Having been in the carpet selling business for some time now, whenever a customer comes along and asks me if they need rug padding beneath their carpets, I tend to answer with the same question: do you need rug padding for your carpets? Most quickly come to understand I am asking them if they need any of the functionality provided by a rug pad, or better yet, if they are missing that functionality. But just because a customer doesn’t have a ready answer doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get rug pads. It only means they should think about what their needs are when it comes to use of their rugs, and how these needs can be more easily met with the addition of the right rug pad. If nothing, a rug pad chosen correctly will offer additional stability to the carpet that covers it, and will, in most cases, reduce the wear and tear that occurs over time. While I am obliged by my company to offer these customers free rug pads to go with their carpets, I take every opportunity to let them know that this form of rug padding is of lesser quality than most others, and advise them to seek out a legitimate rug pad for their needs. Rug pads are so varied that I couldn’t possibly tell each customer about them all and still have time to go back home to my wife, so instead I mostly inquire what specific functionality they want their rug pad to offer. To many of them, the first thing that comes to mind is that they wish to stop their area rug from sliding any more. One of them even shared a story on how her aunt slipped on an area rug that wasn’t outfitted with the right pad, and sprained her ankle for two long weeks. Sliding protection is fairly easy to achieve, but what about when the customer wants several benefits, such as protection from furniture indentations as well as noise reduction? In this case, I look to recommend a dense flat rubber pad. Flat rubber is often considered the premium material for rug padding and while it might be too hard for some uses, it’s just about perfect for supporting the carpet against furniture while cancelling out that loud footstep thumping. There was a customer who purchased five rugs of various sizes and asked if he will now have to spend just as much on rug padding. While he was mostly exaggerating, the price of quality rug pads, especially when made to accomodate particularly large rugs, isn’t something to ignore and for some people might come as a bit of a shock. If your rugs are fairly cheap or not there for style, you might be able to get away with using a cheaper rug pad that will offer you what you need. Even if the carpets aren’t cheap, you probably don’t want them stained, so you will still want to avoid bonded urethane foam rug pads despite their appealing cost.