Protect your flooring!
While rug pads aren't essential, we'll always recommend them for a couple of reasons. First, rug pads prevent area rugs from sliding around when stepped on. They also add an extra layer of comfort. Lastly, they help protect the hard-surface flooring underneath your area rug from heavy foot traffic, dents, and more.
Types of rug pads
Non-slip area rug pads made from rubber are designed to prevent rugs from slipping, wrinkling, and bunching on hard-surface floors. These pads simultaneously grip the area rug and hold it in place, providing a cushioned, protective layer between the rug and floor. While they can be used with all rug sizes and types, we recommend them for area rugs located in high-traffic areas where thin rugs may be especially inclined to slip and slide.
Cushioned area rug pads made from felt make area rugs softer and more comfortable underfoot. These cushioned pads add a plush layer to larger rugs that are located in areas that get a lot of visitors. As area rugs in these rooms tend to be anchored by furniture, grip is less important in this area rug pad, which is good because felt is not always successful in holding area rugs in place. However, these felt cushioned pads do provide firm support for the area rug, which is important.
Cushion and grip area rug pads made from a combination of natural rubber and felt are multi-purpose, anchoring area rugs firmly to the floor while adding a layer of comfort to them. These combo area rug pads are recommended for thinner, smaller area rugs that are prone to slipping and/or wrinkling and therefore need more grip as well as more support and greater cushioning.
If you plan to lay an area rug over carpeting, look for a specially designed rug-to-carpet pad. These pads are typically made of polyester with a vinyl coating and are made to prevent the rug from bunching up on the carpet underneath.