Where do you begin?
Consumers spend most of their time debating over carpet color, styles, and texture. However, equally important is finding the best padding to support the carpet and your feet. Just as your home's foundation is imperative to a lasting home, the cushion below carpet helps increase longevity, improve comfort, and provide insulation.
The padding is important enough that even the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have specific guidelines and classifications. Currently HUD specifies 2 classes of cushion. Class 1 for light to moderate traffic and Class 2 for multifamily areas, corridors, and stairs. Below are some ideas to help in the floor shopping adventure.
Thickness and Density:
• Typical carpets require a thickness range between 7/16 to 1/4 inch.
• For Berber or low profile options chose no more than 3/8 inch thick.
• Recommended density for Berber is 8 pounds per cubic feet.
• Professionals and carpet manufacturers recommend 7.5 to 8 lbs for most
- Prime Polyurethane Foam – made from large pieces of foam, soft, same material used to cushion car seats and furniture. HUD recommends 0.375 thickness, 2.2 lbs per cubic foot. Not recommended for high traffic areas.
- Frothed Polyurethane Foam – versatile, resistant to furniture indents, and extremely durable. Same material used in carpets with attached foam. Can be used in light, moderate, or heavy traffic areas. HUD minimum standards recommend 0.25 thickness, 10 lbs per cubic foot for light to moderate, and 12 lbs for heavy.
- Bonded Polyurethane Foam – made from 100% recycled foam scraps bonded to fabric, net, or plastic for added strength. About 85% of installations use this option. HUD standard is 0.375 inch, 5 lbs for light to moderate traffic, and 6.5 lbs for heavy traffic.
- Flat Rubber – solid, heavy in weight, long-lasting. Good for high traffic areas. HUD standard is 0.22 inch, 18 lbs for light to moderate traffic, and 21 lbs for heavy traffic.
- Waffled Rubber – spongy, porous material that provides a soft cushy feel. Typically best used in light traffic areas.
Both carpet and padding share an equal importance in maintaining longevity, beauty, and resilience. Recent research defined that carpet with no cushion had an average of 19.3% loss in pile height versus 5-10% loss with a separate cushion. Consumers armed with the best knowledge can find the right combination between both that results in better performance over time. If you would like to learn more, please contact us.
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