The rug pad that lives beneath your rug and on hardwood floors serves a very important job. It not only offers protection by helping to keep your area rugs in place, but also longevity to your floors and can cushion the space you walk on. All of this is not useful if it were to cause harm to the luscious hardwoods that lie beneath! So we are here to help solve a very common concern: are rug pads safe for hardwood floors? And if so, how can I make sure of that?
We will be answering the hard questions that come up when purchasing a rug pad. The how's and why’s of when things can go wrong with flooring and your rug pad to ensure you have made the best decision possible for your home!
When it comes to your hardwood floors, there is a process that is necessary after installation called curing. Cure time is the time that determines how long things take to fully cure. A series of chemical reactions occurs during cure time. These chemical reactions allow things to set, harden and develop traits. It may take weeks, months or years. Many factors have an impact on the curing time of a product.
The curing process allows the wood to acclimate, release moisture, protect against decay, and help prepare the wood to receive surface finishes (pertaining to new raw wood acclimating and/or settling before the floor finish is applied IF it is a raw wood onsite install. May not apply to existing refinish jobs or factory finished/UV cured hardwood.) Once the floor finish has been applied, it needs time to dry and cure. Just because it is dry to the touch, doesn’t mean it is fully cured. Other things to consider are the number of surface finish coatings, hardening agents, thickness, ambient temperature, humidity, and airflow will all affect the rate of cure time.
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 or more stable linkage (such as an adhesive bond) or substance (such as concrete).
If not left to properly dry and cure, rug pads, furniture, even area rugs can ruin your hardwood floor finish. Rug Pads are designed to be used on hardwood floors when following the instructions accordingly. When in doubt, please always defer to your flooring manufacturer. Additionally, if you don’t know the flooring manufacturer or the floor finish type, we recommend using a rubber based rug pad. Another option is that you can always try testing your rug pad on an inconspicuous area in your home. Be sure the space is clean, dried and fully cured.
What am I Buying Exactly?
Be sure to know what type of rug pad you are buying exactly. The most common types of non-slip rug pads available in the market are made with PVC, 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:
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. Excessive dirt/dust can cause abrasion on the floor finish. 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 Low Profile: Premium Low Profile is a premium solid surface area coverage - “dual purpose” rug pad. Offering floor defense under any type of area rug on both carpeted as well as hard-surface floors. Premium felt backed with a natural/synthetic rubber blend designed for maximum gripping power, Premium Low Profile is perfect for thicker area rugs that do not need extra cushion or for areas requiring a low profile to help avoid door threshold issues.
- Premium Deluxe Cushioned: Premium Deluxe Cushioned is a premium cushioned solid surface area coverage - “dual purpose” rug pad. Offering floor defense under any type of area rug on both carpeted as well as hard-surface floors, Premium Deluxe Cushioned is CRI Green Certified felt backed with a natural/synthetic rubber blend designed for maximum gripping power.
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 high quality cushioned non-slip rug pad is ideal for use over hard-surface floors. Made with high quality natural rubber coating and features superior grip strength to help keep rugs from sliding and slipping. The open-weave construction allows for air flow and makes vacuuming easier. Help protect your rug and your floors with a Super Grip Natural rug pad.
- Rug Grip Natural : This high quality low-profile non-slip rug pad is ideal for use over hard-surface floors. Made with high quality natural rubber coating and features superior grip strength to help keep rugs from sliding and slipping on hard surfaces. The tight, yet open weave construction allows for air flow and makes vacuuming easier. Help protect your rug and your floors with the Rug Grip Natural rug pad.
- Ultra Natural: This premium non-slip rug pad is ideal for use over hard-surface floors. Made with high quality natural rubber coating. Will help to protect your rug and floors with the Ultra Natural rug pad.
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.
- Super Grip: Super Grip is a popular solution for keeping area rugs in place and provides extra cushion on hard surface floors. Made with high quality PVC coating. The open weave allows for air flow and makes vacuuming easier. Fast and easy to install, every step is softer with Super Grip.
- Rug Grip: Rug Grip is a great solution for helping to keep area rugs in place on hard surface floors without breaking the bank. Made with high quality PVC coating. The tight open weave construction still allows for air flow and makes vacuuming easier. 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.
- Ultra: Ultra is the most affordable solution for keeping area rugs in place on hard surface floors. Made with high quality PVC coating. 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. Perfectly low profile, it’s designed to secure thicker area rugs that don’t need extra cushion.
You Ask, We Answer.
What is unsafe for my hardwood floors?
- Like mentioned before, laying your area rug or rug pad down before your hardwoods are fully cured will cause damage. Additionally, we do not recommend any tape on your floors, as it is not necessary with our rug pads and can cause damage to the hardwoods.
Curing is confusing to me, what can I compare it to?
- We like to use the metaphor of a pedicure. Ever go home after an hour or two of drying, and to touch everything seems good to go? This is a similar “curing” experience. But initially, all it takes is your toddler or hyper golden retriever to jump on your foot and it can smudge pretty easily in those first few hours … curing has a process that will act identical but over a longer period of time.
What if I don’t know what rug pad to buy?
- Our phone lines are open: (615) 712-8774 - We are happy to help and answer any of your questions in order to guide you to the best rug pad for your hardwood floors.
- Additionally, you can always defer to your manufacturer's recommendation based on your hardwood type and floor finish.