If you already have a wooden floor installed, then you know that area rugs are one of the keys to enhancing its beauty, its good condition and its life. Area rugs are one of the main ways to ensure protection from scratches, stains, to prevent your wooden floor get worn off in a shorter period of time and they can save the surface from a number of issues and problems. Area rugs are also highly recommended for under heavier objects and furniture pieces to prevent they occurring the appearance and condition of the wooden surface.

However, when choosing an area rugs for covering certain areas of the wooden floor, where, for example, high traffic is expected, you should be aware of a few things. One of the highly discussed things in this case is whether to use rug pads underneath. In fact, professionals often warn about the use of certain type of pads that hide the risk of smudging the finish of your wooden floor and occur the appearance. Because of that in today’s article we are going to discuss the best area rug pad options in the meaning of air quality, discoloration and rug preservation.

Some of the most popular pads on today’s market are high in VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds), made from petroleum based chemicals like PVC and they are the reason for the reaction they made with the polyurethane finish of the wooden surface. In case an inferior pad is left under an area rug for too long, then residue can be left behind and this is hiding a risk for a permanent damage of the floor. Unfortunately, some low quality area rugs are made with latex or synthetic rubber pads that work good at first, but after a certain amount of time will break down and turn to dust. We guess that you have already get the idea that selecting area rugs with high quality pads is very important for the condition of your wooden floor.

Some of the top reasons to choose area rugs with quality pads are:

Safety

Of course, safety is the most important purpose of the pad. Pads are responsible for anti-slipping and they keep the rug flat and prevent falls from rug movement.

Protection

Pads are very important for protecting the wooden surface and the finish from scratches and dents, stains and spills and more. They also prevent the rug from damaging the surface and leaving fine scratches. A pad can also prevent any dye-transfer from the rug to the floor finish.

Rug preservation

A pad can significantly extend the life of the rug. It prevents the rug’s fibers from being flattened and compressed.

Comfort

A pad adds a lot to the thickness of the rug to create the comfortable cushioning effect.

The most popular types of rug pads are:

Polyvinyl-based

These are a budget pads that can react with polyurethane finishes and can potentially permanently discolor the floor.

Synthetic latex

It performs well in a short term, but the clay fillers added to the latex have the tendency to dry out and leave a pile of dry flakes. They will cost more in a long-term due to the need of replacement.

Natural rubber

At medium price range, an eco-friendly option too, natural rubber pads are safer alternative for hardwood and also recommended for better air-quality. Natural rubber also offer a great non-stick grip to the surface.

Felt pads

If you are looking after the cushioning effect, then felt pads are your best option and also recommended because of the fact how gentle they are to the wooden surface. However, felt pads lacks of grip of rubber and because of that is working best only for larger area rugs.

Hybrid pad

It is a hybrid between felt and rubber and it is offering the best from both worlds. It gets the highest recommendation for hardwood floors, however it is usually significantly more expensive than any other type of padding offered on the market.