Your Complete Guide To Carpet Pads – Which Is Best?

Have you recently decided to replace your carpet with a new color?  You may have the carpet design, colors and materials you want, but what’s missing?  You will need carpet pads to add an undercoat to your floors.  Some people ignore the importance of placing foundation under their rugs, and they regret it immediately.

Padding has nothing to do with style but it has to do with meeting your everyday needs.  This is the technical side of carpet shopping and it is a necessity.  But you shouldn’t choose just any carpet pads because they aren’t all the same.

It is important to choose an undercoat that is durable and helps extend the life of your carpet.  So today, I’m going to give you a complete guide to help you find the right cushioning material for your flooring.

What Are Carpet Pads?

A carpet pad or base is a thick, flat layer of material that serves as the foundation for installing a carpet.  Padding can be made from various materials such as nylon, foam, and fiber.  If you have rough concrete floors, you’ll need a cushion to prevent the rough surface from rubbing against – and damaging – the bottom of your carpet.

The soft material is usually soft but very durable, and easy to put on.  You will glue the material so it doesn’t move when you put the carpet on.  These foam or carpet pads come in various thicknesses and sizes.  You just need to choose the one that suits your needs.

Why You Should Add Padding Under Your Carpets

So why should you put pads before your carpet?  Is it necessary and can you go through this process?  Well, you must have a soft foundation before installing the carpet.  Let’s find out why it’s important to add carpet upholstery in the next section.

Extend the Life of Your Carpet

If you have a rough subfloor made of concrete or brick, the rough surface will rub against the bottom of your carpet.  Rough surfaces can cause potholes and increase significant wear in areas with high pedestrian traffic.  A carpet can lose more than 19% of its thickness if no foam creates a barrier between the carpet and the hard floor underneath.

Foam pads are an added layer of protection between your carpet and rough floors.  The foam pad will prevent the rough surface from scratching on your carpet, which in turn extends the life of your rug.

Carpet Pads Add Thermal Insulation

Concrete and brick floors do not retain heat.  As a result, you may find your house cooler during winter.  Homeowners living in cooler areas can benefit from the soft foundation under their rugs because it adds thermal insulation.

Depending on the material you use as your foundation, this can help keep the heat inside your home making it warmer and more comfortable.  On the other hand, if you live in a warmer environment, a carpet pad can prevent cold air from escaping.

Therefore, if you want to save on utility costs, then bearings will definitely help.  The insulated foam will help regulate the temperature inside your home without the need for an expensive HV / AC system.

Soundproof Your Floor

Have you ever lived in an apartment building and could hear footsteps from the neighbor above you?  Chances are, they don’t have suitable carpet padding so the floors are not soundproof.  Sound absorbing materials such as foam are necessary for apartments and businesses so that normal footsteps do not cause distraction.

So if you don’t want noise disturbance to be a problem in your home, you will benefit from carpet pads.  As a result, you will sleep better when someone comes home late because you won’t hear their footsteps.  Also, if you have pets, you won’t hear the clicking sound of their paws on the floor.

Extra Comfort

Sitting or standing on a hard floor can hurt after a while.  Some people think that a thick rug with a high pile will add comfort, but that is not the case.  No matter how thick your rug is, your floor won’t be comfortable without cushioning.

It is important to choose soft and thick carpet pads so that you can add comfort to your floor.  If you choose the right cushion, your floor will feel soft under your feet as you walk.  This is because the foam has the ability to absorb the impact of your footsteps.  Also, if you have foot pain, a carpet pad can help relieve some of the pressure on your feet.

Hypoallergenic Floor

The best carpet pads on the market are hypoallergenic, but only if you choose from synthetic variations.  Choose a product that doesn’t have a trace of animal hair or plant fiber if you are allergic to these ingredients.  Instead, choose nylon.  Even if you don’t suffer from allergies, this ensures that your guests and family members feel comfortable too.

How To Pick The Correct Carpet Padding

Now that you know what carpet pads are and why you need them, I’m going to tell you how to choose the best cushioning for your flooring.  You should choose floor pads that are non-toxic and durable.  Check out additional features you should consider when shopping for carpet pads.


Before you choose a cushion for your carpet underlay, you must first consider the weight of the product.  This is also referred to as carpet cushion density.  Bearing weight is measured in pounds per cubic foot.  Typically, floor pads can weigh between three pounds and 10 pounds per cubic foot.

To get the best cushioning for your floors, choose pads with a density of between eight and nine pounds for your home.  This ballast pad is more durable and provides maximum comfort.


You may think that thick cushions will always be a great choice, but that’s not necessarily true in the rug industry.  In fact, thinner pads work better with certain types of carpet.  The floor pad you choose should not exceed half an inch.  This is because thicker pads can damage thin carpets such as those made from Berber.  Thick floor pads give too much of an edge for this type of carpet, so install a pad that’s at least 3/8 inch wide for cases like this.

For commercial premises or areas with high pedestrian traffic, thicker pads are not ideal.  In this situation, you will need a thinner pad with a heavier weight.  On the other hand, thicker cushions are suitable for bedrooms and living rooms to make them more comfortable, soundproof and bulkhead.


If you are environmentally conscious, you can consider eco-friendly bearings.  There are several options made from sustainable materials such as recycled plastic bottles.  The advantage of sustainable ingredients is that they minimize waste and reduce allergic reactions.

What is a Steam Barrier?

Spills on the carpet are inevitable.  If you have children or pets, you will probably clean up more spills than you want.  Because the pads are very absorbent, these fluids can seep deep into the fibers of the material.  As a result, the spill can cause damage to the floor.

Fortunately, modern floor pads are equipped with a vapor barrier, which is basically a protective layer that prevents liquid from seeping into the bearing.  Some products offer protection for up to 24 hours so that the liquid doesn’t seep into the pads immediately after you spill the liquid on the carpet.  Still, you should clean up spills as soon as they occur to prevent damage to floors.

Attached Padding

Installing carpet rolls can be a challenge, especially when doing it over a padded layer.  That’s why some rolls come with pre-installed padding which is perfectly designed for the carpet.  This reduces the time it takes to shop for the correct pads and install them before layering your rug on the foundation.

Prime Foam

Prime foam carpet padding is made with virgin polyurethane rather than from recycled materials. This type of foam is similar to the material used in furniture, only it’s more dense. Although it’s denser than other types of foam, it does tend to sink more quickly. Therefore, it’s not suitable for high traffic areas. On the other hand, it has air pockets to allow for a softer step. Furthermore, prime foam is affordable, so padding your entire home before installing carpets won’t break the bank.

Types Of Carpet Padding

However, memory foam padding is the softest material you can get and it’s incredibly durable. This floor cushioning is suitable for areas that have low foot traffic such as bedrooms or dining rooms. Memory foam also comes with a high price tag, so only use it for certain parts of your home such as in the bedroom to save on cash.

Fiber Padding

Fiber padding is typically thinner than other types of cushioning, so it’s suitable for carpet types such as Berber. This type of floor padding isn’t as soft, but it’s incredibly durable, which makes it ideal for commercial use or for areas with high foot traffic.

Rebonded Padding

Rebonded padding is the most popular choice because most of the underlayment products in the United States are rebonded. The reason this type of floor cushioning is so common is that it’s made with 100% recycled materials, making it an eco-friendly product.

This type of underlayment is ideal for commercial and residential areas which makes it versatile. The carpet underlayment will stand up to low or high foot traffic areas and it will protect your carpets from wear and tear.

What Are The Best Carpet Pads To Use?

The best carpet cushion for use in lower-traffic housing is memory foam, also known as foamed foam.  This underfloor is very durable and has a higher density than other types of foam.  When a load is placed on memory foam, it compresses but then returns to its original shape when the load is lifted.

Memory foam is considered the best choice for carpet underlay because of the comfort it provides.  It pairs well with wide floor rugs.  Memory foam has been injected with a comfortable gel.

How Much Does Carpet Padding Cost?

Choosing a pad with the features you want is all well and good, but what about the cost of carpet pads?  Floor pads can be relatively inexpensive, but the cost depends on the quality and brand you choose.  On average you can expect to pay between $ 189 and $ 425 to cover a 9 ‘x9’ room.  Or it will cost you $ 3.75 per square foot including labor.  For rebond underlayments, you can expect to pay between $ 0.39 and $ 0.45 per square foot.

While carpet pads are relatively easy to install on your own, it’s probably best to ask a professional to complete the installation for you.  This will save you a lot of time and ensure your floors are even.  So when you shop for carpet upholstery, also consider the cost of labor, so you can budget accordingly.

You don’t need any special tools to get the job done, so there will be no additional costs for equipment.  If you do need a piece of equipment for laying your carpet over the cushions, you can rent a tool instead of buying one to help save costs.

What Are The Differences Between Types Of Carpet Pads?

The main difference between carpet cushion types is the type of recycled material used to create the underlay.  Another difference is the density of the padding.  If the floor mats are made with high-quality recycled materials, that works even better.

You may spend more money on high-quality cushioning, but at least you know the product will last and will protect your carpet from damage.  In principle, the padding you choose must match the gradation of the carpet you want.  For example, if you’ve purchased a wall-to-wall rug that will last for 12 years, your cushions should last that long too.

Which side of the carpeting faces the floor below?

Your carpet base will have one side that is smoother and shinier than the other.  This is the side of the pad that should be facing up.  The rougher side will be the bottom side of the padding.  The smooth side should face up to allow the carpet to slide easily over the pad.

Also, the shiny side is a moisture barrier which prevents liquid from seeping into the pad.  Therefore, the undercoat will not absorb any liquid that comes into contact with the carpet as a result of the cleaning process or accidental spills.

Your undercoat should have a moisture barrier to prevent mold growth and premature wear.  So make sure when you attach your carpet pad that the smooth, shiny surface is facing upwards.

Is it worth upgrading carpet pads?

Over time, your undercoat may lose elasticity and may stretch.  If you’re not careful, old padding’s moisture barrier can lose its effectiveness, and could lead to water damage or mold growth.

Changing your cushions instead of your rugs is a budget-friendly way to tidy up your floors.  Simply changing the undercoat enhances the look and feel of your carpet.  Undercoats can even further extend the life of the carpet.

The general rule is to replace your carpet pads every five years.  But do some checking first to make sure your undercoat is still in tip-top shape.  If you notice your floors are becoming uneven, and some parts of your floors are tougher than others, it could be a sign of wear and tear.  If this happens then it’s time to change your padding.

Is A Carpet Padded Thickness Good?

An excellent carpet cushion thickness is one-quarter of an inch at six pounds per square foot for residential use.  But this will also depend on the type of carpet you have.  A high-cut stack with lots of texture and twists should have a half-inch pad underneath.  If you choose a low cut rug like the Berber or circle pattern, you should have an undercoat that is ⅜ inch thick or less.

A thick carpet pad is not always the best choice as it can accelerate the wear and tear on your carpets and floors.  Some carpet manufacturers will tell you what thickness your underlay should be for the type of carpet.

How Thick Is The Carpet And Padding Together?

Your carpet and cushion combination will be ⅜ inch thick.  But this depends on the type of carpet and cushion you choose.  If you have a high-cut pile rug that is ¾ inch thick and pads an inch thick, the combined thickness will be one inch.

High density rugs are more durable and if you have proper cushioning underneath at the correct thickness.  In this case, your floor can last up to 15 years.  Having the right combination of carpet thickness and cushioning reduces wear and is suitable for residential and commercial areas with high foot traffic.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know more about carpet pads, what type of material will you choose for your carpet?  As mentioned earlier, rebond underlayment is the most popular choice due to its excellent durability and sustainability.  You should choose a rebond undercoat if you suffer from allergies as these pads are made with hypoallergenic synthetic materials.

Rebond pads are available in various densities and thicknesses for you to choose from, so you can use them for all types of carpets.  This subcoat is suitable for both commercial and residential use due to its durability.

If you want more comfort and a choice of a softer floor, memory foam will be ideal for you.  However, this type of undercoat is not as durable as other options, and is only suitable for areas that are not crowded with people, such as bedrooms.

Have you installed carpet pads at home recently?  What product do you use, and how easy is it to install?  Let us know by leaving a comment below.  We’re always looking forward to reading additional comments and suggestions from our readers.

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