Carpet Cushion for Radiant Heat Flooring

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 1.19.48 PMReader’s Question: What types of carpet cushion can be used with radiant heat flooring?

Answer:  The best carpet cushion to use in a radiant heat flooring application would have the lowest R-value possible.  Carpenter’s product that would be the best suited for heated flooring is the Emerald 1/4″ product.  It has a density of 8 pounds per cubit feet and is approximately a R-1.  There are some low profile rubber products that have R-values that would be alternative to bonded cushion.

Question 6 In the Series Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Flooring


Today we are answering the sixth question in the 1o part series: Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Flooring.

Question: Does carpet cushion really matter?

Answer: Even though you can’t see the carpet cushion it is just as important to consider as the carpet itself. Did you know that it’s carpet cushion, not the carpet itself that determines how a carpet feels beneath your feet?

Carpet cushion:

  • Helps preserve the look of the carpet
  • Can extend the life of the carpet
  • Provides protection against wear
  • Absorbs the impact of foot traffic
  • Can improve the sound absorption in a room
  • Actually helps keep your carpet cleaner and easier to maintain

Things to consider when purchasing carpet cushion:

  • Thicker is not always better
  • Look for cushion that is not too soft nor too hard – this is purely personal preference
  • If different rooms have different needs, different cushion can be used in different areas
  • Put your money in the cushion, better cushion allows you to buy a less expensive carpet
  • Make sure that if you are purchasing prime urethane cushion that it is FHA approved

When selecting carpet cushion, place the sample under a carpet sample and walk on it. Take your shoes off! Feel the difference! You may be surprised at how great the right cushion can make a piece of carpet feel.

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Green Flooring

Are you thinking of making a flooring purchase? Are you wondering if you can make that purchase and make it a green one at the same time? Green flooring is defined as any flooring that is sustainable, eco-friendly, contains recycled content, is recyclable, leaves a small carbon footprint or has low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compound).

Below are some things to consider when thinking green about flooring:


  • Cork is a harvested resource which is better than a renewable resource because only the bark is harvested from the tree.
  • Because of the way cork floors are made, they are considered a recycled product.
  • Cork trees are not damaged or destroyed when the cork is being harvested.
  • You can install cork floors with water based adhesives with low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds)


  • Bamboo is a rapidly renewing resource (maturing in three years) that regenerates without the need for replanting.
  • To grow, it doesn’t need a lot of fertilization or pesticides


  • According to the Carpet and Rug Institute: The carpet industry is minimizing carpet’s impact on the environment through the new “3 Rs” which stand for reduce, reuse and recycle.  When carpet reaches the end of its long life, it is reused to make new carpet or is recycled into a variety of products, ranging from roofing shingles and railroad ties to automotive parts.
  • Carpet fibers, dye, VOC emissions and recycled content are all factors that determine is a carpet product is green.
  • If you want to ensure that you are purchasing the lowest emitting carpet, adhesive and cushion, look for The Green Label and Green Label Plus from the Carpet and Rug Institute


  • It’s a natural product
  • Stone is a long lasting product so it doesn’t have to  be replaced often
  • It’s easy to care and maintain
  • Stone can be recycled and reclaimed


  • Hardwoos is a natural resource that is also renewable and recyclable
  • Suitable for a “healthy home” environment
  • Most forests are managed for replanting


  • Made from all natural, biodegradable materials that can be recycled
  • The natural raw materials used to create Linoleum are abundantly available
  • These raw materials are harvested or extracted with relatively little energy consumption.
  • Linoleum can be safely added to landfill refuse sites, where natural decomposition takes place.
  • Can be installed with water based adhesives that are low VOC or VOC free
  • Maintenance products do not include harsh chemicals

Ceramic Tile

  • More and more products contain recycled content
  • Tile is a long lasting product so it doesn’t have to  be replaced often
  • Requires little maintenance and cleaners are not harmful

Carpet Cushion

  • Can be made from100% recycled bonded cushion from polyurethane foam or 100% recycled content in Rebond Carpet Cushion, a bonded polyurethane product
  • Can be made with 97% recycled rubber for carpet underlayment
  • Can be made with no CFC’s, latex or chemical additives
  • Can be made with 100% recycled tire rubber carpet pad.  Withstands temperatures from 40 to 120 degrees.  Free of toxic materials such as PCB, mercury, and formaldehyde
  • Can be made from ground tire scrap rubber granules bonded with latex and 92% recycled tire rubber



  • Choose low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds)
  • Choose adhesives that do not contain formaldehyde
  • Choose adhesives that qualify for the Carpet and Rug Institutes Indoor Air Quality green label