I'm padding both my stage and my riser. Figure if somebody wants to sit on the stage they should have at least some padding. One thing you might want to consider is whether you want tack strips or not on the stage and the riser. I had an installer out to do the carpet, and he said that I didn't have to put the tack strips down on either.
Of course, when he was trying to install it, he man handled the riser so bad, that I had to resecure it and have them come back out to finish carpetting the riser.
You should put padding under carpet just as every other room. THe padding actually extends the life of the carpet. And who knows what you might use a room for or change furniture to later on. Besides the padding is way cheaper than the carpet.
Most importantly the padding adds to the total acoustics of the room and is a plus not a minus.
I padded the main floor, and didn't pad the riser or stage....
I used an office/home office carpet (trafficmaster) that was designed for glue down, so it wasn't problem (i didn't install it, had someone do it).
I didn't pad the riser/stage for 2 reasons:
1) for the stage, my a/v rack is on casters, and slides out of the proscenium...the rack is heavy, and rolling it on carpet with pad would be difficult...also, no pad means less compression when the rack is stationary (99.9999% of the time).
2) for the riser, I was concerned about how the transition would go from padded (top surface) to unpadded (where the carpet wraps on the lip)...
I did the carpet in our theater myself. I did not pad the stage as it made it easier to fasten the carpet and wrap it around the lip. I did pad the rear riser and use tack strips around the perimeter, except for the areas where there was a step. In these areas I ran the pad right up to the lip so that the carpet would remain uniform in height It turned out not too bad! The only thing I'm not entirely happy with is the seam that I had to do as it tends to "tent" up along it. Luckily, it's pretty much hidden under the recliners and hsh box. IF you have seams to do then I would consider getting someone else to do it as it can ruin the appearance of a room. If you can get away with no seams then I think that a novice can do a decent job if they take their time....
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