Installing carpet is already expensive, and buying carpet padding may seem like an unnecessary added expense. Before you think about skipping the carpet padding, you should understand its purpose and how it makes the carpet more efficient and comfortable. The right carpet pad can play a huge role in how your carpet feels and even how it looks. To understand why it’s important to use carpet padding when installing new carpet,
1. Makes the Carpet More Comfortable
A good carpet pad creates a softer feel to the carpet because it has cushioning below it. For many homeowners, this is the primary reason for installing carpet padding. Every time you walk on your carpet, you are exerting hundreds of pounds of pressure on it. The carpet pad absorbs this impact, not the carpet itself. Thicker carpet padding produces a plusher, softer feel as you walk.
2. Helps the Carpet Last Longer
There are several ways padding can increase the life of the carpet. Padding keeps the backing on the carpet from wearing out and failing by getting rubbed against the subfloor. It also protects the carpet from the wear of heavy foot traffic by absorbing the impact. By lifting and supporting the carpet, the padding even makes it easier to vacuum allergens and dirt from the carpet.
3. Provides Thermal Insulation
Thermal insulation is an important benefit of carpet padding that you can’t see or feel. If you install carpet directly on your subfloors, don’t be surprised if you notice drafts in the room. Carpet padding has a much higher R-value, which measures how well a material can keep heat from passing through, than carpet. The higher R-value of padding can keep your room warmer without air movement from below.
When choosing carpet padding for its insulating value, be sure to look at the R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation. Urethane padding has the highest R-value, ranging from 1.05 to 2.15. The downside is this option is not very dense and does not hold up well to heavy traffic. Fiber padding made from plant fibers has an R-value of 0.97 to 1.94, but it can support heavy foot traffic.
4. Dampens Sound
If you have ever heard someone walking on hardwood floors above you, you can imagine how loud even carpet could be without padding beneath it. Carpet is not as thick as you might think. A high-quality carpet pad can dramatically reduce sound compared to carpet alone. If you are going to install carpeting upstairs, a carpet pad is recommended.
Not all carpet pads are equal when it comes to reducing floor noise. Common plush carpet padding reduces the impact that causes the noise. The denser the carpet pad, the less pressure penetrating to the floor. Dense felt carpet pads are the ideal solution for eliminating floor noises, but they are also the most expensive.
Simmons Floor Covering & Supply
400 N Loop 288 #104, Denton, TX 76209
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