We recently pulled the carpet up and found hardwood floors beneath. It was a no brainer to remove all the carpet in the Living and Dining Room (it was at least 10 years old) and enjoy the beautiful floor below. Once the carpet was up we felt like we still needed a good size area rug for our littles to play on. After hours of searching online I found two rugs from Overstock that fit our style, budget and size.
I knew nothing about rug pads so I decided to wait and do some research. After researching the different types of rug pads I realized there are basically two types, ones made from natural materials and ones made from plastics and fillers. So what's the difference between the two? What I found was the plastics and fillers that are found in most area rugs have a lot of off-gassing. The off-gassing as we know is not good for our health but it also can damage the hardwood floors. The natural material rug pads I found are made from 100% rubber and have very low off-gassing. Since the rubber comes from rubber tree sap, it is not harmful to the hardwood floors. It allows the floor to breath and still grips like the plastic pads. The price point can be a little dawnting (2-3x more than plastic pads) especially after what you have just spent on a rug, but I look at it as saving money in the future. My hardwood floors will be in tack and my pad will last as long as my rug, if not longer(15-20 year warranties!). Not to mention the health factors we are still discovering from the off gassing in all of the building products we use now a days.
I ended up ordering from RugPadUSA. They have an amazing information section that breaks down all the differences between natural vs. man made pads on their blog page. The install was easy. Since my rug was on the heavier side I went with a thinner profile with normal grip. Visually you can't even tell there is something under the rug.
There are a variety of options from grip to cushion to durability. Some of the natural pads come with felt mixed in. It all depends on the type of rug you have and what your needs may be for that rug.
Stay tuned for our top rug picks.