Choosing the Perfect Rug Pad

Area rugs can be a major investment, so it makes sense that when you’re shelling out beaucoup bucks, you might want to save a few along the way by cutting out unnecessary expenses. If you’ve been wondering whether rug pads are one of those unnecessary expenses you might be able to skip, here’s the quick answer: nope. And now here’s why.

While safety is an awfully compelling reason to include rug pads under your area rugs, pads aren’t just about preventing you, your family members, your pets, and your guests from slip-sliding away. They also protect your rug from uneven wear patterns, and keep dirt, debris, and moisture trapped between the floor and the rug from damaging the rug’s underside or backing. In a similar vein, they prevent your floors, especially wood floors, from getting bits of latex backing or thread stuck to or ground into in them. And who doesn’t want to stop scratches from happening, or keep their floors in their best shape for years to come?

If you’re ready to take the rug-pad plunge, here’s a quick guide to which types work best on which floors, and which types of rugs they work best with. Note that radiant-heat floors can melt rug pads and rugs with latex or plastic backing, so you’ll want to choose a rug weave—sans rug pad—that’s compatible with these floors, or forgo the rug entirely on these surfaces.

Outdoor Floor Rug Pad

Made of tough, no-slip PVC-coated polyester, these rug pads are perfect for the porch or patio, sans surface transfer. Use with indoor/outdoor rugs. Note: outdoor rug pads are not always suitable for vinyl, lacquered, acrylic, Saltillo tile, terra-cotta, and unsealed surfaces, so if you have any of these types of floors, check with the manufacturer before using.

Floor-Lock Solid Pad

These pads, made of needle-punch plastic with a latex backing, offer cushioning, insulation, and slip resistance in one washable, microbe-resistant package. Use with any type of indoor rug, especially micro-hooked cotton and wool.

Rug-Stop Rug Pad

This thin, durable, washable pad offers support and promotes even wear. It’s ideal for low-profile rugs, like woven wool and micro-hooked wool, and works well in stair runner installations, where too much height can actually encourage stumbling on the stairs.

Solid Extra-Grip Rug Pad

In contrast to thinner pads, like the Rug-Stop, this pad in thick and cushy and enhances the foot-feel of high-pile rugs, like hand-knotted wools and jutes. Its higher loft also prevents liquids from leaking onto the floor beneath—a plus if you have pets or small kids in the house.

Natural Grip Rug Pad

The Natural Grip Rug Pad, made out of polyester and coated with natural rubber, is anti-microbially treated to keep odors, mold and mildew at bay! This open weave wonder will keep your family safe from slipping rugs and is fire-retardant to boot. Pair this rug pad with any of our rugs, as long the rug will have a home indoors. Note that this rug pad is not suited for use on vinyl, lacquered, acrylic or porous surfaces.