Carpet Backing and Construction

Carpet construction, backing materials, and adhesive techniques vary from carpet to carpet. Below are several diagrams outlining possible material choices. It should be indicated that the secondary backing can be either a natural or synthetic material. Overall, synthetic materials are preferred because they make carpet recycling easier since there would be no need to separate the dissimilar materials from one another.

EVA (Hot Melt)

Hot melt is a fast drying, nonvolatile adhesive. It is applied to carpet backing materials in a molten state. Non-chlorinated vinyls, such as Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) - sometimes refers to as polyvinyl acetate- or polyvinyl butyral (PVB) do not raise the same health concerns as with PVC, and are therefore preferred over PVC backings.


Jute is a plant-based fiber which can be spun into strong, coarse threads. It is one of the most affordable natural fibers.

Latex Foam

Latex Unitary


Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is a widely produced plastic that is easy to work with, durable, and inexpensive.

Due to environmental and health concerns, PVC is not recommanded as carpet backing.

Urethane-Attached Foam

Sustainable Carpet, 1300 Linden Dr, Madison, WI

Contact us at:
©2014 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System