You may have just purchased your new rug, or you are thinking about it, and you have heard of adding rug underlay (also known as rug padding) but are not sure if you need it or not. Hopefully we can help you understand what rug underlay is, how it can help, and whether you need it for your rug or not.
Do I Need Rug Underlay?
It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but in many cases can actually make a huge difference in the functionality, look and longevity of your rug. In saying that, it is definitely not something you have to purchase, particularly with handmade rugs.
In short, the main reason we would recommend a rug underlay is simply to keep you rug in place. There are two main reasons a rug will need to stay in place. The first is that you have purchased a very lightweight rug, such as a Kilim, Aubusson, or Persian Silk rug. The second is that you are placing your rug in a high traffic area, such as the hallway, and it is susceptible to moving around more. If you have furniture on top of your rug, the latter may be less of an issue.
If you opt for a heavier rug, such as a Moroccan Berber Beni Ourain, or majority of our Persian rugs, we would recommend trying the rug in situ first and seeing if you feel you need an underlay after living with it a couple of weeks. Reasons why you may end up needing an underlay with these types of rugs too:
1. Safety: you might feel you have a tripping hazard with the corners of the rug. An underlay can help keep edges down and prevent any trip risk.
2. Furniture: you don't have any of your furniture on top of the rug to keep it securely in place and so you feel it is more susceptible to movement.
3. Acoustics: you rug is in a space upstairs, or you are in an apartment and concerned about noise to the floor below. The extra padding can help absorb some of that sound.
Other benefits of Rug Underlay
Protection: Rug padding acts as a barrier between your rug and the floor, which helps protect both the rug and the floor underneath. The padding can absorb the impact of foot traffic and prevent the rug from sliding or bunching up.
Comfort: Rug padding adds cushioning underfoot, making your rug more comfortable to walk and sit on. This is especially important if you have wood or tile floors, which can be hard on your feet.
Longevity: A good rug pad can extend the life of your rug by preventing it from wearing down too quickly. The padding can absorb the friction that could otherwise damage the rug fibers (very very gradually) and cause it to wear faster.
Whether or not you need rug padding depends on your specific situation and preferences. However, in general, rug padding is recommended for the reasons mentioned above.
We would highly recommend a high quality rug padding for handmade rugs, to ensure proper protection of the rug and your flooring. You can shop our underlay here or feel free to reach out for advice if you have sourced your own underlay. It is critical the padding is not too sticky, risking damage.
We hope this helps you navigate the need, or not, for rug underlay!
TOP TIP: when it comes to sizing, size up if you're unsure, as you can easily cut it down to fit. We recommend maximising the size to the full rug to ensure the rug appears even.