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Choosing the Right Rug Pads for Hardwood Floors

If your home has hardwood floors, you understand what a critical role area rugs play. Not only do throw rugs protect your home’s beautiful hardwood floors, but they also offer comfort and warmth, and add a touch of color to any room.

Hardwood floors are not cheap, it’s important to protect your investment. The process of finding the right rug can seem like a chore, so when you do finally find it, you want it to be perfect. Protecting your floor does not just end with the area rug. That’s where your rug pad comes in. Choosing the wrong rug pad, or just not using one at all, can result in scratched, damaged floors. So how do you know you’re choosing the right one?

The Right Rug Pad Makes All the Difference

Certain rug pads are made from materials high in what’s known as VOC’s, or Volatile Organic Compounds. These can leach out residue and chemicals that are damaging to flooring. Some cheaper rug padding made of foam or latex will disintegrate over time, potentially damaging the rug on top of it or the floor beneath it. Rug pads have a few jobs, including:

  • Floor protection
  • Safety
  • Comfort
  • Rug preservation

With such an important job, you’ll want to put as much effort into selecting your rug pad as you would into choosing the rug itself. There are more rug pads available than people realize, in every size, shape, and price range imaginable. The average rug supplier carriers a few types.

Synthetic latex: These are typically made from clay fillers which can dry out over time, leaving flakes behind. This is a good short term choice until you can get a better rug pad.

100% natural rubber: This delivers an eco-friendly option at a medium price tag. Rubber pads will grip the floors but are non-stick, so you don’t have to worry about damage. Since rubber is a natural material, it does not give off the same fumes as other materials, resulting in better air quality.

100% felt: Felt adds both cushion and floor protection, though felt lacks the natural grip that rubber has. Due to their lack of grip, felt rug pads are better suited for larger area rugs.

PVC: Lower cost pads are typically constructed from PVC or similar materials, which have not been tested for VOC emissions or overall toxicity. These budget pads can interact with your floors finish, leading to discoloration throughout time.

Felt/rubber hybrid: This premium pad will offer maximum comfort with the gripping power of rubber.

The idea is to match the quality of the rug to the quality of the pad. If you’ve invested the money into a high-quality wool rug, you’ll want to put down a higher quality rug pad. Look for a better quality pad that will preserve the life of your carpet as well as the quality of your hardwood floor.

At Giant Rugs, we stock a variety of Karastan and Nourison pads in various sizes. Shop for rug pads now to protect your wood flooring.