Carpet is the flooring of choice for bedrooms. Who wants to step on to cold tile the first thing in the morning? Another benefit, especially in a two-story home, is sound absorption. Which is another reason it's ideal for the bedrooms. The fibers will absorb the sounds below, improving sleep. The top considerations in carpet are density, pile, and padding.
Carpet is made up of fibers, usually nylon, polyester or wool. How dense it is depends on the number of fiber and how tightly packed they are. The more dense the higher the quality. A high density will feel softer and more padded when you walk on it, resist matting and last longer.
Another factor in durability is twist. The more tightly the piles are twisted, the more springy it feels when you walk on it. Twist is measured in TPI (twists per inch). The higher the number, the better the quality.
This is the most important part of carpet installation, and often the most overlooked. It extends the life of the carpet, cushions the footfall, dampens noise, and gives the carpet a more luxurious feel. It's also protective for the those with orthopedic and balance issues and the elderly. Generally, your padding should be between 1/2" to 3/8", depending on the carpet selected. Another factor is the density of the padding, which is anywhere from 3-10 pounds. a 6-12 pound pad works for most people. Six pounds if you're on a budget, and 8 being the best for comfort and durability.
Types of Padding
Synthetic Fiber-This old school padding is from nylon, polyester, and felt. Because it's flat and dense, it is the least expensive and only suitable for berber. We don't recommend this for pile carpet. We recommend 6.5 pounds and 1/4' or so.
Bonded Foam Pad-This is a 100% recycled product. It's cut up recycled foam bonded together to form the pad. It's economical and durable. This padding may contain latex. We recommend 6.5-8 pounds and around 1/2" (6.5 pounds and 3/8" for commercial).
Prime Foam-This is the same foam used in mattresses and is very soft, so it's very comfortable, but it's slightly less durable. This is not an option for commercial settings. It's also an economical option. This may also contain latex.
Memory Foam-This is the most comfortable padding available. It is durable, but not as durable as frothed foam. The only downside is cost, but if you want the best, then this is it.
Frothed Foam-This foam is engineered. When in a liquid state, the foam is injected with gas. That makes it exceptionally durable and suitable for high traffic and commercial use. Usually, it's between 10-12 pounds and about 1/2". (For commercial applications we recommend 12 pound plus and 1/4") But it is very expensive.
Green Label Plus
This is an indoor air quality testing program created by the Carpet and Rug Institute. Many carpets and cushions give off Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) which are strong odors that can be hazardous to your health. When selecting a carpet, make sure it is low in VOC's and ask if it has the Green Label. Otherwise, you can be overwhelmed by the chemical or foam smell.