Shaw Industries is applying a new second-generation flexible backing material to its higher-priced residential carpet, according to company President Julian Saul. Known as SoftBac Platinum, the new backing features several improvements over the original SoftBac that Shaw introduced in 1998, the company said.

Effective immediately, the silver-colored SoftBac Platinum will replace the original tan-toned SoftBac formulation. The new backing combines both woven and needlepunch technology designed to make the finished carpet more pliable as a means of making its installation easier. The material was fabricated to be soft and non-scratchy, and thereby minimize installer abrasion.

According to Shaw, SoftBac Platinum has greater dimensional stability, less visible seaming, and enhanced thermal and acoustical insulation properties. Because it is lighter in weight than the original formulation, the new backing should make installation easier and further reduce the potential for doorway and baseboard damage.