Why is carpet cushion so important to your carpet?
To understand the importance of pad to the life of your carpet, it is probably easiest to first understand a little about your carpet. That beautiful and luxurious piece of wonderfulness that you are considering for your floor, well that first started out as a piece of thin backing, some glue to hold it together, and a bunch of fibers woven into it. It is a lot more technical than that, but you get the idea.
There is nothing on the back of your carpet to absorb foot traffic. No tiny little built-in shock absorbers are in the backing of your carpet. The backing, rests directly on top of your subfloor. Whether your subfloor is wood or concrete, it is still hard.
Think of your beautiful soft carpet directly on top of the subfloor without a cushion to support it. Yikes!
Have you ever walked on concrete for a little while, woke up the next day and found your feet and legs aching? Same principal. Your carpet needs the foundational support of a good carpet cushion to stay looking new and last.
Think of it like this. In between the joints in our body, there is a rubbery substance that fits in the gap and keeps one bone from rubbing against the other. As we age this wears out. Inferior cushion in the joints leads to excessive wear, not to mention a lot of pain.
This is obviously an oversimplification, but like your body, your carpet needs something to protect it from the hardness of the subfloor underneath and the foot traffic on top.
This is why selecting the right carpet cushion is so important. The backing of the carpet depends upon the ability of the pad as a support system. Without the right foundational support beneath, the backing will break down, and the aging process of the carpet is accelerated.
So now that we understand why we need it, there are so many to choose from, which one do I select?
A lot of peoples first thought would be to pick out the thickest cushiest one so that your carpet feels like walking on a cloud. This may give you happy feet in the morning, but what will it do to preserve, or even extend the life of your carpet?
The thickest spongiest pad is not the best option. In fact, most manufacturers will not warranty your carpet if you use over a 7/16th inch pad. This is why those “free padding deals” are risky. It could void your warranty if they are giving you pad that is inferior to what the manufacturer recommends.
Free today, but how much will it cost you in the long run? Is the few hundred dollars you will save on padding worth shortening the life expectancy of the carpet you just spent thousands on?
Making sure you have the best carpet cushion is paramount to the longevity of your new carpet. Do not be shy about asking your flooring expert what carpet cushion they recommend and why? Most stores are reputable and are prepared to answer your questions with a good recommendation. Just beware to look out for the so-called “great deals”. Go with the old saying “ If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.”