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How Much Does Carpet Padding Cost?

While adding new carpet to a home can completely update a room and change the look of a house, that new carpeting means nothing without a firm padding beneath. Carpet padding is a thick or thin piece of material that sits between the original flooring in a home and the carpet. Homeowners can use carpet padding on top of sub-flooring, but experts generally recommend that the padding sit on top of a more durable material. With proper installation, the padding can even protect hardwood flooring or other types of flooring for future use. 

The Costs

  • Average minimum cost of carpet padding: $3 per square yard
  • Average maximum cost of carpet padding: $4 per square yard

Waffle Rubber Padding

Waffle rubber is one of the more popular types of carpet padding. Originally introduced in the 1970s, this padding features thin and flexible sheets of rubber with a waffle pattern across the top. It can measure up to 1-inch high, but some homeowners prefer the feel of a thinner padding. The waffle pattern adds pockets of air, which sit beneath the surface of the carpet and adds a slightly cushioned feel to the floor. Homeowners should look at the filler materials listed for that padding. Some manufacturers use clay as a filler, which can give the padding a harder and more uncomfortable feel.

Urethane Foam Padding

Manufacturers list urethane foam padding based on the pounds per square inch of the material. A lower psi results in a padding that can withstand more pressure and traffic, but many people prefer the feel of padding with a higher psi. Though these pads won't withstand as much pressure, they feel softer underneath the carpet.

Bonded Urethane Padding

Bonded urethane paddingg is just as popular as waffle rubber, and some manufacturers now recommend bonded urethane padding for use with their carpets. Manufacturers list the pounds per cubic foot, which refers to how much the padding weighs per square foot. In a high traffic area, including a living room or hallway, homeowners want a padding with a pound per cubic foot of at least five. Those who entertain frequently, have kids or own pets might prefer an even heavier weight. Bonded urethane often lasts longer than other types of padding.

Flat Rubber Padding

While flat rubber is one of the most durable types of carpet padding, not all carpet companies and home improvement stores sell it. Homeowners often need to special order the padding, which can add quite a bit of money to the overall cost. When an individual replaces the carpet in his or her home, experts often recommend ripping out the old padding and replacing it with a new material. Flat rubber is strong enough that it can last for 10 years or longer, and some people find that they can even keep the padding in place when their carpeting. 

Fiber Cushion Padding

Though not as popular as other types of carpet padding, padding made from fiber cushion is popular with those looking to go green. Fiber cushion manufacturers gather the old fibers and products left behind from the creation of new carpets and padding. Those companies recycle those materials into new fiber cushion padding. As one of the newer forms of padding currently available, no one knows how well the material will hold up to regular wear and tear.


Prior to the creation of carpet padding, homeowners added new carpets directly on top of the original flooring. Without any protection underneath, the carpet could bunch, slide or move. Carpet padding eliminates those potential problems and comes with some other great benefits as well. The right type of padding can add an extra dose of comfort to the flooring. It increases the durability of the carpet and adds to the plush feel of the floor.

With proper installation, carpet padding can also make carpeted floors last longer. Without padding, a new carpet might last a few years before showing signs of wear and tear. Those using a carpet pad find that their carpet can last for 10 years or more before they need to replace it.


In addition to the benefits of carpet padding, there are also a few disadvantages. Some types of carpet padding are thick enough that the padding increases the overall height of the carpet. This can create a slope or sharp height change between two rooms, which can become a potential hazard. Other types of padding have a firmer and heavier construction. Those pads will protect the floors, but many homeowners find that they don't like the feel of walking across those floors.

Homeowners interested in using recycled materials in their padding should also keep in mind that those pads aren't as strong as others. Fiber cushion padding is thinner and more lightweight, and it can actually move and slip after installation. Homeowners might find that the pad moved and created a large bulge in one area of the room that requires removal to fix.

Cost of Carpet Padding

There are a number of factors that go into determining the cost of carpet padding. While the padding itself costs $3 to $4 per square yard, that figure doesn't factor in the cost of materials and labor. Installers generally charge a minimum of $3 per square yard for installation, but the price can rise to $6 or more per square yard for larger rooms and spaces. If the homeowner wants to install carpet in an unusually shaped room, the price will also rise. Installers must cut the padding into different pieces and shapes to fit the layout of that room.

Many homeowners don't think about the flooring they currently have in their homes. Installation companies can remove the old carpet and rip out the old padding, but those companies will charge an additional fee for those services. With older carpets, the installers might spend hours peeling the old padding away from the floor. If the installation company needs to remove any furniture from the room, the price will increase even more. Homeowners must consider all the factors that can increase the job's cost and not just the cost of the carpet padding.

Last updated on May 16, 2016

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