How Do You Size a Mat for Under a Rug? Mastering the Art of Proportional Perfection

How Do You Size a Mat for Under a Rug

Discovering the perfect piece to complete your interior design vision is a true delight for any enthusiast. The moment you lay eyes on that high-quality area rug, you can feel it whether it’s a sleek flat weave for your entryway, hallway, or other bustling areas, or perhaps a sumptuous shag rug to pamper your feet and safeguard your hardwood floors in the living room.

How Do You Size a Mat for Under a Rug, preserving its beauty becomes a priority. Bunching and shifting not only pose a hazard but can also accelerate wear and tear, prematurely aging your cherished rug. The key to maintaining the allure of both small and large rugs is investing in an appropriate rug pad.

But not just any rug pad will suffice. It’s crucial to choose the right size for optimal performance. Let’s delve into the art of sizing a rug pad for your area rug, explore steps to resize a rug pad if needed, and pinpoint the best options for your home.

How Do You Size a Rug Pad For An Area Rug?

Selecting the right area rug pad for your laminate or hardwood floors can bring a host of benefits to your living space.

Non-Skid Grip: Opting for rug pads with rubber backing ensures a secure grip on your floors, preventing unwanted shifting of your area rug. Opt for natural rubber pads to avoid any reactions that might stain your floors.

Comfortable Cushioning: Thicker pads, especially those crafted with felt or memory foam, provide a lavish cushioning experience underfoot, instantly enhancing the comfort of any hard surface beneath your area rug.

Floor Protection: A well-chosen rug pad offers protection for various flooring types, including vinyl, carpeting, laminate, and hardwood. Opt for eco-friendly materials to prevent deterioration over time and avoid chemical reactions that could harm your floors.

Extended Rug Life: Rug pads are particularly beneficial for area rugs, especially wool ones, as they help secure the edges, preventing excessive wear and tear. This protection ensures the rug maintains its integrity, avoiding a worn and unappealing appearance.

Sound Muffling: Whether you’re a homeowner working remotely or an apartment dweller mindful of neighbors below, the cushioning in a rug pad helps dampen sounds from music, conversations, and footsteps.

Insulation: A solid rug pad can also block drafts and enhance your home’s heating and cooling efficiency.

Regardless of your rug’s size, choosing the correct rug pad involves specific steps to ensure a perfect fit without compromising aesthetics. Contrary to common belief, matching the measurements of your rug and rug pad is not the optimal approach, as it may lead to an unsightly overhang.

Measure the length and width of the rug (excluding decorative ends like tassels).

Subtract two inches from both the length and width (three inches for thicker rugs).

Use these adjusted measurements to select your rug pad size.

For instance, if your area rug measures 6 feet by 9 feet, you’ll need a 5′ 10″ x 8′ 10″ rug pad. Thicker pads beneath larger rugs (10 x 13 or more) may require a slightly larger overhang, so subtract 2.5-3 inches from your rug’s measurements when choosing the rug pad size.

In some cases, resizing a rug pad may be necessary to achieve the perfect fit. Let’s explore how to resize a rug pad for a seamless match beneath any area rug.

How To Resize a Rug Pad

Area rugs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and achieving the perfect fit for your rug pad is essential, especially considering factors like pile height and rug dimensions. Customizing your rug pad ensures optimal performance and protection.

Materials Needed:

Your Rug Pad

Scissors, Box Cutter, or Foam Cutter (depending on pad thickness and material)

Sharpie or Magic Marker

Measuring Tape

Piece of Cardboard or Self-Healing Mat (to prevent damage during cutting)


Prepare Your Work Area:

Roll out your rug pad on a clean, hard surface.

Position Your Area Rug:

Place the area rug over the rug pad.

Trace the Outline:

Use the sharpie to trace the outline of your rug onto the pad. Remove the rug once you’re done.

Mark the Trimming Line:

Using the measuring tape, mark a line two inches inside the traced outline.

Prepare Cutting Surface:

Place the rug pad on a piece of cardboard or a self-healing mat to protect surfaces during cutting.

Trimming the Rug Pad:

Slowly trim the rug pad to the smaller outline using scissors, a box cutter, or a foam cutter.

Position the Rug Pad:

Place the trimmed rug pad in the designated spot.

Replace the Area Rug:

Position your area rug over the trimmed rug pad.

If done correctly, the rug pad should not be visible around the edges of your area rug. The carpet edges should drape neatly, and there should be no shifting or bunching. This tailored fit ensures both functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Now that your rug pad is perfectly sized, you’re ready to find the ideal partner for your new area rug, ensuring a harmonious and well-protected flooring ensemble.

These Are The Best Rug Pads For Your Home

Regardless of the current trends in home décor, a carefully chosen area rug has the power to unify an entire room. To safeguard against your exquisite area rug transforming into a potential tripping hazard, consider investing in a rubber rug pad with a non-slip grip. For those in search of added comfort and cushioning, a thicker pad crafted from memory foam is an excellent choice. By selecting the right rug pad tailored to your needs, you not only enhance safety but also elevate the overall comfort and aesthetics of your living space.


Meet RugPro, the ultimate solution for high-traffic areas in your home that demand a securely anchored area rug. This rug pad boasts maximum grip and durability, providing a reliable foundation for your prized rugs. Combining a thin layer of felt with a robust natural rubber backing, RugPro offers a winning combination of functionality and performance.

The felt upper layer delicately grasps the rug backing, effectively keeping it in place, while the sturdy rubber backing ensures your rug remains firmly anchored, preventing any slips or skids across your hard floor surfaces.

Not only does RugPro excel in providing a secure grip, but its solid design also acts as a barrier against dirt and grime accumulation. This feature not only helps in maintaining the cleanliness of your rugs but also enhances the efficiency of your vacuuming efforts.

Choose RugPro for a dual-surface rug pad that goes beyond mere support, offering a steadfast solution to keep your area rug in place while contributing to the overall cleanliness and longevity of your home’s high-traffic zones.


If you’re in search of a rug pad that seamlessly combines both grip and moderate cushioning, look no further than Contour-Lock. Crafted from 100% recycled felt, heat-pressed onto a natural rubber backing, this rug pad is the perfect companion for flatweave rugs that tend to resist staying in place but deserve that extra touch of comfort.

Contour-Lock stands out as an eco-friendly choice, reflecting its commitment to sustainability. Additionally, it comes with a reassuring ten-year warranty, ensuring long-lasting performance and peace of mind. Compatible with all floor types, this rug pad prioritizes safety and versatility.

Moreover, Contour-Lock goes the extra mile by being mildew and moisture-resistant, making it an ideal choice for environments with higher humidity levels. This feature not only contributes to the durability of the rug pad but also ensures its effectiveness in various settings.

Choose Contour-Lock for a rug pad that strikes the perfect balance between providing a secure grip, offering moderate cushioning, and championing eco-conscious practices. It’s a reliable choice that not only enhances the comfort of your space but also stands the test of time.

Nature’s Grip

In a world where sustainability takes center stage in every industry, it’s no surprise that Nature’s Grip has become a popular choice. This rug pad, hand-woven using organic jute fibers, not only aligns with eco-conscious trends but also delivers outstanding functionality. Unlike traditional rug pads, Nature’s Grip goes beyond merely preventing slips – it provides a robust grip that firmly locks your area rug in place, all without leaving a sticky residue on your floors.

What sets Nature’s Grip apart is its commitment to a clean and green living environment. You won’t find any harmful odors or synthetic materials in this rug pad. While PVC rug pads tend to deteriorate over time, releasing toxic chemicals into your home, Nature’s Grip takes a different approach. It is crafted solely from eco-friendly materials, ensuring a durable and long-lasting solution that won’t compromise your indoor air quality.

Embrace Nature’s Grip for a sustainable and effective rug pad that not only secures your area rug but also contributes to a healthier home environment. It’s a choice that reflects the growing awareness of the impact our choices have on the planet and sets a new standard for eco-friendly rug padding.

Super-Lock Natural

For those unruly area rugs that just won’t stay in place, meet your solution: Super-Lock Natural. This low-profile rug pad is designed to tame even the most stubborn rugs, offering a secure foundation that ensures your rug stays put. Crafted with over a pound of natural rubber per square yard, Super-Lock Natural is not only dense but impressively heavy.

The waffle design of this rug pad serves a dual purpose. It facilitates proper airflow between your rug and flooring, preventing any issues related to moisture and allowing your floor to breathe. Simultaneously, it provides a comfortable level of cushioning, suitable for both thick and thin rugs.

Super-Lock Natural is a versatile choice, compatible with all flooring types. Its mold and mildew resistance make it particularly well-suited for humid environments, such as the bathroom.

One of the standout features of Super-Lock Natural is its ease of maintenance. The rug pad is easy to clean and reposition, making it a practical choice for those with allergies. With Super-Lock Natural, you get a reliable and adaptable rug pad that not only addresses the challenge of keeping your rug in place but also enhances the overall comfort and cleanliness of your living space.

How to Measure for a Rug Pad Size?

Discover the key to embracing your new area rug: rug pads. They go beyond merely preventing scratches on hard floors; they’re the unsung heroes that enhance your rug’s longevity while providing an extra layer of comfort and insulation. However, selecting the perfect rug pad involves more than opting for the thickest one available and matching sizes with your rug. It’s a nuanced decision influenced by your rug’s dimensions and thickness. This comprehensive guide is your go-to resource for unraveling the mysteries of choosing the right rug pad size and thickness.

Does a Rug Pad Need To Be the Exact Size?

One of the initial queries that often arises is, “Should rug pad match the exact dimensions of the rug?” While it might seem intuitive, the optimal sizing for rug pads deviates slightly—aim for dimensions about an inch smaller than your rug on all sides. Should your rug boast a fringe or tassel finish, be sure to exclude it from your measurements.

To illustrate, for a 9′ x 11′ area rug, the ideal rug pad size would be 8’10” x 11’10”. This deliberate choice ensures that the pad’s edges gracefully taper to the floor, averting potential tripping hazards and premature wear on your rug. Additionally, keeping the rug pad slightly smaller maintains its discreet profile, hidden beneath the rug as intended. The thickness of your rug pad is another crucial consideration, ranging from 1/16″ to 1/2″, with the size and construction of your rug playing a pivotal role in determining the ideal thickness.

When To Use A Thin Pad?

Opting for thin pads, particularly those equipped with a non-slip backing, proves advantageous for lighter and thinner area rugs. These pads not only cater to the delicate nature of such rugs but also play a role in averting tripping incidents in areas with heavy foot traffic. Additionally, they act as a safeguard against edge curling, a common concern in spaces where a door swings over the rug. However, it’s important to note that thin pads are less suitable for thick, plush rugs with expansive surface areas.

When grappling with the decision of what size rug pad to choose for a very thin rug, consider options that fall under the 1/4″ threshold. This thoughtful selection ensures that the rug pad complements the characteristics of the rug, providing the right balance of support and stability.

How To Choose Which Rug Pad You Need For Larger Rugs

For a 9′ x 12′ rug, the recommended rug pad size is 8’10” x 11’10” with a thickness of up to 1/2″. If the rug is thin or flatweave, it’s advisable to stick with a 1/4″ thickness or less for the rug pad.

Moving on to a 10′ x 14′ rug, the ideal rug pad size would be 9’10” x 13’10” with a thickness of up to 1/2″. Similarly, for a 10′ x 13′ rug, opt for a 9’10” x 12’10” rug pad with up to 1/2″ thickness. Larger and flatweave rugs are better suited for 1/4″ thick pads.

For a substantial 12′ x 15′ area rug, the recommended rug pad size is 11’10” x 14’10”. If dealing with an 11′ x 15′ rug, the appropriate rug pad should be 10’10” x 14’10”. Both these larger sizes work well with a 1/2″ thickness, especially if the pile is heavy. However, for flatweave and thin rugs, it’s still advisable to consider a rug pad that’s 1/4″ or less in thickness.

Can a Rug Pad Be Cut to Size for Area Rugs?

Certain stores offer the convenient service of custom-cutting your rug pad to precisely match the dimensions of your area rug. To benefit from this professional touch, it’s advisable to inquire at your local rug dealer about their cutting services.

In cases where this service isn’t readily available, you can take matters into your own hands. Armed with a pair of heavy-duty household scissors, you can trim the rug pad to the desired size. However, exercise caution and diligence in this DIY approach. Before making any cuts, be sure to measure and mark the ideal dimensions accurately. This precautionary step helps prevent mistakes and ensures a snug fit for your rug pad beneath the area rug.

What Is a Rug Pad

A rug pad serves as a protective buffer between your area rug and the floor, acting akin to double-sided tape without the residue. This thick foundation offers several benefits, reducing wear on both your floor and rug, preventing hole formation, and inhibiting fraying along the edges.

One notable advantage is the prevention of dirt and grime accumulation under the rug, ensuring a cleaner environment. Additionally, it shields against dents caused by heavy foot traffic and furniture legs, preserving the pristine appearance of your floor. Investing in a rug pad not only saves money in the long run but also minimizes the constant upkeep required to maintain the elegance of both rug and floor.

Exploring the lesser-known benefits of rug pads, they play a crucial role in floor protection. Many machine-made rugs feature a rough plastic backing that, over time, can create scratches on hardwood floors. Rug pads act as a smooth barrier, preventing these scratches and maintaining the texture and color of your floors. In humid months, the pad’s breathable layer prevents moisture buildup under the rug, safeguarding against discoloration.

Rug pads also offer protection for your rug itself. Designed to compress and rebound, they absorb daily wear and tear, leaving your area rug unaffected. Moreover, they mitigate the impact of heavy furniture, preventing indentations and wrinkling.

Safety is another consideration; rug pads keep the rug in place, preventing slipping, and curbing the tendency of rug corners to kick up and curl. This not only addresses aesthetic concerns but also reduces the risk of tripping hazards.

Beyond these benefits, rug pads contribute to noise reduction, absorb ambient sound, simplify vacuuming by preventing rug slippage, and add an extra layer of warmth and comfort to your living space. The multifaceted advantages of rug pads make them a valuable investment for maintaining the longevity, appearance, and safety of your rugs and floors.


Sizing a mat for under a rug is a crucial step in achieving both aesthetic and practical harmony in your living space. To ensure the perfect fit, start by measuring the dimensions of your rug and then choose a mat that is slightly smaller. This creates a visually pleasing border, allowing the rug to stand out while providing a practical function of preventing tripping or curling. Additionally, consider the overall layout of the room and the intended purpose of the rug—whether it’s to anchor furniture or define a specific area. By carefully sizing the mat, you enhance the overall appeal of your interior design while promoting safety and functionality. In conclusion, the art of mat sizing is an essential skill that brings together the elements of style, comfort, and practicality, resulting in a well-balanced and inviting living space.

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