Hardwood floors are the ultimate investment for your home. Not only are they beautiful, they require less maintenance and increase the overall value of your home. When placing any type of non-slip rug pad on your hardwood floor, you want to be sure you know which material is the most compatible with your floor finish.
That’s My Type.
The best type of non-slip rug pad for your hardwood floors will always be dependent upon what type of floor surface level finish your floors are sealed with. It is important the floor finish is clean, dry, and fully cured before applying a rug pad.
Questions to ask: What type of hardwood flooring do you have? Are your floors prefabricated factory cured hardwood floors or onsite finished natural wood? Another factor to consider is the floor finish type and brand that is being used on your onsite finished hardwood floors. To avoid any type of chemical reaction, always defer to the flooring manufacturer for rug pad material type compatibility. This information can typically be found in their use/care/warranty manuals or on their website.
On-site Floor Finishes
You’re Oil I Need.
On-site floor finish is where the surface level finish is applied onto the floors after the wood has been installed in the space. On-site finish is either applied to newly installed wood floors or existing wood floors that have been sanded and refinished in the space.
If your hardwood floors have an onsite finish, dry time and actual cure time are very important for consideration before installing area rugs and non-slip rug pads.
Because there are so many different types of hardwood floors and floor finishes in the market, it would be impossible to cover all scenarios, but we can help provide a general overview.
General types of common floor finishes for hardwood floors are:.
- Water Based Finish
- Hardwax Oil Finish
- Oil Modified Polyurethane Finish
- Varnish - “Swedish Finish”
“Dry time is when after touching the hard surface it is not tacky and no mark is left. When a finish has dried and cured enough it won’t sustain any damage from carefully walking over it.”
Each finish takes a different amount of time to dry and cure to be fully functional without damage. “Once a floor has fully cured it can be subjected to long-term normal wear and tear without having to worry excessively about damaging it.”
Actual dry and cure times are variable and dependent on the type, number, and thickness of the surface finish coatings, ambient air temperature, humidity, air flow, etc.
What is Curing and Why is it so Important?
Curing is a process during which a chemical reaction (such as polymerization) or physical action (such as evaporation), or off-gassing takes place, resulting in a harder, tougher and more stable bond linkage of the floor finish.
If the flooring is still curing and off-gassing, and area rugs and/or rug pads are installed too soon, it can create a possible chemical reaction causing discoloration to the flooring surface. It can also cause the rug pad to begin to dissolve resulting in discoloration and/or the rug pad sticking to the floor.
Prefabricated Factory Cured Hardwood Floors
If you have prefabricated or engineered factory cured hardwood floors, you are in a bit of luck. You do not have to be concerned with dry or cure time because this has already been taken care of at the factory level. That doesn’t mean you are good to go with any type of rug pad. You still need to check your flooring manufacturer’s recommendation.
Every factory has their own blend of component chemicals used for their floor surface finish, and these blends are likely proprietary details. Depending on the formulation, it may contain chemicals known to react with common materials used to make non-slip rugs pads, or the floors may be slightly textured and porous. For example, heavy blends of acrylic or acrylates may react with plasticizers in vinyl rugs pads. Reactions can result in discoloration of the floor surface. Some floor surface finishes are more resilient than others, and the flooring manufacturer may advise any type of rug pad is safe to use without creating an issue with the floor finish.
Keep Your Ion The Prize
To the untrained eye, it can be easy to miss a chemical reaction, as once your rug is down, it’s not uncommon the rug will not be lifted up again until you are redecorating, moving, or purchasing another rug pad, especially large area rugs with furniture on them, - then usually the damage is already done!
Research done by Home Advisor states that in 2022 it can cost anywhere from $450 to over $1500 just to repair your damaged hardwood flooring! Being aware of the problem and finding the choice is what can save you from any potential damage to your beautiful hardwoods and the investment of your home you always wanted.
Find Your Perfect Match
Our Top Couples - Types of Rug Pads Choices
Be sure to know what type of rug pad you are buying. The most common types of non-slip rug pads available in the market are made with PVC (vinyl), natural rubber, or felt with natural/synthetic rubber blend backings.
With the various types of rug pads that are available for purchase, it is easy to buy a rug pad that may not be suitable for your type of hardwood floor finish. Be sure to read the fine print! On our website you can find the tab that will direct you to all the rug pads specifically for hardwood floors.
Non-slip rug pads should only be applied to clean, dry, and fully cured flooring surfaces.
When choosing any type of rug pad, please always follow the flooring manufacturer’s recommendation for which material type is compatible with their floor surface finish. Otherwise damage to the finish may occur.
PVC (vinyl) Non-slip Rug Pads
PVC non-slip rug pads are an economical and highly effective solution to help keep area rugs in place and the most commonly available. The open-weave construction allows for air flow and helps make vacuuming easier. PVC non-slip rug pads contain no adhesives, but they may not be suitable for lacquered, acrylic or porous surfaces. Porous surface examples include, but are not limited to: concrete, marble, flagstone, Saltillo (clay) tile, and unfinished wood.
- Ultra: Broad open weave polyester scrim coated with a specially formulated high-grade vinyl compound that allows for maximum air flow while still helping to keep an area rug in place.
- Super Grip: Super Grip is a popular solution for helping to keep area rugs in place on hard surface floors. While still open weave, it is more densely coated with high-grade vinyl compound to add extra cushion for comfort under foot.
- Rug Grip: Made from a more tightly woven polyester scrim coated with a specially formulated high-grade vinyl compound to maintain a balance of air flow and broad surface area coverage. Rug Grip is the most popular solution for keeping area rugs in place on hard surface floors without breaking the bank.
Natural Rubber Non-slip Rug Pads
Natural Rubber non-slip rug pads are made with natural rubber from real rubber trees. Natural rubber’s highly effective non-slip properties are a renewable resource, contain no plasticizer oils or adhesives, and are an excellent alternative to conventional vinyl or synthetic rubber rug pads. The open-weave construction allows for air flow and helps make vacuuming easier. They can be an ideal choice for use over polyurethane floor finishes.
- Super Grip Natural: This woven polyester scrim is made with a high grade natural rubber compound from real rubber trees. Cushioned for added comfort.
- Rug Grip Natural: Woven polyester scrim and high grade natural rubber compound from real rubber trees. Tight open weave construction still allows for air flow, but also provide a good base surface area coverage.
- Ultra Natural: made high grade natural rubber, this broad open weave polyester scrim allows for maximum air flow.
Felt with Natural/Synthetic Rubber Blend Backing Non-slip Rug Pads
Felt with natural/synthetic rubber blend backings are typically made with virgin or a post-industrial recycled blend of polyester, polypropylene, and nylon. They contain no plasticizer oils or adhesives. Felt/rubber rug pads are a premium choice for solid surface area coverage and density. The solid surface area coverage also helps keep and dust from migrating down through the area rug onto the floor. They are available in low-profile for area rugs that do not need extra cushion or premium cushioned for added comfort. Felt with rubber are also “dual-purpose” as they can be used over hard-surface or carpeted floors. These can be an ideal choice for use over polyurethane floor finishes.
- Premium Deluxe Cushioned: A high performance cushioned non-slip rug pad for dual purpose on hard-surface or carpeted floors backed with a natural/synthetic rubber blend design for maximum gripping power.
- Premium Low Profile: A premium, high performance non-slip rug pad for dual purpose on hard-surface or carpeted floors backed with a natural/synthetic rubber blend design for maximum gripping power
If you have no idea what type of hardwood floor finish is on your floors, or it is a water-based quick dry polyurethane, from our experience and findings, we generally defer to a natural rubber or natural/synthetic rubber blend type of non-slip rug pad offered from www.rugpad.com.
All of our products are proudly made in the USA, are regulatory compliant, contain no ortho-phthalates, and have a 10 year warranty to maintain non-slip properties with proper use and maintenance!
In an ideal situation, with cured and dried floors and the approval of your flooring manufacturer, here is a list of some of our top choices for your hardwood flooring.
- Factory prefinished hardwood: One great option for a low profile rug pad is the Ultra Natural. The most affordable natural solution for keeping area rugs in place on hard surface floors, you won’t even feel it under your feet as you walk across your area rug and finally open and close doors without having to worry about dangerous and frustrating bunching or sliding anymore. The Ultra Natural is made from a woven polyester scrim coated with a specially formulated natural rubber compound from real rubber trees.
The Premium Deluxe Cushion is a rug pad that is designed to provide the ultimate cushion. Backed with a natural/synthetic rubber blend design for maximum gripping power, it is also CRI Green Certified. This felt blend is durable and strong with a solid construction for maximum surface area coverage to help protect floors. It has a medium 1/4” thick cushion for added padding and comfort.
- Onsite Finished Natural Wood: The Super Grip Natural is one of the most popular choices for rug pads on hardwood floors. This pad is cushioned for added padding and comfort and designed with an open weave construction to allow air flow in order to make vacuuming easier. Made with a woven polyester scrim and coated with high-grade natural rubber compound from rubber trees. Natural rubber's highly effective non-slip properties are a renewable resource, the Super Grip Natural contains no plasticizers or adhesives, and is an excellent alternative to conventional vinyl or synthetic rubber pads.
- Engineered Hardwood Flooring: For a low profile no cushion rug pad, we recommend the Rug Grip Natural rug pad is made from woven polyester scrim that is coated with high-grade natural rubber compound from real rubber trees. Its natural rubber’s highly effective non-slip properties are a renewable resource that contain no plasticizers or adhesives, and are an excellent alternative to conventional vinyl or synthetic rubber pads. The Rug Grip Natural is durable and strong and is designed with an open-weave construction that allows for air flow and makes vacuuming easier. The Rug Grip Natural rug pad is low profile, it is perfect for thicker area rugs that do not require extra cushion or areas where there are door threshold issues.
As for more cushion in your home, try the Premium Low Profile! This felt rug pad is backed with a natural/synthetic rubber blend design for maximum gripping power. It is also CRI Green Certified. It has a durable and strong solid construction for maximum surface area coverage to help protect floors. There is a medium 1/4” thick cushion for added padding and comfort for the perfect layer of luxury.
Proudly made in the USA, our rug pads are designed with a 10 year warranty to guarantee customer satisfaction. Shop with confidence at rugpad.com and find all of your rug pad needs today!