Do I Need a Rug Pad?

Rug Pads Protect Your Floor

Area rugs do more than provide visual elements for your home. They make walking on hardwood floors more comfortable. However, rugs can slide around and cause slip and falls if not secured properly. Grit and dirt can get trapped beneath rug unless it has a pad to protect it. Rugs hold their shape better if you put a rug pad under them, and it makes brushing or vacuuming them easier. A pad grips the back of the rug and reduces friction by holding fibers in place.

Rug Pads Prolong the Life of Your Rug

Ciara from Dalton by Jaipur

Rug pads maximize the life of your rug by preventing it from rubbing and shifting. The friction caused by these actions wear down fibers and ages the rug. Putting a rug pad under the rug will reduce damage and keep your rug in excellent shape.

Rug Pads Protect Your Floor

Rug Pads Protect Your Floor

Whether you have a hardwood floor or another type of flooring, a rug pad on an area rug prevents scratches from harming the floor surface. Colors from rug dyes may stain the floor, or a pebble or other small debris under the rug may degrade the floor surface after being stepped on over and over again. A rug pad protects rug fibers and the floor from foot traffic and everyday wear and tear.

Rug Pads Make Walking More Comfortable

2637 from Elements by Abacasa

A rug pad prevents area rugs from shifting. You’ve probably encountered situations where your area rug has slipped, scrunched up or moved around after lots of foot traffic. Area rugs placed on hardwood, tile or other slick, polished surface tend to slip and move around after many people walk on them.

For better results, use double-sided carpet tape to secure rug pads.

Rug Pads Make Cleaning Easier

Vintage Cecilia from Miracle by NuLoom

Rug pads contain bumps or ridges to trap debris and dirt that can become stuck in your rug. The bumps let air flow between the floor and your rug. The easy air flow and dirt trap make vacuuming easier. Rug pads help stop liquids from damaging the floor underneath your area rug.

Types of Rug Pads

Types of Rug Pads

It’s important to choose the right type of rug pad for your area rug. Using the wrong pad can damage the rug as much as not having one.

Small rugs and runner rugs are lightweight and may shift more easily from foot traffic. Use a non-slip, natural rubber rug pad on these rugs. Natural rubber won’t stick to the floor and leave marks like synthetic rubber pads. Natural rubber grips the floor instead of sticking to it.

Kilims and other flat woven rugs need a medium-thick rug pad. Any rug woven on a loom, like a Kilim, may contain an abrasive backing that can scratch your hardwood floor. Choose a rug pad that will act as a barrier between the rug and floor without being so thick it raises the rug profile.

A contour lock rug pad, which is made of felt and natural rubber, adds cushioning and protects your rug without raising the profile.

Use a thin, closed weave rug pad with handwoven rugs or rugs made from high-quality material. Expensive rugs are an investment and you probably spent a lot of time looking for the right area rug to complement your space.  A low profile, solid weave rug pad adds more cushioning and protection than open weave pads. A solid weave rug pad traps dirt and sand that may slip through small openings.

Thick shag rugs need a non-slip rug pad. Shag rugs have better cushioning and are more comfortable, especially on bare feet. A heavy area rug won’t slip and is perfect for busy, high traffic areas. A thin, non-slip pad protects your rug and won’t add height to it. A non-slip pad grips the rug and keeps it in place.

Rug Pad Usage Tips

Savannah Moroccan Fringe from Mona by NuLoom

Rugs made of vinyl have plasticizers that can discolor hardwood if you don’t use a rug pad. Damage from plasticizers in areas rugs will stay on your rugs permanently. Choose rug pads that are specifically made for hardwood floors. When you put a rug pad under your rug, it will rest on top of the floor finish, not directly on the wood.

If you can’t find information about appropriate flooring types on the rug pad’s label, check the manufacturer’s website, call their customer service line, or send them an email.

Thin, grip rug pads are excellent for use on outdoor rugs since they won’t soak up water. You can also use these thin pads with rugs under doors that swing open. Cushioned rug pads naturally mute sound. They are great for kids’ rooms and any room where people practice playing musical instruments or listen to music without headphones.

Thick, grip and cushion pads add a layer of protection where you need to ensure a rug stays safely in place on extra slippery floors.

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