Laminate flooring is a great alternative to hardwood floors. You get the look without the hefty price tag and the hard surface makes cleaning more efficient.
There is a downside though. The solid material doesn't feel soft like carpeting, and sounds can echo off the floors.
An area rug is an easy solution.
Rugs help you define a space, easily add design elements to a room, and help dampen noise. Like home design soulmates, area rugs make a great addition to laminate floors.
Even so, laminate floors are vulnerable to damage from rugs. *sad face*
And that’s exactly what we do. In this post, we’ll break down what to look for in a rug pad and which rug pads we recommend for your laminate floor.
Why you need a rug pad on laminate floors
Rugs slide on smooth floor surfaces like laminate flooring, making them hard to keep in place.
Everyday movement from you, for family, or pets can make rugs slide or bunch up.
Rugs can end up in unexpected areas or become a tripping hazard and the last thing you need is someone getting injured.
It’s also a hassle constantly having to readjust rugs back into place.
Not only that, but the bottoms of rugs can also harm your laminate flooring. Rough textures rub against and scratch the surface of your floors. Some rugs have non-slip surfaces attached underneath, which often contain synthetic latex materials, which can permanently stain your flooring.
Purchasing a high-quality rug pad will protect your laminate floor from damage. It will also keep your rug from slipping out of place.
What to know before you buy
Purchasing a rug pad may seem like an afterthought, but it’s important to know what to look for and avoid when it comes to rug pads.
After all, you get what you pay for and the least expensive rug pads available can be just as damaging to your floors as having no rug pad at all!
Cheap plastic rug pads contain chemicals that off-gas into your home. Some also contain phthalates, which are potentially harmful to you.
Synthetic latex and other adhesive materials in inexpensive rug pads can damage your floors as the pads or adhesive material can stick to flooring, leaving permanent stains.
In other words, be careful about choosing a budget rug pad.
What you need is a rug pad made with natural rubber. Natural rubber is an excellent rug pad material because it creates a non-slip rug pad without any adhesives, and it won’t stain your floors. It will protect laminate floors and prevent slipping and sliding off the rug.
It's worth nothing that some laminate flooring manufacturers recommend latex rug pads and others recommend rug pads made with natural rubber. If you're concerned about which material is best for your floor, then contact your manufacturer to ask. We've never had any problems with our natural rubber pads, though.
As for rug pad design to look out for, open-weaved rug cushions contain cushioning materials like felt while closed weave pads are completely waterproof for extra floor protection.
Depending on your needs, you’ll want to consider these factors before making a purchase.
These are the best rug pads for laminate floors
To choose the best carpet pad for you, first think about your needs.
- Foot traffic: Do you have a runner rug in a hallway or an area rug in a quieter, furniture-filled room? This helps determine how much grip your rug pad needs.
- How much cushioning: Do you want extra cushioning and a plush feel added to your rug? Or would you prefer a thinner rug pad that grips without the cushioning?
- Location: Where are you using the rug pad? What kind of climate do you live in? Rug pads with closed weaves are waterproof. This makes them great for wet areas of the home like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. Some rug pads are mold and mildew-resistant. Great for humid climates.
Superior-Lock is RugPadUSA’s signature rug pad. Made out of recycled felt and natural rubber, it is a thick rug pad that provides a firm grip with extra cushioning.
The felt surface keeps hold of rugs, preventing wrinkling or bunching. Its thick felt core gives cushioning and a plush feel to any rug.
The reinforced, natural rubber backing makes this a non-slip rug pad, providing resistance on your laminate floors. This reinforced rubber backing creates a stronger grip and makes it durable, giving it a longer lifespan. The backing won’t flake or deteriorate as quickly as other low-cost rug pads.
Superior-Lock works best with floor finishes prone to staining, like hardwood and laminate floors.
Made in the USA, this rug pad is more eco-friendly than its competitors, odor-free, and long-lasting. It even comes with a 15-year warranty. It’s safe for all rugs, floorings, and finishes.
It’s best for medium to large rugs and areas you want extra comfort. This rug pad offers sound reduction and insulation. It's especially great if you live in an apartment or multi-story home.
Superior-Lock is available in several thicknesses. You can decide how much cushioning you prefer.
The Contour-Lock rug pad is thinner than Superior-Lock. It still offers the same moderate cushioning but with less bulk. The top layer is ⅛ of an inch of felt material, with a bottom layer of natural rubber backing.
The pad is thinner, but the recycled felt fiber offers the same grip strength. It keeps the rug from wrinkling or bunching. The rubber backing prevents the rug from shifting or sliding, even in high-traffic areas.
It’s especially suited for thin rugs and rugs with rough backings.
Contour-Lock is RugPadUSA’s most versatile rug pad, working with many rug types, including low pile rugs and flat-woven rugs like Kilims, Dhurries, and Soumaks.
It also works well for wool, tufted, and hooked rugs, as well as any smaller rugs prone to bunching.
The backing consists of natural rubber, so it won’t stick or stain any floor type.
Contour-Lock is an excellent choice for damp environments, as it is moisture and mildew resistant.
The Anchor Grip rug pad is sustainable and offers a non-slip grip. This waterproof, low-profile rug pad is entirely plant-based, using soybean oil and bio-based fillers.
It’s the perfect companion for a high-end area rug that needs more traction. The solid construction provides extra protection for floors. It also makes this rug pad waterproof.
Anchor Grip is mold and mildew resistant, so it works great for hot and humid climates. This rug pad is also great for kitchens, bathrooms, or laundry rooms—a great option for any home area prone to moisture.
The Anchor Grip contains no petroleum-based ingredients or plasticizers. You don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals like phthalates. There is nothing to leach or cause discoloration of your flooring.
This rug pad is safe for multiple floor types, including laminate, stone, and concrete.
Other things you want to know
You now know the non-slip and cushioning benefits of a rug pad and to avoid materials like adhesives and synthetic latex in cheap rug pads.
But you may still have questions about the right rug pad for you or how to care for it.
Here you’ll find common questions, helping you find the best rug pad for your laminate floors.
Should I buy a non-slip pad or a cushioned pad?
The type of pad you buy should correspond to your needs and personal preference.
- Is your rug in a high traffic area like a hallway? A non-slip pad works best.
- Cushioned pads work with larger area rugs in living rooms.
- Cushioned rug pads work anywhere you’re looking to add a plush layer of comfort.
What’s the difference between open weave and solid rug pads?
Performance-wise, there isn’t much difference.
- You will get excellent grip strength from both.
- A solid rug pad better protects the underlying floor from spills and pet accidents.
- Open-weave designs allow for more airflow. They're better for vacuuming and extending the life of your rug.
Can I use rug pads with radiant floor heating?
Yes, you just have to use the correct type of rug pad.
Contour Lock and Superior Lock rug pads both work with radiant heating. The felt and natural rubber combination can handle the temperature changes.These models won't break down or cause damage to your flooring.
How do I clean the rug pad?
To clean your rug pad:
- Blot it with a damp rag
- Allow the pad to air dry before placing the rug back on top.
Should the rug pad be the same size as my rug?
No, your rug pad should be slightly smaller than your rug size.
Order a rug pad that is one inch smaller than your rug dimensions on all sides. This will conceal and protect the rug pad, as well as prevent a tripping hazard.