It is a splendid idea to protect your hardwood floor by creating an area rug in high traffic and vulnerable areas. However, this should include a suitable rug pad underneath that forms a barrier between the rug and the precious hardwood floor.

Padding keeps area rug firmly put on the floor, offers cushioning thus preventing slipping of people and pets as they walk around the house. A pad protects the surface of the floor finish from scratching due to abrasiveness of the rug. A rug pad will also minimize wear and tear of the rug itself thus giving it more life.

Although this sound like a brilliant idea, professionals have warned against use of some types of pads that may damage or smudge the floor finish. An old or damaged rug pad will also not stay put on the floor and therefore the need to upgrade to a new one.

Therefore, what is the best type of rug pads for a hardwood floor? We have tested and picked the following as the best rug pads in the world:

  • Mohawk Home Dual Surface Felt Non Slip
  • Gorilla Grip Original Area Rug Gripper Pad
  • Sugarman Creations Non Slip Rug
  • Rug Pad USA Super Lock Natural

Best Rug Pads for Hardwood Floors

1.      Mohawk Home Dual Surface Felt Non Slip

This is a non-slip purely recycled felt rug pad that has a latex backing. It firmly grip on a hard floor thus providing a grip that keep the rug firmly in place. For the comfort of your feet and noise reduction, Mohawk Home Dual Surface Felt Non Slip pad has an added cushioning that makes it feel soft.

The rubber side of this pad is put on the hard floor while the felt side faces up to be in contact with the rug. Be sure that, this rug pad will not scratch or leave streaks on your hardwood floor.

For various profiles, sizes and types of rugs, you will always get the right match for yours given that Mohawk pad comes in variety of sizes as well. When dirty simply hand wash with a mild detergent solution and water.

2.      Gorilla Grip Original Area Rug Gripper Pad

This is one of the best USA made rug pads that can stand test of time due to high quality materials used. Being a non-adhesive and durable, Gorilla Grip Original Area Rug Gripper Pad can effectively protect your hardwood floors and keep the rug in place for ages.

With a unique design featuring open grid pattern allows, the rug allows the floor to breath. The design also makes it easier for installation and reshaping with a household scissor based on the shape of your room. Although most of the rugs come in pre-cut sizes and you can get the right size for your rug.

3.      Sugarman Creations Non Slip Rug

A unique non slip pad that offers grip and padding thanks to 100% felt and rubber combination. This is a quality product that can make your rug feel comfortable and last longer without forgetting how your hardwood floor is protected.

Once installed, there will be no more sliding and moving of your area rug. Although it comes in various sizes you can select from, you can also shape it easily by cutting to fit your space. Sugarman Creations Non Slip Rug is strong and durable.

This product is best priced and buying one helps in contributing to a charity donation by Delaware based, family-owned business.

4.      Rug Pad USA Super Lock Natural

Looking for a rubber pad for low clearance areas? We found this non felt pad to be thinner, versatile and easy to cut and fit anywhere. When we tested, this rubber only pad feels equally comfortable like those made of felt and rubber.

The Super Lock Natural mesh is dense and offers an exceptional grip to the surface thus holding in place your area rugs and door mats. This provides a non-slip secure surface underfoot.

The mesh like structure also enhances air flow through the rug thus effective to vacuum. The natural rubber does not contain chemicals, glues or other PVC elements this safe for home and family.

What to look at when choosing a Rug Pad

Different kinds of pads are made from various materials that impact differently on the hardwood floor. Rug pads should not have adhesives such as glue but rather rubber or latex backings that prevents them from slipping on the floor. Natural rubber or felt are the best materials for a quality rubber pudding.

A rug pad should be slightly smaller than the area rug itself by one or two inches on all sides. This ensures the pad is held intact on the floor without being seen. By doing so, the pad will last longer and also not be any tipping hazard.

Rug pad should be placed on a clean, dry and smooth floor without crease or wrinkles. Before placing a rug pad on a newly refinished floor, ensure that your polyurethane finish is completely dry. Oil based polyurethane usually take 30 days to fully cure. Water based polyurethane on the other hand takes approximately 2 to 3 weeks.

Rug pads should regularly be spot cleaned using a solution of mild detergent and clean water. You can handle this on your own or seek a professional cleaner. Establish if the pad is machine wash or not before you proceed with the cleaning.

Be sure to check the manufacturer’s directions before installing a rug pad. This is to ensure that you are using the pad intended for carpet, vinyl, natural stone, acrylic or any other besides a hardwood floor. Rug pads should not be used on stairs. Doing so can lead to slipping or sliding.

How do you Care for your Rug Pads?

Rag pad require some care and maintenance to ensure that they last long and offers maximum protection to your wood floors. A simple care routine will prevent premature wear and tear and it applies to all types of pads ranging from felt and rubber, rubber only or mesh design rug pad.

1.      Regular dusting

Dust and grit is likely to penetrate through the rug and settle on the pad or the floor. Dusting on a monthly basis helps in preventing build up and rubbing against your floor or back of the rug. To do this, you need to reveal the pad and use a soft bristle broom or vacuum to remove dirt debris and dust.

2.      Deep cleaning

Spills and grime are likely to settle on the pad and should be dealt with promptly. You can decide to spot clean or deep clean. Use a mild detergent solution a sponge and water to remove the spot or clean the entire pad. Let it air dry and before placing the area rug.

You may opt to machine wash but be sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendation. Some pads may be solely hand wash while others can be both. When cleaning, do not apply too much pressure that can affect the fiber or materials.

3.      Rotation

Both area rugs and rug pads experience uneven traffic patterns that make them to wear out in particular areas unlike others. Rotating twice per year can help in balancing the situation thus preventing flattening in one side only.


When choosing a rug pad, density, foam and thickness of the pad are important features you will have to consider. They are the ones that determine how comfortable the rug will feel underfoot besides protecting the underlying floor. A little care and maintenance adds life to both the area rugs and pads thus maximally protecting your hardwood floors.