Do I Need a Rug Pad? Why You Should Never Skip This “Extra” Addition

Do I need a rug pad? is probably the most common question we get at PlushRugs. Rug pads are often overlooked because the rug itself seems adequate for softening the floor. What people don’t know is that they’re kind of like icing (if it went under the cake): it helps cover imperfections in the floor, helps fluff up the rug, and holds the floor and the rug together.

So yeah, you need a rug pad.

What if I have hardwood floors? I heard rug pads can damage them.

That’s not the case for a quality rug pad. Our rug pads are made of 100% PVC without any damaging adhesive coatings or stickiness. They shouldn’t leave a permanent mark on your floors.

However, be careful if your floors have recently been refinished. Any sustained contact between the floor and the rug or rug pad may damage a brand-new finish; to make sure you’re in the clear, we recommend calling the person who refinished the floors to get an accurate drying time for your particular mix.

To be safe, we recommend 4-6 weeks of allowance for your floors to cure before laying down a rug pad. When mopping your floors, make sure the area is dry before you lay the rug back down. Laying a rug on wet wood may cause mold or discoloration.

But I have carpet. Why would I still need a rug pad?

Carpet can make you feel like you don’t need a cushioned rug pad. But the extra pile from the carpet also makes a rug prone to stubborn bunching. It holds the rug in place after it’s been moved by feet, causing a ridge that won’t fall on its own. Use a rug pad to keep the rug where you placed it and prevent a tripping hazard.

But what kind?

Contrary to what you might think, the type of pad usually depends on the surface on which it is placed, not the rug itself. Most rugs (excluding kilims, soumaks, and other flatweaves) come with a backing, which is usually strong enough to protect the front fibers from any dirt on the floor below. The real purpose of the rug pad is to keep the rug in place and comfortable wherever it sits.

We can break it down even further here: 

Super Hold Pad


This is the thinnest pad we offer. At only one millimeter in height, it stays hidden beneath the rug and provides a small amount of grip. This is best for heavy rugs that aren’t likely to move on their own, but still need a little staying power. This is the best pad for thin rugs like reversibles and no-pile weaves.

  • Use indoors in light-wear areas
  • Best used on hardwoods
  • 5-year warranty

Soft Step


This style is definitely the most popular. It’s a little taller than the basic pad at 3 mm, which makes it a favorite for hardwood floors. It’s thick enough to add a little extra to carpet as well. This one has enough grip to keep smaller rugs in place, which tend to be the most slippery.

  • Versatile enough for any hard surface – wood, tile, or laminate
  • Can support most rugs for moderate traffic
  • 10-year warranty



If you’re still worried about pads on your wooden floor, choose this pad. It’s felted wool, which is significantly heavier and more durable than the rubber and plastic pads. These 2-mm pads are great for wool rugs, which can sometimes be too heavy for standard pads.

  • Made of felt instead of plastic for a stronger grip
  • Can be used on any surface, but recommended for hardwoods and laminates
  • 10-year warranty

Universal PremiumUniversalPremium

This pad is so nice, it could almost be a rug in itself. It’s almost a quarter-inch thick and made of felt with a rubberized backing. Use this for your hardest floor, like a tile or stone entryway or a spot with heavy furniture.

  • Use for heirloom rugs that need extra preservation
  • Highest performance in high-traffic areas
  • Noticeably thickens and softens rugs
  • 20-year warranty

Outdoor pads


These pads have extra-wide vents to keep moisture from settling into the rug when it’s exposed to the elements. They’re usually made of specialized materials that differ from indoor pads, which is why you should use different types of pads for each.

  • Stronger materials than indoor pads to resist hard use
  • Decreases drying time and encourages air flow
  • 1-year warranty

Picked one out yet? Order any one of these from our rug pads page at PlushRugs.

What if you don’t have my size?

Order your pad in a similar, larger size to your rug and trim it to fit. They are easily cut with household scissors. We have both rectangular and round pads, so don’t worry about an oddly-shaped rug. It’s okay if you get a little too excited about it; most pads fit a little beneath the edges of the rugs to hide them from view.

What about layered rugs?

If you’re layering rugs, the parts that touch the floor are your priority. The bottom rug should have a stronger pad than usual since it will be supporting the weight of two rugs. It’s okay to use a lighter pad on the top layer. Feel free to cut and mix a few different pads to fit your unique design.

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