Buying a Rug? Don’t Forget Your Rug Pad

These days, there is a wealth of rug styles and colours to choose from. The right rug, when placed in a room can add an entirely new layer of colour and texture. However, a lot of damage can be the result if you haven’t included a rug pad. But is having a rug pad really so important? The short answer is yes. The last thing a rug pad should be is an afterthought.

Rug Pads Increase Safety

Regardless of the type of rug you have, there needs to be a way to keep it in place. Not doing so will increase the risks of guests tripping, slipping and possibly sustaining injury. By including a rug pad, you can ensure that the rug will be held fast against your floor without sliding.

Another potential of not using a rug pad is that the corners may curl, or the rug may bunch, causing a dangerous – and unexpected – obstacle. But a rug pad can also prevent this. Those who love their rugs best when they’re on centre will also love the idea of a rug pad, as it can prevent the creeping that can occur when a rug is only kept in place by furniture.

Rug Pads Protect your Floor

Having a rug pad cushions your rug, preventing it from rubbing against your flooring and causing damage. But not all rug pads are created equally; floor damage can be the result if the wrong rug pad is chosen.

Pads made of either latex or natural rubber are the best choice for rug pads, as they allow the floor beneath them to ‘breathe’. Other materials like PVC or vinyl often used in rug pads may ‘sweat’ and keep moisture on the floor’s surface, causing damage.

What about Non-Skid Backing?

Many rugs will come with not an underlay, but a backing that prevents skidding. Whilst this does help to keep the rug flexible, it’s important to make sure that the backing won’t react with the finish of your flooring. A chemical reaction on flooring has likely occurred if the floor has yellowed.

Finding the right Rug Backing

The rug backing that is best for your application will depend on the weave, thickness and size of your rug.

If your rug is small, a thin pad that prevents slipping is best. If you are placing your small rug in a high-traffic area, this padding is even more important. If you have a large rug such as an 8×10 or larger, there may be a much smaller risk of slipping. If this is the case, you will likely not need much more than a felt pad underneath to keep the rug where it should be as well as protect the underlying flooring. 3/8 of an inch is the maximum thickness you should choose for your large rug pad.

For thick rugs, a thin rug pad is best, as one that’s too thin can actually cause a tripping hazard. Those with thin rugs already know about their tendency for corner curling. A rubber and felt combination rug pad is best for thin rugs like kilims, and up to ¼ inch thick is best.

Two of the most popular rug pads are made of 100% natural rubber or of felt that has been recycled. Indeed, natural materials are what you want to look for when choosing a rug pad. Some rug pads are made of wool, which is a sound choice. Natural materials like wool will not threaten your floor’s finish.

If some padding is preferred, a thinner rug pad will not offer this. But taking a good look at the traffic in the room your rug is in is a good place to start when looking for the right rug pad for use on bare floors or over carpets in your Bedfordshire home.