Best rug pad for hardwood floors?

pps7August 12, 2010

We're moving into a house with wideplank pine floors. What type of rug pads should I use under my area rugs? Are PVC ones bad for your floors? I was going to try the ones from Crate and barrel, but they are pricey. Are they worth the money?

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I would strongly recommend never buying a rug pad that comes folded up. They are a HUGE pain as those folds do not relax completely, despite what the company says. I buy all of mine now from Pottery Barn (the premium/deluxe one) and I have been very pleased. They come rolled and lie down fine on the floor.

Don't scrimp on good pads. You truly get what you pay for and they will protect the backs of your rugs (not to mention your hard flooring)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 11:09AM
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What you want is a felt pad with a rubberized grid on the bottom. Overstock carries them and this is what they look like:

They cost more, but are definitely worth the money and better for your floors and rugs.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 11:14AM
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bac717 is exactly right. You can get these from (most) carpet stores. I recently had them cut off a width I needed for a medium sized area rug, and from the remainder I was able to get two more pads for small rugs. A little pricey but worth it both for comfort underfoot and for the life of the rug.

I've had a bad reaction between the lattice-like grip pads from BB&B and the finish on my hardwood.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 11:54AM
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Thanks! I had a overstock coupon so I ordered those. I needed 8 (ouch!) but hopefully worth the money in the long run.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 9:07PM
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We have several of these from Overstock. We were concerned about the rubber reaction on the wood floor.

Since our rugs are large and won't slip, we laid the pads with the rubberized side facing up.

The life of the rug is extended with the padding underneath and they feel so thick and soft underfoot.

It is very difficult to find plain felt padding for rugs!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 3:09PM
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I have felt pads that we bought from the carpet store.they were cut to fit under our large orientals neither side is rubberized.
The 4x6 rug has a thin rubber pad also cut to fit from the carpet store. No problems with either kind on our wood floors.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 9:32PM
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I agree with everyone else about the felt pads. Like cooperbailey, we got ours from a carpet store, and neither side is rubberized. They are SO nice to walk on - soft as can be, and absolutely no problems with the wood floors beneath.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 11:44AM
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I also have bought a few of the pads and love them!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 8:37PM
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We got a Karastan "Down Under" for our wool woven Zapotec rug. The rug salesman at a very reputable furniture store assured me that it wouldn't hurt the floor or our rug. I'm a little concerned because it isn't felt - the side that faces the rug is very rough to hold the rug in place - I hope it doesn't cause damage. The floor side is a small waffle like material but is harder than those cheaper ones.

I still need more pads and will take a look at those mentioned there. Thanks for the information.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 8:57PM
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I got the overstock pads and they are great! I can'tbelieve I used those cheap ones for so long. The felt side feels a little rough. I cannot imagine having that against my hardwood floors. The rubber side is very nice. I've ordered a few more.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 10:26PM
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I'll be needing some soon, so I've been reading this thread. Is that "rubber" side really safe for the floor? Sounds like it'd stick over time.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 10:46PM
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In my experience, the 'rubber' side of the pad I recommended from Overstock does not stick to the floor over time. We've had ours under our rug in the LR for 3 years. Over that time, I've never had the pad stick to the floor or noticed any discoloring of the floor. On the other hand, at the front door where we also have hardwood floors, I had used one of the cheaper 'shelf liner looking' non-slip pads and I had a terrible time with it sticking to the floor and leaving small parts of it behind. I was able to completely clean the floor, tho, and will never use that kind of pad again.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 1:18PM
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Thanks, Bac717!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 10:55PM
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Just want to recommend an online source that I recently had a great experience with. I was looking for a felt pad with no rubber/latex backing, but they have non-slip pads as well.

I ordered, gave them the exact rug size, and they cut the pad and shipped it the same day. I was shocked it arrived so fast. And, it fits perfectly. They fold pads only for shipping (and only twice in my case, because it was large) and the folds settled right out, unlike the Overstock pads I bought previously.

They're a little more expensive than Overstock, but worth it for me. And no, I don't have any connection to the company and have been on/off this board for years :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Rug pads

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 4:48PM
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Andee and Bac717,

I had one of those lattice-type pads in my entry hall and I noticed recently that I can see the lattice design in my hardwood floor in certain lighting. (I'm probably the only one who would notice it and, with the rug in place it's not really an issue but . . .) Did anyone have any success in getting rid of the lattice marks without hurting the floor?


    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 9:40PM
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I used one of those lattice type pads on my hardwood floors that were wax finished (not polyurethane finish). Within a year the poly in the pads essentially melted to the wax on the floor. The only way to get rid of residue was to strip the floor and rewax (sigh). I never got that kind of reaction on polyurethane finish floors though.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 11:57PM
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Should a rug pad be used for rugs over tile and vinyl too?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 2:29AM
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I have a polyurethane finish. I changed the pad just recently after the lattice type was down for nearly two years, but the marks had appeared about a year earlier.

They seem to be some sort of impression in the finish, not a residue. I did try to wash (with a damp cloth) and rub dry, but no success. As you say, it is subtle. Fortunately for me, I plan to keep the rug in the room and so the affected floor will always be covered. I get a lot of strong sun in the room in the afternoon, and of course that also is having an effect around the rug edges. Can you let your floor be exposed to sun for awhile? Maybe that will even out the marked and unmarked areas. --

Vampiressrn: The pad is for yours and the rug's sake (durability and comfort), not for the floor. So yes to all floor types. And the harder the floor (stone, tile), the more necessary is the pad.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 10:51AM
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The good stuff (grippy felt + purple rubber foam underside) is called "No-muv" in case you want to google it.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 8:31PM
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It has a foam backing. Your input will be greatly appreciated.

Rug Construction: Machine Woven
Material: Microfiber ( 100 %)
Backing Material: Foam ( 100 %)

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 6:02AM
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Will the rubber stick to or scratch the wood floor?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 6:14AM
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I bought a Pottery Barn non-skid rug pad, but fearful of using it as it appears to be the same type of product in the "rubberized" shelf liner. I HAVE had a problem with the similar-type product leaving marks on a wood table top and some plastic surfaces. This actually changes the surface finish and is not repairable without refinishing.

I used it with plastic CD covers and it left the grid imprint on the plastic, so there is some interaction with whatever type of "rubberized" product that is.

Maybe I'll try the felt pad idea. I have that under bedroom area rugs and that's worked out ok.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 4:01PM
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I heard that any kind of rubber makes the floor sweat between the rug and the floor. So on tile it might be ok but I heard that on vinyl the rubber backed pads "yellow" the floor and on hardwood floors spoil the floor because they sweat and that moisture is not good for the floors.

I have all hardwood floors and have rugs in places but have been living without pads for fear of "sweating" Replacing a rug is easier than the hardwood floor.

Maybe I should give some of these pads a try.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 4:41PM
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My son currently works as a 3rd party engineer for one of the felt rug padding and carpet padding manufacturers Rug Pad USA, Mohawk, Shaw.... and I've actually asked him this same exact issue.

I'm a designer down in Savannah GA and our summers are as humid and muggy as they come. I asked him specifically what pads would work to avoid the "Sweating" issue. My clients and I complain about this all the time - the pads get glued to the floor. One of my clients had to replace a portion of their hardwood to fix this issue.

He has an engineer background does this for a living, thus most of what he said went over my head....but here's what I gathered...

- A 100% felt rug pad is actually recycled polypropylene fibers but it won't ever stain, nor sweat, but the rug has to be large enough not to move. But with smaller rugs, you need to stick with a rubber or latex product to prevent "sweating" and sticking.

- Felt and rubber rug pads are made with either synthetic latex (lower cost) or Natural rubber (more expensive), he thought that both should be dry enough that they shouldn't sweat between your floors. So this is what I have been recommending to my clients.

I also asked him about the different materials - since I told him one of my clients floors needed to be replaced.

Heres what he said "your flooring surface finishes are whats important, not whats underneath them, and to be especially careful with vinyl, acrylic, and laquered finishes. Some PVC padding, not all, can leave an imprint on this type of flooring if they don't get the formula correct, or if they use cheap fillers rather in place of proper materials, or if they haven't been tested on before. Pads that tend stick to floors, melt, sweat, are always made with pvc and essentially all come from low grade suppliers in China."

Some food for thought :) - Hope this helps

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 2:13AM
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That little "pad" sold to go under area rugs at the big box stores does little if anything to cushion my rug. I have wondered if I could use regular carpet padding to make it more comfy for the grandkids to roll around on

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 7:31AM
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thank you so much for the information!! we are just finalizing the construction of our first little house and are so excited to move in. though expenses keep adding up (anxiety much?!) we know it is wiser to invest in quality necessities to keep everything pristine and well maintained. i was worried about using those rolled up "rubber grid" pads, because i have seen the "matte" marks that they leave on hardwood and i have personally scrubbed to remove them (i am a nanny/housekeeper) and it is awful!! thank you so much for the recommendations- my O dollars are adding up! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: this is the pad we purchased.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 12:13PM
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