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I'm looking to replace the carpet in a living room that was left in a state of considerable filthiness by the previous owners of the house.

I went to a local carpet dealer who also does installation and when I we were discussing what I'd like to buy he told me the carpet price included installation and a 6 lb urethane foam. I told him I'd like a softer, heavier frothed foam pad. He told me I could do that, but I'd be wasting money.

Is he telling the truth? Do heavier weight carpet pads not make the carpet any softer?

If I'm looking for the plushest carpet, what plays a role in achieving this?

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I was curious about this and did some research myself. From what I read, it appears that the purpose of carpet padding is not for under foot comfort but to extend the life of the carpet. In fact the best performing padding actually provides less comfort under foot but extends the life of the carpet. Although thicker, "plushier" padding would certainly provide a plushier under foot feel (just as if you put a 2x4 over softer material), that is not the goal of the padding. My feeling on this would be to invest the price difference instead into the "plushier" carpet rather then the padding if your concern is simply comfort.

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Interesting, I've always been told that the pad was the most important part when it comes to comfortable carpet. –  Malfist Nov 5 '12 at 19:53
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