Best Carpet Pad For Dry Basement?

What Type of Carpet Pad For Dry Basement Do You Recommend?

Q. My wife and I are in the process of finishing our basement.  We are looking to install wall to wall carpet with pad directly on a concrete floor.  I have taken the time to seal the concrete.  We will also be running a dehumidifier.  The space will have relatively high traffic, especially on the stairs, so we have decided to go with a nylon carpet.
My question lies with the padding.  I have read so many differing opinions on what type of padding to use in the basement on concrete – open cell vs closed cell, breathable vs not, and am at a complete loss.
The salesperson is recommending rubber pad, but I’m concerned that the concrete will not be able to breath and that we could have mold or mildew issues under the pad.  As this will be a main living space for us, I want to ensure we are making the right choice.  We don’t want that musty basement smell.

What type of carpet padding  do  you recommend for a dry basement?

Answer

Best Carpet Pad For Dry Basement? It sounds like you have done your homework and taken all the necessary precautions. Even the driest basements have the chance for emitting moisture. I assume you have done a moisture test on various areas in the basement.
 
I think you are a prime candidate to use a standard Rebond pad, 8 pound density, 7/16″ thick. No need for a moisture barrier, but most Rebond pads have a thin layer of plastic or mesh which is not considered a moisture barrier, but provides stability and allows the carpet to slide easily across the surface. This is good news for you since Rebond is the most economical and will save you money.
 
Another option for you would be a synthetic fiber pad. It is not spongy at all but does have antimicrobial properties. The best choice if you are installing Berbers or commercial grade carpet styles. Excellent on stairs and high traffic applications.
 
You are correct, a rubber pad would not be the best choice. Too costly for one and may trap moisture underneath, regardless of the source. Rubber also tends to crawl and bunch up under the carpet unless it is glued to the floor. You could use just about any type of pad you want, but it would just cost more and deliver no long term benefit.
 
So, assuming you are selecting a residential grade nylon carpet, I see no need for you to spend more for a specialty padding. Rebond pad breathes well and tolerates heavy traffic.
 
Hope this helps.
 
Alan
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