area rug on tile floors in bathroom

Tile floors can be cold, slippery, and uncomfortable. There’s a reason why so many of us are eager to throw an area rug over those tiles.

A rug pad will help keep that area rug in place and will also provide cushioning underfoot. But if you purchase the wrong rug pad, you can damage your tile floors.

To avoid any damage and to keep your tile floors functional, I’ll review everything you need to know when shopping for rug pads for tile flooring.

Why you need a rug pad on tile floors

There are a few major benefits to using rug pads with your area rugs, for both the rug and tile floor:

  • A rug pad will protect both your rug and your tile floor from scratches and wear, making both last much longer.
  • Non slip rug pads prevent your area rug from slipping and sliding around, which can be dangerous and lead to accidents.
  • Rug pads add an extra layer of cushioning which helps to reduce noise and make your hard floors more comfortable for your bare feet.
  • Finally, it helps to absorb shock and distribute the weight of heavy furniture over a larger area, making it easier to move furniture around.
large area rug on tile floors in living room

These are the best rug pads for tile floors

I generally recommend RugPadUSA rug pads because their entire business is based on their high quality materials that don’t damage floors. These are the three products that work best with tile flooring and offer different benefits, depending on what you’re looking for.

Best Natural Rubber Backing
10/10 Our Score

Superior Lock

This felt + rubber combo provides a non slip grip with added padding, is eco friendly, and won’t damage floors.


This is the best rug pad that combines the benefits of natural rubber and recycled felt, made with a 100% natural rubber bottom and a 1/4-inch felt top. The natural rubber rug pad offers superior grip and cushioning, is both heat and humidity resistant, and provides decent sound absorption. The natural rubber provides a non-slip grip and is a non-toxic material that won’t stain your floors. The felt top gives a lush cushioning underfoot without causing a tripping hazard. This kind of rug pad is great for high pile rugs.

Best Cushioning
9/10 Our Score

Cloud Comfort Memory Foam

This waterproof ultra-comfort memory foam rug pad comes in multiple thicknesses for your personal comfort.

Cloud Comfort Memory Foam

This is one of the best rug pads for extra cushioning and for protecting tile floors from scratching and gouging. The memory foam provides a plush layer that helps absorb impacts, provides significant cushioning, and a waterproof moisture barrier. Memory foam material will hold your rug in place but is best where a strong grip isn’t necessary, like in high traffic areas. This rug pad works well with heavier rugs.

Best Non-Slip
9/10 Our Score

Super-Lock Natural

The thin profile makes it great for under thin rugs placed at doorways or high traffic areas.

Super-Lock Natural

This is a great choice for those looking for a rug pad for high traffic areas. Its 100% natural rubber provides excellent grip and is heat and humidity resistant. The natural rubber also ensures that it won’t stain or damage your floors. The waffle design allows air to circulate and is mildew resistant, making this an ideal rug pad for warm climates.

What to know before you buy

The best rug pads for tile floors are those that provide grip, cushioning, heat and humidity tolerance, and are made from natural materials. Avoid rug tape and corner-only rug grippers. Look for 100% natural materials like natural rubber and felt.


There are certain types of rug pads that can damage the tile and grout of your tile floor. These include PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and synthetic rubber rug pads. PVC rug pads contain plasticizers that can also break down tile sealant and cause damage. Synthetic rubber rug pads can also discolor the grout in some cases.

Look for a natural rubber rug pad. Natural rubber is water- and stain-resistant, which makes it ideal for tile flooring. In fact, natural rubber is good for laminate floors, stone and tile floors, and wood floors (even hardwood floors) too.

Felt is also a good option, as it provides cushioning, prevents damage to the tile floor, and won’t harm the tile.


Grip is an important quality when choosing a rug pad for tile flooring. Look for a rug pad with a non-slip material, like natural rubber. This will help prevent slips and trips when walking on the rug pad.

Heat and Humidity Tolerance

The heat and humidity in your home can play a role in choosing the right rug pad for your tile floors, as some materials are more vulnerable to temperature and humidity swings. Natural rubber and felt are resistant to heat and humidity, making them ideal for tile floors.


Cushioning is another important quality to look for in a rug pad. Tile flooring can be cold and hard, so a rug pad with extra cushion can have a major impact on comfort. Look for a rug pad with higher density cushioning to ensure maximum comfort.

On the flip side, all that supportive cushioning might also cause a tripping hazard in high traffic areas or get in the way of doors opening and closing. If you’re looking for a thicker pad, then be mindful of where you’re placing it.

large area rug on tile floors in office

If you have a thin rug or are placing the area rug next to a doorway, then a thinner rug pad, like the Super-Lock Natural rubber rug pad below is a better fit.

Read my rug pad thickness guide for more details on how to choose the right thickness.

Common Questions

How do I clean my rug pad?

For best results, spot clean your rug pad with a damp sponge or cloth and a mild detergent. You can also vacuum it with a low-powered setting if needed.

Will rubber-backed rugs damage ceramic tile flooring?

Low-quality rug pads can release toxic chemicals into your home’s air. Inexpensive rug pads can have an adhesive coating that sticks to hard surfaces like tile and is difficult to remove. These chemicals can also damage and discolor flooring materials like tile. Cheap rug pads can lose their cushioning and grip over time. Synthetic materials used in cheap rug pads can trap moisture and lead to mold and mildew. Natural materials like felt and natural rubber are better choices for rug pads on tile floors.

Should a rug pad be the same size as the rug?

A rug pad should be slightly smaller than the area rug by about 1” all the way around the perimeter. This will help it remain secure and prevent it from slipping. Be sure to look for rug pads that are specifically designed for tile flooring. Read more: How To Size A Rug Pad

Do rug pads help reduce noise?

Yes, rug pads can help reduce noise on hard floors. A good rug pad will absorb sound like footsteps and dull it, making it less noticeable. This is especially useful in apartments or multi-story homes where noise can easily travel through the floors.

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