Types of Carpet Pads

foam carpet pad

A carpet is an expensive investment in a home. Unfortunately, it does not last a lifetime. What you can do is prolong the duration it remains functional. And one way of doing that is investing in carpet padding.

The padding acts as a cushion that absorbs the impact of foot traffic. Also, it protects the underside of the carpet from friction with the floor, acts as a sound and heat insulator, and improves the feel of the carpet.


Most carpet manufacturers provide specifications for the type of padding needed for their carpets. The thickness and density of the padding determine the quality. For most residential applications, a carpet pad with 7/16” thickness and 6 pounds per cubic feet density is required.

Note that the area of application can be used to determine the quality of padding needed. Areas with moderate or low traffic such as bedrooms and lounges require thick and soft padding. High traffic areas require thin and firm padding.

Choosing the wrong padding may cause wrinkling and buckling, the breakdown of the carpet structure, degradation of the fibers, and eventually the carpet appearance will be negatively affected. Also, choosing the wrong padding might void the warranty.


Urethane Foam, commonly referred to as foam padding, is probably the cheapest carpet padding in the market. It is of low density and thickness. You might need to replace it after a year or two as it will be so flat that you will not realize there is padding under the carpet. We strongly advise against it in a residential setting.


Also known as rebond padding, bonded urethane foam is the most common choice for homeowners as it affordable. This multicolored foam is made from recycled materials, mostly recycled urethane. It is firm enough to cushion carpet in residential spaces.


Prime urethane foam is also called virgin urethane. It is made from a dense form of urethane called polyurethane. As it is dense, it is a good choice for a home. Primarily, it is made for commercial settings. But in the recent past, homeowners are purchasing it.

It is costlier than rebond padding.


Ideally, carpet padding should be more than 7/16” in thickness. Since waffle rubber padding has a thickness of ½” it is a good choice for homes. Its comfortable fell comes from the air trapped inside. Unfortunately, the air makes it less durable.


If you decide to go with rubber padding, flat rubber is an excellent choice. You will not only enjoy its feel but rip the benefits of its durability. It is probably the only padding that can last longer than the carpet. You might not have to replace it when reinstalling your carpet.

This type of padding is rare and expensive.


Manufacturers came up with this kind of padding to satisfy the portion of the market that is concerned with environmental friendliness. Some of them are made of natural fiber such as jute, animal fur and felt. Most are made of synthetic fibers such as polypropylene, nylon, and polyester.

Very few manufacturers, if any, will recommend this type of carpet padding.

For the highest quality of carpet, combine a good carpet pad with routine professional cleaning each year. An annual carpet cleaning appointment from Lloyd’s Chem-Dry in Aurora helps remove embedded dirt and germs that lead to carpet wear.

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