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How to Measure for a Rug Pad (Guidelines with 4 Best Rug Pads Mentioned)

Once your favorite rug arrives and is placed in the perfect spot, it’s time to invest in the best rug pad.

Placing a rug pad underneath your rug offers your several benefits. It’ll extend the life of your new area rug, protect your hardwood floors, and add an extra level of cushioning. But you need to buy the right rug pad for your area rug.

You have to consider several factors while deciding to buy this rug underlayment. One of these factors is rug pad size.

Wondering what size pad should you get?

Don’t worry!

In this write-up, I’ll talk about rug pad size in more detail and show how to measure for a rug pad?

It’s quick and simple.

Stay with me!

What Size Should Rug Pad Be- Choosing the Right Size Rug Pad

The most crucial element in installing a rug pad is to size it properly.

Most people think a rug pad should have the same measurement as the area rug. But this is a common misconception.

If both the area rug and the rug pad have the same dimensions-

-the rug pad will be less effective
-the rug pad peeks out from the edges of your rug, ruining the aesthetic.

So, the simple answer of “what size rug pad should I get” is- it depends on your rug’s size. The rug pad should be slightly smaller in size than your rug.

A good rule of thumb is that your rug pad should be one inch smaller than your rug around all sides. In other words, it should be 2 inches shorter in length and 2 inches less in width than your rug size.

For instance, the perfect rug pad for a 7’10” by 9’9″ rug is 7’8″ by 9’7″.

You need a slightly larger overhang for a rug pad that is thicker than ¼ of an inch. Experts recommend having your rug pad 1.5 inches shorter than your rug on all four edges.

Wondering “WHY a rug pad should be smaller than the rug”?

Safety: The flipped corner or edge is a tripping hazard. If your rug underlayment is smaller than your rug, the edges of your rug will taper to the floor. It’ll prevent curling at the edge of the rug and any trip hazard.

Durability: It also prevents the premature wear of your rug.

Aesthetics: The final reason is to keep the edges of the pad out of sight by yourself or guests while doing its work.

How to Measure for a Rug Pad Size

Rug pads can easily be trimmed to size. If you don’t find a pre-cut rug pad that perfectly matches in size of your rug, you can cut the rug pad to the exact size needed based on your rug size. What you’ll need is a simple pair of scissors.

Remember that you can cut a pad to the right dimensions, but you can’t add length if it’s too small.

So, it is always a good idea to measure your rug first to get the exact measurements since not all size labels or tags are accurate. It is important to get the actual size of your rug because you need to cut the pad based on the rug sizes, not what the size tag says.

Your rug may have tassels or fringe at the end. You should measure your rug’s actual body, not including its fringes or tassels.

You’ll need a tape measure to get the job done.

Measure the width and length of your rug with the tape measure. If your rug has binding on each end, include the binding in these measurements. If it has tassels or fringes, measure until just before the tassel/fringe.

Finally, when you have the rug measurement, you can figure out what size the rug pad should be.

How to Trim an Area Rug Pad

What you’ll need:

  • Household scissor/ Foam cutter/ Box cutter
  • Magic marker/ sharpie

The following step-by-step directions provide an easy way to measure and trim any area rug pad to fit with your rug.

Step 1:

Roll out your rug pad on the floor and place your rug directly on top of it. Smooth down any air bubbles so that the rug and pad lay flat against the floor.

Step 2:

I strongly recommend leaving both of these on the floor for a couple of days or at least 1-2 hours before trimming. Because it gives the pad to settle on the floors and the rug’s fiber to “relax.”

Step 3:

Measure the length and width of your rug with a tape measurement. You should measure only the main body/ part of the rug. Don’t include any decorative end such as fringes or tassels when measuring. You can take the help of a tape measure.

Step 4:

Subtract 2 inches from both of these measurements to get the length and width measurements of the rug pad you need.

Step 5:

Lay flat your rug pad on the floor, and measure the length and width that you determined after subtracting 2 inches from the length and width measurement of the rug.

Step 6:

Mark these measurements. You can trace these measurements by using a sharpie or magic marker.

Step 7:

With fabric cutting scissors or household scissors, slowly cut straight across the outlines of the pad for length and width to fit these new measurements. Once you’ve finished trimming, vacuum the rug.

You are done!

Step 8:

Place your rug wherever you want on your floor. Then, lay and center your rug over the pad so that the same area of your rug hangs over the edges of the pad.

Thicker rug pads may be difficult to cut at home. Let the rug pad store custom cut the pad for you in this case. Make sure you bring the measurements of your rug.

My Recommended 4 Best Rug Pads

There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to buying the best rug pads. But picking the right one is challenging because it requires several considerations, including floor types and rug materials.

However, during my research and testing, I’ve found the following four options offer the best value.

#1 Mohawk Home ‎BFR-24 Dual Surface Rug Pad

best dual surface rug pad

This dual surface pad consists of a Felt surface and Rubber backing. It is safe for all floors. For hardwood and similar types of floors, place the pad under your rug with the rubber side facing down. For carpet, place it under your rug with the felt side down.

The felt cushioning offers a soft feel underfoot. On the other hand, the latex rubber backing provides a non-slip grip.

Most importantly, it is made in the USA and certified by The Carpet & Rug Institute for the lowest chemical emissions.

Conveniently, it offers three thickness options (1/4, 3/8 & ½”) to meet your needs.

#2 RUGPADUSA – Basics- 100% Felt Rug Pad

best felt rug pad

You can go for this 100% felt rug pad if you prefer cushioning. It is latex-free and safe for laminate, hardwood, vinyl, tile, concrete, and radiant heat flooring.

It won’t offer you any non-slip properties, so I recommend using it underneath large area rugs or rugs that are anchored by furniture.

It is available in three thicknesses: 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, and 1/2-inch.

#3 Gorilla Grip Extra Strong Rug Pad Gripper (SYNCHKG082785)

best rug pad gripper

Gorilla Grip rug pad provides a dual-sided grip for a secure hold on your hard floor and rug. It reduces the bunching and sliding of your rug, making it perfect for the home with pets and kids. This PVC rug pad is non-adhesive, thick, and durable.

The open-weave construction of this pad allows air circulation that adds a layer of protection to floors.

#4 RUGPADUSA Cloud Comfort Memory Foam Rug Pad (Model: RCC12-810)

best memory foam rug pad

If your rug doesn’t need an extra grip, this Memory Foam Rug pad is the best choice for you.
RUGPADUSA RCC12-810 is a comfort pad that provides the highest level of comfort under feet.

Made of visco-elastic memory foam, this pad is safe for floors as long as you follow the floor manufacturer’s instructions.

Cloud comfort protects your hard surface flooring from heavy furniture, rug backing, and foot traffic. The 1/4″ and 1/2″ thicknesses provide a barrier for sound dampening and insulation benefits.

It is water-resistant that prevents liquids from reaching the floor. Most importantly, it is completely odorless and is free of plasticizers, adhesives, and glues.

On the negative, it won’t offer you any slip-resistant properties.

Closing Remarks

I hope, after reading this write-up, you have no confusion regarding rug pad sizing.

Before purchasing the best rug pad, don’t forget to consider your floor and rug type.

FAQs about Rug Pad Sizing

You may still have some asking regarding rug pad size. If so, the following section will be helpful.

1. What size rug pad do I need for a 9×12 rug?

The perfect rug pad for a 9′ x 12′ rug is 8’10″x11’10”.

2. What size rug pad do I need for a 6×9 rug?

The 6’x9′ rug size should have a pad size of 5’10″x8’10″

3. What size rug pad for 5×7 rug?

You should go for a 4’10” x 6’10” pad for a 5’x7′ rug.

4. What size rug pad do I need for a 10×13 rug?

For a 10’x13′ rug, a pad measuring 9’10″x12’10” is the best choice.

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