FOAM FAQs

    • Can foam be cut in store while I wait?

Due to the large number of cut foam orders we receive, we can’t offer ‘on-the-spot’ foam cutting. Many customers still like to come into store to feel foam samples and check their measurements. Most cut foam orders are completed within 24-48 hours from order, however foam cutting that requires the CNC machine takes approximately 5 business days (please confirm approximate lead time when you place order).

 

    • How do I know what foam I need?

Different foam grades are designed for different applications. As a seat cushion bears more weight than a back cushion, higher density foam is needed, if the foam is to retain its shape and support for many years. Our cut foam calculator has an “Application” dropdown, which allows you to select where your foam will be used. Based on your selection and the thickness you require, we will recommend the grades we suggest you use. If you would like to discuss which foam is right for your application, please contact the Home Upholsterer team.

 

    • What is the difference between Density & Firmness

Density: A foam’s density refers to how much it weighs per cubic metre. Higher density foam grades have more foam per cubic metre, where as lower density foams have less foam and more air bubbles. When you buy a higher density foam grade, it will be more expensive because you are literally getting more foam for your money. Having a higher density also means the foam will keep its shape, structure and firm feel for longer.

Hardness: The hardness of the foam is a measure of the feel of the foam. This is measured in Newtons. This is often a matter of preference rather than quality. The harder the foam is the firmer it will feel. However just because a foam feels firm, doesn’t mean it is high density or that it will continue feeling firm after prolonged usage. Keep reading for more information about foam grades and how to compare them.

 

    • What do the codes next to the foam grades mean?

Every foam grade has a code eg. N31-190. We list these numbers next to the description of the foam grade. The first number ‘31’ refers to the density, the higher this number the denser the foam. The second number represents the firmness, the higher this number the firmer the foam.

 

    • How can I compare foam prices?

Some companies will sell foam that is a low density even though it feels firm eg. 20-320. Even though it may feel sturdy and perhaps be cheaper, this foam will lose its support much faster than a higher density grade. If you are pricing foam, don’t be afraid to ask for the foam grade’s code, to make sure you are comparing apples with apples.

 

    • Am I better off buying a sheet and cutting it myself or having the foam cut for me?

We offer both options, but the choice is up to you. Our cut foam prices factor in the cost of the foam, wastage and our labour. If you complete the labour component yourself, you can potentially save yourself some money but not if it means purchasing more foam than you need to complete your job. To reduce the amount of wastage, many customers purchase a thinner sheet (eg. 25mm instead of 50mm) and double it up to achieve the desired thickness. A thinner sheet is easier to cut and more of the sheet is used, resulting in less wastage.

 

    • How do I work out the dimensions I need for my foam?

Measuring Guide

Tips for working out foam cushion dimensions:
If you are replacing the foam but keeping the covers, take your measurements from the cushion cover (with the foam inside). This measurement will be much more accurate than measuring just the old foam, as it will have compressed and lost its shape over time. Where possible, measure right to the edge of your cover (rounding your foam measurement up to the maximum dimension). This will ensure that the cover fits snug around the foam, avoiding wrinkles/gaping on the cover.


Remember, foam as a material is quite flexible/forgiving. Your cushion can be squeezed into the cover if your dimensions are slightly larger. Alternatively if your cushion is a bit small/not filling out your cover adequately, you can improve the appearance by adding a fibre wrap (Bonded Polyester Fibre aka “Dacron”). If your cushion looks like it has rounded corners, this shape has probably just naturally moulded through long-term use. To avoid new foam cushions from looking square/’box-like’ a fibre-wrap can be added to create more of a rounded/plush appearance.


You do not need to factor Dacron wrap into your measurements as this material does not increase the size of a cushion significantly. 
If selecting a foam overlay you will need to reduce the thickness entered for your foam cushion (core) so that the total combined thickness (core & overlay) adds up to the desired cover thickness. Eg. If the desired cushion thickness is 150mm: select a 100mm high density core cushion with a 25mm foam overlay on top and bottom.

 

    • What is the benefit of a wrap/overlay?

Polyester Fibre Wrap (Bonded Polyester Fibre aka “Dacron”)

A polyester fibre overlay/wrap can enhance the appearance of your finished cushions, by creating a more rounded/plush effect and softening angular corners/edges. Having the foam cushion wrapped in fibre also makes it much easier to slide in and out of the cover.

Foam Overlay

A foam overlay is sometimes preferred when using a very high density firm feeling foam. A softer foam overlay is added to create a softer initial feel, whilst still maintaining the quality of a high density foam core. Eg. If the desired cushion thickness is 150mm: 100mm high density core cushion with a 25mm soft foam overlay on top and bottom.

 

    • Can I use regular foam outside?

If your cushions will come into contact with any water, (be it rain, spray from the garden hose or exposure to wet swimmers) the correct foam to use is speciality outdoor reticulated foam. Regular indoor foam is like a sponge, it will soak up any water, which will become trapped inside. This can lead to a growth of mould and mildew and cause the foam to deteriorate very quickly. Reticulated outdoor foam -has an open-cell construction, which means it allows water to run through it freely.

 

    • What is Fire Rated/Fire Retardant/HR Foam?

Fire retardant foam is required in a number of commercial applications which demand strict fire safety compliance, including restaurants, hotels, hospitals, schools, trains, buses, planes. These grades of foam are often high density, as they are exposed to high traffic. In addition flame-retardants are incorporated into the formulation of these foams to reduce likelihood of ignition and control and the spread of fire.

 

    • How do I fit my foam back into the covers?

Silicone spray

Polyurethane foam has a tendency to stick when trying to fit into a cushion cover. Spraying a thin layer of silicone lubricant onto the surface, creates a layer between the materials and decreases sticking. This will help your foam cushion to slide into the cover with ease.

Vacuum & Plastic Bag

You can also fit foam cushions back into covers, using a plastic bag and a household vacuum cleaner. 

 

    • FOAM DISCLAIMERS

All effort has been made to provide an accurate description of the different foam grades and the best recommendations based on the application (if selected). As selecting foam is highly preference-based and all foam is custom cut, we cannot accept returns for change of mind. If you are unhappy with the feel of your foam, you can contact us to discuss an alternative or solution at an additional cost.

As all foam is cut to the dimensions provided, it is the customer’s responsibility to measure accurately. Please make full use of the guides available to assist you in obtaining and entering the correct measurements. If you believe your foam has been cut incorrectly please contact the Home Upholsterer team to discuss this further.