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How Thick Should a Rug Pad Be

Rug pads are often thought of as unnecessary add ons when purchasing a rug, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Rug pads provide plenty of benefits, including general comfort, soundproofing, and extending the life of your rug. However, there are many different types of rug pads to consider and many different thicknesses of rug pads. To find the best rug pad thickness for your situation, it’s important to consider some key facets.

Learn More About Rug Pad Thickness

  1. Benefits of Using a Rug Pad
  2. How to Determine the Right Thickness
  3. What is the Recommended Thickness Range

Benefits of Using a Rug Pad

First, you may not be convinced yet that you need a rug pad. What good do they do? One of the primary purposes of a rug pad is to protect your rug and flooring. The rug pad provides essential grip to prevent the rug from slipping and sliding. Not only does this keep your rug safer, but it also improves its longevity and keeps it from bunching or wrinkling. In addition to that, the pad acts as a barrier between the rug and floor to keep the flooring safe from damage like spills or general wear and tear. 

Aside from these great benefits, rug pads are also known for being quite comfortable. The rug pad adds extra cushioning underfoot to create a more comfortable surface to walk on. They can even provide soundproofing with their natural fabric/material absorbing noise. As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to add rug pads to any room of the home.

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Queen Size Runner Rug

How to Determine the Right Thickness

As you choose the best rug pad for your specific rug, it’s important to consider your rug’s thickness. The thicker the rug, the thicker the rug pad it can bear. If you were to use a thick rug pad for a flat-weave rug, then your rug would be elevated to a point of being a tripping hazard. Since shag rugs are taller, they can naturally accommodate thicker rug pads. The thickness of the rug pad also impacts its general feel, so the rug pad will feel softer or firmer depending on its thickness. 

Also consider where your rug pad and rug will be placed. If they are situated in an entryway, living room, or other high traffic space, you may want a thicker rug pad to provide that extra cushioning and protection. Speaking of placement, look at your flooring type to help you choose the best rug pad type and thickness. Thinner rug pads typically provide plenty of comfort/security when they’re used on hardwood floors or carpet, but thicker rug pads may be required for tile or concrete floors.

What is the Recommended Thickness Range

With all those factors considered, there are some general recommendations for rug pad thicknesses and certain rugs. Low to medium pile rugs pair well with rug pads that are 1/4 inch thick, but 1/2 inch thick rug pads are also a popular size for these rugs. Rugs with higher piles like shag rugs can work with pads ranging from 1/2 inch thick all the way to one inch thick for extra comfort and support. On the opposite end of the spectrum, thin and flat weave rugs should use thinner pads that are 1/8 or 1/4 inch thick to prevent the rug from slipping and keep the rug low against the ground.

Round rug for queen size bed

When asking how thick should a rug pad be, it’s important to realize there is no firm answer. The exact size and thickness of your rug pad depends on your type of flooring, rug, and desired comfort. Rug pads may not come in your exact rug size either, which is why it’s standard practice to choose your preferred thickness in a size close to your rug and then trim the rug pad to size. Cutting a rug pad to size is easy, even when cutting a thick rug pad. Thinner rug pads can be cut with standard scissors, while you may need a utility knife to cut a thick rug pad. Having a rug pad that is the proper size and thickness for your room boasts plenty of benefits, so carefully consider what you want out of your rug pad in order to choose the best thickness for your room.


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