Carpet Padding - Why Do I Need It?

What is carpet padding, and why do I need it?

Carpet padding is a piece of underlayment that you put between the floor and the bottom of your carpet or area rug. It can be made of various materials, such as rubber, fiber, or foam. Carpet padding can usually be purchased as a pad or a roll; if needed, it can be cut, usually with scissors, to fit your space.

Why do I need carpet padding?

You should always get carpet padding under your carpet or area rug for several reasons.

  • Makes walking easier – Carpet padding absorbs the shock and impact of your footsteps, helping to alleviate walking fatigue. It also makes walking softer and more comfortable.
    Absorbs sounds- Studies show that carpet padding absorbs sound, making your footsteps quieter and less likely to disturb other people. This is especially important in multi-story homes.
  • Carpet Life – Having a carpet pad under your carpet or area rug helps extend your carpet’s life. A carpet pad helps to reduce fiber crushing and keeps your carpet looking and feeling softer for much longer than a carpet without a pad underneath. It also absorbs the impact of everyday wear and tear, extending your carpet’s life.
  • Insulation – Carpet padding helps to insulate your home. It helps with heat retention in the winter and cool air retention in the summer, helping reduce your heating and cooling bills.
  • Protection – A carpet pad underneath your carpet or rug helps to protect your original floor from damage. Sometimes the backing on a carpet can scratch your original floor. Plus, any spills or pet stains that seep through the carpet itself will also have to go through the pad before reaching the original floor.
  • Safety – This is important with area rugs. Padding can keep area rugs from slipping and sliding, reducing slip-and-fall accidents.

Does thickness matter?

The thickness of carpet padding does matter. The pad’s thickness should range between ¼ inch and 7/16 inch, although some experts say ½ inch is fine. The thickness should depend on the type of carpet fiber and where the carpet is being put.

  • If your padding is too thin, it will not absorb the shocks and wear and tear needed to extend the life of your carpet or area rug. Plus, it will not cushion your footsteps or absorb sounds as well.
  • If your padding is too thick, it can cause uneven wear on your carpet and promote seam splitting.
  • Talk to your carpet specialist about the best thickness for your carpet or rug.

Can carpet padding be cleaned?

Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. The trick to cleaning the pad is to remove the carpet on top. With wall-to-wall carpet, that is not so easy. With area rugs, that process is much easier. However, if you can’t remove the carpet or the stain is very bad, the best thing to do is consult your carpet cleaning technician. They can guide you on the best course of action for cleaning your pad.

You wouldn’t wash dishes without detergent or get a new computer without virus software. You shouldn’t get new carpets or rugs without the correct padding underneath. Consider the padding to be a helper in your carpet or rug investment. It will help to extend the life of your carpet or rug and make you more comfortable at the same time. Remember, always get the padding with the carpet.

Tru-Clean Surface Care is a Certified Partner with the prestigious Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the International Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI).  We are a Certified Wool Safe Approved Service Provider, A+ Rated by the Better Business Bureau, and an eight-year-in-a-row winner of the coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award.

For more information about Tru-Clean Surface Care or our carpet cleaning services, please visit us online at or “call us on the carpet” any time at 239-541-4888 – Cape Coral and Lee County, 239-206-1935 – Bonita Springs, Naples, and Marco Island, or 941-621-2198 – Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, Florida.  You can also visit us on Facebook at