Replacing Your Carpet? Don’t Forget the Carpet Pad

Carpet PadsA client is having new carpet installed in the living room, and was told by the salesperson that the pad — which is 10 years old — needs to be replaced. The client questioned whether that’s really necessary.

If you’re replacing your carpet, here’s my advice.

You should absolutely replace the pad. Once the old carpet is taken out, you’ll be amazed how much dirt is under there.

In many cases, the gray grit will cover the entire floor, hiding the wood completely. Even if you vacuum regularly — let’s say once a week — sand from shoes as well as dust and lint from the air goes right through the carpet and the pad and ends up all the way under the pad.

Even if you have no animals, the pad has to be replaced.

Another reason for installing new pad is that pads, especially foam ones, pack down over time and no longer provide good support for the carpet.

You should avoid rebond pads. They are made from scraps of foam left over from the auto or furniture industry. Varying densities of foam pieces are shredded, then joined together by an adhesive — much like particle-board is made from wood scraps.

The best pad to use is one popularly known as synthetic hair pad. It is a dense, felted slab, frequently gray in color, and available in 40-ounce weight (about 7/16-inch thick) or thinner. It gives firm support.

A carpet installation should never feel as if you’re walking on a mattress.