Can carpet effect the accuracy of a scale?

It’s surprising how often this question comes up, and we think it stems from the ubiquitous style of “deep pile” or “shag” carpeting that was popular many years ago (perhaps mainly in the 1970’s).  A truly deep “shag” carpet is pretty rare these days.  If a digital floor scale was placed on a very deep pile carpet, it would be reasonable to be concerned that the accuracy of the scale could be impacted by a 1-2 pound range for a normal adult weight, but there’s no certitude that the carpet would actually have this effect.  Also, a physician’s balance beam scale could theoretically experience some slight interference with the linkage system under the scale base from the carpet strands.  However, we have not heard reports of this actually occuring. 

The types of average-depth and short carpet styles generally preferred these days in both domestic and professional healthcare settings pose no problem whatsoever to the accuracy of digital floor scales and mechanical physician’s scales.  In a few cases we have seen healthcare provider facilities go so far as notching-out a section of carpet equal in size to the base of the scale, so that the scale sits on the hard surface beneath the carpet, but we believe this is an excessive adaptation and there’s no reason for it to be done.

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