To help floor covering professionals compare various types of cushion, the Carpet Cushion Council recommends minimum contract cushion criteria for three levels of traffic. Cushion that meets these requirements can be expected to perform satisfactorily under normal conditions, when the proper carpet is used.

The three classes of commercial carpet cushion applications are:

  • Class I (moderate traffic), for executive, administrative or private offices in office buildings, banks, schools and health care facilities.
  • Class II (heavy traffic), for clerical areas, corridors, patient’s rooms, lounges, classrooms, and public areas in health care facilities, libraries, museums, hotels, motels, and schools.
  • Class III (extra-heavy traffic), for cafeterias, nurses’ stations, public and ticketing areas, and lobbies in office buildings, airports and health care facilities.
(See accompanying chart for recommended cushion types and specifications for each class.)

In addition, when selecting cushion for a contract installation, it is just as important to know which kind of cushion to use as it is to know the traffic level for which it is designed. Carpet cushion is available in many different types and constructions, but the three most common types of carpet cushion used in commercial applications are fiber, rubber and polyurethane foam.

Fiber cushion is made of rubberized hair, rubberized jute, synthetic fibers, and resinated recycled textile fiber.

Rubber cushion consists of flat rubber, textured flat rubber, rippled waffle (Class I only), and reinforced rubber.

Polyurethane foam cushion is made of grafted prime polyurethane, densified polyurethane, bonded polyurethane, and mechanically frothed polyurethane.

When specifying carpet and cushion for a commercial installation, remember that the building owner(s) will want to prolong the life of the carpet to the maximum extent possible. The Carpet Cushion Council recommends using better than the minimum grade of cushion to provide more support and cushion for your carpet.

Furthermore, cutting corners on the choice of cushion might also cut short the useable life of the carpet. Installing the highest quality cushion can help protect the customer’s carpet investment, preserve its fresh new look, improve comfort, and provide additional benefits.

Use a certified dealer

Anyone who buys cushion for a contract installation should be sure to consult a certified salesperson. The Carpet Cushion Certification Program, launched in January 1999, was established to provide salespeople with the information they need to help customers make the best possible cushion choice for every application.

As a complement to the certification program, all facts about the benefits and types of carpet cushion and installations have been compiled in a comprehensive, easy-to-read manual. The manual includes 12 pages of information about carpet cushion and five short quizzes that cover each topic addressed therein. Once they’ve correctly completing all quizzes, participating salespeople receive a personalized certificate and decal that designates their official certification by the Carpet Cushion Council.

The certification sales program is available to both commercial and residential salespeople. It was formulated to provide all of the tools they need to sell customers the appropriate cushion for the home or office. In my opinion, the program benefits everyone involved in the sale, purchase and specification of carpet cushion. In the end, a more knowledgeable sales force creates happier customers and more profitable retailers.

Anyone interested in obtaining the appropriate cushion for a particular application need only look for the gold logo of the Carpet Cushion Council’s Cushion Certification Program. The emblem identifies individuals who have met the requirements for certification by acquiring the knowledge necessary to help commercial and residential clients choose the best cushion for each installation.