Selecting Carpet Cushion/Padding

A firm and resilient carpet cushion are necessary to form a good foundation for your carpet, increasing its comfort and extending its life, by absorbing the impact of foot traffic. Carpet Cushion also adds insulation and reduces noise. For most residential carpet applications, choose carpet cushion not more than 1/2″ thick. If the carpet is a Berber or a low profile carpet, choose a cushion no more than 3/8″ thick.

The appropriate carpet cushion, or “pad,” provides additional resilience, acoustical, and thermal qualities, comfort underfoot, and can extend the life of the carpet. Carpet cushion should be selected according to the carpet manufacturer’s requirements for thickness and density. Improper selection of carpet cushion can accelerate loss of carpet surface appearance, cause wrinkling and buckling, cause separation of the carpet seams, and can cause a breakdown of the carpet structure itself. Improper carpet cushion selection also may void applicable carpet manufacturer’s warranties.

Carpet cushion is made primarily from polyurethane foam, fiber, or rubber and is available in a variety of styles and constructions to fit your needs. The type and thickness of cushion you need vary according to traffic levels and patterns. For example, bedrooms, dens, lounge areas and other rooms with light or moderate traffic can use thicker and softer cushion, while living rooms, family rooms, hallways, stairs and other heavy traffic areas require thinner, firmer cushion.

Residential cut pile, cut and loop or high-level loop carpet requires a resilient, firm cushion with a thickness of 1/2″ inch or less. Types of cushion may be various polyurethane foams, including the very common bonded foam product often referred to as “rebond,” fiber, or rubber.

Berber carpet, or thinner loop or cut pile carpet Berber carpet is made with large, wide loops and it has been found that a stable, low-flexing, cushion foundation is necessary. A thicker, softer cushion is not acceptable. Cushion thickness should not exceed 3/8 inch for these type products. Again, check with the carpet manufacturer to see if a specific cushion is required. Following are suggested cushions for use under thinner or Berber carpet:

  • 40 ounce: rubberized jute.
  • 22-28 ounce/sq. yd.: felted synthetic fiber.
  • 8 lbs/cu. ft.: bonded or “rebond” polyurethane.
  • 64 ounces +: flat rubber.
  • 2.7 lbs/cu. ft.: prime polyurethane.
  • 10 lbs/cu. ft. or greater: mechanically frothed prime polyurethane.

Attached Cushion: some carpet is made with the cushion attached. With this carpet, a separate cushion is not necessary.

Where to go from here

For additional free help and advice to help you find the best flooring – whether carpets, hardwood floors, tiles or laminates – at the best price, call 505-856-6268 or contact Carpet Source USA today.