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Ask Sam, The Rug Pad Man


The International Authority on Area Rugs and Rug Pads

• Founder & Managing member Rug Pad Corner since 2002
• President of the Board of Rug Pad Retailers of America
• Founding Member of Rug Pad for a Cause®
• Managed Kaoud Carpets & Rugs since 1980
• Certified Area Rug Appraiser since 1990
• Member  of U.S. Green Building Council since 2012
• Member of GreenPeople since 2012
• St Jude Partner in Hope

“With more than 30 years of hands-on experience in the area rug and flooring industries, I am happy to offer you the facts and knowledge you need to make the right choice in rug pads.”
- Sam, The Rug Pad Man

Sam offers accurate and knowledgeable answers to your questions

*To submit your question to Sam, personally, send him an email to

Section 1: Questions & answers on Hardwood and all types of Wood floors

*For more Hardwood Floor specific information, visit our friends at

Sam, what should I know about a rug pad for my hardwood floor?
Most important, you should know to choose a pad that is as natural as possible! I can tell you that every store I know, online and on the ground, sells rug pads that contain a clear adhesive coating. We must steer clear of these because the adhesive damages hardwood floors. I know just about every seller and manufacturer within the U.S. and unfortunately, they all incorporate some level of adhesive content within their products.

Sam, is one of those “mesh” looking pads good for my hardwood?
Frankly, the best protection you can offer your hardwood floor is with a solid rug pad, as opposed to one with holes in it. Think about what goes on your rug; high heeled shoes, furniture and other items – The rug pad with holes may allow penetration to the floor. Instead, choosing a solid pad will show resistance to any pressure, keeping your hardwood floor free of any possible dents and damage.

Should I do anything once I place my rug pad on my floor and start using it?
Yes. One simply way to prevent potential damage to your floor is to simply check under the corner of your rug and pad once-in-a-while – You are checking for any unusual marks, discoloration, staining or sticking of the rug pad to your floor. A quality rug pad will keep your floor looking in perfect condition and in the event you have an inferior quality pad, one of the times you check your floor, you mat see the start of something happening and you can avoid more by removing the rug pad.

Is rubber going to damage my hardwood floor?
Natural rubber will not! The non slip pads with holes in them are mostly adhesive coated plastic, so stay away from them. Most of the felt and rubber pads you find contain a “rubber-like” surface that is normally made up of a sprayed on latex, or rubber that is glued to the felt – Here, again, stay away from these. If it’s an open weave pad (with holes) that you desire, then make sure it’s 100% untreated rubber. For more protection, choose a felt and rubber rug pad in which the rubber is “Heat Pressed” to the felt – Very difficult to find, yet is available through our Ultra Premium.

Section 2: Questions & Answers on rug pads and adhesives

How do I know if a rug pad contains any adhesive?
The most common way to tell is to feel the pad – If it is sticky to the touch, it contains an adhesive coating. On thicker felt rug pads, normally at least one surface contains adhesive. This makes the pad feel stiffer, as the adhesive dries to a hard texture.

Does the adhesive harm anything else other than the floor?
Yes – adhesives can off-gas and cause chemical-like odors. This is especially evident in a room with heat or direct sunlight. Adhesives create a stronger odor based on temperature – the warmer the room, the stronger the smell. In regards to off-gassing, this can cause health risks and should be avoided at all costs.

Sam, how do you avoid adhesives from being in your rug pads?
In place of adhesive, we utilize RPC Heat Pressing, an exclusive process only available to Rug Pad Corner. The Heat Pressing process essentially forges the material together with intense heat instead of adhesive – This maintains natural rug pads that are safe for the floor and home. Unfortunately, most other suppliers save money by using adhesive.

I have seen other stores mention “Heat Pressing”, so how is it exclusive to Rug Pad Corner?
The Internet makes it very easy for anyone to say whatever they would like to say – Unfortunately, some stores misrepresent their products and will describe them as Heat Pressed when they actually are not. For this reason, it is important to know from whom you order. One store, as an example, refers to “heat pressed”, yet I personally know the people behind the store and they refer to Rug Pads made in the USA – The reality is that the rug pads from this online store are imported from China and are full of adhesive! Unfortunately since the pads are not labeled, the store can get away with misrepresenting its products.

Section 3: Questions & Answers about rug pad size

What size do I need?
Most consumers are not quite sure how to judge the size of a rug pad. The industry rule states that a rug pad should be smaller than the rug it is to be used with. The actual size of the pad is dependent on the thickness of the rug pad. The thicker the rug pad, the more we cut back – Rug pads up to 1/4″ thick are normally cut one inch smaller than the rug on all sizes; pads thicker than this should be cut at least 1.5 inches smaller all around.

Why is the rug pad smaller than the rug?
There are a few goos reasons for this. First, when the rug pad is smaller than the rug, it will be hidden and neatly tucked under your rug – Not many people desire to see the edge of the rug pad when they walk into a room. Next, when the rug pad is smaller, it allows the edges of your rug to relax to the floor and this maintains a level of safety – If the pad comes to the edge of the rug, it lifts the edge and can cause a trip hazard.

Section 4: Rug Pads on top of Carpet

Why does my rug constantly wrinkle on top of my carpet?
Unlike a hard floor, carpeting is soft and does not offer solid foundational support for your rug. When the rug is walked on or when furniture is sitting on it, the weight and pressure push into the rug and this causes the areas around these pressure points to wrinkle and buckle. Again, this is due to the fact that what’s under the rug, the soft carpet, is not solid enough that it actually allows penetration.

How do I keep my rug flat on the carpet?
In the rug industry, there is only one product known to effectively keep rugs flat and in place on top of carpet – That product is No-Muv Rug Pad. No-Muv is specially designed to work under rugs on carpet and contains a very dense upper surface against a specially textured lower surface. The upper felt surface works to resist any pressure to prevent penetration to the floor. The textured lower surface works to grab to and hold to the carpet underneath – The combination works to prevent wrinkles and slipping, keeping your area rug as flat as possible and in the same place.

Can I use a rug pad to stop color transferring from my rug to the carpeting?
Yes – as long as the rug pad is solid (without holes), it acts as a protective barrier and prevents any transfer of color from your rug to your carpeting. While any felt rug pad works for this reason, only No-Muv accomplishes this, as well as keeping your rug flat and in place.