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Many people think a rug pad is unnecessary, or at least an unnecessary expense. Most knowledgeable interior designers and decorators will tell you, however, that nothing could be farther from the truth. And the vast majority of area-rug manufacturers agree. In fact, there are quite a few of them that will not provide a full warranty on the rug if it is not used in conjunction with a quality pad. That alone could be a great reason for placing one under your new area rug. But there are many more.
First and foremost is the issue of safety. There is not a lot of friction between the bottom of a wool or olefin rug and a highly polished wooden floor. It doesn't take much pressure at even a slight angle for the rug to move from its position. This is especially true in the corner areas, where someone can easily step partially on the rug and partially on the floor. Certainly a dangerous fall could result. But this is easily prevented by placing a properly sized pad beneath the rug.
Secondly, you will discover that it is far easier to vacuum a rug that has a pad underneath. Because the rug does not move in relation to the floor, the vacuum will not cause it to gather and be sucked into the beater brushes. You still need to be careful at the corners and edges, but the rug pad will make the process of keeping your rug clean a much more pleasant one. At the minimum, the lack of the rug pad makes vacuuming inconvenient; at the worst it could cause irreparable damage to the rug's fibers.
Next, most people don't realize that a rug wears out from the bottom up. There is much more stress on the fibers closer to the floor - the ones that get crushed every time someone walks on the rug - than on the top, visible surface. A rug pad serves to cushion each step and thereby significantly prolong the life of the rug. And the cost of a rug pad compared to the cost of replacing a rug is negligible.
What if you plan to place your area rug on top of wall-to-wall carpeting? This has become a very popular trend and some people think the carpet will act as a suitable pad. Although the carpeting may help cushion the rug, it does not provide enough friction to prevent the rug from slipping. As surprising as it may seem, an area rug placed directly on top of carpeting is no more secure than one placed on a wood floor!
When you buy a rug pad, make sure you get one large enough to completely cover the bottom surface of the area rug. Don't leave an edge. Not only will this reduce the effectiveness of the pad, but depending upon the thickness of your rug, can actually be visible. You don't want part of the rug lower than the rest of it, which is what placing it on a too-small pad will do.
Because area rugs come in so many different sizes and shapes, most rug pads are easily trimmed with only a pair of scissors to the exact dimensions of the rug. You may end up needing two or more individual pads to completely cover the bottom of the rug, but again, pads are easily cut and positioned to make this possible.
Rugs Direct carries a complete line of top-quality pads in a variety of sizes. Be sure to "add a pad" when making your area-rug purchase. If you have any questions, our Customer Service Department will be happy to answer them for you. Call toll-free 888-464-1447 or send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.