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How Big Should A Rug Pad Be?

If you’ve ever asked yourself how big should a rug pad be then you might just be surprised at how simple the answer is.

A rug pad should be between 1/2 an inch to 1 inch smaller at each edge of your rug.

But why does a rug pad need to be smaller than the rug, and what is the point of a rug pad in the first place? Join us as we take a look through the reasons, and how you can easily make sure your rug pad fits properly under your rug.

Why Does A Rug Pad Need To Be Smaller Than The Rug?

You may be asking yourself why does a rug pad even need to be smaller than the rug that it’s underneath in the first place?

Well, there is a good reason for it. If your rug pad is the same size as your rug, then the edges of the rug will be more prone to getting nudged either by people walking past or from other objects being moved near it.

This makes fraying much more likely, which is when the edges of the rug lift upwards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Due to the sheer amount of questions that people have regarding rug pads, we’ve decided to list a few more common questions below. If you have any other questions then don’t hesitate to let us know.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Rug Pad?

There are a lot of benefits of using a rug pad, some of which you probably haven’t considered before.


Rug pads add an extra layer beneath your rug that acts as a cushion beneath it.

This can quickly make your rug feel more comfortable to walk on, as well as to rest your feet on it when you sit back and relax. This is something that you wouldn’t first consider when buying a rug pad, but it makes sense as soon as you walk over your rug and realise the difference.


Another benefit of using rug pads is that they provide extra grip to your rug, especially if your rug is of a smaller size. We all know the feeling of a rug slipping around and trying frantically to piece together some furniture that can hold it in place, but a rug pad can remove this feeling right away.

Materials such as rubber are especially good for keeping a rug in place, just make sure that the material is compatible with your flooring before you purchase one.


Rug pads protect the floor below from the rug and/or rug backing. Some rugs contain certain types of backing, like polypropylene, that can cause damage to some types of flooring like vinyl.

Other types of rugs contain no backing at all but can leave marks or even colour stains on the floor below because of the nature of the material used. This is why rug pads are great for protecting your floor below, just make sure you select the right material for the rug pad – natural materials such as jute usually do a great job.


There is no surprise that adding an extra layer beneath a rug will provide insulation from the floor below, and a rug pad works in exactly the same way.

Some thicker pile rugs are great for keeping warm on their own, but during the winter months and especially on hardwood floors they can still drop temperature easily. A rug pad will trap air between the two surfaces and stop the rug from dropping temperature as easily, making it feel warmer to the touch.

This will also make your room feel cosier, especially during the colder winter months.

How To Cut A Rug Pad To Shape – 4 Simple Steps

It’s all well and good to know what size your rug pad needs to be in comparison to your rug, but how do you actually cut it to size?

Luckily it’s very easy to do and shouldn’t take you any longer than 5 minutes given you have the right materials.

1. Make Sure Your Rug Pad Is Larger Than Your Rug

You can always cut a rug pad down in size but you can’t just add size to one easily, so the first step is to order a rug pad that is larger than your rug.

2. Size Up The Pad To The Rug

Once you’ve got your rug pad place it below your rug on a flat, even surface.

You need to now mark the size of the rug onto the rug pad. You can do this using a regular ballpoint pen or even chalk.

3. Cut Along The Edges Using A Pair Of Fabric Scissors

Once you’ve got the size of the rug drawn onto the rug pad, you can cut the pad into shape using a pair of fabric scissors. Don’t worry about being too exact at this point as you will need to trim an extra length off afterwards anyway.

4. Measure 1/2 Inch to 1 Inch From Each Edge

Again using a ballpoint pen or chalk you need to mark 1/2 inch from each edge using a ruler to trim the entire perimeter by 1/2 an inch evenly.

It’s important to start at 1/2 inch as you can see how this looks and then decide whether or not to cut off slightly more, depending on how it fits with your rug. Once you’ve done the first trim place the rug pad underneath your rug and check to see how it fits.

If the edges of the rug have enough room to settle to the floor, and the rug pad is not noticeable underneath the rug then you can be happy with the fit. If this is not the case then you simply need to repeat this step and cut off slightly more and try to fit it again.

What Thickness Of Rug Pad Do You Need?

Thickness is a key part of sizing up a rug pad for a rug.

Choose a rug pad too thick and your rug will not only look out of place but it will be strange to walk over as the edges will drastically be lower compared to the body of your rug. Choose a rug pad too thin and it could wear out before you’ve even had a chance to use it, or even worse it might not provide any extra comfort or noticeable grip.

So, how do you determine the correct thickness for a rug pad?

The ideal thickness for a rug pad is 1/4 inch to 1/2 an inch. A 1/4 inch rug pad is suitable for heavier traffic areas whereas 1/2 inch rug pads are suited for lower traffic areas or larger rugs.