If you’ve ever gotten so into a living room dance party that you’ve slid across the floor on a rug, you know just how, uh, risky it can be to have nothing securing it. Fortunately, non-slip rug pads are on the scene to ensure the ground beneath your feet stays cushioned — and firmly anchored in place — while you’re trying out the latest moves.
But you don’t need to be cutting a rug, figuratively, for them to matter. Non-slip rug pads are a critical part of building the most comfortable space possible and also serve as a layer for safety and protection. They prevent rugs from having curling edges, shifting while vacuuming, or rocketing across the floor when the dog comes barreling in. The Home Depot carries them in a variety of materials, thicknesses, and construction styles, each tailored to specific types of rugs that you might have.
The room dictates the rug pad
Perhaps the most important role rug pads play is ensuring that rugs stay completely tethered to one spot. This is particularly important in high-traffic areas, where “grip” non-slip rug pads, like those made out of extra-durable rubber, are ideal. Grip rug pads are also a solid choice in any indoor-outdoor setting, like a screened-in porch or sunroom, because they repel moisture, and are also helpful for when you want a rug to have a lower profile (think: anywhere a rug might prevent a door from opening).
Cushion non-slip rug pads (those that combine cushioning and gripping action) do exactly what they promise, adding an extra level of plush to your rug. These rug pads are best served in bedrooms, entertainment rooms, or anywhere people might end up sitting on the floor (like a play area). They typically have a felt top that provides support for the rug itself — and your body as you tackle an online yoga class — and a gripping rubber bottom to grab onto the floor. (If you can’t tell which side is which, the manufacturer’s instructions will usually clear it up.)
In all cases, non-slip rug pads don’t just soften the blow of day-to-day trampling on your floors. They help a rug keep its shape more efficiently by reducing movement-induced friction. Non-slip rug pads can be used on any surface — tile, laminate, carpet, you name it — but if the flooring is slick, like hardwood, make sure your rug pad has sufficient gripping power by double-checking that it’s a “cushion-grip” pad and not simply a “cushion” pad.
Rug pads can lead a long and happy life (as long as your rug itself, if not longer) with a little bit of maintenance. According to Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping’s Home Appliances & Cleaning Products Director, make sure to vacuum the pad at least twice a year, and, in addition to the rug, don’t forget to check for and treat any stains on the rug pad if an accident occurs.
Size matters, but you can customize
Rug pads, particularly those made for area rugs, are often sold in standard sizes, but are infinitely simple to customize at home if your desired thickness and grip style doesn’t come ready-made.
Measure the rug itself, then subtract two inches from each side: that’s an ideal size for your rug pad. (You definitely don’t want a plain-looking rug pad poking out the side of your antique rug!) Trim the pad to fit using standard, sharp scissors, decide where exactly in the room the rug-and-pad combination will go and unfurl the pad with the rubber-side down (if felt and rubber). Just like that, you have a new, built-in support network for your rug that will keep your floors in tip-top shape — and trip-and-fall disasters at bay.