Picking Your Carpet – The Padding

The time has come to talk of carpet replacement. Over many years with your carpet, through countless spills, stains, and accidents, you’ll one day feel like that it’s time for a new carpet. Yes, you’ve had Oxi Fresh come out for many carpet cleanings – and we’ve done a good job with our fast drying carpet cleaning – but the carpet just looks and feels worn. But where do you begin when it comes to getting a carpet replaced and what should you do to help make your carpet last longer?

Well, besides regular, green carpet cleanings and carpet protector, choosing the right kind of carpeting and padding will make all the difference. But before we delve into the various carpet types available to you, let’s focus on the often ignored carpet pad.  The carpet pad is designed to absorb footfalls, make the carpets feel softer, and decrease stress on people’s feet and back while walking. Without one, the carpet itself would be set on the hard floors – something not even the cushiest of carpets could hide.

Having a pad is not enough, though, it has to be a good one. Those who cut costs by getting cheap pads soon discover their cheap pads quickly deteriorate, making their carpets feel uncomfortable and look bad. So what kind of pad should you consider for you home? Well, there are multiple types, so here’s a quick breakdown:

Urethene – This pad type can vary greatly in quality and density – some having a density as low as 1/2 pound per square inch. You need to be careful with this type, as there are a lot cheap pads available that use it. But if you can find a type with a high density – approaching 6-8 pounds per sq. foot – urethene foam pads can work well.

Bonded Urethene – A popular variety made of recycled foam, this padding material has a good lifespan and provides good support both for the carpet and those walking on it. Again, you’ll want to shoot for a density of 6-8 pounds

Waffle Rubber – This “waffled” pad generally provides good support but it will break down over the years.

Flat Rubber – This pad type is generally the most expensive, but it’s also one of the best. A 19-22lb. density pad of this kind will provide amazing support and can actually outlast the carpet itself. It is quite expensive and more rare, but it’s a worthwhile investment especially if you’re getting an expensive carpet as well

Fiber Cushion – Made of scrap fibers, hair, and/or jute, this type is environmentally friendly but it doesn’t do the job as a pad.

As you can see, there are a lot of options – but bonded urethene is a pretty good deal for the price. Whatever you pick, though, be sure to aim for a density of 6-8 pounds (higher density in higher traffic areas) and an overall of around 1/2 inch. Be sure to get in contact with an experienced carpet installer for more help when you do choose a specific pad type. And remember that, after installation, Oxi Fresh is always ready to give you a cleaning experience that no other carpet cleaning company can provide!

Thanks to Ms. McRae, WiseGeek.com, Ms. Howard, and CarpetBuyersHandbook.com for the great articles!

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