Do I need underlay for my rug?
In short, YES!
You have just purchased the perfect area rug, you have the perfect spot at home to put it, the rug is delivered, you lay out on the floor and it looks fantastic.
You may ask. “Do I need to have underlay underneath my rugs?” Well the answer is in most cases, yes! It doesn’t matter what type of floor covering your rug will be laid over, the use of a proper rug underlay is necessary for numerous reasons.
However not all underlays are suitable for all rugs or floors.
Benefits of rug underlay
Just like the underlay beneath a wall-to-wall carpet, a decent rug underlay assists to safeguard your rugs from wear and tear by absorbing the bulk of the effect of foot traffic. The underlay is intended to compress and rebound back (even a firm one will do this to some extent) which takes the tension off of the rug fibres. Without underlay to act as a shock absorber, the rug fibres will be trampled and the rug will display warnings of wear much earlier than it would with a proper underlay.
Sand, soil and grit is the main culprit for premature wear in rugs, and even with the best cleaning practices sand, soil and grit work their way into the foundation of the rug and to the surface below, causing premature wear. Installing underlay beneath your rug allows these soils to collect in the underlay rather than your valuable rug.
A decent rug underlay holds the rug to prevent it from slipping about. Rugs that are secured by furniture can move, making them buckle and bunch up, and generating tripping risks. Rug underlay assists to keep the rug sitting level and in one position. Choose underlays aimed explicitly for placing a rug over hard surface flooring or laying a rug over wall-to-wall carpet. Not all underlays are the same.
Helps with stains
When you have a spill or if your pet dog or cat has an accident on your rug, more often than not the spill or the urine will penetrate the rug and pool on the surface under the rug meaning that even though the stain on the surface of the rug may only be 5-10cm round, the stain on the back may be 2-3 times larger. By installing underlay, the stain will travel through the rug causing less damage.
Protect the Floor Underneath
Irrespective of the kind of floor under your area rug, it’s necessary to protect it. Rug backings can on occasion be coarse, which can cause scuffs and abrasions on a hardwood and other types of hard floor surfaces. Other risks that lie on the flooring beneath include colour transfer from the rug, the possibility of a minute pebble or another jagged item being trapped beneath the rug, and aggressive wear and tear on the surface of the flooring caused by the area rug slipping with foot traffic.
Rug underlay delivers a shielding barrier between the area rug and the floor beneath. Even wall-to-wall carpets where should be protected.
There are other, non-critical grounds for using underlay including luxury, sound lessening and insulation from a cold subfloor. The benefits of rug underlay are plentiful.