 12lbs

Thickness: 7/16" - 1/2"

Commercial Carpet

Carpet installations in stores and other commercial areas usually focus on long-term durability. So a thin and dense carpet pad is the most recommended. Sometimes a rubber roll underlayment is the best option here.Looped and Berber carpets require specific padding. Here are our recommendations:

Carpet Pad Type: Bonded

Density: 6.5lbs

Thickness: 3/8"

Carpet Pad Type: Frothed Foam

Density: 12lbs +

Thickness: 1/4"

Carpet Pad Type: Synthetic Fiber

Density: 6.5lbs +

Thickness: T3/10"

Carpet Pad Type: Rubber Roll

Density: N/A

Thickness: Varies

Looped Carpet

Looped carpet usually refers to Berber carpet styles or other short pile commercial carpet types. Most manufacturers require synthetic fiber pads for these installations.

Carpet Pad Type: Synthetic Fiber

Density: 6.5lbs

Thickness: 1/4"-3/10"

High Traffic

High traffic typically occurs in commercial settings, such as stores and offices. For these types of installations, a thinner, denser pad is preferable.

Carpet Pad Type: Synthetic Fiber

Density: 6.5lbs +

Thickness: 3/10"

Carpet Pad Type: Frothed Foam

Density: 12lbs +

Thickness: 1/4"

Carpet Pad Type: Bonded

Density: 6.5lbs

Thickness: 3/8"

With all the options, choosing the perfect carpet padding can be overwhelming. Our team at Satolli Carpet and Floor Covering is happy to help. If you have any questions about which carpet padding is best for you, give us a call, send an email, or request an appointment with our carpet experts today.

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