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What is a Good Carpet Padding Thickness?

Of all the different flooring materials, carpet is by far the most popular. Carpet is available in a wide assortment of styles, colors, and textures, provides cushioning, adds warmth, has insulating qualities, and can even cancel out noises. Plus, carpet feels great under your feet. There really is nothing better than sinking your feet into a brand-new carpet. Equally as important as the carpet you choose, however, is the carpet padding thickness. What carpet padding thickness is best though? Keep reading to learn more!

What is a Good Carpet Padding Thickness?

If you’re shopping for new carpeting, the carpet itself isn’t the only factor that you’re going to want to consider; just as important is the padding that goes underneath it. Padding provides an additional layer of cushioning and even more insulation and noise-cancelation qualities. When installed properly, padding can also help to prevent new carpets from buckling and wrinkling.

Because it plays such an important role in your flooring – and the overall comfort of your home – it’s essential to choose the right carpet padding. When selecting carpet padding, you’re going to want to consider the density and thickness of the material. Why does the right thickness matter? How thick should it be?

Why Does the Thickness of Carpet Padding Matter?

First, let’s discuss why carpet padding is important. Durable, well-made, and properly installed carpet padding serves as the foundation of your carpet. As pointed out above, carpet padding also provides a layer of cushioning that absorbs the shock of your steps, reducing fatigue and pain in your feet and legs.

Additionally, carpet padding acts as insulation, both in terms of temperature and sound, so it can help to make your home a more pleasant space.

When properly installed, carpet padding can help to prevent new carpeting from buckling and wrinkling. This, in turn, will maintain the quality and aesthetic appeal of your carpet and will help to extend its life expectancy.

Types of Carpet Padding

There are several types of carpet padding available, but generally speaking, it falls into two main categories: foam and fiber. Both carpet padding options can be comprised of more material and therefore, it’s denser, or it can contain more air, and thus it will be lighter. Denser carpet padding tends to be more supportive while lighter padding is softer.

Most of the carpet padding on the market today is made of recycled materials. There’s also prime carpet padding, which is a new type of foam material that is fully recyclable. Memory foam carpet padding is hailed for its super-softness and the comfort it provides. Memory foam carpet padding is best suited for low-traffic areas, however, as it doesn’t stand up well under a lot of weight.

Carpet padding can also be made of nylon, felt, and polyester. However, these materials are less commonly used. Padding that is made of these materials usually doesn’t offer that springy feeling, and it isn’t as soft underfoot. As such, these types of paddings tend to be better for commercial spaces.

What is the Ideal Carpet Padding Thickness?

When shopping for carpet padding, the thickness of the material is definitely a key factor that you’re going to want to consider. The thickness of the padding will have a direct impact on the comfort level it offers, as well as its insulating qualities – both in terms of temperature and noise.

As a general rule of thumb, most carpet installers recommend using carpet padding for residential spaces that are:

  • No more than 7/16 of an inch thick
  • No less than ¼-inch thick

The majority of carpet manufacturers recommend using 8-pound padding that is no more than 3/8 inches thick.

Considerations for Choosing the Best Carpet Padding Thickness

Another factor to consider when trying to determine what thickness you should choose for your carpet padding is the level of traffic that the carpeting will be exposed to. Thickness requirements do change depending on the way the carpet will be used.

For instance, in spaces that receive light to medium traffic – bedrooms, for example – thicker padding that has a softer feel underfoot may work well. On the other hand, areas that receive a lot of traffic – hallways and living rooms, for instance – would do better with thinner, yet firmer padding.

Talk to one of our carpet specialists today for a better idea about the ideal thickness level for your needs and get product recommendations.

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