Area rugs do a fantastic job to a room but they do not work on their own. A premium grade rug pad placed underneath an area rug gives it more life by protecting it from every day's wear and tear and this also protects your hardwood floors. A bulkier rug pad is even better as it adds on to comfort to the feet. It also provides soundproofing and padding which is an added advantage. In order to receive rag pads that effectively give these added comforts and qualities, one has to look long and hard. Most of the ones available on the market are manufactured from low quality PVC materials. This makes them stick to the floors and do not last as long as the original ones do.
Why some rug pads tend to stick to the floor
The main reason behind rug pads sticking to the floor is poor quality. With rug pads made from a low quality PVC material, sticking to the floor is inevitable. However, this may also happen if the rag pads are treated with toxic chemical solutions which may in time react with hardwood floor finishes with time, for instance polyurethane, acrylic or even lacquer.
The more glossy the hardwood finish, the more likely the rug pad is to stick, stain and ruin your expensive hardwood floor. A polyurethane finish is most likely to behave this way. In this case, you should ensure that the rug pad that you order for is hardwood friendly, natural rubber or fiber felt if such damages are to be avoided.
Hardwood floors that have recently been refinished are more prone to these damages hence advisable to give the hardwood some time to cure. Most hardwood floors take about 1-3 weeks to completely cure and this would be an ideal time to give the floors the much needed ample time to breathe. Just to be on the safe side, a month would be fine. This way you can be rest assured that the rug pad will not ruin the floors.
Variety of rug pads for hardwood floors
Natural Rubber Rug Pads
If you are looking for rug pad that will grip the floors in a secure manner then this is it. It might be less cushion-y but it is guaranteed to last longer than the other types of rug pads. Natural rubber is better than any other PVC rug pad on the market where this quality is concerned. This type of rug pad is also less likely to stain hardwood floors hence secure. The natural rubber rug pad is the most harmless and safest for your hardwood floors.
Organic or Eco friendly Rug pads
In terms of safety to the environment, this is the best compared to rubber, felt and PVC rug pads. They are completely odorless and come in a variety that is; cushion, felt and solid. Organic or Eco friendly rug pads are safest for all types of floors because they use natural plant oils and polymer. These two ingredients make it unable to react with floors that have a glossy polyurethane finish.
Felt Rug pads
This provides a thick protective layer for an area rugs and are ideal for rugs that measure greater than 6' by 9'. They are not so great as far as gripping the floor is concerned but they indeed are very comfortable because they are cushion-y. This comfortable quality also means that the felt rug pads help maintain your area rug for a much longer period of time. If the felt pad is manufactured from recycled fibers, it will last longer and feel softer. They also do not produce a distinct smell that are common with felt jute pads. The felt rug pads are safe for all floors and offer other additional advantages such as insulation, provide acoustic barrier and are soundproof.
Rubber and Felt Rug pads
This works together to give you an ultimate experience. They provide a very low rubber surface which efficiently secures the rag pad in place and also has a thick layer of felt that provides cushioning and durability which together work towards prolong your rug's life. The felt layer also works best by holding the rug into place as it grips the bottom of the area pad firmly to the floor. This quality also helps larger area rugs from bunching or creeping up hence a smooth and even surface.
This kind of rug pad may be used to secure area rugs to carpets. To achieve this, simply flip the rug pad upside down so that the rubber upwards and the felt is face to face with the carpet. Because of their amazing quality, this kind of rug pad is ideal to use with high quality area rugs.
PVC Rug pads
These are the most common rug pads in the market and relatively the cheapest. Their quality is also the cheapest compared to the other rug pads which explains its ease of availability and cheap price too. A quick look at PVC rug pads ill automatically tell you why they're so cheap.
This cheap and low quality rug pad may release toxic formaldehyde fumes as well as volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) over time. Prolonged exposure to these fumes may pose a health risk to humans; a fact that was discovered by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Its cheap quality extends to the fact that it has a tendency to stick and stain the hardwood floors and also break down over time. They are not very durable so expect a very short service from them.
As far as flooring is concerned, PVC rug pads are not recommended for any kind of flooring.
The area you intend to use the rug pad on influences the type that you go for. Smaller rugs require more grip than the larger ones but you might find that you need them to provide a cushioned and comfortable feel to the feet. Small sized rugs are also better off with natural rubber pads for maximum thickness and grip to ensure that people to not slide or trip while walking on them. Regardless of your preference, taste or need, rest assured that there is just the perfect rug pad for you.