Carpet Cushion: Hard Facts on a Soft Surface

April 18, 2002
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Maximizing allocated funds is a challenge for many facility managers and building maintenance personnel. The installation of properly specified carpet cushion contributes to long-term savings by prolonging the life of the carpet. Carpet cushion makes cleaning easier, provides warmth and also acts as a sound- and shock-absorber.

Carpet cushion should be specified based on the amount of traffic the area receives. Different areas of office buildings, health care facilities, schools and other commercial spaces withstand varying degrees of foot traffic. Consult the Carpet Cushion Council's (CCC) minimum specifications for carpet cushion chart.

Density is one of the most important parameters of any type of cushion. All types can be made dense (more material) or light (more air), or any grade in between. This enables them to be soft or firm, resilient or supportive, according to the expected traffic on the carpet they support.

There are three basic types of applications for commercial applications:

  • Stretch-in: Used mainly for private offices, hotel rooms, corridors and other small or confined areas.
  • Double-glue: For use in large areas where stretch-in applications are impractical, but cushion is desirable. The carpet and cushion work together, maximizing the benefits of both products. Consult the CCC Web site ( for manufacturers of double-glue products and follow their recommendations carefully for suggested products and detailed instructions for installation. Improper installation can ruin the best carpet and cushion.
  • Direct gluing (or "glue down"): The carpet is glued directly to the floor with no cushion.
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