How to Size Rug Pads

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Direct contact with a hard surface can break the fibers in an area rug's backing. Area rugs need air flow and cushion to wear well and last longer. Rug pads extend the life of the rug, keeping it ventilated and separated from the floor. Pads prevent the rug from slipping when stepped on and protect the floor surface from constant rubbing by the area rug backing. No matter what type of rug pad is used, pads are easy to cut and size as needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Area rug
  • Rug pad
  • Tape measure
  • Calculator
  • Paper and pencil
  • Scissors or utility knife

Roll out the area rug and lay it flat on the surface it will be used on.

Measure the size of the rug with a tape measure. Do not include fringe or tassels when measuring.

Subtract two inches from the overall length and two inches from the overall width—this is the size the rug pad needs to be. For example, a rug measuring 48 inches by 72 inches would require a rug pad sized at 46 inches by 70 inches.

Cut the rug pad to the calculated size using a utility knife or a pair of sharp scissors. The size does not need to be perfect. As long as the pad is hidden under the rug, an angled or crooked cut will never be seen.

Place the cut pad onto the floor where it will be used and center the area rug over it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rug pads should always be hidden underneath the rug, hence the need to make them smaller than the rug.
  • Don't rely on the rug label for an accurate measurement. It may read 9 feet by 12 feet, but the actual size could be smaller due to binding and rug making processes. Rug sizes are usually rounded off to the nearest whole standard size.

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