The Importance of Carpet Cushion
Wow – you are getting new carpet installed – that’s exciting. You have done your research online, talked to your friends who have recently bought carpet, shopped and selected. Your new carpet is going to be gorgeous and there’s nothing left to do but wait for the installers, right?
Actually, there’s something else we at the Carpet and Rug Institute would like you to consider; the cushion. Carpet cushion – also called padding or underlayment. The stuff you see on the day of installation and never look at again until that distant future day when you redecorate once more.
It is easy to overlook the importance of carpet cushion.
BUT – a lot of what we love about carpet – cushy softness, improved acoustics, increased insulating properties and more – is enhanced by the right cushion. Or lessened by the wrong cushion choice.
When you shopped for carpet, did your retailer offer you an “installed” price – the cost per square foot to get the carpet from the store to down on your floor? Many retailers do, and it’s usually a good deal. But remember, the cushion is included in that cost, and before you say yes to the package deal, why not ask a few questions about what cushion is included? Do you like a soft or a firmer feel underfoot? Do you have pets? If so, you might want a moisture-resistant or odor neutralizing cushion. Or one made with a percentage of recycled content – there are products on the market with a small amount all the way up to 100 percent recycled content. It may be worth a little extra per square foot to get the product that’s best for you.
One of the most important considerations when you shop for cushion is to look for The Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label or Green Label Plus certification on the cushion product. Both the original Green Label and more comprehensive Green Label Plus Indoor Air Quality testing programs identify products with low emissions of volatile organic compounds. The green and white Green Label or Green Label Plus emblem on a carpet cushion display means you are choosing a product with the lowest VOC emissions on the market.
Here’s more information from the Carpet Cushion Council about the importance of installing the correct carpet cushion:
- Adds to the useful life of a carpet
- Makes a carpet feel richer and more luxurious
- Significantly improves carpet’s acoustical properties
- Improves the thermal insulation properties of the carpet
- Reduces the impact exerted on carpet by 50 percent
- Maintenance costs are often lower during a carpet’s life when it has cushion underneath
Using the correct cushion offers many benefits, but, according to Aqualux Carpet Cleaning , not using the correct cushion or not using cushion at all can:
- Cause the carpet to wrinkle and buckle
- Trigger the carpet to separate from the backing (delaminate) or pull apart at the seams
- Break down the carpet or become worn out before its useful life
- Invalidate the warranty
There’s a lot to think about when you are selecting new carpet, but once you have just the right color, texture or pattern picked out, spend a few minutes thinking about pad – chances are, you will be glad you did.