8 lb pad or better?

lmarlettoAugust 13, 2008

We are putting a SmartStrand frieze (Mohawk's Fort Zach, if anyone's familiar) in a second floor game room. The salesman is pushing a 30 lb pad that's like a very dense, smooth sponge and is twice the price of the aggregate foam 8 lb pad. I've never heard of anyone using a 30 lb pad. Is it worth it? The room will be primarily a teenage hangout with a pool table, pinball machine, video games and overnights on air mattresses. Is an 8 lb pad "good enough"?

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Here is the scoop on pad. Sponge cushion usually has a lot of adulterants in it - things that are not rubber based that get the density up to 30 lb., but these adulterants do nothing for the performance of the product. Over time this type of cushion can become brittle and break down. The products are usually labelled as "synthetic latex" or "synthetic rubber" which means it is not 100% rubber. Check the label on the sample for this. They can be appealing because they simply have more weight than a rebond pad and therefore you may think you are getting a better product. I would not buy this type of cushion.

Bonded or "rebond" cushion can also have adulterants in it, but usually this is minimal. Bonded cushion can be made from "take-up" grade foam. This is cushion that is taken up off the floor when a old carpet is removed. This cushion is then sold to pad manufacturers to recycled into new pad. This is known as post-consumer recycled material since it has already been used by a consumer and then recycled. This is a case where recycled material is a bad choice. Some pad companies do this, others don't so check into this. I had a pad that used a lot of recycled take-up foam and the stench in my home lasted for about two weeks. It was terrible. Foam content in rebond cushion that is pre-consumer recycled from furniture and bedding operation is a very high quality foam and is desirable in rebond pad. Eight pound density cushions can have a very firm feel and you want a pad that is comfortable to walk on, so look for a product that has some memory foam mixed into it. Mohawk's rebond cushions don't use take-up grade foam and they offer several products with memory foam in high density construction.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 9:49AM
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By the way, Fort Zach is a excellent choic in carpet.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 9:50AM
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In my comment above "Bonded cushion can be made from take-up grade foam", I have seen formulas for cushion products that have take-up grade foam that include as much as 40% take-up, which to me is a lot. But the clarification is that in this case, it still has 60% good foam. I have never seen or heard of a 100% take-up grade rebond cushion.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 7:21PM
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jbranch, thanks for the info. I'll have to read the packaging on the samples and ask a few questions, I guess.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 9:33PM
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