Rug pads aren’t the most exciting topic in the world to think about, but neither is auto insurance. And when you get into a fender bender, one of the first things you think about is your insurance. A pad is just that – insurance for you and for your new area rug.
If you’re in the market for a new, fine-quality floor covering or you’ve recently purchased one, do yourself a favor and make sure you pick up a high-quality pad to go along with it. It will not only improve the feel of your rug underfoot but it will also act as insurance against the hazards of everyday life.
1. What’s the purpose of a rug pad?
A pad serves a number of purposes. It prevents the rug, and subsequently you and your housemates, from sliding around the flooring beneath it. If you’ve ever stepped onto a rug that didn’t have a pad beneath it and felt your feet come out from under you, you’ll understand what I mean. Happily, many rug owners also report that a high-quality pad makes their rugs feel softer underfoot, much like wall-to-wall carpeting does with a carpet pad underneath of it. Finally, a pad is responsible for protecting your rug’s fibers and the flooring beneath them.
2. Ok, but does it really protect your rug?
The short answer is yes, pads do extend the lifetime of your rugs. However, it may take you a long time to really notice. Some rug care experts will tell you that it may take as long as 50 years for a new, good quality rug to show wear if it hasn’t had the benefit of a pad. As they encounter foot traffic, their fibers become ground into the flooring beneath them. A pad helps to absorb this energy and keeps it from wearing as quickly as it might without a pad beneath it.
3. What are rug pads made from?
A good quality pad will be made from wool or polypropylene with a rubber backing to keep it from sliding around on hard surfaces. Most of these pads will measure about ¼ inch in depth and will come in a standard size depending on what brand you choose. If you buy a rug pad online you may have to cut it to the size of your rug. To do this you’ll need to measure it with a tape measure and mark the pad according to those measurements using a pencil. Once that’s done, you should be able to cut the pad to size using a utility knife or even a standard set of household or kitchen scissors.
4. How and where can I buy a rug pad?
You’ve probably seen those rubbery, cut-to-size pads that come in rolls at department and hardware stores. These are meant to help stop the rug from skidding and sliding around the floor and keep it held in place. That’s fine, but when it comes to a fine quality area rug, these types of pads aren’t really going to provide much protection against foot traffic. This is one area where you really need to seek out an expert. A rug store or online retailer that specializes in quality area rugs (you shouldn’t have to look too far for the latter!) will be your best bet when it comes to finding a high-quality rug pad.
5. What is the average cost of a good rug pad?
Since we’ve now established that those thin little pads you find at the department store are not what you’re looking for, be prepared to pay more than what those thin little rug pads cost. A good quality pad will set you back anywhere from $55 to $160 depending on brand and the density of pad that you choose. You’ll notice that that many big-name rug makers such as Mohawk and Safavieh (@SafaviehHome) also make pads. That’s no coincidence – good brands know what it takes to care for their rugs!