A rug pad is a padding that is placed on the underside of a carpet or a rug to give it extra protection. They give extra protection to the carpet and prevent the floor from damage through the carpet constantly rubbing against it.
Hardwood floors are very expensive and also very sensitive. Therefore, more than other floors, a hardwood floor requires a perfectly compatible rug pad of superior quality. What homeowners need is a non-slip, hardy and firm rug pad that will hold the carpet in place with a strong grip and is thick and absorbent so that no stains penetrate to the floor through the carpet. The best rug pads today are not made from low grade synthetics and artificial additives that lower the efficacy of the rug.
Before buying a particular type of rug pad, you should know what type of finishing your floor has. The general trend is towards polyurethane, though some floors are also treated with acrylic or vinyl. Different types of floor finishings will require different rug pads. For instance, you should avoid a polyvinyl-chloride (PVC) rug pad if your floor is finished with acrylic and vinyl.
Every rug pad brings its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
A natural rubber rug pad offers a non-slip grip and keeps the carpet firmly in place. Being thick, it also cushions and protects your floor. It is also made from a 100% natural raw material, natural rubber, thus making it very eco-friendly. When looking for a rubber rug pad, make sure to avoid the synthetic rubber rug pads as they are not durable and can wear out after an unspecified usage period.
A felt rug pad is excellent for a strong cushioning support to both the carpet and the floor and prevents them from rubbing against each other. They are useful in keep large rugs in place. Felt rug pads are especially recommended if you are looking to keep a large area rug from slipping on your hardwood floor. However, they are not the best choice if you have small carpets, in which you can go for a wool or rubber padding.
Wool rug pads are emerging as one of the most popular choices among homeowners. They are environmentally friendly, completely biodegradable and flame-resistant. They are compatible with all floors and finishings and can provide much-needed protection to your hardwood floor. Being naturally thick, theses rug pads prevent stains and dust from marring your floor.
Every rug pad has its own unique characteristics. When buying a rug pad for hardwood floors, keep in mind that hardwood finishing is very sensitive and whatever type of rug pad you buy will need to be compatible with it.