Choosing correct carpet pad

Discussion in 'Carpet Q&A' started by Chem103, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Chem103

    Chem103 Active Member

    I keep finding information that says 1/2 inch pad is too high and that you should never use over 7/16. My dealer says he only offers one kind of pad and that is Spillguard 1/2 inch 8 lb pad. Should I insist he get me a different pad or will 1/2 inch be OK? The carpet is from Tuftex and is a stainmaster active family carpet made of Luxerell BCF nylon. It is a textured style, not Berber. Pile height is .63.
  2. JonH

    JonH TFP Sponsor

    I don't think half inch is a killer for your carpet, 8lb is pretty dence so I wouldn't worry too much. If it was less dence I would say no.
  3. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    I don't know any dealers that carry only one carpet cushion. I was a small town retailer and even I carried more than one pad in stock and ordering any other pad was not a big deal, if the customer paid the price.

    The recommended industry standard for residential carpet is no thicker than 7/16". But cushion manufacturer's don't really care about that, they care about selling large quantities of pad. And the retailers spend too little time learning about floor coverings and too much time counting pennies. A distributor will offer them a great deal on a pad so they can maximize their profit. They believe that most consumers don't know or don't care what the standards are. They think the consumer is sold on more is better.

    But even here at TFP, there are pros who don't know what the big deal is, we are only talking a sixteenth of an inch. And it might even be justified because the pad is 8# density. Maybe they are right and I am just too picky. I did have a variety of cushions to choose from, but none thicker than 7/16". Plenty of my competition carried half-inch and sold a lot of it.

    I continue to wonder why my industry can't all get on the same page. Create a standard, stick to it. Spend a few more dollars educating. Or maybe they see wrinkled carpet, split seams and other pad related problems as job security and are able to convince the consumer that it's their fault, not the pad.

  4. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Todays carpet is basically a piece of plastic. This plastic with fuzz on it does not like give and take so consequently it bubbles up from the give, hence thicker the pad more give. Also tackstrip is only 1/4 inch thick so that means the carpet has to dip down at the strip line to remained hooked.
    To me 1/2 is to thick. 3/8 is even better, less problems with restretching. My findings after 51 years of installing. I'm old and the feet don't raise off the floor that high anymore.


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  5. Chem103

    Chem103 Active Member

    Does it make a difference that is does not have a traditional backing? This carpet has a "Softbac" backing. Feels much "slicker" on the back, sort of felt-like. Supposed to be easier on the walls, etc. One dealer told me it was "harder to install" so installation would be more. My dealer did not mention that.
  6. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    If it was installed to manufacturers specs the tackstrip should be doubled or tritack used. The fleece doesn't want to grab as easy and stay hooked. The reason for more pins in the tackless. That in itself would be cause for more on installation. But if like most installers they aren't going to go the second row of strip or the tritack due to pricing. Most don't get anymore for it. The softbac was invented to keep paint scratches to a minimum and Shaw found out that it made their carpet more stable so installation wauranties got longer "If installed to manufactures recommendations." If not it is back to the old game of trying to get them to back the product.


  7. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Years ago we dealt with thicker pads and installing it we would cut it back from the tackstrip and staple it more on the edge to hold it down.
  8. Roland Thompson

    Roland Thompson Charter Member Senior Member

    When I started we had cushion over an inch thick. CRI and the cushion council do state 7/16 and 3/8. But they also say follow manufacturer guidelines. Most manufacturers I deal with say 7/16 is what they like but will not loose warranty until you go over 1/2 inch. I never have had a claim denied because pad was 1/2 inch thick. Would I be worried to use 1/2 inch? No not if it is a 8 to 10 lb
  9. Chem103

    Chem103 Active Member

    I just talked to the Shaw people and the response was, " You can use any pad as long as it is a FHA approved pad. " If I am reading it correctly, an FHA approved pad for residential for a bonded pad is .375 thickness and 5 lbs minimum, so 1/2 inch and 8 lb should work. Thanks to everyone for great advice. Found this forum just in time!
  10. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I like 7/16" max, and then best quality dumped into that size. 3/8" for Berber. Then you get everyone else with their personal preferences, how many times has an installer been asked can you double up on the pad?

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