Do You Need to Use a Rug Pad?

Why you need to use a rug pad

Do you really need to use a rug pad? Yes.

A rug pad is a material layer that provides a buffer between your rug and the floor.

You’ve heard the horror stories. You’ve seen the pictures. Cheap plastic rug pads seeping chemicals into gorgeous hardwood floors and causing countless dollars of damage. Non-slip rug pads sticking to the floor boards, leaving visible marks and discoloration behind. PVC backed plastic rug pads, emitting VOCs that ruin the indoor air quality and can cause numerous breathing issues.

So with all these negatives, why should you use a rug pad? Simple.

Not all rug pads are created equal.

A great rug pad should be durable and long lasting. It should be made of sustainable materials that are safe to use in your home. And most importantly, it should always protect rugs and floors, not damage them.

If you’re asking, “Do I really need a rug pad?” — the answer is yes.

Rug pads are critical for the protection of both your floor and your rug.

Today, we’ll break down five key reasons why you need a rug pad. We’ll also describe common problems you’ll face if you don’t use a rug pad, and tackle the unique needs of different flooring types.

Five reasons why you need a rug pad

At RugpadUSA, we’re well aware that you don’t want to spend a great deal of time maintaining or thinking about your rugs. But the fact is, there’s just one step you’ve got to make, and then you’re good to go: get a rug pad.

Area rugs without a pad often slip around and bunch up. They may also stain and strip your flooring.

Fortunately, all you need to keep your rug shipshape is a rug pad.

A good rug pad provides a number of benefits:

  1. Protects your floor surface
  2. Provides cushioning
  3. Prevents slipping
  4. Protects your rug
  5. Facilitates airflow

Read on for a detailed breakdown of five reasons why every rug in your house should have a rug pad.

1. Protects the floor

Why you need a rug pad protection floor

Dirt and debris will accumulate over time underneath your area rug. These materials are erosive. That means that they wear away at the floor surface due to friction.

A rug pad prevents this grime from contacting the floor. That means little bits of dirt and other waste materials can’t scratch, blemish, and otherwise damage the floor.

2. Provides extra cushioning

Why you need to use a rug pad cushioning cloud

One of the main reasons for having an area rug is to improve the “underfoot experience.”

A rug slightly softens up a portion of the floor. However, a rug without a pad can result in sliding, bunching, knotting, and wrinkling. That makes for a decidedly unpleasant surface to walk or place furniture on.

A cushioned rug pad provides grip to hold the rug in place. It also makes for an even softer landing for your footsteps, providing a plush and giving surface for walking or sitting.

The cushioning will also block some of the sound transference from your feet to the floor. That helps to mute the sounds created by footsteps.

3. Prevents slipping

Why you need to use a rug pad slipping non-slip

A non-slip rug pad will keep your rug anchored to the floor and spread out across its placement area. In other words, the rug will stay where you want it to stay.

An area rug that bunches, knots, and slides is annoying and unpleasant. It can also result in falls and other mishaps.

Using a rug pad will ensure the rug behaves itself, helping you to maintain a safe and highly walkable floor surface.

4. Prolongs the life of your rug

Why you need to use a rug pad - longevity protect your rugs

A rug pad provides a solid foundation for your rug. That means that the rug isn’t in direct contact with the floor, where it would rub against the flooring and wear away over time.

The everyday friction caused by a rug without a pad will gradually degrade the rug. Furthermore, the rug will be pressed against the floor without airflow, resulting in the trapping of abrasive dirt, harmful allergens, and other damaging debris.

5. Facilitates airflow

Why you need to use a rug pad breathability vacuum air flow

Rug pads are designed to promote airflow between the floor and the rug.

The pad’s material and design allow it to “breathe.” This prevents the rug from pressing down flush to the floor, where it can trap dirt, allergens, and moisture.

Proper airflow facilitated by a rug pad allows for particles of dust and dirt to be easily captured while vacuuming. This helps to maintain a clean home while protecting the flooring under the rug.

What happens if you don't use a rug pad?

Not using a rug pad can result in a variety of bummers, ranging from mildly annoying to costly and distressing. Here are some of the potential consequences for eschewing rug pads.

Uneven wear on your rug

What happens to an area rug that slips, slides, wrinkles, and bunches up? Well, as the wrinkles settle into long-lasting folds, those parts of the rug will become damaged.

As a result, the wrinkled portions of the rug will begin to show damage more quickly than other parts. This reduces the lifespan and value of the rug.

A rug pad prevents uneven wear by holding the rug to the pad, keeping it spread out and free of folds or wrinkles.

Floor staining

Hardwood and other hard surface floorings can be vulnerable to staining. It’s not easy to remove blemishes from these surfaces.

The right rug pad provides a barrier against a variety of damage, including stains. However, take note: cheap, low-quality rug pads can also stain a hardwood floor. That’s why it’s important to select the right high-quality rug pad for your floor type, as we’ll discuss below.

Rugs slipping

Area rugs, especially those that are small, thin, or unanchored, are prone to slipping around. This means that you have to constantly adjust them. It also makes vacuuming a major chore.

Good non-slip rug pads will provide grip and help hold the rug in place. That makes for easier cleaning, less rearranging, and a reliable surface underfoot.

Furniture damaging rugs

Area rugs are often situated underneath coffee tables, sofas, and chairs.

If the furniture on your rug is particularly heavy or frequently moved, it can indent, mar, or tear the rug.

A rug pad adds cushioning between the furniture, the rug, and the floor. This extra padding helps to prevent the damage caused by the furniture pressing down on the rug.

How necessary is a rug pad? (by floor type)

Different floor types have different needs. Here’s a primer on your rug pad needs for various flooring surfaces.

Do you need a rug pad on vinyl plank flooring?

Vinyl plank flooring consists of vinyl floor material arranged in long, narrow strips rather than square tiles. It’s a nice alternative to hardwood floors, as the material is durable and waterproof.

Vinyl plank floors are often made with chemical plasticizers and polymers. These can damage the floor over time when covered with a rug or rug pad. Pads made from rubber can react with the chemicals used in the vinyl, resulting in stains on the floor.

That’s why rug pads for vinyl plank floors are available without natural rubber. Our rug pads for vinyl plank floors are made from a soybean oil-based polymer blend. This material won't result in the staining caused by natural rubber pads.

Damage Risk of Not Using a Rug Pad: High
Best Rug Pad Material for Vinyl Flooring: a soybean oil-based polymer blend

Do you need a rug pad on hardwood flooring?

Hardwood floors are a major investment. So, you do what you can to help prolong their quality and appeal.

Rug pads for hardwood floors need to offer grip, cushion, or both. For this flooring type, natural rubber is a safe and effective option. The rubber grips to both the floor and the rug, preventing sliding.

Combinations of rubber and felt are great for providing both grip and cushioning. Or, 100 percent felt is an option if cushioning is the top priority. Either way, these materials are safe to use on your hardwood floors — no stains.

Damage Risk of Not Using a Rug Pad: High
Best Rug Pad Material for Hardwood Flooring: natural rubber and felt combo

Do you need a rug pad on laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring is made from multi-layered synthetic material. It’s designed to imitate the look of hardwood flooring at a lower cost.

Different rug manufacturers recommend different pad materials to help maintain laminate flooring. Some recommend rubber, some recommend non-rubber.

So, our laminate flooring rug pad selections include rubber options as well as non-rubber soybean oil-based pads.

Damage Risk of Not Using a Rug Pad: Medium
Best Rug Pad Material for Laminate Flooring: both rubber and non-rubber options

Do you need a rug pad on tile flooring?

Tile or stone floors are resilient to various kinds of damage and wear and tear. However, rugs do tend to slip around on these floor types. That means your area rug is always out of alignment with your floor design, or just not covering the area that you want it to cover.

The best rug pads for stone and tile surfaces are felt, felt and rubber, or natural rubber. These pad materials will help to support your rug and secure it in place. They’ll also preserve your stone and tile floor surfaces.

Damage Risk of Not Using a Rug Pad: Medium
Best Rug Pad Material for Tile Flooring: felt, felt and rubber, or natural rubber

Do you need a rug pad on a carpet?

Area rugs on carpets are prone to the same issues as with other floor types: slipping, sliding, and damaging the carpet underneath.

Carpet Lock rug pads are made just for rugs on carpet. They’re created with a combination of felt and rubber which won’t damage or discolor the carpet. This texture is designed to fasten to the carpet, preventing shifting and bunching from foot traffic.

Best of all is the extremely soft and plush surface created by the combination of your rug and pad atop the carpet.

Damage Risk of Not Using a Rug Pad: Medium
Best Rug Pad Material for Carpet Flooring: felt and rubber combo

What can you use instead of rug pads?

Folks who don’t want to buy a rug pad often turn to a few DIY options to keep their rug in place. One common route is double-sided carpet tape, lined with adhesive on both sides to keep the rug attached to the floor.

Of course, once the tape is applied, it can be difficult to remove without leaving residue or stripping away the rug or floor.

Other alternatives to rug pads include lining the underside of the rug with silicone caulk, or using a rubber shelf liner as a pad. These methods might provide some success at keeping your rug in place. But they won’t match a quality rug pad in terms of protecting your carpet and floor.

Chances are, after attempting a DIY alternative, you’ll end up wishing you’d opted for a good rug pad from the start.

Our rug pads are manufactured, cut, and shipped here in the USA. And we guarantee that our rug pads won’t stain, mar, or discolor any surfaces if used in accordance with your flooring manufacturer’s instructions.

No matter what sort of floor and rug you’ve got, shop our selection today for the perfect rug pad to meet your needs.

You May Also Like:

Looking for support

Looking for support or have questions? We are here for you

We offer live, expert advice for our customers 7 days a week, 365 days a year.