Carpet Padding

I had a customer ask me about carpet padding the other day and I found this information very helpful. Carpet Padding

Today’s carpets require special padding unlike the carpets of even ten years ago. If you do not follow the manufacturer’s padding guidelines, you will void your carpet warranty. It is up to the professional carpet dealer to inform you of the correct padding for each particular need. Remember the most expensive pad you will ever get is the FREE PAD offered by many floor covering stores. Types of Padding

Waffle Rubber: This type of padding is still being used today but often improperly. The waffle part of the padding gives it a thickness that is mostly air, and as a result, any of this type of padding rated less than 90 ounces is still too soft for today’s plastic backed carpets. Also, despite claims to the contrary, the rubber used to make these paddings is held together with clay type binders that break down with use.

Foam Padding: This type of padding is made from urethane foam and is available in different densities and thickness. Generally this type of pad is referred to “prime foam”, but, regardless of the thickness, is not recommended for heavy traffic of any kind. All that air under the carpet just causes the carpet to move up and down so much that the backing soon breaks down. Some enhancements have been tried like loading the foam with binders to make it heavier, or compressing the cells. However, both of these methods leave foam that still does not support the carpet like other types of padding.

Rebond: This type of padding is used most often by the floor covering industry. It is made from of scraps of the high density foams used in furniture making that are bonded together. Rebond padding comes in various thicknesses and densities. The density is rated at so many pounds per cubic foot. For example, a 5lb rebond pad would weigh 5lbs per cubic foot.

Slab Rubber: For the more luxury and long wear one could use 100 ounce 19lb density slab rubber padding. Unlike the waffle rubber padding, slab rubber does not contain big ripples of air. This pad feels much like 7lb rebond, but will resist furniture indentation and crushing for a much longer period of time. I recommend this pad for the highest of traffic areas.

Fiber: These pads are used when one wants to limit the movement in a piece of carpet. This pad can be made from jute, or hair mixed with jute, or synthetic fiber, or recycled textile fiber. Most often these pads are used under area rugs, under commercial carpets, and under some Berber carpets.
Frothed Foam: The ultimate padding on the market is Frothed Foam. This pad is a super dense urethane and is made 7/16 inch thick. It is extremely durable, can be used under all carpets, will reduce furniture indentations, and prolong the life of your carpet better than any rebond, fiber, waffle rubber or prime foam. It cost about the same as a good slab rubber padding and will last longer.

Dirty Carpets: Is it better to know or NOT to know?

Dirty CarpetsDirty Carpets

A customer commented, “I’ve never had a carpet show soil like this one. My old carpeting never got dirty,” I don’t want to offend anyone; but to serve you properly, I must tell you: All carpets get dirty. However, it is true that some colors show soil more than others.
Dark soils are obvious on light carpeting for the same reason that black words are apparent on white paper—color contrast. A grayish green carpet, on the other hand, will hide soil for the lack of color contrast.
For health reasons, one should prefer a color that shows soil. At least, she will know when cleaning time has come. Better to know and to clean the contaminants away than to live on dirty carpets, unaware of the accumulating dirt.

Berber Carpets Godsend or Devil’s End?

Berber CarpetsBerber Carpets

Among consumers, there is more than a little confusion about berber carpets due to considerable misinformation passed along by carpet salespeople who are more interested in making sales than providing the facts. So, let’s cover them.
The term, ‘berber,’ denotes a pile structure just like saxony, plush, velvet cut, cut and loop, looped, level loop, and sculptured. And berber, per se, is one of several styles of looped pile. But that’s all berber is—a ‘pile structure’ that may be constructed through the use of any one of five fiber types—nylon, polyester, acrylic, polypropylene (Olefin) or wool. Or, in fact, the pile style could be made of a blend of two yarns.

While I have heard favorable comments from customers about their berber carpet’s perform-ance, the reverse is usual. “I’ll never buy berber carpet again,” I frequently hear. “It packs down badly, gets dirty quickly, unravels, and looks terrible. But that sure isn’t what the carpet salesman said it would do.”
Obviously, misinformation can lead to misfor-tune. But is also possible for misfortune to be compounded by wrong conclusions. What I’m telling you is that the above misfortune has noth-ing to do with the fact that the pile style was ber-ber but rather with the yarn type used to create it.
When a customer tells me that her carpeting packed and soiled quickly, I instantly deduce that the yarn is probably polyester, acrylic, or Olefin. And if she tell me it’s a berber, I deem Olefin to be the most probable. Why?
First, all three of these yarns lack resilience and all are byproducts of petroleum, which makes them oil friendly—giving them the inclination to soil more quickly. Second, if it is berber, I re-gard Olefin to be most probable, because Olefin has the least resilience, and there has been more berbers constructed of Olefin than any other yarn.
Still, it must be said that the homeowner can as well be at fault in causing the aforementioned performance problems. It is not uncommon for people to live on their carpeting with abandon, while they make no effort to maintain it. Such being the case, poor performance is inevitable, regardless of pile structure or yarn type.
Berber, being a low-pile of looped structure, has the potential of being an excellent per-former, of being an excellent choice for high traffic areas. But whether this potential excellence will be realized is necessarily dependent upon two things:

1) Yarn type. Nylon’s overall performance excels all other yarns—including wool. (Wools can compete with nylon, but they are also FAR more expensive.) Therefore, nylon berbers greatly out perform berbers made of other yarns.
2) Proper installation. It is imperative that ‘seam sealer’ be applied on all seams. Seam sealer is an adhesive that is sup-posed to be applied along the vertical edge of the two carpets to be seamed together. Its purpose is to prevent seam raveling. However, few carpet installers apply it as they should, and that is the reason raveling problems occur.
The bottom line: If you want a great performer for high traffic areas, nylon berbers rank among the best. But you want to make sure that it’s power-stretched and seam-sealed properly.

Beware of ‘Carpet Professionals’ who Aren’t

Not long ago, a prospective customer called to

ask if I used ‘chemicals’ in cleaning carpeting.
“Yes. Of course I do,” I told her. “Why are youCarpet Professionals
“Because I need my carpeting cleaned. But the
salesperson who sold it to me said that I should
not have it cleaned by any method that used
chemicals,” she explained.
Such advice is equivalent to saying, “Never
clean your carpeting,”

Clothes, dishes, windows, hard-surface flooring,
and certainly carpeting are all washed with
chemicals. Toothpaste is a chemical. Water is a
chemical, it’s chemical formula being H2O.
Bad advice from carpet salespeople is not uncommon.
Instead of sending people on an endless
search for a carpet cleaning method that
doesn’t exist, this salesperson should have advised
the lady to select caring carpet professionals
who carefully rinses cleaning agent from carpeting,
which we certainly do. Still, many don’t.

The time has come to Look Down!

As the cost of fuel increases, so will the price of carpet

Rising fuel costs have made people avoid unnecessary trips to the grocery store, and fewer lights
in their homes are left burning. But have you considered what’s going to happen to the price of
All synthetic yarns used in carpeting—nylon, polyester, acrylic,
polypropylene (Olefin)—are byproducts of fossil fuels. Nylon is made from
coal. The others, from petroleum. So, as the cost of fuel rises, so will the
price of carpet, especially when the cost of fuel also impacts shipping
charges. It makes economic sense to take very good care of the carpet
we’ve got. The cost of replacing it is bound to increase more and more as
time goes by, which begs the question:
Have you Looked Down lately? Some months have passed since your last cleaning. Have you
examined your carpeted pathways? Are they beginning to look dull and dingy again? If so, then
it’s time to clean them. No. It’s not necessary to clean what’s not dirty. But if we don’t clean
what is, the ‘ugly’ can become permanent. Remember: Walking on soiled carpeting is like
walking on sandpaper. The grit scrubs the yarn, causing pathways to become permanently dull.
When this has happened, they’ll always look like they need cleaning, while no amount of cleaning
can clean the dull gray color cast—the wear damage—away.
How to evaluate the need for cleaning: Stand next to a wall that puts windows behind you and look down. Then
cup your hands on each side of your eyes to block the light. (Blocking glare, you can see better.)
Next, look for variations in carpet color: Compare the color of the carpeting where nobody
walks—like under tables and along the walls—to the color of the carpeting where people do walk.
If soil is present, you will notice that the color is duller. And that dullness says that you should
clean now. Don’t wait for wear damage to happen. Spending a little to keep high traffic areas
clean will save far more money in the long run.