Forum Title: Need help picking a pad
So I finally decided on a carpet for our home. It's a loop style (berber) carpet from Shaw with their lifeguard backing. I told the salesman I wanted an 8 pound pad and he told me no problem and said it would be a 1/2 inch thick pad. He told me 7/16 and 3/8 would feel like commercial carpet. I since called back and asked to change it to 7/16 and come to find out they don't carry that thickness. Only 3/8 or 1/2. He's being super cool and going to try and order me 7/16. If for some reason he can't get it would you go with the 3/8 or 1/2? I called shaw and they said either will work.
Category: Carpet Post By: ERIK WOLFE (Sacramento, CA), 01/20/2019

The 3/8'' will be toooooo Hard, the 1/2'' toooo soft, and 7/16th will be Just Right ! ..........Sorry, couldn't resist I believe the 'Life Guard ' backing is a sprayed on thermo-plastic coating making it slightly harder for the tackless pins to grab securely to the backing. So ! In my opinion, Go with the 3/8'' this way, a power-stretched install can more easily grab and hold, onto the back pins, as well as the front pins of the tackless strip. This gives a more secured installation around the perimeter, with less chance of needing a Re-Stretch. Enjoy the new Carpet Mike

- RICARDO WADE (McKinney, TX), 03/06/2019

sbooth21 said: ? He told me 7/16 and 3/8 would feel like commercial carpet.Click to expand... What he actually just told you is he makes more profit on half-inch, 8# than anything that's actually right for your carpet. The standard, according to the Carpet & Rug Institute and the Carpet Cushion Council, used to be no thicker than 7/16. It may only be a sixteenth of an inch, but that sixteenth might mean the difference in how well the carpet backing grips the tackless strip and whether the carpet perimeter will have that pillow appearance. They have since changed it, but they didn't ask me. Back in my installation & sales days before 2006, I was taught cut pile carpets with a pile height of half-inch or more should get a cushion no thicker than .45 (7/16) and a minimum density of 6# in a bonded polyurethane pad (I always felt 6# was too soft, so I offered 7 & 8# pads as standard). For shorter piled carpets and berbers, .375 (3/8) was the thickness and 8-10# was the minimum density. Since at least November 2012, the standard is now minimum thickness .375, minimum density 5# per cubic foot for class 1 (light-med traffic) and 6.5# for class 2 (heavy traffic). These are for bonded polyurethane foam cushions. Maximum thickness for any pad is .5 (1/2). Here is the CCC document for that, in case you want to print and gift a copy to your sales person. Carpet Cushion Council Minimum Recommendations for Residential Applications (PDF) You could also extend our invitation to join TFP so we can all help each other get better at what we do. Your carpet sales person probably has very little, if any training in this area. He was probably given some written information he's long since forgotten, except the part that tells him what his commission is, or that he is to tell customers exactly what he told you and is, himself, kept in the dark about cushion standards. In your situation, half inch might work, but I wouldn't use 8# half-inch. I would want 10#. But better yet, I would specify 3/8, 8# and no bullshit please.

- EDWARD THOMPSON (Taylorsville, UT), 04/05/2019

I like the thinner, more dense pad. Unless longetivity isn't your thing.

- brent hartwick (Kokomo, IN), 05/08/2019

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