The Difference Between Basic & Premium Carpet Pads

Nick Cinquepalmi owns and operates Landmark Flooring located at 9501 W. 171st in Tinley Park 708-349-0011


Initial Decisions

  • In some ways, a carpet  is only as good as the pad beneath it. A good, 20-year pad takes a ton of  beating behind the scenes; it's the real reason you don't see the traffic  pattern when walking down a busy hallway in the home. On the other hand, it  doesn't make a lot of sense to put a premium pad under an inexpensive carpet  that is only meant to last five years. So, when choosing padding, know your  budget and the space it's going in. If it's a front living room, spending the  extra money for a premium pad might make sense; in an extra bedroom, you can  probably get away with a basic pad.

Lowest quality

  • Many carpet liquidation stores offer very low-end pad they try to sell as a  basic pad. This is typically a 1/4-inch foam pad and is meant for a utility-room  like setting. Stay away from this pad in high-traffic areas at all costs. The  typical cost of this pad should not exceed $.50 a square  foot.


Basic Pad

  • This is what local retailers offer as an introductory pad when giving an installation pricing  quote. This is good pad, typically made of recycled polyurethane and about  5/16-inch thick. This is a great pad if you are purchasing a mid-range carpet  and don't have long-term expectations. Check the manufacturer's warranty and  read between the lines -- the warranty is typically rated for low-traffic areas.  The price of a basic pad is $.60 to $.75 per square  foot.

Premium pad

  • This is also a recycled polyurethane, but is typically 7/16-inch thick.  Depending on the cost difference and your budget, this pad is worth the upgrade  from the basic option. Expect to pay $.75 to $.90 per square foot for a pad that  stands up better to high-traffic situations and, depending on the manufacturer,  has a longer warranty. This pad will also hold up much better on  stairs.

Super Premium

  • Wool is definitely the best choice for a carpet pad -- if you're buying wool  carpet. Both will last 25-plus years in your home if you properly care for them.  Wool padding is also naturally fire retardant, so chemicals aren't added. The  downside is it costs about $1.15 to $1.30 per square  foot.

  • Please do not hesitate to contact Landmark Flooring in Tinley Park for further information at 708-349-0011


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