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How to Cut a Rug Pad

Rug pads are ideal companions to work with your rug. Not only do they add comfort and plushness, but they also serve to protect the rug and the floor beneath it. Once you decide on using a rug pad, you must choose which material serves your room best and cut the rug pad to fit your specific rug.

Learn More About Cutting a Rug Pad

  1. Why is a Rug Pad Important?
  2. Finding the Right Rug Pad for You
  3. How To Cut a Rug Pad - Don’ts
  4. How To Cut a Rug Pad For Unique Rug Shapes

Why is a Rug Pad Important?

A rug pad is important for extending your rug’s life. The rug pad often serves as a grip between the rug and the floor, which helps hold the rug in place and prevent damage from wrinkling or curling corners. In addition to that, rug pads add extra comfort, soundproofing, and protection for the rug and floor. Even with high pile rugs or thick rugs, a rug pad has many practical benefits to consider.

Queen Size Runner Rug

Finding The Right Rug Pad For You

In order to choose the best rug pad for you, it’s important to know what options are available and how they improve the comfort/security of your rug.


  • Felt is one of the most popular options for rug pads. Made from recycled natural and synthetic fibers, these rug pads are woven together to create a relatively thick pile that adds essential cushioning. One downside of felt rug pads is that they can slip on hardwood floors. However, if you have a large area rug on top of the felt, the weight of the rug will help hold the rug pad in place and be a secure addition to the room. 


  • Natural rubber rug mats are highly recommended for their secure, non-slip grips. These rug pads also have a lower profile and great water resistance to help them maintain a long life. Natural rubber rug pads are more expensive than synthetic alternatives, but it is highly recommended for the features listed above and for how they protect the rug and the room’s flooring.


  • As a synthetic material, polyester rug pads are less expensive than natural rubber rug pads. These pads look like very thin felt pads and act in similar ways. They are not necessarily ideal for strong grip as they can be slippery on hard surfaces, but they are inexpensive, durable, and moisture resistant. However, they do present one other pitfall: they may stain wood finishes on the floor. This means that these rugs are often used in layering an area rug over carpet or one rug on top of another.

Finding The Right Rug Pad For You (Continued)


  • Latex is a man-made rubber that is an inexpensive option for rug pads. Like rubber, latex provides excellent grip strength and decent cushioning. However, these rug pads can leave a sticky, difficult to remove residue on the floor over time. They also have a shorter lifespan than their natural alternative. Even so, they are a great affordable option for homes where you need immediate grip strength. 

Memory Foam

  • Memory foam is another synthetic material used for rug pads. It is extremely comfortable and plush as it also provides excellent soundproofing and thermal insulation. The downside of memory foam rug pads is that they may slip on hard, polished floors unless they specifically have a non-slip coating. 


  • PVC rug pads have a similar appearance to rubber and latex pads with a mesh-like look. They are usually made from recycled PVC plastics and offer excellent moisture resistance. They are almost always recommended for outdoor areas though, since they may leave a sticky residue or stain floor finishes. 
Round rug for queen size bed

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Queen Size Runner Rug

How To Cut a Rug Pad

Measure The Rug

  • The first step in cutting your rug pad is preparing to do so. Measure your rug for its length and width with exact measurements. Don’t be afraid to measure twice to ensure that the measurements are correct. Also, don’t add any fringe to these measurements, since the rug pad will not extend under these accents. 

Measure and Mark The Rug Pad

  • Next, measure the rug pad to the same dimensions as the rug. Draw the rug’s outline onto the rug pad with a marker so you can clearly see the lines that you are to cut. Some recommend subtracting two inches from the rug’s measurements for the rug pad to ensure the pad does not extend past the edges of the rug. If you feel confident, you may do this step, but to be safe, cut the rug pad to the exact dimensions so you do not risk cutting off too much of the pad.

Cut the Rug Pad

  • The tool you use to cut the rug pad will vary depending on the pad’s material and thickness. For thinner non-slip pads like rubber rug pads, you can likely use a standard pair of scissors. Thicker rug pads may be cut with a heavy duty pair of scissors or with a carpet knife. As you cut your rug pad, be sure not to damage the floor beneath it with any sharp edges. 

How to cut a rug pad (Continued)

Make Sure Edges Are Smooth and Straight

  • Once the initial cuts are done, look at the sides and edges to ensure you have smooth, straight lines. Use a pair of scissors to trim small missteps and create as straight a line as possible. 

Trim corners

  • Now it’s time to trim the corners of the rug. When you do so, don’t cut your corners to create 90 degree angles. Instead, cut each corner at a 45 degree angle. This method will prevent the pad’s corners from curling or sticking out from under the rug. 

Check the Fit

  • With the touchup complete, check the fit of your rug pad. Be sure that the rug fits nicely over the pad as it is centered beneath the rug. If the rug pad is too large, take the extra material off of one or two edges of the pad instead of touching up all four sides. Do not do this by eye; measure and draw a line to guide you. 
Round rug for queen size bed

How To Cut a Rug Pad For Unique Rug Shapes

With round, hexagon, or other unique rug shapes, we often recommend tracing the rug’s outline onto the rug pad. When you do that, be very intentional with the marker you use and be sure that you do not accidentally get ink on the rug. It may be helpful to mark the rug pad with a pen or pencil and then go over that outline with a darker instrument after the rug is out of the way.

Cutting a rug pad to fit your specific rug doesn’t have to be a hassle. By following the detailed instructions above and using the proper tools, you can easily shape your rug pad to suit your rug and provide that essential comfort/security in your room.


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