By BiSM1LLah-empiritrage. Area Rugs and Pads. At Wednesday, January 09th 2019, 07:52:20 AM.
I have been restoring and caring for antique rugs for years and have always used one of two pads. The first is a recycled jute pad that is as dense as can be for its kind. This is a 40 ounce weight, which is on the higher quality level of jute pads. This weight means there is a dense compression of fiber per square yard and this is important for protection and resistance. This pad can be used under all antique rugs that do not tend to slide around, mainly room size ones.
For finding a rug pad that provides cushioned support, we need to look at thicker pad products that are available. There are thicker open mesh PVC products from China that provide some cushion support. But there is a limit to how thick these products can be due to the way they are made. The core material that is coated with the PVC is a polyester yarn that is knitted into a wide continuous roll. The roll is then fed into a big oven where it is dipped into the PVC material and allowed to cure in an oven. When PVC cures, it expands and has the texture of a sponge thus giving it good gripping properties. But the overall thickness of this pad is controlled by making the knitted material differently so that it can absorb more of the PVC when coated. So the polyester material is a limiting factor to how thick the PVC mesh can be. 1/8" is the approximate maximum thickness we found for this product. Another product that provides cushion support is the rubber backed felt rug pads that are approximately 1/4" thick. We also found felt pads that are approximately 1/2" thick with no rubber backing that provide exceptional cushion support properties. The felt pad types are made with recycled carpet yarns and are fed into a needlepunch machine that creates a specified thickness, 12' wide felt material which is very dense and durable.
When buying a pad you will want to understand what area of the house it will be going in. A rug that will be in a high traffic area like a hallway or entry should use a thin, non slip pad. These pads typically are made of a rubber-like material and have a weave look to them. These grip hard surface floors very well, keeping your rug in place. You want a thin pad to prevent too much of a height difference to avoid any trip hazards and create a natural flow when walking. If you are putting it under a rug in a living room that will be creating more cushion and sound absorption, then you will want to use a thicker pad, possibly one made from a felt material. You can even find pads that are meant for use with outdoor area rugs which usually come mildew resistant. If you are using a rug to carpet application you will want to buy a pad that is made specifically for that.