Carpet Cushion, Carpet Pad, What’s the Difference?
Is carpet cushion carpet pad? Cushion, pad, lining, or underlay are all synonymous terms used to describe any type of material that is placed under the carpet. A cushion carpet pad adds comfort, absorb shock, reduce noise, increase insulation, and improve the performance of a carpet. While all of these names are synonymous and all of them are used, the preferred term in the carpet industry is cushion.
While almost any product used to line a carpet would be defined as a carpet cushion carpet pad, not every lining is a satisfactory cushion. Cushions are not all equal, even when they may be classified by the same generic name, thickness and weight, and it is the expert’s responsibility to understand these differences. At one time animal hair was a popular lining for carpet. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, old newspapers among other discards were sometimes used under carpets. Though newspapers offered little resiliency they served as a carpet cushion carpet pad and lining that provided insulation from the floorboard drafts. Other products of the past included pads that were manufactured from cotton and felt.
Today, we no longer need to use newspapers under a carpet as a carpet cushion carpet pad as we can select from cushions made of many other styles. Styles included such products as bonded urethane, prime urethane, densified urethane, flat rubber, rippled rubber, synthetic felt, felted hair and jute along with a variety of other cushions. Not only do we have this broad selection of styles, we also have a broad selection of thickness, densities, and weights to meet every need. Though we have this selection, we still find many uninformed individuals who are recommending cushions to their customers that would be out performed by the old newspapers.
Responsibility of the expert
Anyone that represents themselves as an expert in the carpet industry, must be concerned with the quality of cushion that is sold to the consumer, who relies heavily upon our expertise. Many dealers, sales representatives and other industry related individuals do not have a complete understanding of cushion and the average end-user knows only what they read in the ads or is told to them.
Cushion as an investment
Cushion is one of the most important investments that will be made at the time of a carpet purchase. Unfortunately, cushion is often selected on the basis of low price or a squishy feeling and this can prove to be detrimental. In some cases cushion is advertised as free with the purchase of carpet and in many of these situations the consumer might have been better off to have had the carpet installed without cushion instead of a product that crumbled below the carpet.
The principal use of a cushion is to extend the appearance life of a carpet. The finest carpet will fail over a poor quality cushion that is unable to absorb foot traffic, or one that absorbs the traffic in the beginning but rapidly loses its resiliency. The development of wear patterns will be slowed and the properly selected cushion may even double the appearance life of a carpet. The life factor is one of the major reasons that many carpets that were previously installed by the direct glue down method are now being installed as a double stick installation. Even if the quality cushion only extends the carpet’s appearance life by 10% it is an investment that will have paid for itself.
While a carpet’s life can be extended over a good cushion, the carpet dealer must not sell the consumer on the idea that if they purchase an inexpensive carpet and a quality cushion, the cushion will make up for the carpet’s deficiencies. While the performance of an inexpensive carpet is definitely improved when it is installed over a properly selected, quality cushion, this performance advantage is only temporary as other factors also contribute to the speed in which a carpet will ugly out. When it comes to cheap carpet or pad, the old saying “you can’t turn a pig’s ear into a silk purse” is about as true as you can get.
Not only will a carpet installed over a good cushion wear longer but it will offer benefits often not considered, such as sound absorption and improved vacuuming efficiency. Cushion improves vacuum efficiency by allowing the vacuum cleaner to “lift” the carpet, which provides better airflow. Better airflow enables the vacuum to remove embedded or trapped soil that would otherwise fray the carpet fibers.
So if you use the terms carpet cushion carpet pad synonymously it makes little difference for all carpet cushion carpet pad is carpet pad and all carpet cushion carpet pad is carpet cushion. Who cares, just select a good one and you should get good performance!