When some homeowners walk into our Dragon Scale Flooring showroom in Laurel, MD, they often ask our experts about padding. Is it truly necessary, or is it a total waste of money? The answer to this question is, yes, padding is indeed an essential material for a carpet installation, one that you cannot go without, regardless of the thickness of your soft surfacing. It’s such an important feature, in fact, that we’re going to go over some additional details about padding – also known as underlay, to highlight its necessity.

Facts About Padding
•What makes for a softer underfoot feel when walking across soft surfacing? Well, that’s mostly attributed to the underlay, an element required for cushioning.
•And while that cushioned layer does create a softer feel, don’t mistake comfort for quality. A cheap padding that’s thick, soft, and bouncy isn’t necessarily the best type of underlay for your carpet installation. So beware and get informed!
•It’s easier to deep clean and vacuum your surfacing when there’s a padded layer underneath, because it offers a little bit of space between the carpet and the subfloor.
•Thermal insulation is, by far, one of the top reasons homeowners choose soft surfacing. It’s a great way to keep energy and heating costs down.
•Underlay stops drafts from penetrating the fiber layer, as it has a higher R value rating than the soft surfacing itself. As such, it results in warmer rooms.
•Wish you could block the noise of your son playing the drums in his bedroom? Well, thanks to natural sound dampening abilities, you can limit noise from traveling throughout the house by installing carpet.

Now, Let’s Talk About Thickness and Density
In order to maintain your installation warranty, you’ll be required to use padding for an installation. The following are a few things to consider:
Padding Density: A low density will equal a less firm feel, and vice versa. Usually, it is recommended that people go with an underlay that’s a little denser than not, as it reduces the chance of getting wrinkles in the carpeting.

Padding Thickness: Thicker padding doesn’t mean it’s better. Rather, it all depends upon what kind of soft surfacing you’ll be installing. In both cases when it comes to density and thickness, the key is to talk to an expert who knows the ins and outs of soft surfacing. Only pros know that too thick an underlay results in wrinkles, while too thin an underlay may not provide enough underfoot support.