How to tell what size rug pad you need
There’s nothing better to an interior design enthusiast than finding the right piece to tie the whole look together. When you find the right high-quality area rug for your space, you just know.
Maybe it’s a low profile flat weave for your entryway, hallway or other high-traffic areas. It could be a plush shag rug to rest your feet on and protect your hardwood floors in your living room.
Once it finally arrives and is placed in the perfect spot, you’ll want to ensure that you take steps to extend the life of your new area rug. Bunching and shifting not only create a tripping hazard but will cause excessive wear and tear that will have your rug looking old before its time.
The best way to keep both small rugs and large rugs firmly in place and looking like new is to invest in the right type of rug pad.
However, not just any rug pad will do. You’ll need to select the right size rug pad for the job.
Let’s take a look at how to size a rug pad for your area rug, steps you can take to resize a rug pad yourself, and which ones are the best for your home.
How do you size a rug pad for an area rug?
Whether you have laminate or hardwood floors, choosing the right area rug pad to place beneath your favorite rug offers many benefits.
- Non-Skid Grip: Rug pads with a rubber backing easily grip your floors and lock your area rug in place. Bonus: if you choose a natural rubber rug pad, they won’t react with your floors and cause staining.
- Comfortable Cushioning: Thicker pads, especially ones made with felt or memory foam, offer luxurious cushioning underfoot and make any hard surface beneath your area rug instantly more comfortable.
- Floor Protection: The proper rug pad will protect any type of flooring, including vinyl, carpeting, laminate, and hardwood floors. Choose eco-friendly materials to ensure the rug pad doesn’t deteriorate over time and cause a chemical reaction that will ruin your floors.
- Extends The Life Of Your Rug: Most area rugs, especially wool rugs, need a rug pad to help hold down the edges of the rug. By keeping your area rug in place, rug pads prevent excessive wear and tear that cause the rug backings to be compromised, leading to a worn and unsightly carpet.
- Sound Muffling: Whether you are a homeowner working from home or an apartment dweller trying to avoid irking your downstairs neighbors, the cushioning in a rug pad will help dampen the sounds of your music, conversations, and footsteps.
- Insulation: A solid rug pad will help block drafts and increase the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling.
No matter what rug size you are working with, you’ll need to follow some basic steps to ensure the rug pad you choose is the correct measurements.
A common misconception is that you should install a rug pad that has measurements identical to your area rug. If the dimensions of the two products match, the rug pad will be less effective and will peek out from the edges of your rug, ruining the aesthetic.
To choose the correct rug pad size, you’ll need to follow these steps.
- Use a measuring tape to measure the length and width of the rug Note: Do not include the decorative ends, like tassels. Only the rug itself.
- Subtract two inches from both the length and width of the rug (Subtract three inches for thicker rugs).
- Use these measurements to select your rug pad size.
For example, if you are selecting a rug pad for an area rug that measures 6 feet by 9 feet, you will need a 5' 10" x 8' 10" rug pad. Rug pads that measure 5 x 7 will work well with an area rug that measures 5' 2" x 7' 2".
For thicker pads underneath large rugs measuring 10 x 13 or more, you will want a slightly larger overhang, so subtract 2.5-3 inches from your rug’s measurements when choosing the rug pad size.
Sometimes you will need to resize a rug pad yourself to get the best fit. Let’s take a look at how you can resize your rug pad for a perfect fit beneath any area rug.
How to resize a rug pad
Area rugs come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on the pile height and size of your rug, you may need to customize your new rug pad for a perfect fit.
Here is what you will need:
- Your Rug Pad
- Scissors, Box Cutter, or Foam Cutter (based on your pad's thickness and material)
- A Sharpie Or Other Magic Marker
- A Measuring Tape
- A Piece Of Cardboard Or Self-Healing Mat (To Prevent Damage When Cutting The Pad)
Follow these steps to ensure your rug pad fits perfectly beneath your new area rug to allow for peak performance and protection.
- roll out your rug pad on a clean, hard surface
- place the area rug over the rug pad.
- use the sharpie to trace the outline of your rug onto the pad. remove when done.
- using your measuring tape, mark two inches inside the marker line.
- place the rug pad on your cardboard or cutting mat.
- slowly trim your rug pad to the smaller outline.
- position your rug pad in the right spot.
- place your area rug over the rug pad.
If trimmed correctly, the rug pad shouldn’t be visible around the edges of your area rug. The edges of the carpet should drape nicely, and there should be no shifting or bunching.
Ready to find the best partner for your new area rug? Here are the best rug pads to use in your home.
These are the best rug pads for your home
No matter what home décor style is trending, the right area rug pulls the whole room together. To avoid your beautiful area rug becoming a tripping hazard, opt for a rubber rug pad that offers a non-slip grip. If cushioning is what you seek, opt for a thick pad made from memory foam.
Here are the best rug pads for your new area rug.
With maximum grip and durability, RugPro is perfect for those high traffic areas of your home that require a firmly anchored area rug. This rug pad combines a thin layer of felt with a solid natural rubber backing.
The felt upper layer gently grabs the rug backing to keep it in place, while the rubber backing ensures your rug won’t slip and skid across your hard floor.
This dual surface rug pad has a solid design that prevents dirt and grime from accumulating and improves the efficiency of your vacuum.
Need both grip and moderate cushioning? Contour-Lock is made from 100% recycled felt heat pressed onto a natural rubber backing. It works well for flatweave rugs that refuse to stay put but need extra cushioning to be comfy.
This eco-friendly rug pad comes with a ten-year warranty and is safe for all floor types. It’s mildew and moisture resistant too, meaning it works well in humid environments.
With sustainability trending in every industry, it’s no wonder that Nature’s Grip is so popular. Hand-woven using organic jute fibers, this rug pad doesn’t stick to your floors. It provides a strong grip that will lock your area rug in place without harmful odors or use of synthetic materials.
While PVC rug pads will deteriorate over time and release toxic chemicals into your home, Nature’s Grip is only made with eco-friendly materials that are built to last.
If your area rug just doesn’t sit still, Super-Lock Natural will tame it. Made with over a pound of natural rubber per square yard, this low-profile rug pad is dense and heavy.
Its waffle design allows proper airflow between your rug and flooring while offering a comfortable level of cushioning that is perfect for thick rugs and thin ones alike. This rug pad is compatible with all flooring times and is mold and mildew resistant, meaning you can use it in humid environments like the bathroom.
The best part is Super-Lock Natural is easy to clean and reposition, making it great for people with allergies.
Is cushioning your main priority? Look no further than Eco-Plush ⅜”. This felt rug pad will cushion and protect your hard floors while providing acoustic and insulation benefits.
Made from 100%, heat-pressed felt, Eco-Plush works best under large rugs that aren’t prone to slipping and sliding or don’t have door clearance accessibility issues.
Because it’s made from natural felt, you won't have to worry about any unpleasant odors associated with inexpensive PVC rug pads you see on Amazon. With a ten-year warranty, Eco-Plush will serve your home long after cheap rug pads have needed replacing.
Other things you want to know
The rug pad size you choose is nearly as important as the area rug itself. Paring the correct rug pad with your hand-picked area rug will ensure that your home décor stays looking brand new.
Here are some more things you need to know about rug pad sizing.
What should I use to trim my rug pad?
The cutting utensil you use will depend on the material and thickness of your rug pad.
Thin rug pads: Sharp Scissors Or Shears.
Thick rug pads: A Box Cutter Or Utility Knife
Memory foam rug pads: Foam Cutters
Always make sure your cutting utensil is clean and free of residue to prevent any damage or staining.
What rug pad works best for a runner rug?
Because runners are typically placed in high-traffic areas of your home, like hallways, entryways, and mudrooms, you need a rug pad that offers solid grip to prevent slips and skids.
Opt for a natural rubber rug pad that is easy to clean, mold and mildew resistant, and most importantly, will anchor your runner firmly in place.
Can cheap rug pads ruin my expensive floors?
Yes! Cheap rug pads will ruin your expensive floors because they are made from synthetic materials, like PVC. These materials break down and flake. This not only makes a mess but can cause the rug pad to react with your floors, causing expensive damage.
Not only that, cheap rug pads are often sprayed with adhesives, which cause the pad to stick to both your area rug and floors. This will leave residue behind that is difficult to remove and may cause a chemical reaction with some flooring finishes.
Always invest in a high-quality rug pad made from all-natural, eco-friendly materials, like jute, natural rubber, and felt.