It is highly recommended that you protect a hardwood floor by creating an area rug in high foot traffic and vulnerable areas. However, this should include a suitable rug pad underneath the rug to create a barrier between it and the precious hardwood floor.
But choosing such a rug pad isn't always easy since there are so many. Fear not: We're here to help. Here are the best rug pads for hardwood floors that guarantee protection and keep your rugs firmly in place.
Padding keeps an area rug firmly put on the floor, as well as offers cushioning prevents slipping. A pad protects the surface of the floor's finish from scratching due to the 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 necessitate the need to upgrade to a new one that will prevent any sliding.
This brings us to the question – what is the best type of rug pad for a hardwood floor?
Top 5 Best Rug Pads for Hardwood Floors
OUR TOP PICK
This is a non-slip, purely recycled felt rug pad that has a latex backing. It firmly grips a hard floor, providing a grip that keeps the rug firmly in place.
For the comfort of your feet and noise reduction, Mohawk Home Dual Surface Felt Non Slip pad has 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. 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 it with a mild detergent solution and water.
This is one of the best USA-made rug pads that can stand the test of time due to the high quality materials used.
Being 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 breathe. The design also makes it easier for installation and reshaping with household scissors based on the shape of your room. Usually, however most rugs come in standard sizes and you can get the right size for your rug.
Praised as a professional grade product, the Durahold Plus Non-Skid Rug Pad is made using textured natural rubber which grips to a range of floor surfaces. Regardless of how slippery the surface is, the superior rubber and latex formulation provides greater traction.
Safe for use on a range of floor types, hardwood floors especially, this non-skid rug pad isn’t going to mark your floors or cause any unwanted damage to your flooring even after prolonged use. Instead, the dense felt backing withstands penetration to protect both your carpet and rugs and the flooring below.
Designed with thermal set ridges and a chevron pattern, the pad is going to grip the rug with ease preventing it from moving in different directions as you walk across.
A great thing about this rug pad is that it is available in a variety of different sizes with round options available too. This allows you to select the most appropriate sized and shaped rug pad depending on the size of the surface in question.
Impressively, this product is CRI green and LEED-certified and is made using 100% synthetic materials; it is free of plant and animal fibers and is also allergen-safe.
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 it, this rubber-only pad feels equally comfortable as those made of felt and rubber.
The Super Lock Natural mesh is dense and offers an exceptional grip to the surface, 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 and is therefore easy to vacuum. The natural rubber does not contain chemicals, glues, or other PVC elements, making it safe for home and family.
This a budget rug pad that will offer value for your money. This pad is designed to help keep your area rugs secure on hard surfaces including wooden floors.
GRIP MASTER helps to reduce slipping and bunching of rugs. It also works great for slipping futons, couch cushions, and mattresses
This rug pad is designed using open grid technology that allows continuous air flow and circulation under your rug. This will prevent the build-up of odors, mold, mildew, or harmful bacteria from forming under your rug. The rug pad is vacuum friendly and ready to use after purchase.
The pad comes in various sizes that fit most standard sized area rugs. If you don’t find the size you need, simply choose the pad that most closely fits your rug and trim the excess with regular household scissors. The product comes with a 10-year warranty.
During installation, place the pad on a clean, dry floor and smooth out any wrinkles so that it lies flat. Do note that this rug pad should not be used on stairs.
It is also not intended for use on carpet, vinyl, lacquered, acrylic, natural stone, porous, or refinished surfaces. Be sure to check manufacturer’s guidelines before use or purchase.
Best Rug Pads for Hardwood Flooring Buying Guide
Why you need a pad underneath an area rug
Padding underneath an area rug comes with many benefits that include the following:
- Prevents your hardwood floor from scratches, prolonging the floor’s finish
- Keeps the rug intact by preventing sliding, creating a safer surface
- Adds extra cushioning, softness, and warmth in a home
- Increases rate of noise absorption and reduces sound transmission for a quieter house
- Makes your area rug last longer for maximum floor protection
What is the best material for a rug pad on hardwood floors?
The type of material for your floor type is an important factor. There are three recommended materials for area rug on hardwood floor padding.
- Natural rubber
- Felt + rubber combo
Note: Do not use a padding designed for carpets on hardwood floors. Most carpet cushioning is made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) that is likely to cause discoloration and damage to hardwood floors.
Additionally, the material lacks rubber or felt backing that holds area rug in place to prevent slipping.
What to look for when choosing a rug pad
Different kinds of pads are made from various materials that affect hardwood floors differently.
Rug pads should not have adhesives such as glue but rather rubber or latex backings that prevent them from slipping on the floor. Natural rubber or felt are the best materials for a quality rubber padding.
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 slipping hazard.
The rug pad should be placed on a clean, dry, and smooth floor without creasing or wrinkling. 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 washable 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?
Rug pads require some care and maintenance to ensure that they last long and offer maximum protection to your wood floors.
A simple care routine will prevent premature wear and tear and it applies to all types of pads: felt and rubber, rubber only, or a 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 prevent buildup 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 washable while others can be both. When cleaning, do not apply too much pressure that can affect the fiber or materials.
Both area rugs and rug pads experience uneven traffic patterns that makes them wear out in particular areas.
Rotating twice per year can help balance the situation and prevent flattening on 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 factors 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.