Choosing the best rug padding is important, as it will work to prevent damage to both your hardwood floor and your expensive Oriental rug. You’ll be able to choose from thinner pads which provide more grip, or options with more cushioning but less traction. Also, cut-rate PVC rug pads have flooded the market, and you may be tempted to buy one to save a few dollars.
We’ll cover why this could be a mistake, which could end up costing you far more in the long run. So, to help you make the best Oriental rug pad choice possible, let’s cover the available types in more depth below.
PVC Rug Pads
As already mentioned above, cheaply made PVC Oriental rug pads have several disadvantages. First of all, they are often manufactured from soybean oil – meaning they aren’t true PVC at all. Why does this matter? To stabilize the soybean oil, plasticizers are added, which have a tendency to react with your hardwood’s finish. Whether you have a clear coating or a tinted stain, these inferior PVC rug pads can harm acrylic, lacquer and polyurethane finishes. Polyurethane is especially susceptible to these plasticizing agents, and it can become dull or discolored by these types of PVC pads.
Newly finished floors are more likely to react with PVC pads, and if you still want to buy this cheaper product, you should wait at least one month to let your floor cure completely. However, the safest strategy is to avoid them altogether, and purchase an Oriental rug pad made from better materials instead.
The second drawback of PVC Oriental rug pads, is their high chemical content. Many different compounds are used in the manufacturing process, and the end result is a product which has various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) contained within. These include well-known carcinogenic substances like formaldehyde, which has been shown to cause cancer. These VOCs slowly escape out into the air of your home, creating an environment which may be detrimental to your health.
All Natural Rubber Pads
In contrast, natural rubber rug pads come from rubber trees, and have a much lower chemical burden. They are completely safe to use on all types of hardwood finishes, and they grip the floor with a tight seal. Not only do they hold up well, they will keep your Oriental rug firmly in place, making them a good option. If extra padding isn’t important to you, then their thinner construction will be a good fit for your situation.
For those that desire extra cushion underfoot when walking over their Oriental rug, then felt rug pads are an excellent alternative. They tend to be the thickest rug pads available, and this material has a good deal of give, which provides more padding for you to enjoy. In fact, some felt rug pads are as much as � inch thick, for maximum comfort. However, felt does not adhere as strongly as rubber, so these pads are only recommended for larger area rugs. Why is this the case?
Larger rugs tend to move less than smaller versions, as they are heavier and have more surface area. For this reason, if your Oriental rug is at least 6 by 9 feet in size, you’ll probably be safe in choosing a felt pad for your needs. Also, with their softer material, felt pads will provide the additional benefit of some sound dampening. This is especially helpful in large spaces which feature a good deal of hard surfaces, as the felt rug pad will help to counteract echoing. This can make the space feel more intimate and inviting overall.
Finally, if you have had felt rug pads in the past and didn’t like their particular odor, there is now an alternative. Recycled felt pads are not only softer, but they are odor-free as well. They are also better for the environment, making a recycled version the best choice if you want a felt pad for your Oriental rug.
Rubber and Felt Pads
If you like the assets of both the felt and rubber pads covered above, there is a choice which combines their features together. Rubber and felt rug pads have a layer of each of these materials, and they work well in concert. The rubber portion typically is placed downward if you have a slick floor surface like tile or hardwood, as it is the best choice for providing traction. The felt layer then faces up, to hold the area rug safely in place, and to provide more cushioning too.
However, if you’ve been searching for a way to anchor your Oriental rug to a carpeted surface, then a combination pad is the answer. In this situation, you’ll flip the rug pad over, so that the rubber side is touching your area rug. This allows the felt to face downward, as it grips the carpet quite well.
If you want the most eco-friendly product available, then organic Oriental rug pads are the best choice. These quality items use natural plant-based oils and polymers in their construction, and they won’t react with any type of flooring. These odor-free options are sold in three different varieties, and you can choose from cushion, felt and solid designs. In all, if purchasing an environmentally responsible rug pad is important to you, then organic products are the clear winner.
Having covered the available types of Oriental rug pads on the market today, you now have the information you need to make the best choice. You simply need to look at your priorities, and what features you value most. For example, if you are worried about your rug slipping or shifting (which can cause people to trip or fall), then a natural rubber pad is a good selection. Yet, you may want extra padding instead, which can extend the life of your rug and provide more comfort and soundproofing. Finally, you may want the most eco-friendly pad possible, making an organic item the obvious choice. No matter what your specific needs are, there is an Oriental rug pad that fits your situation – to provide the features and benefits which you require.