Carpet padding is an important item to consider when selecting new carpet. Conventional wall-to-wall carpet requires quality padding for ultimate comfort, durability, and beauty. Padding is available in a variety of materials, including foam rubber, polyurethane (pol-ee-YUR-uh-thane) foam, vinyl, and rubberized animal hair. While padding keeps the carpet from wearing too quickly, too much padding can often collapse and cause premature wear. The flexibility of thick padding can stretch the stiff backing of the carpet and cause wrinkling and separation. Many new carpets have mat-proof and crush-proof warranties, and require that low profile, high density pads be installed to keep warranties in effect. Most carpet mills consider rubber waffle pads of 15-pound density and up to be sufficient. Ask a carpet dealer or manufacturer about the recommended padding thickness and density, and find out if your padding has a warranty that covers the life of your carpet.