We are often asked the question: “How important is it to upgrade to a better quality carpet pad?” In reality, the carpet pad or cushion can be just as important as the carpet itself!
Carpet cushion serves as the foundation for your carpet. It's the equivalent of car shock absorbers for your carpet. It adds cushioning for comfort and, just as important, it adds stability, insulation and noise reduction. A quality cushion can even add years to the life of your carpet.
That's why it's important to consider the types of carpet pad available so you can select the best cushion for your new purchase.
3 Steps For Selecting the Best Padding for your New Carpet
Step 1: Understand the Different Carpet Padding Types
Carpet cushion comes in several different types.
Rebond Cushion is the most common option for most homeowners, and if you’ve owned carpet in the past, you probably had rebond beneath it. Rebond cushion is made from recycled foam, which gives it a multicolored appearance.
Value Rebond Cushion
At Floor Décor Design Center, we offer a value cushion - the Shaw Support Plus 7/16" 6-lb cushion - which meets all manufacturer's requirements for wear carpet warranties.
Support Plus Cushion
Rebond Cushion Upgrade
Our first upgrade is Hope Performance Cushion with Moisture Barrier Protection. It features the following benefits:
- Shaw R2X Spill Barrier prevents spills and pet accidents from penetrating the cushion for up to 24 hours
- 8-lb density and 7/16” thickness
- Life-of-the-home cushion warranty to original purchaser AND adds 7 years to your Shaw and Tuftex carpet warranties.
Hope Preferred Carpet Cushion
Memory Foam Cushion
Memory foam carpet cushion is essentially frothed foam, infused with gel, which gives it the feel memory foam is famous for. Memory foam beds are something many of us have had experience with, and you can have that same sinking feeling beneath your feet with this type of carpet cushion.
Charity by Shaw: an Enhanced Memory Foam Comfort Cushion
Available at Floor Décor is Charity By Shaw. This memory foam cushion offers the following features:
- Specially bonded cushion with ViscoTouch Memory Foam for enhanced comfort
- R2X Spill Barrier prevents spills and pet accidents from penetrating the cushion for up to 24 hours
- 8-lb density and .45” thickness provides enhanced comfort and support
- Life-of-the-home cushion warranty to original purchaser AND adds 10 years to your Shaw and Tuftex carpet warranties
Charity Premium Carpet Cushion
Prime Polyurethane Foam
Prime polyurethane foam is a firmer version of the same cushioning used in upholstered furniture, mattresses, and automobile seats. Two liquid ingredients are combined to form a block of foam, which is then sliced into sheets for use as carpet cushion.
Courage by Shaw: Pure Foam for the Ultimate in Comfort and Durability
In this category, you'll find Courage By Shaw carpet cushion.
- Comfort Touch pure foam and 1/2” (.50”) thickness provide luxurious comfort underfoot
- Dual R2X Barrier prevents moisture from penetrating both sides of the cushion
- Life-of-the-home cushion warranty to the original purchaser AND adds 10 years to your Shaw and Tuftex carpet warranties.
Courage Ultimate Carpet Cushion
Felt Cushion Carpet Pad
Performer™ carpet cushion is made with fiber and designed to extend the life of carpet. It works to reduce noise while increasing insulation and comfort underfoot. This carpet cushion extends the life of carpet and makes it more comfortable.
The blue interwoven layer provides exceptional stability for heavy traffic. It is also hypoallergenic and is CRI Green Label Plus-certified for indoor air quality. Made from 100% recycled construction, this cushion is also 100% recyclable, and can also contribute toward satisfying LEED® building credits.
This 32oz cushion will also insulate home and reduce noise.
Performer Felt cushion
Specialty Carpet Cushion for Berbers and Loops
Berber and many loop pile carpet require a thin, firm cushion. When using this type of carpet, be sure that the accompanying cushion has been specified by the manufacturer as suitable for Berber and loop pile carpet.
Radiant heating is becoming more widely used in some areas of the country. In the case of radiant heating, avoid using a cushion that is an exceptionally effective insulator. Choose a cushion that allows the heat from the subflooring to penetrate the carpet system and heat the room. A relatively thin, flat cellular sponge rubber or synthetic fiber cushion works well under these circumstances.
Synthetic Felt Cushion
Designed for Berbers, woven loop pile and commercial carpets, synthetic felt carpet cushion is extremely dense, breathes well and isn't spongy at all. It's made from recycled or shredded fabrics or natural wool, and is designed to allow Berbers and loop pile carpets to wear well in heavy traffic situations
Synthetic carpet cushion is also a great choice for concrete floors as it breathes well, resists mold and mildew and has anti-microbial properties.
Shaw Eco Fiber Touch Cushion is our choice for synthetic carpet cushion
Eco Fiber Touch is a premium recycled synthetic fiber cushion that provides underfoot comfort and exceptional stability to broadloom carpet. It offers the following features:
- Premium blend of fiber provides long lasting support
- CRI Green Label Plus Certified
- Cradle to Cradle Certified Bronze
- Commercial limited warranty
- Made from 100% recycled content
Eco Fiber Touch Cushion
Step 2: Decide on Carpet Cushion Density, Thickness and Cost
Now that you understand the types of materials available for carpet cushion, it’s time to discuss how to select the best fit for your needs. Three factors come into play:
- Carpet cushion density
- The thickness of the carpet pad
- Carpet padding cost
Carpet Cushion Density
Density is a term you’re going to encounter often with carpet cushion. You’ll hear it when you walk into a carpet store, and, if you have an honest salesperson, they will be able to explain things quite nicely. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case, so it pays to understand density when dealing with any type of carpet cushion.
Carpet cushion density can measure between 4 to 10 pounds, which leaves a lot of room for error if you don’t know what to look for.
In most cases, homeowners are perfectly happy with carpet cushion between 6 and 8 pounds. That’s the ideal range for the residential class. However, it’s always best to use whatever density your carpet manufacturer recommends.
Carpet Cushion Thickness
Carpet cushion thickness is another area where consumers can find themselves in a sticky situation if they go in uninformed. Thicker flooring is a good thing in the flooring world, as it generally means more durability and that your flooring will last longer.
However, that’s not the case with carpet cushion, as a thicker cushion may actually do more harm than good.
If you choose low-pile carpeting in your home like a looped Berber, it’s recommended to go with carpet cushion that’s no thicker than 3/8”, but you want to stay under a ½” in general regardless of the style.
Carpet Cushion Cost
Finally, there's cost. Here's a range of what you can expect:
- Value Grade Support Plus 6LB 7/16" Rebond: $.75 s/f (included in installation package price)
- Preferred Grade Hope Recycled Foam 8LB 7/16": $1.00 s/f
- Preferred Grade Charity Memory Foam 8LB 1/2": $1.25 s/f
- Ultimate Grade Courage Pure Foam 1/2" Comfort Touch: $1.50 s/f
- Specialty Cushion Eco Fiber Touch Synthetic Cushion: $.75 s/f (included in Berber carpet install package price)
- Performer Felt Cushion 32oz: $.85 s/f
- Felt Cushion for under area rugs (12' & 6' wide) - $1.75 s/f
Step 3: Consider Flooring For a Cause
At Floor Décor Design Center, we proudly offer the St. Jude Carpet Collection and carpet cushion from Shaw Floors because it pushes the philanthropic envelope.
Proceeds from every yard sold from these exclusive product assortments goes directly to St. Jude's. You are not just choosing a simple carpet pad for your home, you are helping to shape a future for families and children who can benefit from advanced cancer research and development.
Ready to Select the Best Carpet Pad For You?
With these steps in mind, you're in a good position to evaluate the carpet pad options available so you can pick the best one for your needs.
We invite you to visit our showroom location in Orange to experience for yourself carpet and pad collections. Or, you can do so remotely.
Let us know of any questions in the comments or contact us.
Thanks for reading,