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BARGAINS / GERI COOK

Costs You Can Feel Comfortable With : Foam Mart specializes in cushions and their covers, with a large inventory of fabrics.

August 11, 1995|GERI COOK | Geri Cook's Bargains column runs every Friday in Valley Life! She can be heard from 9 to 10 a.m. on Saturdays on KIEV 870-AM

BURBANK — Foam rubber has become an integral part of our lives. We use it for cushions of all kinds, for mattresses, for sound deadening, for furniture, on boats, in RVs, in offices. It's everywhere.

For 31 years, Foam Mart has supplied foam in all shapes and densities for Southern California consumers. They can also custom-make just about anything in foam rubber.

Generally, of course, the foam goes on the inside. What goes on the outside may be vinyl or canvas or other fabric. Or if you just need to fill already-fabricated pillow covers, Foam Mart has a terrific service: Bring your cushions, pay for the foam and they'll fill them for you--at no charge.

The average price for filling a cushion that measures 24 inches square by 4 inches deep is $13 for a good grade of foam (1.5 density polyurethane foam) or $20 for the best grade (1.8 density). The higher density has a stronger "memory," so it bounces back into shape better.

The foam comes in all shapes and sizes. You can buy it shredded, for pillows or beanbags, or in sheets, for replacement of sofa or chair cushions.

Finding replacement cushions in the proper size for indoor or outdoor furniture can be a problem. Even if you find the right size, it may not be in a fabric you're wild about. This is where Foam Mart shines.

Recently I needed two 22-by-44-inch cushions for an old wrought-iron love seat that had been abandoned in an alley. All the seat needed was a quick coat of white paint and the cushions, but the piece was not a standard size. So custom cushions were the answer. The foam came to $18.40, for two-inch-thick, high-density sheeting. This was covered with Dacron batting for $9.50. Green-and-white stripe canvas was $15.99 a yard ($20 to $25 retail) and it took 2 1/2 yards, for a total of $39.97. With a labor cost of $49, the grand total was about $117 for the two cushions with zippers and welting--and excellent workmanship.

The fabric inventory includes vinyl, tapestry, canvas, burlap, muslin and others. Foam Mart has the largest selection of vinyl I've seen. Marine vinyl, mildew-resistant and UV-treated, typically retails for $20 to $25 per yard; here the tag reads $15.99 a yard for 54-inch-wide goods.

Through Labor Day, for those who buy more than three yards of certain upholstery fabrics--excluding tapestries, canvas or vinyl--there is a 40% discount off the regular price. For one muted burgundy velvet that retails for $40 a yard, Foam Mart's regular price is $13.99. With a 40% discount, that's $8.39 a yard. Not too bad. But be sure to purchase enough fabric, because most are discontinued patterns that cannot be reordered.

There's a big selection of beanbags in five sizes, from a child's size for $24.95 to a love seat for $160, in several different colors. Double-stitched with two special zippers for child safety, these are made of a good-quality, upholstery-grade vinyl.

To protect items, clear plastic sheeting comes in 4-gauge (such as for tabletops) for $2.39 a yard, to 40-gauge (for convertible rear windows) for $19.99 a yard.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

WHERE TO SHOP

What: Foam Mart.

Location: 628 N. Victory Blvd., Burbank.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

Cards: MasterCard and Visa.

Call: (818) 848-FOAM.

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