Carpet Underlay

Why You Need To Use Carpet Padding

You've found the perfect carpet and you are thinking about keeping your cost down by using either the old carpet underlay or padding or non at all. Stop! You'll regret this decision very quickly. There are good reasons why you need to use carpet underlay or padding!

Reconsider Using your Old Carpet Underlay or Padding

Using your old carpet underlay or padding isn't a wise decision either because it will have broken down with age, in fact when you lift the carpet you may find it is actually crumbling. Most times it will have little or no actual underlay or padding left to it.

The one you'll notice the most is the comfort when you walk on the carpet. Just by walking on the carpet you create a hundred pounds of pressure per square inch on the carpet.

New carpet underlay or padding will benefit you in many ways

The underlay or carpet padding will cushion and help to reduce the pressure on the carpet. The decrease in pressure will help make the carpet feel better, thicker and softer as well as more spring. Think of walking on carpet that has been attached to concrete and then walking on home carpeting. There's quite a difference in comfort!

The under lay combined with the carpet will also act as a sound buffer making the room quieter and also warmer by holding the heat much better.

The carpeting pad also help keep your carpets cleaner. The dirt that find its way into your carpet will work its way down to the fibers and act like sand paper on the floor and carpet and shorten its life. The higher the density of the under pad or padding the more you will extend the life of the carpet because it raises the carpet off the floor.

This also provides an air space between the sub floor and the carpet which allows the carpet to breath. The air space also makes for much deeper vacuuming. When you vacuum the carpet the air space allows more air to be pulled up through the carpet carrying more dust and dirt along with it. The result is more effective each time you vacuum the carpets. This deeper cleaning leaves less dirt behind to cause abrasion and wear out your carpet so the carpet will last longer with carpet padding.

Good Carpet Underlay or Padding will help reduce Pile crushing

Pile crushing will cause the carpet to look ugly and to start to sag or stretch. Pile crushing is caused when the crushed carpet is walked on all the time and in the same spot or area. So lets say from the kitchen to the sofa is a high traffic area. This is where you will see pile crushing. Hallways are another good example of were crushed pile will show up.

A good carpet padding or under lay will help decrease the amount of pile crushing by allowing the carpet to maintain its pile height so it will stay looking newer longer. It has been proven that under lay will increase the useful life of a carpet by as much as 50%.

Most of the manufactures will not void their warranty on the carpet if there is no under lay. You will also find that most carpet manufacturers require the right under lay or pad to honor their warranty. And most installers will not install unless you agree to have the correct type of carpet padding installed.

Three basic forms of Carpet Underlay or Padding

The carpet pad or under lay is available in three basic forms, rubber, foam and fiber. Each type of under lay comes in several varieties and constructions. The different types and thicknesses will be needed depending on the room the carpet will be going in. Traffic patterns will also determine the type of underlay you will need.

The bedroom and areas with light traffic will need will be fine with a thinner pad. But the living room and halls and stairs will require a thicker and firmer pad.

The foam carpet cushions or under pads are made from prime polyurethane foam. This is a firmer version of the same foam that is used in mattresses and auto seats. The ingredients are combined to produce a large mass of foam and then is sliced into slabs of foam sheets for under lay.

The bonded polyurethane foam is easy to recognize as it takes shredded pieces of foam in different sizes and colors and is made in to one piece. Its advantage is it is easy to install and has an improved performance. The bonded foam is made from recycled materials from all over the world . It is one of the most amazing recycling products of today. These materials would have normally gone in to the land fills.

The froth polyurethane foam is made with the carpet. Liquid ingredients are applied on to the backs of the carpet. The foam is thin and dense and can be found on the back of commercial carpets You can get home carpets with the foam attached to the back. Draw backs are as the carpet gets older the foam breaks down in to a powder.

Waffled rubber is molded natural or synthetic rubber and heat is used to cure it which forms the waffle pattern. It produces soft resilient cushioning which has a luxurious feel to it.

The flat sponge rubber is a denser carpet cushion which has a flat surface and is used more in large scale commercial applications usually used in Berber carpet.

Fiber carpet underlay is uses existing fibers of virgin and recycled man made or natural fibers which are woven into a sheet of felt. The natural felt is made from animal hair and jute. This is the oldest kind of under lay.

The synthetic fibers include nylon, polyester, polypropylene, and other acrylics. These are needle punched into relative dense cushions which have a firm feel. They can be made to be any weight and be made to stand up to any traffic flow.

With Berber carpet gaining in popularity be sure that the under pad you choose is rated to be used with Berber carpet because not all carpet padding is suitable for this Berber carpet.

So did you still want to save money by not installing carpet padding? I thought you'd change your mind!

About The Author

John Murray makes it easy to go through the carpet buying process and provides tips to keep your carpet lasting long. To learn more and receive your free mini-course visit:

"I just purchased a piece of felt padding for an area rug. One side has a smoother surface and the other is fuzzy. Which side do I put toward the floor?"


"This info is great, I didn't have a clue if or why I needed underlay, but I do now. Many thanks"


"Informative. A felt pad has a coating on one side. Does that side go toward the floor or toward the carpet?"


"I appreciate the information"

New to carpet