No matter how large or small an area rug is, you need the right carpet pad to protect your hardwood floors. Without this protective layer between your area rug and floor you could be damaging the finish on your flooring without even realizing it.
Not All Rug Pads are Created Equally
Some are intended for small area rugs and preventing slipping while others are meant to go under larger room sized rugs to create a layer of padding. No matter your reason for an area rug, choosing the right one is important to protect both the rug and the floors.
Rule number one in choosing a rug pad is to avoid ones made with synthetic materials. This includes synthetic rubber and poly-wool blends. Synthetic materials break down and damage the finish on wood flooring. They can also cause stains especially to lighter finishes.
The second rule in choosing the right rug pad to protect your hardwood flooring is to choose one that will satisfy the purpose of that specific rug. Rugs six feet by four feet and less need a rug pad that will prevent slipping. When your rug slides around on your floors, the back of the rug can cause small scratches to your flooring that dulls the finish. Of course, many accidents occur when someone slips and falls due to an area rug moving when it shouldn’t. The other primary reason for using a rug pad is for padding. There are rug pads with dual purpose of padding and slip prevention.
Which to Choose?
- Natural Rubber Pads – These pads are excellent at helping with slipping but don’t add much as far as padding goes. The natural rubber won’t stick to your floors. Buyer beware when purchasing rug pads in the big box stores as most are synthetic.
- Felt Rug Pads – If you’re looking for cushioning below your rug, felt pads are ideal. They come in multiple thicknesses and protect your floors and rugs.
- Rubber and Felt Combinations – One of the many other natural product pads on the market is the rubber backed felt pad. This provides both slip resistance and padding.
Keep in mind if your hardwood floors are recently refinished, you should avoid laying area rugs for about 30 days to ensure the finish is completely dry. After that, choosing the right rug pad will extend the life of your floor’s finish and prevent damage. If you suspect the damage to your hardwood floors came from poor quality rug pads, contact Seer Flooring at 727-785-1930 for an estimate on hardwood floor refinishing.