How to Select the Right Rug Pad
In much the same way a rug can transform a room, a rug pad can transform a rug.
The right rug pad, when partnered with your favorite natural fiber rug, can lead to a comfier experience underfoot and a marked decrease in slips and falls. Coziness and safety aren't the only benefits of a well-chosen rug pad, either. They can help you to avoid wrinkles or damage to your rug done by heavy furniture sitting upon them. They also increase the overall longevity of rugs they’re used with, making it easier for you to keep your favorite rugs around for longer.
Knowing how important rug pads are is one thing, but choosing the right one is another. That’s why we’ll walk you through everything you need to know in order to select the right rug pad for your home below.
First, determine the size you need.
A rug pad that's too large or too small for your area rug isn't going to offer the benefits listed in this post's introduction. That's why measurement is important when choosing a rug pad. You want your rug pad to be slightly smaller than your rug, because it makes it easier for the rug edges to meet the floor and create the sort of seal that will decrease tripping.
If you need a rule of thumb, it's good to give a quarter to half inch of space around the perimeter of the pad. Most pads you'll buy will be offered in traditional sizing, but custom pads are easy enough to find to meet the needs of your custom sized area rugs.
Next it’s time to choose what kind of rug pad you want.
There isn’t a ton of variation when it comes to rug pads, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have any options when making your choice. There are three main varieties of rug pad: PVC, felt, and rubber. You can also find pads made from combinations of two of the materials listed, though those are less common.
- Rug pads made from felt are best suited for homes where comfort is the biggest priority. You won't find a softer rug pad than a felt one, and they're known for their ability to absorb pressure without damage.
- Rug pads made from rubber are less soft than their felt counterparts, but do a slightly better job at keeping the rugs they're supporting in one place. They've got a slightly sticky surface that adheres readily to both flooring and the rugs they lie beneath. They're also very low profile in comparison to felt pads, which can be a priority to some.
- Rug pads made from PVC are going to be the most affordable, but also potentially problematic. Because it's an unnatural material, rug pads made from PVC can cause discoloration to any hardwood they lay upon. A solution to this is to use a pad that is a combination of felt and rubber (our premium pad) make it reversible for use on hard surfaces (rubber to the floor) and carpet (felt to the carpet).
Is there anything else I should know before buying a rug pad?
Yes! Knowing how to measure for a pad and knowing which types are available to you are the most important purchase vectors. That said, there are still a couple additional things to remember:
- Rug pads do break down over time. A single rug pad will increase the longevity of your home's area rugs, but it does so at it's own expense. Go into this with the expectation that your rug pad won't last forever. Switching out rug pads every time you get your rugs professionally cleaned is an easy way to determine when it's time for a refresh.
- When choosing a pad, keep the type of flooring you have in mind. If your area rug is resting on hardwood or linoleum, you'll want to focus on pads that have the best grip. If your area rug is laying on top of another linen surface, like carpet, you can shift your focus to cushion and comfort.
There's a pretty lengthy list of reasons why you should want a rug pad: they increase your rug's life, make it more comfy underfoot, and generally offer more benefits than hassle. We offer a wide variety of both natural fiber rugs and accompanying pads that can be found when you browse Sisal Rug Direct’s online catalog.