Carpet pad is a sheet of spongy material that goes underneath your carpet. Out of sight, out of mind, the saying goes. Maybe that’s why the choice of a carpet pad -aka underlay or cushion- is often overlooked. Yet, the right pad can make or break a carpet purchase because it plays a critical role in your carpet’s performance and appearance.
The carpet padding you use is as critical as the carpet itself; the fundamental aim of carpet padding is to preserve your carpet and extend it's lifespan. Carpet pad shields the under part of your carpet against the floor and also against the impact of heavy furniture and foot traffic.
Additionally, carpet padding makes walking on your carpet softer and makes cleaning easier and more efficient. At the same time, it makes sound isolation.
No matter where you use the carpet pad or which type you choose, a carpet pad keeps the carpet in place and prevent pulls and slips. You can increase safety for hard flooring surfaces like laminate, tile or hardwood, by using a carpet pad with non-slip coating on at least one side.
The non-slip coating side of the carpet pad should be placed on the side of the hard surface floor to ensure that carpet stays in its place and does not slide on the floor’s surface, causing a potential tripping or falling hazard.
Using a carpet pad extends the life of your carpet since it protects the fibers of your carpet. The carpet pad acts as a soft supporter between the hard surface underneath and the carpet above.
Soil particles erode a carpet’s texture after some time. Debris that is caught between the carpet and the floor will affect the materials of the carpet when footsteps make weight, which will lead traffic paths on the carpet and limit the life expectancy of the carpet. By creating cushioning, padding underneath a carpet protects against these harms and helps you keep up the value of your carpet.
A carpet pad adds softness to your carpet and if you choose correctly, it creates a softer feeling and softer walk to the carpet. Additionally, it provides thermal insulation with its higher R-value (which measures a material’s ability to keep heat from passing through it) than carpet -- so it keeps the room warmer.
Carpet padding also creates additional sound insulation. This sound insulation is especially helpful for upstairs rooms, but even in a basement, a pad reduces sound more than just a carpet itself.
A carpet pad eases the vacuuming of carpets by increasing the efficiency of vacuuming since it provides space for air to flow between the surface and carpet. An efficient vacuuming removes the dirt, debris, and allergens which can be harmful to the fabric of your carpet. Vacuums work better with air flowing underneath and carpet pads with air holes provide this benefit for you.
Very important! A carpet pad protect against staining, scratching and dye transfer to the floor and if you choose the right carpet padding, you will experience less wear.
After years of usage, the dyes and tints of carpets may wear off on the floor underneath and a carpet pad acts as a buffer between the carpet and the floor surface. Thus, it helps to keep the floor at its original color. If you choose solid padding, which is not porous, it will also protect against liquid spills.
Three basic materials used for making carpet padding are foam, rubber, and fiber.