Have you ever bought a fancy new area rug only to realize the rug pad you grabbed is a little too big? What about getting a rug pad home and seeing it peek out from your beautiful new rug? Don’t panic! Trimming a rug pad is easier than you think.
With just a few simple tools and these step-by-step instructions, you’ll have that rug pad trimmed to perfection in no time. Trust me, once you learn how to cut a rug pad properly, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. A perfectly sized rug pad can make all the difference.
Why Proper Rug Pa d Sizing Matters
Before we get into the nitty gritty of how to trim your rug pad, let’s talk about why sizing it properly makes a big difference. Here are some of the benefits of having your rug pad cut to fit your rug just right:
Prevent Slipping and Tripping
Having your rug pad trimmed to be just a bit smaller than your rug helps anchor it in place and prevents slipping. No more having your rug slide all over the place when you walk on it or open and close doors! Proper sizing also eliminates flipped up corners which can be a tripping hazard.
Protect Your Floors
A shifting rug can damage floors over time. The movement and friction against the floor can cause scratches or scuff marks. With your rug pad trimmed to keep the rug firmly in place, you protect your floors from this damage.
Help Your Rug Last Longer
All that sliding around is not only bad for your floors, but it can damage your rug too. Constant movement can cause the fibers to stretch out or even tear. Trimming your rug pad prevents this type of damage to preserve the life of your rug.
Reduce Noise Transfer
Got noisy neighbors or little ones running around upstairs? An untrimmed rug pad likely won’t make the best contact with your rug to prevent noise transfer. Trimming it allows the pad to grip the underside of the rug better to absorb sound.
Know When You Need to Trim It
Now that you know why proper rug pad sizing matters, how do you know when you need to trim yours? Here are the key signs:
- Your rug pad is larger than your rug – If the dimensions of your rug pad are even an inch or two wider than the rug, trimming will help it fit and function better.
- You see rug pad peeking out – Even just a little visible rug pad around the edges of your rug means it’s time to trim it up.
- You want the pad closer to the rug edge – Having the pad end an inch or two from the edge gives the best grip.
Gather Your Rug Pad Trimming Supplies
Trimming a rug pad is a quick and easy DIY project with just a few supplies:
- Your rug pad – Obviously you’ll need the one you’ll be trimming.
- The area rug it will go under.
- Tape measure – To measure your rug and mark the cutting lines.
- Sharp scissors – More details on the best type to use in a bit.
- Painter’s tape (optional) – Helpful for marking trim lines on the pad.
- A vacuum – To clear away any debris after cutting.
And that’s it! See, told you this wouldn’t require any fancy tools.
Step-By-Step Guide to Trimming Your Rug Pad
Without further ado, here is the foolproof process for customizing your rug pad size:
1. Clear the Area and Measure
First up, remove any furniture from the area where you’ll be placing the rug and pad. You want a nice clear, open space to work.
Grab your tape measure and measure the exact dimensions of the rug. Mark the outline of where it will be placed on the floor with painter’s tape if desired.
2. Unroll the Rug Pad Within Outline
Using your tape outline as a guide, unroll the rug pad and position it where you want it to go beneath the rug. Make sure it’s centered and straight.
3. Place the Rug on Top
Gently place your area rug directly on top of the rug pad. Try to smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles between the layers.
4. Let It Settle
If you have time, it’s best to let the rug and pad sit for a day or two before trimming. This allows everything to relax and settle into place.
If you’re in a rush, at least give it a few hours before cutting if possible. But know it may shift slightly after trimming if you don’t let it settle.
5. Trim Vertically Along Rug Edge
Here’s where the magic happens! Carefully fold back the corner of the rug to expose the edge of the pad underneath. Using sharp scissors, cut vertically along the pad just in from the outer stitching of the rug.
Trim off 1-2 inches so the pad sits just under the rug border without peeking out. Repeat on all sides.
6. Trim Horizontally Along Rug End
Once the vertical edges are trimmed up, gently fold back each end to trim horizontally in the same manner. Cut off excess pad to end 1-2 inches from rug edge.
7. Cut Excess to Within 2-3 Inches
Make sure all sides are trimmed so the pad ends no more than 2-3 inches from the outer rug border. This helps ensure the rug makes solid contact with the pad for grip.
8. Vacuum Away Debris
Carefully lift the rug again and use your vacuum to remove any particles or debris left from cutting the pad. Voila!
Pick the Right Scissors for the Job
Having a nice sharp pair of scissors will make cutting through your rug pad quick and easy. Here are some tips on which ones to use:
For Most Pads – Sharp Household Scissors
Your basic household scissors that cut well will do the trick for most standard rug pads. Make sure the blades are sharp!
For Thick/Dense Pads – Heavy Duty Fabric Scissors
Upgrading to an extra sturdy pair of dedicated fabric scissors is best for cutting through thicker, denser pads. The sharper and heavier blades slice through easily.
For Natural Rubber Pads – Paper Scissors
The coated surface of natural rubber pads can gum up household scissors. Simple paper scissors avoid this problem.
For PVC/Vinyl Pads – Household Scissors
Standard household scissors work great for cutting through the thinner vinyl and PVC rug pad materials.
Got Questions? We Got Answers!
Here are some of the most common questions people have about trimming their rug pads:
How Much Smaller Should the Pad Be Than the Rug?
A good rule of thumb is to cut the pad so it’s 1-2 inches smaller than the rug dimensions all the way around. This prevents peeking out from under the edges.
What If My Rug Size Isn’t a Standard Shape?
No problem! Simply use your tape measure to determine the exact dimensions of the rug and trim the pad to match using those measurements.
Should I Tape Down the Trimmed Edges?
You can, but it’s not necessary. The weight of the rug is usually enough to hold the trimmed pad edges in place.
Care Tips for Your Newly Trimmed Pad
Once your rug pad is trimmed up and looking fabulous, be sure to:
- Vacuum it regularly when caring for your rug to keep it debris-free.
- Check along the trimmed edges occasionally for any loose bits or fraying threads. Simply snip them away.
And remember – now that your rug pad is perfectly sized, be sure to take it with you if you ever replace the rug! Chances are excellent it’ll still fit nicely and save you money on buying a new one.
You Can Do It!
While the thought of cutting your rug pad may seem daunting at first, as you can see, it’s really a simple process anyone can tackle.
With the right preparation and tools, you’ll have that rug pad trimmed to perfection in no time flat. Not only will it look better, but your properly sized rug pad will keep your rug safely in place while protecting your floors.
So next time your rug pad needs a little trim, no need to stuff it in the back of the closet with frustration. Grab those scissors with confidence and improve the look and function of your rug game. You got this!