You’ve chosen some beautiful carpet. It matches your style, and you can't wait to have it installed. But, there’s something else you should consider before having your carpet installed—carpet underlay. What is carpet underlay; why is it beneficial; and what options are there in carpet underlay?
What is carpet underlay? Carpet underlay is commonly known as carpet pad and is a thin layer of cushion that’s applied to the subfloor before the carpet is installed. There are three standard types of carpet pad: felt, rubber, and foam. Felt is the thinnest and least expensive of the three. It’s made of wool and other fabrics. Rubber is more expensive, and due to its cross hatched design, it’s springy and breathable. Foam used to be a cheaper alternative to rubber, but due to the major improvements that have been made to foam, the prices can be comparable to that of rubber.
What does carpet pad do? Carpet pad adds extra cushion so your carpet will be soft underfoot. Carpet pad will help to cancel out noise so you don't have to hear every footstep. It also helps protect from moisture and mildew. Carpet pad also saves you money on heating and cooling by insulating your floors. Carpet pad can extend the life of your floor because it keeps your carpet from being ground down by the hard sub floor.
Now that you know some of the benefits of carpet pad, what traits should you look for in your pad to get the best results? Thickness and density are what makes for a more effective carpet pad. Thinner products like felt may be less expensive but will not give you the best results. The most commonly used carpet pad now is foam because it is much more effective than felt but generally not as expensive as rubber. Remember when choosing your carpet underlay that it will perform better if it is at least six to eight pounds’ density.
When it comes to deciding on thickness, it’s usually better to go with a thicker pad, but remember that your carpet brand may have certain pad requirements. In addition, if you have heated floors, you should let your carpet pad supplier know.
Always take the needs of your home into consideration when picking the right carpet pad. If you want your carpet to be more comfortable, last longer, and save you money, you should definitely have carpet underlay.