Basement Finishing: You’re Soooo Busted!

I remember meeting a prospective basement finishing customer a few years ago, who within minutes of meeting barraged me with his carpet pad demands.  “You gonna use that flimsy, thin pad all those other basement finishing guys use?  I’m not gonna stand for any of that cheap crap.  I got grandkids and we like to play on the floor together and I’m not as young as I used to be so I don’t want any of that cheap crap.  You use the good stuff in here or don’t even bother!”

It’s unusual to find someone who’s so passionate about their carpet pad, but his preference for premium pad is shared with the vast majority of homeowners.  I would be willing to bet that across America, 99.9% of prospective carpet buyers prefer premium pad right up to the point they are given the upgrade price.

The virtues of premium pad for a basement finishing project are apparent.  Its greater thickness provides more cushion and comfort when walking, sitting, or playing on it.  Also, carpet and pad act as an insulator against a cold concrete floor.  The insulative effect increases with thickness, so ½” pad can insulate 22% better than 3/8” pad.  A little insulation goes a long way for comfort in basement finishing!

Premium carpet pad in this basement finishing project.  Your’s should be too!

But it’s just so darn expensive right?  It’s not uncommon to hear upgrade pricing of $5.00 to $8.00 per yard – just for pad!  Everyone seems to charge a similar price for pad upgrades, so it isn’t hard to see why people think that premium pad is significantly more expensive.

Well, for all those stores out there charging astronomical upgrade prices for premium pad… you’re sooooo busted! 

Here’s a little secret.  Premium pad only costs approximately 20-25% more than cheap pad (1/2” 8 lb. pad vs. 3/8” 6 lb. pad) and 10-15% more than standard pad (1/2” 8 lb. pad vs. 7/16” 6 lb. pad).  This should translate to an upgrade price of no more than $100 – $200 for most basement finishing projects!

Ask your contractor what kind of pad is standard, and see if they’ll offer you premium pad for no additional charge.  When it comes to the cold floor of your basement finishing it with thicker pad and carpet makes sense.  You’ll love the extra cushion and comfort for years to come when you’re enjoying your basement with family and friends.

(*Editor’s note: A small number of carpet styles are not suitable for premium pad and may specifically exclude the carpet from warranty if premium pad is used.  While this is a rare situation, please verify prior to your carpet purchase that your pad is acceptable.)

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