Choosing the Right Padding for a Luxury Rug | FCI London

Choosing the Right Padding for a Luxury Rug | FCI London

Choosing the right padding for a luxury rug has more benefits than you might think and goes a long way to preserving your floors. But if you’ve never had to shop for one before, you might feel a little overwhelmed.

Our design experts have put together this simple guide to help you through the process and ensure you get exactly what you’re looking for.

What is a rug pad?

A rug pad is a firm sheet of material that sits between your luxury rug and the floor, serving as a protective layer for both.

While purchasing one may seem like an additional cost to the average joe, we’re here to tell you that the financial outlay is well worth it. Why? Because it acts as a shock absorber and reduces general wear and tear. It will also help your rug survive longer, thus saving you lots of money in the long run.


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What are the benefits of a good rug pad?

Rug pads have two purposes:

  • They prevent permanent floor damage and stop erosive dirt and debris from accumulating.
  • They extend the life, beauty, and strength of your rug while also protecting it from daily friction.

Here are some additional advantages of having one:

  • Safety: They hold your rug firmly onto the floor, preventing it from slipping and bunching. Helping to mitigate any tripping hazards, especially if you have young children.
  • Comfort: Whether you’re just walking across your rug or lying on it with your family in front of the TV, a rug pad is a great way to add extra cushioning.
  • Noise control: The extra layer of this padding will lessen the sound made by footfall. This is especially useful if you live in an apartment.
  • Airflow: They allow your floors to breathe and air to circulate freely beneath your rug. This prevents mould, mildew and other dangerous allergens from forming, ensuring that all surfaces remain rot-free.
  • Spillage: Accidental spills tend to seep through rugs and, without additional protection, could badly stain or damage your flooring.

What size should your rug pad be?

When measuring, ensure that your rug pad is at least 2,5 cm shorter than your rug all the way around. This allows the edges to taper to the floor and prevent them from curling or wearing too quickly. Most pads are easy to trim down to the right size using a pair of scissors.

How to choose the right material for your rug pad?

While your rug is guaranteed to suit your space perfectly, choosing padding that fills your needs and matches your flooring type is vital, as all floors are different. While some are prone to stains and chipping, others are extra slippery and need something with a bit more grip.

Manufacturers create rug pads from a variety of materials to serve different purposes. Let’s take a look at all the options:


Rug pads made from 100% felt are soft, dense and comfy underfoot, protecting your investment pieces from damage caused by heavy furniture.

They are ideal for bamboo, tile, stone, hardwood and vinyl plank flooring. You should always use it under jute and sisal rugs, which are known for being scratchy.

Their only disadvantage is that they have no grip, so aren’t as effective when it comes to preventing your rugs from slipping.

Felt and rubber:

Some felt pads include a rubber backing. Ideal for optimal softness, support and traction. They are also water and soundproof and benefit a wide range of floor types including tile and hardwood.

Synthetic fibres:

A synthetic rug pad is a less expensive alternative to felt or rubber, but they are not ideal for certain floor types. This is because production involves chemicals that might result in sticking or staining, particularly if you pair them with any kind of vinyl.

Memory foam

If you’re looking for a beautifully dense rug pad for optimal cushioning, memory foam is for you.

Perfect for use on any type of flooring, they add warmth and comfort underfoot. Just be aware that slip resistance is not their strong point.

PVC (polyvinyl chloride)

Although these rug pads are synthetic, they are constructed from a high-performance blend of soyabean oil and polymer, making them safe to use on any floor type. They also have extra grip and a higher density for added comfort.

How thick should your rug pad be?

Most padding is available in varied thicknesses ranging from around 150 mm – 1.25 cm. When choosing one for your home, keep in mind that these variants have an impact on functionality, performance and safety.

If you’re after extra cushioning, the 1.25 cm option is ideal but will be slightly more expensive. However, position your rug away from any door that might open over it as it could potentially get stuck and may become a tripping hazard.

Thinner padding, which is more appropriate for doorways, will save you money but doesn’t provide much soundproofing or comfort.

Choosing the Right Padding for a Luxury Rug | FCI London
Choosing the Right Padding for a Luxury Rug | FCI London


Choosing between a rug pad that grips or cushions

The placement of your area rug will determine whether you should opt for one that grips or cushions. Here are two simple pointers:

  • If your rug is in a high-traffic area, like hallways or passages, and is unlikely to be anchored by furniture, choose one with a rubberised base that offers more grip.
  • Larger rugs, commonly found in dining and sitting rooms, are usually placed beneath furniture and are more suited to a rug pad with extra cushioning.

How long does a rug pad last?

A good rug pad purchased from a reputable dealer should last you around 10 – 15 years and is one of the best investments you could make if you want your luxury rug to last for decades.

So, whether you’re refurbishing a monochromatic living area and are on the hunt for something bright and bold, like the Verve Ve01 from Attic, or want to infuse your space with a sense of sophistication with Eichholtz’s geometric Evans rug, pairing them with a good quality rug pad is the right way to go.

Shop luxury rugs at FCI London

If you’re hunting down some high-end furnishings to enhance your home, get in touch with the FCI London design team right away, or pop into our showroom for a guided tour.

We work closely with luxury rug manufacturer, Knot & Loop and abstract expressionist, Anna Kosa, to bring you a selection of customised rugs to suit any room size or colour palette.

If you need a bit of inspiration, browse through our latest projects - you’re sure to find some fabulous ideas! You can also read our in-depth article on all the latest rug and lighting trends for 2023.

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