Looking for pad recommendations for Fabrica carpet

Discussion in 'Carpet Q&A' started by LaJuana, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I don't know about the measuring system for cushion. It seems antiquated. What I was told back in the day is that one cubic yard was how they labeled the pad, so the more dense the pad the higher the number. With all the different types now, I don't think the weight is equal.

    The memory foam seems like a good concept, though I think the price is high for something swept under the rug. To me the pad is just a filler, I don't care about soft, but others do. I want hard,durable tile throughout my home, the wife thinks differently.

    Part of it is psychological which is fine, peace of mind, enjoyment etc.

    So the cushion should be part of the system, say if the backing is economy grade, then a better,firmer pad may help to reduce wrinkling.

    It's also a thought, the feel you want, when it works you don't consciously think about it anymore, maybe just a random thought of your happiness with it or a regret of it.

    I like my Tempurpedic bed, but I hope there's no "Cushion Number" product in the future to adjust the firmness of the carpet cushion to ones liking.
  2. LaJuana

    LaJuana Member

    Answer from the Carpet Cushion Council about pad under my Fabrica carpet

    I received an answer today from the Carpet Cushion Council that seems to affirm things said here. I'm posting it, as requested.

    "Thank you for your inquiry regarding carpet cushion for a residential setting. First let me thank you for pointing out the sentence which was truncated in our brochure. I have attached a corrected copy which includes the last part of the sentence you asked about.

    With regard to carpet cushion to be used with a high-quality carpet, there is no single recommendation we can offer. Much of the time the decision comes down to quality, comfort and cost. Having said that I wanted to first point out that you should use a high density cushion product for the heavy traffic areas, such as the stairways and hallways. The most popular cushion types sold are bonded urethane, typically referred to as rebond. If that product is used in conjunction with a high-quality carpet we would normally suggest at least 8 lb. density for the bedrooms and possibly 10 lb. cushion for the heavy traffic areas. Obviously you could use 10 lb. throughout as well if the budget allows. This would provide good comfort and durability.

    Some prime products are also very durable and definitely offer a comfortable feel. Again it comes down to cost, comfort and quality.

    Be sure to check the warranty for any products you purchase. Some manufacturers offer a life of the home warranty.

    Best regards,

    Bob Clark
    Executive Director
    Carpet Cushion Council

    By "prime products," I think he is referring to what the CCC brochure, "The Supporting Facts about Carpet Cushion," calls "prime urethane foam," which I am quoting here:

    "Prime Urethane Foam. There are three types of prime urethane carpet cushion: conventional prime, grafted prime and densified prime cushion. Conventional prime and grafted prime urethane cushion are manufactured by a chemical mixing reaction process. There are many types of prime urethane available today with a variety of density and firmness. The best products are those which combine the right balance of properties for comfort and durability.

    In densified prime, the chemical structure is modified during the manufacturing process to produce a product with specific performance characteristics. Grades of densified prime urethane are determined by the foam density, or weight of the material per cubic foot."

    This may be the kind of pad my local shop wants to use, so I'm going to ask for more details. Again, I am grateful for the help you've given. I had never even heard of the Carpet Cushion Council, of course!

  3. LaJuana

    LaJuana Member

    Napa DuraPlush urethane?

    I found out today that the pad that my local store would like to use is a Napa DuraPlush urethane foam. No one seems to be able to tell me anything about the density of this product.

    Does anyone here have experience with this pad or can you point me to resources that would give me more information about it? If you have used it, is it dense enough to enhance the longevity of this 100 oz. Fabrica carpet?

    Thank you again for your help.

  4. LaJuana

    LaJuana Member


    Are you familiar with Leggett and Pratt Napa Duraplush? Any idea about the density of this product?

  5. JPfloor

    JPfloor Pro Member

    Don't feel bad. I've been in the flooring business for over 40 years and this is the first time I ever heard of the "Carpet Cushion Council"...:eek:

    Leggett and Pratt's Duraplush is a quality product. You'll be fine.
  6. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Interesting about the different types of Urethane, it has so many uses. I didn't know the types of urethane, thanks for the investigative reporting.

    I will assume this better urethane does not flatten out like the prime urethane that was put in mobile homes. I did like handling it, light as a feather. So if the densified prime stays resilient and maintains its size it will have a bit of a "bounce" feel unlike the fiber pad which provides the support for the carpet but has a firm feel.
  7. kwfloors

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

    That pad reminds me of some like it we had a few years ago and I thought it wasn't that good. Too soft. I just did a short Fabrica piece today and the paper work with the roll said to us Affirm pad that has a 9lb rating. One thing about Fabrica, they cover their back side if anything is wrong with their carpet, its the way it is. We used Karastan pad. On their site they say it is frothed urethane.

    Karastan - Karastan Cushions - Fine Carpets and Rugs - Since 1928
  8. LaJuana

    LaJuana Member

    The pad seemed too soft to me, too.

    No matter where I look, I can't find any density rating for that pad. I think I'm going to have to insist my local shop get me something more dense.
  9. LaJuana

    LaJuana Member

    "Charity" rebond (Shaw?) or "Healthier Choice" urethane?

    Or Karastan Perfection?

    Which would be better under the 100 oz. Fabrica carpet?

    Still trying to decide... :confused:
  10. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    I've heard two common ways of rating pad.
    1. The weight of the pad per sq yd.
    2. The amount of weight under foot fall that it takes to bottom out the pad.

    I am personally a bit skeptical of these new foam pads due to the reputation that old foam pads have given to their kind. Rebond, felt and rubber have been around for a long time and that means something to me. I can't say the new urethane/ foam pads wont perform but in my mind if it ain't broke don't F with it. Get a quality felt/ synthetic or slab rubber pad. You can't go wrong with a proven performer. The whole moisture barrier thing is just a sham to get a few more bucks out of your pocket. I can get a quality slab rubber or felt pad for my customers cheaper than the box stores sell their new miracle pad for.

    It's up to you but if you've pondered it this far, get a proven performer to go with your quality carpet as opposed to the latest greatest thing.
  11. LaJuana

    LaJuana Member

    I like the way you think. Proven performance. Tending toward using the rubber pad throughout, or at the least on the stairs. I tested several pads under the foot today in the store, and I really like that firmer feel rather than the sinking of the foot. The urethane felt way too soft to me.

    Tomorrow is decision time for me. Thanks so much for weighing in.

  12. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    You will want felt pad on the stairs no matter what you pick. Rubber pad will break down on the nosing and that wear will then transfer to your carpet. For the flat lay areas I believe you will be very pleased with a slab rubber floor. I prefer a flat slab rubber over a waffle pad. Have the installer staple the pad around the perimeter and use tape on the pad seams. Duct tape works best.

    This was the standard way of doing it years ago when someone actually put some thought into your job.
  13. JPfloor

    JPfloor Pro Member

    If that's the way your tastes are leaning, and I wholeheartedly agree, I would simply go with 32oz. felt padding throughout....

    No other pad will outlast it, or in my opinion feel better.... Firmer is better...:)
  14. LaJuana

    LaJuana Member

    Wrapping the stair bullnose...

    So, the installers are at work today and tomorrow, and they say they have never heard of wrapping the bullnose of the stair with pad. I am using the felt pad on the stairs, and requested them to wrap the bullnose, as you suggested. Now they are saying that they can't get the carpet as tight around the stair if they wrap the bullnose with the pad first. That makes some sense. It seems it would take a bit more muscling things to wrap it tightly around the pad (3/8" felt). In fact, they are saying they won't warrant the installation if they put the pad over the bullnose.

    What advice would you give me about this?

    Thanks again for your help. It's been invaluable!
  15. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Installers like that just PISS me off. The nose of a step gets more abrasive and damaging traffic than any other part of the floor covering. It NEEDS to be protected and the best way to do that is with the proper cushion, properly installed. If your installers can't do that, then find a different installer.

    I'm not sure if your stairs are going to be in the waterfall method, or the upholstered (some call it hollywood style or some other nick-name) method. Either way, attaching the pad is not rocket science. The photos below were from jobs I did more than a decade ago. I liked protecting the nose of pad from premature wear because a lot of the carpets at that time had very abrasive backings. I used duct tape. But it also worked well to attach the pad to stair nosings in those cases where staples into the nose might make dimples that showed through on very thin carpets. Good duct tape is very sticky, so it bonded well to the pad and to the underside of the nosing. In cases where the tape came loose (you can see it happening in one of the photos), a staple or even common thumb tack will hold it in place until the carpet is installed.

    This idea that carpet can't be stretched tight over the nose if it has pad on it is total BS! Pad is resilient - it wants to be UNcompressed, so the force that makes it return to its natural thickness also applies a tiny amount of pressure on the carpet, making it a little tighter.

    Your installers appear to be beginners. Call the store and ask - né, DEMAND - that they send you experienced, qualified carpet installers.

    Attached Files:

  16. LaJuana

    LaJuana Member


    I'm trying to upload pictures of what they did on my stairs. I told them to hold off until tomorrow to complete the installation. Should I be concerned that the pad doesn't even come to the nose of the stair? It doesn't seem right to me.

    I'm really thinking that I need to ask them to redo so that they are wrapping the bullnose at least part of the way down. Is this a debatable practice, or do I really have amateurs installing this carpet I've looked forward to for so long?

    Attached Files:

  17. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    I wouldn't accept that at my house or on any of my jobs.

    Debatable? Sure, everything's debatable. We even have installers here who say they have never had a problem with what you have and they do it that way all the time. I hope they are far and few between though. I'm not the boss a them and I'm not the authority on carpet installations on steps. But I did it for 35 years in a small town where one mistake is something you would hear about next week as you are standing in the grocery checkout line. And if you live here for as long as I have, you will hear about your failures even if it takes 30 years.

    The Carpet and Rug Institute, the Carpet Cushion Council and just about every carpet oriented organization on the planet says stretch-in carpet needs pad under it wherever it gets walked on. In my mind, they mean even the nose of steps. If an installer thinks differently, in my opinion, they are wrong. Doing it like they did in your photos is a shortcut and a path to failure.

    Maybe that's just me.
  18. kwfloors

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

    Make them put a new piece of pad on there that goes fully across the whole nose of the steps. This is the only pic I could find that shows pad stringer to stringer over the nose.

    Attached Files:

  19. Daris Mulkin

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

    Over the nose is the only way to go. That protects the carpet and it won't show wear near as fast. The installers don't even have it cut straight at the nose which will eventually show in a very short time. Wear will also show very shortly as the nose of the step is where all the traffic is. Very seldom does anyone step onto the step it self. Most is at the very front-the nose. If they refuse to do it tell them to take a hike, you want what you paid for, a job installed correctly. It's your money that you worked hard for.


  20. LaJuana

    LaJuana Member

    Thank you!

    I'm going to insist they wrap the stair noses. I had already let the owner of the shop know that I wanted this done, but I was thrown for a loop when the installers insisted they had never seen them wrapped.

    This is a small town, and I really appreciate working with my local shop owner and his staff, but I haven't had much experience with the carpet installers they use. I think I will tell the installers that I'm just really particular about things like this and won't be happy unless the stairs are wrapped. I hope they do a good job on them.

    Thank you again for being there to help me out. You have all been unbelievably generous. I hope others benefit from this thread, too.

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