Yes, they are necessary!
You buy a beautiful new area rug, you get it home and get excited to lay it down on the floor. But a week later, you are ready to toss it out the window because it slips under your feet and wrinkles up under your furniture. Then, you buy a rug pad, one of the cheap ones made from that rubbery stuff in a square grid. It is just as frustrating as a rug without a pad, so what do you do? Do what the designers do and get a real rug pad.
You invest a lot of money in your flooring and you invest a lot of money in your area rug, protect them both with a rug pad. A PVC rug pad, the inexpensive kind of rug anchor that most of us turn to, can actually damage vinyl flooring, some hardwood finishes, and even some laminates. You can often check with your manufacturer to find out if it would void your warranty to use PVC rug pads. The point of a rug pad is to protect both your floor and your area rug so spend a few extra dollars and upgrade your pad. A great way to protect both is to use a natural rubber or felt pad, or a pad that is made of both natural rubbers and felt. The natural rubber will protect your hard floor surfaces and hold the rug in place and the felt adds a firmness that increases the longevity of your rug while providing a more comfortable surface for your feet.
Look for a premium rug pad that has ridges and allows air to flow more freely, making it easier to vacuum the area rug. These ridges can also collect liquids and minimize the chance that a spill will damage the floor under the rug.
If you are putting your rug on a carpet, then you will need to get a carpet-to-carpet non-slip pad. Not only will it protect your rug and carpet from wear and tear, but it will also prevent those pesky wrinkles that tend to plague those who place area rugs on carpeted floors. A lot of articles will tell you that a pad isn’t necessary on the carpet if you are going to anchor your rug with furniture. But if you spill a liquid on the carpet, not only will the pad prevent the liquids from reaching the carpet beneath, it will also protect it from the possibility of dyes leaking from the rug into your carpet.
It might be tempting to save a few dollars on a standard PVC carpet pad, but don’t give in to that temptation. You’ve invested a lot of time and money in the design of your home, protect your flooring with a premium rug pad, it doesn’t cost much more than a standard mat and the benefits will pay off more than your expectation. From increasing the life of your rug to protecting your floor and making it easier to clean, a proper rug pad is worth the money. Take your time and research which materials will work best on your floor, therefore the right pad on the right surface makes all the difference. These seemingly small foundational pieces are what makes the difference between merely decorating a space and designing a space.