Smart ways to protect your rugs with rug pads and liners

July 27, 2015

Over time, walking across an area rug laid against bare flooring will abrade or break yarns on the back of the rug. To protect your rugs, always use padding or a liner between the rug and the floor. Here are a couple of types of padding and liners you may want to use.

Smart ways to protect your rugs with rug pads and liners

The basics

  • Cut the material 2.5 to five centimetres (one to two inches) smaller than the area rug to make sure the rug will conceal the edge of any underlayment.
  • Padding protects the rug by giving cushioning underfoot. Made of felted natural or synthetic fibres, it comes in thicknesses from half a centimetre to almost two centimetres (1/4 to 3/8 inch).

Rug pads you should know

The most common types of rug pads are:

  • Jute and hair padding, natural or synthetic, is used for large area rugs when furniture is arranged on top.
  • Rubberized jute and hair padding, natural or synthetic, has a backing on each side and is used for area rugs about two by 2.5 metres (about six by nine feet) or smaller. The rubberized finish with a waffle texture on both sides adds a non-skid feature.

Some quick liner information

Liners protect and add a non-skid quality. Thick liners can add a bit of cushioning comfort. Here are two common types of liners:

  • Rubber open-mesh liners are used under small- to medium-size rugs and runners. This type of liner is especially good with reversible rugs.
  • Thin double-stick plastic liners are used to secure small- and medium-sized area rugs to bare floors or wall-to-wall carpeting. A peel-away plastic film protects each sticky surface until you adhere one side to the back of the rug and the other to the floor or carpet. The adhesive doesn't harm fibres as household tapes would. Once the tape is down, the rug will be well stuck so there will be no need to lift or move the rug during regular vacuuming.

Providing clearance for doors

When opened, doors should not scrape across the top of the area rugs. If rugs are placed near doorways, including closet doors, check to be sure the bottom of all doors clear the thickness of the area rug plus its padding.

  • As necessary, remove doors from their hinges, plane the bottom edges and reinstall.

Rug padding and liners are essential in protecting your rug from damage. Before making a purchase, consider these tips and find a solution that fits.

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