Sometimes the very best place to put a rug is also the spot where it can wear out most quickly and pose the greatest tripping risk. Rug pads are always essential for protecting rugs and ensuring their longest possible life as well as for keeping rugs from slipping, bunching, or buckling, but they are most essential in high-traffic areas like entryways, doorways, hallways, and kitchens. In places where rugs endure the most footfalls, wear and tear is often a major concern, as is the stability of rugs underfoot and the safety of all who walk on them.
Choosing the best pads for rugs in these areas is crucial, but also pretty easy: look for the lowest profile with the greatest grip.
Why low profile? Rugs in doorways and hallways need to stay as flush with the floors as possible to allow for door clearance. Keeping a low profile is also a plus in all high-traffic areas, where raised rugs may cause tripping hazards.
The need for great grip is clear: rugs in these areas need to stay firmly anchored in place to prevent tripping hazards. Bunching, buckling, and wrinkling rugs also pose a danger. Pads with the greatest possible grip are best, and the best material for grip (as well as for the safety and protection of floors and rugs) is natural rubber.
Unlike glues, plastics, or other synthetic adhesives, natural rubber firmly grips to floors and rugs but never sticks to, stains, or strips the surface of floors or rugs. It’s also naturally long-lasting, as is heat-pressed felt, which, combined with natural rubber, offers a blend of grip and cushion. The following pads offer a range of grip and cushion, depending on what size rug and kind of rug you’re placing in entryways, hallways, and high-traffic areas.
- Rugs in high traffic areas need rug pads with strong grip to prevent slipping, sliding, and bunching
- Low-profile pads are ideal for high traffic areas and rugs underneath doors
For welcome mats, runners and other throw rugs 3x5 and smaller: stick to low-profile
For welcome mats, 3' x 5' rugs, and most smaller throw rugs and runners of any length placed in entryways and hallways, grip is generally more important than cushion. Look for pads with the very lowest profile and the strongest possible grip, like RugPro, a remarkably thin yet durable solid design rubber and felt rug pad. It’s needle-punched using very small holes to allow rugs and floors to breathe by improving airflow. Its solid design offers the greatest possible protection for floors and facilitates vacuuming, helping to improve the life of rugs, too.
Nature’s Grip is another great, low-profile choice for small rugs and runners that need to lie completely flush with floors in high-traffic areas. This 100% eco-friendly pad weds hand-woven organic jute fibers with natural rubber to maximize your rug’s stability, extend its life, and protect your flooring in a most eco-friendly way.
If you’d like a bit of subtle cushion under foot in high traffic areas. particularly under thin flatweaves that offer very little cushion on their own, consider Super-Lock Natural. This classic waffle-style pad, made with over 1 pound of natural rubber per square yard, is still thin enough to keep rugs in place, lying flat, and clear of doors in hallways and entryways. But its waffle design also offers a bit of cushion that won’t compress over time. Because it’s made with natural rubber, it will never outgas, stick to, stain, or strip floors the way that plastic pads made with synthetic adhesives can.
For larger rugs in rooms where you spend the most time and want to feel most comfortable: add some cushion
In high-traffic areas, hallways, and entryways, even larger rugs (4x6 and above) require pads with strong grip to keep them in place. But, depending on the type and weight of your rug and where you place it—perhaps in areas where keeping a seriously low profile is not as much of an issue—you may also want a bit more cushion.
But for more cushion under these larger rugs in high-traffic areas, consider Contour-Lock.
This 1/8 inch-thick heat-pressed felt and rubber pad offers a strong grip and moderate levels of cushioning without bulking. Its slightly thicker solid design not only helps facilitate vacuuming, keeping rugs and floors clean by preventing dirt from accumulating and reaching floors, but also fully protects floors from scratches. A great overall value for reliable grip and subtle cushioning, Contour-Lock is also a particularly durable pad to use in high-traffic areas. Made in the USA from 100% recycled felt with a 100% natural rubber backing, this eco-friendly, moisture-and-mildew resistant pad comes with a 15-year warranty. By design (and by virtue of its high-quality natural materials) this pad far outlasts synthetic latex alternatives made with clay fillers that cause rubber to break down prematurely, even in the busiest areas of your home or business.
If you’d like to offer a particularly gracious, comforting welcome to guests (or family, friends, and yourself!) in entryways and central, high-traffic areas where door clearance way be less of an issue or may allow for slightly more lift, consider Superior-Lock. Combining the best of both grip and cushion, these pads are made with more felt and a gentle heat-pressing technique for great non-slip traction with thick, cushioned support. Superior-Lock pads combine a thick layer of felt with a thinner non-slip, natural rubber pad. The needle-punched felt surface naturally clings to the bottom of rugs to anchor it to its surface, while offering extra softness and comfort in two thicknesses, 1/4 inch and 7/16 inch, while the rubber side grips floors securely to keep rugs from slipping, sliding, bunching, or buckling.