Pad for Area Rugs
D. A. Burns customers often call us with questions about pad for their area rug. Recently, Karen R. from Bothell asked, “My rug feels pretty comfortable as it is. Do I really need a pad?”
For most rugs and in most applications, a pad for your area rugs is a good idea. Even the heaviest rug will allow fine particulate to sift through to the floor, and the slight shift of the rug with normal foot traffic can then damage the floor and the rug. Thin rugs will travel easily and become either a nuisance or hazard. A large, heavy rug in a lightly used room may be fine without a pad.
There are many kinds of carpet pad (AKA: underlayment or cushion) for use under wall-to-wall carpeting and all have their own strengths. However, only a few types of pad make a good choice for use under an area rug. Since an area rug isn’t nailed to the floor under tension like installed carpeting, it will flex more and this movement can cause the wrong pad, or a poor quality rug pad, to rapidly fail. Also, pad made for wall-to-wall use is stapled or glued to the floor, so doesn’t have any non-slip properties.
We’ve chosen to offer what we consider the best padding on the market and have four choices that are appropriate in these situations: Over a hard surface floor – Durahold and Wunder Grip. Over an installed carpet: Nomuv and Wunderlock.
Durahold is made from recycled new carpet fiber, and is billed as being non-allergenic. It has enough cushion to protect the rug from foot impacts and increase comfort, will contain fine grit that works through a rug to keep it from damaging the floor, and has a back-coating to resist movement. It is washable and comes with a ten-year warranty.
This is the best overall pad we’ve found for use with area rugs.
Wunder Grip is made from expanded vinyl foam mesh. It will not degrade or discolor flooring like some look-alike products. It is appropriate for smaller rugs or where keeping the overall rug height low is desirable. It is washable and is warranted to maintain non-slip properties for twenty years.
This is the best pad we’ve found of this type. Many others will dry out and crumble or get sticky and discolor hardwood floors.
Nomuv is a firm pad made from recycled new carpet fiber and has one “grippy” side and one “slippy” side. When placed over installed carpet, the slippy side allows the pile of wall-to-wall carpet to move without moving the rug and pad while the grippy side holds the rug in place. It is washable and comes with a ten-year warranty.
We’ve found that some wall-to-wall carpet will have such a deep nap or strong nap direction that an area rug can’t be used, no matter what kind of attempts are made to keep the rug in place. Still, Nomuv is the best product we’ve found for rug over carpet.
Wunder Lock is a unique product. A thin white felt is coated with a dry adhesive that won’t transfer to carpet. It works exceptionally well to hold small rugs in place and in some cases can be used under larger rugs. It can be placed and moved several times without losing tack.
Some customers have used Wunder Lock on hard-surface floors if they have a rug that seems particularly difficult to keep in place. Our testing has shown that after many years in one place the adhesive will transfer to a hard surface. It doesn’t damage the floor, but will require some effort to remove.
We can custom cut a new pad to fit your rug, and (within our service area) can deliver and place the new pad as well. Let us know if you have any questions or to place an order. 206.782.2268