I have a rug in the middle of the living room, I would like to make it thicker so it does not hurt when the children fall on it while playing. Someone advised me to but a suitable size of carpet underlay.

I know very little about these things but Google and Youtube search results shows that carpet underlay is something that we use for a totally different situation.

Was the advice I got realistic? What other alternatives do I have?


  • 1
    I am not sure this requires a life hack. Simply adding layers of carpet padding should be enough to limit damage from falling on the carpet. You are much more likely to have issues with other objects on the carpet (e.g., coffee table). Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 17:44
  • I lifehack would be like wrapping the children in a protective layer of pillows. Which would be pretty cool. Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 17:50
  • As the rug doesn't cover the whole floor, I assume the children also fall on the floor (which is even harder) rather than just the rug. If they're only falling on the rug then perhaps they are just tripping up on it and they would be better off without the rug being there at all
    – Bendy
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 10:51

2 Answers 2


If you are looking for something to make the carpet thicker, thus making it softer for children, an underlayment is not what you need.

An underlayment is a thin foam sheet that is typically used underneath wood flooring. What you are going to need to look for is a rug pad. If you go to your local home improvement store and ask their flooring department, they will show you the difference in the two products. The underlayment comes in long rolls and is a thin foam material; whereas carpet padding is typically sold in pre-measured square foot sections (ie. 6'x8' section) or some stores may custom cut a pad for you if you would like them to (this could cost you a little more). The carpet padding comes in lots of different sizes and lots of different thicknesses, so you can determine what is best for your family.

If you are unsure of these two options, you can research the two terms on the home depot website; it will give you more clarity on both products.

I have used carpet padding, and it makes quite a difference in the softness of the rug. I will also tell you that @lefty is absolutely correct in that you need to use some type of carpet tape or adhesive to adhere the carpet padding to the rug. Some padding has one side with a rubber grip on it, and this is the side you put on the floor to keep it in place. If it does not, use the carpet tape on the padding as well to adhere it to the floor so that it does not move around while your kids are playing on the carpet - otherwise it will happen, and they will fall; it happened to my daughter, and then we went out and bought 2 rolls of carpet tape.


You need to be careful with what you put under a rug because you can reduce the friction between the back of the rug and the floor. If you use underlay, you would need to ATTACH it to the rug and have the tackiest side in contact with the floor. I would imagine a few stitches or some Carpet Tape would be good enough to fix it.

You can buy rug non-slip material, I would put this between the underlay and the floor to improve the friction.

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