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How to Keep a Rug in Place on Carpet

Adding a rug to a room can naturally add comfort and style, but there is one additional element to consider when purchasing a rug: a rug pad. Rug pads are beneficial not only for the comfort of the rug, but for extending its lifespan, keeping it firmly set in place, reducing noise, and adding insulation to the room’s flooring.

Learn More About Carpet & Rugs

  1. What is a Rug Pad?
  2. Benefits of a Rug Pad
  3. Rug Pad FAQ

What is a Rug Pad?

A rug pad is a sheet of material that is specifically made to rest between your rug and flooring. These pads are available for rugs on wood floors, tile floors, and even carpet. The materials may vary depending on what surface you place the rug on, but their benefits are universal. Here are some reasons why adding a rug pad to your home is an ideal way to extend the rug’s life, keep the rug in place, and add comfort to the room.

Queen Size Runner Rug

Prevent Slipping & Wrinkling

A rug pad is specifically designed to keep your rug firmly in place. Not only does this prevent the rug from slipping underneath foot traffic, but it also keeps the rug from wrinkling throughout the rug's entire surface. Obviously this has a big impact on the rug’s overarching aesthetic in keeping it looking new and fresh, but another key side effect is that those wrinkles will not form and become tripping hazards, nor will the rug move and cause you to slip and fall. Additionally, rug pads can help prevent the corners from curling and further establish the rug as a safe accent.

Protect Your Flooring

Many are afraid that adding a rug to the room may damage the floor, but the opposite is true. The rug can protect the floor beneath it, but a rug pad is an additional layer of protection between your rug and floor. You need not worry about the rug pad damaging the floor either, since the material of your rug pad is designed to protect your flooring from scratching and discoloring. If your rug is placed on top of carpet, then it can cover any unsightly stains or prevent future stains from happening. In these situations, the rug pad once again acts as an extra layer of protection between the rug and flooring beneath.

Round rug for queen size bed

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Queen Size Runner Rug

Adding Extra Comfort

One of the main reasons people add a rug pad to their room is because of how comfortable it is. The pad provides extra cushioning and even impacts the rug’s comfort as a whole. Because the rug pad is able to soften the impact of traffic and movement, the rug’s fibers can naturally bounce back better and have their comfort preserved for longer. Rug pads also come in various firmness levels, so you can choose a pad that is comfortable yet firm to create your ideal texture and plushness.

Add Extra Insulation for Noise and Cold

Just like other soft materials and surfaces throughout the room, the rug pad can also help reduce noise. This means that rug pads are especially useful in lively rooms like living rooms, dining rooms, and dens. Aside from providing insulation for noise, the rug pad can also help with your room’s temperature by insulating the room from a cold subfloor.

Round rug for queen size bed
Queen Size Runner Rug

Extends your Rug's Life

As mentioned previously, adding a rug pad beneath your rug helps impact the pressure of foot traffic and life in general. The rug pad taking that pressure and dispersing it enables the rug to have a longer life and remain softer longer. Also, since the rug is more firmly set in place, the rug will not slide easily and will not suffer that sort of damage.

Easier cleaning and vacuuming

Since the rug is less likely to slide under movement, it is far easier to clean and vacuum. However, it is also easier to clean because the rug pad promotes air circulation under the rug. With the proper airflow, odors are less likely to manifest themselves and mold is less likely to develop in high humidity spaces. These benefits are rarely discussed with rug pads, but they are yet another key benefit of incorporating a rug pad and ensuring that the rug is not a source of allergens in your home.

Round rug for queen size bed
Queen Size Runner Rug

Frequently Asked Questions About Rug Pads

How Do I Trim a Rug Pad?

Depending on the size of your rug, you may need to trim a rug pad to properly fit the rug. When trimming the pad, be sure that the pad is roughly an inch smaller than the rug on each side to prevent the rug pad from showing under the rug. There are two recommended ways to trim a rug pad:

Using a ruler. 

  • Measure the exact size of your rug. Then, use a felt tip pen to mark the rug pad where you need to trim it. Your rug pad’s measurements should be 2 inches less than the rug itself. So, if your rug is 5’5 by 7’8, then your rug pad should be cut to 5’3 by 7’6. A pair of sharp, heavy-duty scissors are sharp enough to cut the pad easily enough. 


  • If you have a round, oval, or uniquely shaped rug, it is often ideal to trace the rug’s shape on the pad with a felt tip pen. Carefully trim the rug pad to a slightly smaller size by sight. Remember, you can always take more off a rug pad, but you cannot add it back on. Do not be afraid to carefully and slowly take off extra rug padding to ensure you do not cut it too small. 

Do I need a rug pad on hardwood floors?

We highly recommend having a rug pad on hardwood floors, because rugs can easily slip and slide on these surfaces. Rug pads on hardwood floors have all the benefits listed above, but they are especially important in ensuring that your rug is not a tripping hazard and preventing wrinkling/damage. 

Frequently Asked Questions (Continued)

Do I need a rug pad under the dining table?

Rug pads can be quite useful beneath dining room tables, especially because of how much the chairs move on top of the rug’s surface. Placing a rug pad beneath the table will protect the rug from the wear and tear of constant movement, allow it to bounce back from furniture impressions, and provide comfort past the edges of the table. 

Do I need a rug pad under the bed?

Although rugs are naturally anchored by the bed, using a rug pad beneath that and the bed can further protect the floor and rug from furniture indentation, general traffic, and other damages. Plus, since the rug is the first and last surface you step on each day, using a rug pad can create an extra comfortable spot that helps set the room’s atmosphere and tone. 

How long do rug pads last?

The quality of your rug pad will impact its longevity, as will the amount of traffic that walks across it daily. In high traffic spaces, your rug pad may last between three and five years. In spaces with less traffic, your rug pad will likely have a longer life.

Round rug for queen size bed

Rug pads are often an afterthought of the rug buying process, but they should be as carefully considered as the rug itself. These rug pads provide a plethora of benefits in terms of the rug’s comfort, longevity, and safety, so there are countless reasons to add one to any room of the home.


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