New Carpeting – Can I Re-use the Existing Pad?

Carpet fitterMaybe.

You might also want to ask if you should, because … of course you can.

 

 

 

Technical considerations

Not all carpet cushion (pad) is created equal.

Thickness

Generally, carpet cushion comes in differing thicknesses, from ¼″ to ½″. Different types of carpeting require different thicknesses of cushion. A plush style can use ½″ cushion, while a loop or Berber style requires a 3/8″ cushion. This may seem like a small difference, but it is significant in the industry. If a loop style is installed over ½″ cushion, it voids the warranties.

So if your new carpeting is a plush, you should be good with whichever thickness you are going over. But if you are going with a loop in place of a Berber, it will be critical to verify the thickness of the existing cushion.

Density

Ultimately, the function of the cushion is to support the carpeting and protect it from the force of traffic pushing it toward the subfloor underneath.

Carpet cushion has a variety of densities. We generally recommend an 8# density. The heavier the density, the better it supports the carpeting. The lighter the density, the less durable it is. If it is a light weight cushion that has been in for a number of years, it may not serve you to retain it.

Other considerations

Carpet cushion can retain spills and odors from the previous usage. New carpeting can pick up a stain from an old cushion when the cushion has retained some of the liquid and it wicks up into the new carpeting installation.

The age of the existing cushion is something to consider as well. It really does have a limited service life. Many times we go out and look at existing carpeting that isn’t worn through, but the cushion has completely disintegrated. Now, these are extreme cases, like 20 years or more of use, but it is still important to consider.

Conclusion

The best case for retaining the cushion is one like this: say the house went up for sale, and the sellers replaced the carpeting and cushion to improve the home. In this case, if it is the right thickness and doesn’t affect the warranty, you might be okay with it.

But if it is existing cushion that has been installed for a number of years, even if the thickness is correct, 99 times out of 100 the right thing to do is replace the cushion.

Questions? Just give us a call at 952-933-8944 or Contact Us.