If I had it asked it once, I’ve had it asked a thousand times… “Is carpet padding more important that the carpet I buy?”. I will attempt to answer that question for you today but first let’s start by giving you a little background information on carpet padding sometimes referred to as carpet cushion.
In the early twentieth century the more well to do families often delighted themselves in fancy rugs that were used to decorate their homes and businesses. So after it was discovered that if a cushion was place underneath the rug it made it a lot nicer to walk on and not as hard on the knees, rug cushion demand grew. Because of the perceived benefits of rug cushions their popularity grew. The first cushions were made from camels hair but as carpet became more popular padding became more popular and the demand outgrew the supply of camel hair.
As the popularity of carpet grew through the 1930s – 1950s so did the need for carpet padding. But materials other than animal hair was going to have to be used. Thus rebond, blown foam and felt like fabric was eventually created to be used by the carpet industry to go underneath rugs, area rugs and wall to wall carpet.
Although carpet pads were initially designed to make walking on rugs more comfortable it proved to have other benefits including but not limited to comfort, energy absorption, sound absorption and raising the r-value of a room.
Today the most popular carpet padding used is called rebond which is a collection of spongy like material that is glued together. In addition to rebond there is a felt like material that usually is installed under commercial and berber carpet. Third, is blown rubber padding, which is a heavier padding that is more expensive and typically extends the life of a carpet.
Now to the question of whether or not carpet padding is more important than the carpet you purchase. The answer is no. However padding is important because it helps to retain your carpet’s texture and appearance. If the padding is too soft or of poor quality it will adversely affect the performance of the carpet. Not having the proper padding can also void the carpet manufactures warranty.
Let me close with this… a great padding with a low quality carpet is just that but if you want quality then you want to buy a quality padding with a quality carpet.