While area rugs can be used to help anchor the design of your room, rug pads are what anchor the rugs themselves. In addition to keeping your rugs in place, rug pads serve to prolong the life of your rug and protect the floor beneath from scratches, scuffs, and everyday wear and tear. Consider the pad's thickness, material and size as you search for one suited to your needs.
Thickness is a key factor to keep in mind when searching for rug padding. Thin, non-slip rug pads work well with door mats, runners and other small area rugs situated in high-traffic spaces such as entryways and hallways. A rug grip that's thin and low-profile won't alter the height of the rug, helping prevent a potential tripping hazard.
Thick rug pads are ideal for spaces where extra cushion and shock absorption may be needed, such as living rooms and children's play rooms. If you have a rug made from natural fibers such as wool or sisal, a thick area rug pad gives the fibers a base to spring back into shape. Thick area rug padding also helps reduce noise from wood or tile flooring.
If you're looking for a rug pad for hardwood floors or another smooth surface, it's hard to beat the gripping power of rubber. If comfort is your top priority, choose a felt rug pad suitable for all types of flooring. Along with the extra cushion for your footsteps, felt also provides sound absorption and stain resistance. However, felt won't offer the same grip as rubber.