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Choices in Oriental Rug Pads

By : The Rug Gallery 0 Comments
Oriental rug pad on hardwood floor

There are many different choices when it comes to Oriental rug pads. A pad is important to have underneath your rug in order to increase its life span and protect your rug. Learn about your options and how to choose an Oriental rug pad that works for you.

John: Welcome to the Rug Gallery with Sam Presnell. The Rug Gallery is an Oriental Rug Company and carpet store in Cincinnati Ohio. I’m John Maher and I’m here with the owner of the Rug Gallery Sam Presnell. Hi, Sam.

Sam: Hi, John.

The Importance of Oriental Rug Pads

John: So Sam, today we’re talking about choices in Oriental rug pads. So why do you want to have a pad under your rug?

Sam: A lot of people don’t use pads and they think, “Well it’s not a big deal. I spent all this money, I don’t want to spend any more money and I don’t want a pad.” They think that’s where you’re making all your money is on some pad, and a pad is so reasonable compared to a price of Berber. You see a lot of online companies sell a really crappy pad, but they’ll give it to you free, you know what I mean?

John: Yes.

Double the life of your rug

Sam: But a pad is very important. It definitely will double the life of your rug [and] people don’t realize that. So you can imagine in your own mind if you had a car and it didn’t have shock absorbers. And you’re driving over bumps and eventually all the bolts and everything that was screwed to your car will eventually come undone. The same thing [happens] with a rug and the pad takes the brunt of the force of you walking on it and things dropping on it.

So definitely a pad will make it last longer. It makes it feel better. It keeps it from moving and sliding. You may have some big rug and you think, “I have furniture on it, and parts of it that rug won’t slip.” On a good, hard, smooth surface, that rug can just go off underneath here, and the next thing you know you’re on the floor with something serious happening to yourself.

Especially for the elderly people, I would never ever let them have a rug without a pad. If I had to give it to them I’ll give it to them, because it scares me to think of how unsafe a rug can be on a hard surface. Especially a scattered rug or a runner without any furniture placement.

Improved safety

John: Right, and especially when you put these rugs on a nice hardwood floor that has a nice finish on it, and like you said it, doesn’t take much to get those to be pretty slippery. You put a rug with no pad [under] it and you just catch that corner of it or something like that with your foot in the wrong way, and it can slide right off.

Sam: It happens so quickly and I have seen so many situations like that, where people have been seriously hurt. I think as a dealer or any rug person, you definitely need almost insist [on a pad]. I tell them I can’t force them, but you’ve got to at least let them know [about the importance of Oriental rug pads]. Sometimes when you do that too aggressively, people tell you, “No that’s just another add on, it’s a plus sell or it’s a profit maker.”

That’s the first thing people think of, but I think if you are really a concerned person who sells rugs, you should always [discuss the importance of a pad].

John: Right and especially where if you can say, “Hey this is going to double the life of your rug, so it’s going to save you money in the long run, because you’re not going to have to buy a new rug in a certain number of years.” And it’s a safety feature as well, those are two major points.

Sam: Yes, if you added the cost, no doubt about it, it definitely is in your favor to have a pad.

Types of Oriental Rug Pads

John: Right. So what options do I have for pads, are they different types?

Sam: There are, for us there are all different kinds of pads, [but] we only carry certain types of pads. We have four pads that we sell and they are for different uses and have different price points. So we’re trying to achieve different things with different pads for different reasons. But we have certain pads that are just designed for area rugs. A lot of padding is made for carpeting or wall to wall, or whatever installation and is not designed to handle a rug.

A rug needs something to hold it in place, whereas when you install carpet, you put a pad down, what do you do? You kick it in and stretch it. When you’re using wall to wall carpet pad [for a rug], it’s like giving the same situation you had on the floor more movement, because you got that squishiness and then it’s just sliding [on top of the pad].


So pads have to be designed for area rugs. We have a pad we call Durahold, which is our bestselling [pad], and what we recommend for our higher quality rugs. And then we have another pad we call the Felt Pad, that basically used to be the old Herein Jute Pads of the old days, but now it’s made synthetically and it doesn’t shed.

It’s felted, [which means that it’s] basically its needle punched and about a half inch in thickness. We use it with big area rugs with furniture placement. It definitely works beautifully in that situation, and it’s very reasonable in cost, like wall to wall carpet pad, not like the Duraholds, which are very expensive product in comparison to that. It’s probably at least double the price for the Durahold Pad.


[If you have a cheaper] machine made rug, it’s a cheaper alternative [for a pad], especially with a big rug or furniture placement. Then we have a pad that we call Organic which is basically a very dense foam and it’s really the best gripper. So if you’ve got a loose, small rug or a runner, or a flat woven rug that has a lot of movement to it, it really is our best gripping pad. I tell you that stuff [impressive].

I use it in my own home and it really is the best non-skid type. And then you always have this other situation, where you have rugs on top of carpeting. I equate that to, if you can put your head around it, is you make a bed and then you go walk on it. And then wherever you put your foot it just sinks down into around your feet, and that bed spread is all wrinkled and rumpling looking.

So definitely, the no-move pad is made to go on top of carpeting. If you can, envision a piece of woven plug wood [under the bedspread]. You’ve put something firm underneath and you push on it. It’s going to give over a wider area, it’s not going to sink around your foot, and it will keep it from moving as much. It’s not 100% like a rug on top of a pad on top of hard wood, but it really does alleviate about 75% of that problem.

John: So I think what you’re saying is that the type of pad that I use is really going to depend on the type of rug that I have, and maybe what the situation is in my home?

Sam: Exactly, and what kind of performance you want out of that pad. There are all kinds of pads made for all kinds of reasons, and there are a lot of really bad pads out there that are not going to perform, or they’ll perform for a little bit and then they’ll fall apart or they lose the ability to hold and things like that. So usually in this case, buy the best pad you can. And you’ll [want to] find a concise dealer [who has] gone through all the bad pads and has determined that these are best pads that [are] on the market.

That’s what the Rug Galley has done, and we test them all before we ever sell them to our consumers, and we’re always looking to find the next better thing. So we’re always looking for improvement.

How to Choose Oriental Rug Pads

John: And how do I know what the best pad is for my rug?

Sam: Well I think [finding] the best pad for your rug is going to be hard to do, unless you really talk to somebody who’s got some integrity, because he’s going to say what he has. And if it’s a company that’s built more around price, and I think you’re going to find a pad that’s also built for price, and its maybe not going to perform the same as a higher quality pads.

It really depends on the company and how you’re buying it. And I would say if you go to a better rug dealer who sells more quality stuff, your chances are [probably] much better of getting a better quality pad as well.

John: All right great advice. Thanks for speaking with me today.

Sam: Bye John, my pleasure.

John: For more information about Sam, the Rug Gallery and Oriental rugs and carpets, visit [] or call 513-793-9505. And make sure you catch the latest episodes by subscribing to this podcast on iTunes. And if you could take the time to give us review on iTunes as well, we would appreciate that. I’m John Maher see you next time on the Rug Gallery.

Categories: Ask Sam, Rug

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