Cushion & Carpet Go Hand-In-Hand
The cushion is an unseen, but essential part of your carpet system experience. It’s well worth the time to ensure you’re picking the right one. A firm and resilient carpet cushion forms the foundation for your carpet. The right cushion acts as a shock absorber to increase comfort and extend durability. It also helps buffer sound and provides increased insulation, making a room quieter and warmer.
When selecting cushion, check the carpet manufacturer’s requirements for thickness and density. A general rule of thumb for most residential carpet applications is to choose cushion no more than 7/16 inch thick and no less than 1/4 inch with 6 pounds per cubic feet density. If the carpet is a berber or a low profile carpet, choose a cushion no more than 3/8 inch thick with 8 pounds density.
The type and thickness of cushion you need varies based on traffic levels and patterns. For example, bedrooms, dens, lounge areas and other rooms with light or moderate traffic can use thicker and softer cushion. Living rooms, family rooms, hallways, stairs and other heavy traffic areas require thinner, firmer cushion.
The wrong carpet cushion can negatively affect the carpet in several ways including: diminished appearance, wrinkling and buckling, separation of the carpet seams and breakdown of the carpet structure itself. Improper cushion selection also may void any applicable carpet manufacturer’s warranties.
A Quick Guide
Residential cut pile, cut- loop, or high-level loop carpet requires a resilient, firm cushion with a thickness of 7/16 inch and no less than 1/4 inch with 6 pounds per cubic feet density. Types of cushion may be various polyurethane foams, including the very common bonded foam product often referred to as “rebond,” fiber, or rubber.
Berber carpet or thinner loop or cut pile carpet is made with large, wide loops, and it has been found that a stable, low-flexing, cushion foundation is necessary. A thicker, softer cushion is not acceptable. Cushion thickness should not exceed 3/8 inch for these type products. Again, check with the carpet manufacturer to see if a specific cushion is required.