Rug pads are, in my opinion, a necessity for every carpet owner that wishes to prevent their carpets from wearing down or sliding. But how does one choose from all the materials used to manufacture rug pads? There are quite a few, mostly divided into foam, felt or rubber rug pads. When I first decided to get rug pads, I didn’t know a thing about the materials, benefits nor drawbacks. An important thing for me to consider was the noise reduction of some of the rug pads, but for those living on the ground floor or not bothered by noise, it might not be.
If there is someone sitting on the carpet often, you will probably want to consider how much insulation from the floor the rug pad provides, as the floor might sometimes get cold. Felt rug pads are made with fiber and sometimes, but not always, mixed with rubber. It is not a choice for some as water can make the rug pad rot. Rubber rug pads are divided in two types. Waffle rubber, the less favored type, can often wear the carpet down as well as breaking down itself because the rubber is held together by clay. On the other hand, flat rubber is of much higher quality and does not break down easily, making it the preferred choice for many. Then, there is also foam, with several types of differing quality.
The lowest quality type but also the one most commonly used for making rug pads is bonded urethane foam. Not only will this type of rug pad break down sooner than other types of foam or rubber rug pads, it can also cause your carpet to become yellow. The choice between the other two types of foam is mostly related to comfort over sturdiness. Prime foam is often cushy but might not limit your carpet’s movement enough. It might also not add enough protection for it, but the other foam type, frothed urethane foam, because of its durability as well as longevity, offers very good protection against, for example, furniture marks on your carpet.
The price should also be considered and, depending on the sort of carpet you have, you might want to get the very best rug pad possible to avoid any wear or, as is the case with bonded urethane foam, yellowness. On the other hand, you don’t want your rug pad price to exceed the carpet price, which isn’t outside the realm of possibility. After much evaluation I decided to get several flat rubber rug pads of different sizes, and was not let down one bit. The noise reduction was also noticeable and a welcome addition. However, I only went for rug pads made with natural rubber, something i urge everyone to do as synthetic latex simply breaks down over time.