Question about carpet padding

Ed Storer

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I wrote specifications for architects for about 60 years. I have some advice.

Do not put a vapor barrier material on top of a slab unless you know that there is a very effective vapor barrier or waterproofing below the slab. Water vapor is always present even in desert climates. It wants to move upward and evaporate; if blocked it will condense. The moisture movement will bring salts with it that damage the slab surface.

I strongly recommend loose laid carpet tile for your application.

Otherwise, I've found that "rebond" rubber padding is most popular for stretch-in carpet installations. It's effective, inexpensive, and breathable.
 

TheGoodTexan

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Right after the guys in the Tyvek suits, and face mask eradicate the mold. ;)

How you doing TGT? Other than being perplexed about something that probably doesn't matter? If it's hard to get rubber padding, and ANYONE is recommending against it's probably a bad idea.

I'm doing very well. 2022 has been kind to my family. No real complaints.

And I added a new Telecaster to the mix this year too... an MIM Roadworn in classic butterscotch with a black guard. It's got just about the thickest factory Fender neck that I've ever come across, and it fits my hand really, really well. It's 100% stock, and I have no plans to change pickups... I think they're Fender Tex-Mex and they work very well for me. The tone control is about the most expressive tone control on any Tele that I've ever played. I sold a vintage 1970s Yamaha silver face stereo receiver... and found the Telecaster on local Craigslist the next day.
 

Toto'sDad

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I'm doing very well. 2022 has been kind to my family. No real complaints.

And I added a new Telecaster to the mix this year too... an MIM Roadworn in classic butterscotch with a black guard. It's got just about the thickest factory Fender neck that I've ever come across, and it fits my hand really, really well. It's 100% stock, and I have no plans to change pickups... I think they're Fender Tex-Mex and they work very well for me. The tone control is about the most expressive tone control on any Tele that I've ever played. I sold a vintage 1970s Yamaha silver face stereo receiver... and found the Telecaster on local Craigslist the next day.
I'm glad everything is going well for you. Sounds like a cool guitar. Glad to see your post on here. Stop by once in a while, we could use your class, to tone up the place!
 

TheGoodTexan

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As a former cleaner, installer, and flood damage contractor, I do have a few opinions.

First, the oldest rule on the planet is that "water always wins" and it remains true. Regardless of any drainage systems, water will find a flaw and it will win. Maybe it will be from elevated water table, leaking water heater, ruptured pipe, laundry room shut off valve failure, etc., but the threat is always there in a basement. Even just in the form of humidity, you can get condensation on the floor beneath any carpet.

Two, the most important thing with carpet is the padding. That is where you spend the money. It not only provides a better feel, but it keeps the carpet level rather than developing dips which destroy the carpet over time. The rubber padding is much nicer than the chipfoam stuff and will add life to the carpet, but it really isn't water proof because of rule number one...water always wins.

Third, the only way to make a floor protected from water damage is to build a raised floor that will separate the carpet and pad from the concrete and allow some air flow. Dricore is what we have used in the past for all finish basements. It is easy to install and raises the surface above any water issues. It will not mold, not absorb water, etc. It isn't cheap, but worth it compared to cost of repairing a flooded basement.

If the cost wasn't too prohibitive, my advice is coat the basement floor with a good concrete sealer (we used pool liner paint), install a dricore floor, then the upgraded padding / carpet. You will be as protected as you can be short of living in the desert.

Thank you for the advice. I don't think that we'll be doing the raised floor... but that makes perfect sense. Just too much $$$ right now, and we're already past that point in the project.

And yeah, I get you... water wins. And what I'm learning is that whatever you do to "fix" the water problem is only a temporary fix. You must always be inspecting and re-examining your efforts, because the earth moves. We actually paid a structural engineer to come out and do a complete inspection and give us a report. He gave us an 11 page report, which we shared with the foundation specialist that we chose... and we're doing every step in his report. It cost roughly $300 to have him come out, but he spent 4 hours measuring, inspecting, crawling under the house...etc. Seems like money well spent to me... and to my point, I plan to have him come back out and re-inspect every two or three years or so. Cause the earth moves.

With the professional draining system installed now, we can sell the house with full disclosure. So... that's always an option. And I really wouldn't mind moving closer to town (we live about 30mins from downtown Nashville), but it's starting to get too crowded.
 

TheGoodTexan

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From my knowledge, any of the above mentioned pads will not have a *significant* difference in acoustic dampening.

Use Rockwool insulation (One company is Roxul. I am sure there are others.) for sound dampening of walls/ceiling. It is much cheaper than professional egg crate sound panels and it gets the job done. You can make a frame to go around the rockwool and hang it like a picture for wall/ceiling treatment. Chances are you should not *totally* dampen the acoustics in your room.

An example:

View attachment 1056169
Picture is from an internet site.
I have no affiliation with any of the products mentioned or shown.

Yes, exactly. I plan to assemble 10 or 12 of those, almost exactly like your pic. I had an idea in the shower this morning - do the coverings on each panel to resemble classic guitar amp grill cloths.... Marshall black, Marshall basketweave, Vox, Fender silver, Fender oxblood, Mesa Boogie, etc... and even put the corresponding logo on each one in the correct place. Might even cover the edges in the appropriate tolex.

The other thing I saw that was cool for breaking up the hard surfaces in a room was cork octagons... about 10 inches in diameter... assemble ~12 or 15 of them in various colors in a random artistic manner... and fix it to a location where the framed rockwool pieces might not work as well.

I do have a friend with an RTA and calibration mic set up. I've seen him use to shoot a few rooms. I have a few EQs that could be inserted into the stereo signal chain (Yamaha, Audio Control, ART, Alesis)... and help with any crazy spikes or dips. I don't want to have to do that... but if there was a significant spike, it might be worth trying.
 

jvin248

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.

1-Make sure your exterior grade gets water away from the house, including downspouts with long kicks and over flowing blocked roof gutters. Figure out and fix why certain parts of the yard pool with water.

2-Wall treatments you make after you are done will do more than your rubber padding.

3-Might look at those floor systems of plastic grid under plywood to give an air gap to the concrete, then your padding on top, then your carpet. That will save your carpet at some point.

4-Make 1x4 frames, fill with Roxull or Blue Jeans Insulation, cover with open weave fabric like burlap, hang a few on the walls and ceiling. You've seen this sort of thing in movie theaters.

5-Bookshelves packed with books using them to break up sound waves, so a jumble pack is better than a smoothly aligned set of National Geographic magazines, law books, etc.

6-Heavy curtains in front of moving blankets hung on the wall is another option over #4.

.
 

TheGoodTexan

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I wrote specifications for architects for about 60 years. I have some advice.

Do not put a vapor barrier material on top of a slab unless you know that there is a very effective vapor barrier or waterproofing below the slab. Water vapor is always present even in desert climates. It wants to move upward and evaporate; if blocked it will condense. The moisture movement will bring salts with it that damage the slab surface.

I strongly recommend loose laid carpet tile for your application.

Otherwise, I've found that "rebond" rubber padding is most popular for stretch-in carpet installations. It's effective, inexpensive, and breathable.

Thank you for that. That makes sense.
 

unixfish

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I have seen the dimpled polyethylene rolls that you put over concrete to keep the floor dry. Most of those want plywood over that, then padding and carpet. I wonder if there is a roll designed for "regular" padding and carpet without the plywood?
 

Lowerleftcoast

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cork octagons.
Cork won't do much for you. That would be for looks. Chances are you will be better served with diffusers.
Study up on bass traps. They can be helpful in the corners of the room.

Wood block diffuser:

71-EiJGdwVL._AC_UL480_QL65_.jpg
 

johnb

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getbent

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the sure thing is milspec's description.

If you feel good about the dryness of the existing slab, then I'd go with what the local guys prefer.

If you want a good flooring that will be safe and extensible, I'd pick carpet tiles at 36" and just blow it out.
 

Cosmic Cowboy

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I did a fair bit of carpet, flooring and restoration work. I am not a carpet expert, but can say, with some degree of authority that I have serious doubts that rubber vs rebond padding is going to make a measurable difference in sound management. Unless you were talking about an upstairs and sound bleeding down thru the ceiling.

I would be willing to bet that some 7/16 high density rebond padding would be very nice, unless you are using a very low-pile carpet like berber. It would probably save you some coin too.
 




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