One of the most important factors to consider when choosing carpet padding is the type of material that the carpet padding
is made of. The majority of carpet padding will fit into one of three categories: Polyurethane Foam, Sponge Rubber, or Felted
Fiber, though there are different varieties available in each category. There are also special treatments that can be applied
to carpet padding, such as stain protection and odor fighting capabilities. Read on to learn more about the different types
of carpet padding on the market.
Note: The type of generic fiber used is often listed on the carpet cushion's label. If it is
not, your salesperson can often tell you what the carpet padding is made of.
Types of Carpet Padding – Polyurethane, Rubber, Fiber
Polyurethane Foam (also known simply as foam carpet padding or urethane foam padding)
Polyurethane foam, the most commonly used carpet padding, comes in three common varieties: Prime, Bonded, and Froth. Each
of these varieties is available in different densities and thicknesses, offering a wide range of selection.
- Prime polyurethane foam cushions are made using liquid ingredients that, when combined, create a large
mass of foam that can be sliced into sheets and used as carpet padding. There are three main types of prime polyurethane
cushions available – conventional, grafted, and densified, each having a slightly different manufacturing process.
- Bonded polyurethane foam padding (often called rebond) is usually made of bits and pieces of recycled
foam combined together to create a multi–colored, solid form. Because it is made of recycled materials, bonded
polyurethane foam padding greatly reduces the amount of foam being sent to landfills, making it more eco–friendly than
some other choices.
- Froth polyurethane foam carpet padding is made by applying liquid ingredients directly to the backside
of carpet, creating an attached carpet pad, or to another substrate to create a separate carpet cushion. This is considered
one of the best carpet cushions available.
Sponge Rubber (also known simply as rubber carpet padding)
Sponge rubber carpet cushions, made from natural or synthetic rubber, are available in two main patterns – flat or
waffle (also called rippled or wavy). Sponge rubber carpet padding that is waffled is generally soft underfoot giving a
luxurious feel, whereas sponger rubber padding that is flat is usually denser and has a firmer feel underfoot.
Felted Fiber (also known as felt or fiber carpet padding)
Felted fiber carpet cushion is made of natural or synthetic fibers interlocked into sheets of felt, creating padding that
tends to be firm underfoot. Natural fibers include wool and jute and synthetic fibers include nylon, polyester, and acrylic.
These fibers are often rubberized for added durability. Felted fiber cushions can sometimes be made from recycled textile
fibers, making them a more eco–friendly choice.
Note: Treatments that offer stain protection and odor fighting capabilities are among recent
advancements in carpet cushion technology. Examples include STAINMASTER™, Arm and Hammer®, and
Carpenter's Odor–Eaters carpet cushions.
To learn more about carpet padding including the importance of density and thickness, visit FindAnyFloor's section on Carpet Padding Categories.