How to pick the right pad for your rug – 10 quick tips

Finding that perfect rug for your home or office can feel like the end of the rug buying process, but it is important to never forget pad for your rug and floor below it. The right kind of pad will help to keep your rug looking great, keep it from slipping on your floors, and even protect the floors themselves. The important question to ask is “What is the right pad for my needs?” Here are a few tips, straight from the professionals at Serafian’s.

 

1 – Always Use Natural Rubber

A lot of pads in the marketplace use a synthetic rubber. This is less expensive to produce and can cost a little less, but unfortunately, these pads can have some unintended consequences on your floors. With time, pressure, and heat, these synthetic rubber pads can “sweat” a sort of oil that can stain your floor beneath the pads. They can even chemically bond to some floor finishes, leaving a huge difficult mess to clean after they are removed. For these reasons, we always recommend using natural rubber pads. If you are uncertain which your pad uses, consult a professional.

 

2 – “Sticky” pads can work for wall to wall carpet, but can leave a difficult to clean residue

Certain pads are designed with a “Sticky” glue that will help them keep a rug from moving. These are designed specifically for carpet and can quickly and easily cause damage to hard surface floors. However, it is important to keep in mind that these pads can leave a sticky residue on your wall to wall that once removed can attract dirt and dust. Professional carpet cleaning could be needed to remove this residue from both your wall to wall carpet and the back of your oriental. As long as this doesn’t bother you, “Sticky” pads can work well for your floors.

 

3 – A pad should be cut to be a little inside the measurements of your rug

Over time, pads tend to stretch out a little. As such, it is a good practice to cut any pad a little smaller than your rug. We recommend at least 1 inch inside the measurement of the rug around all sides.

 

4 – “Solid” pads provide much better protection than “Waffle” pads

One of the main reasons to have a pad under your rug is to protect the floor beneath it and unfortunately the “Waffle” style pads with holes in the construction just don’t provide that protection. With time, dirt will work its way through your rug and grind away at the floor underneath. A “Solid’ pad constructed with no holes will prevent this from happening. A waffle pad will allow that dirt to grind away at the floor and can even ultimately sand the surface of your floor, leading to expensive floor refinishing.

 

5 – Never ever use horsehair pads

Horsehair pads are almost never used in the modern rug industry, so there is little risk of coming across one these days. However, if you happen across one, it is best to throw it in the garbage before using it on your floor. Originally touted for their long life span, horsehair pads have the unique problem that they attract moths. Once infested, these pads can cause years of headaches trying to eliminate the moths. For this reason, we recommend never using a horsehair pad.

 

6 – The pads designed to be used under your wall to wall carpet won’t work for your rugs

A lot of folks think that the rugs pads that are used under wall to wall carpets are just as effective for your oriental rugs. Unfortunately, their construction is too soft for oriental rugs. The squishiness of these pads can cause the foundation of your rug to stretch and even possibly tear. A more robust and stiff pad is ideal for your rug.

 

7 – All pads eventually wear out and need to be replaced

Most pads are made to last 4 to 5 years. Some of the best pads in the marketplace will last closer to 10 years, but eventually, all pads need to be replaced. As a rule of thumb, when your pad starts loose its gripping power, it is time. Occasionally look at the underside of your rug, if you can clearly see the rubber on your pad becoming a fine powder, your pad has aged enough, and a replacement might be necessary.

 

8 – If your rug is going under furniture, a thinner pad works better also, use furniture cups and even possibly put tile under your pad

The weight of furniture can cause the foundation of your rug to stretch and become uneven over time. If the furniture is heavy enough it can even punch holes in your rug. With this in mind, when furniture is going on top of your rug, we recommend a thinner pad for under it. An important side note, even with a good pad underneath, it can be necessary to use furniture cups to help distribute the weight of your furniture into the rug. Also, it may sound a little strange, but if your rug is on a wall to wall carpet, we often recommend setting small tiles (say 4”x 4”) between the floor and pad beneath the legs of your furniture. This will create a more solid foundation for your rug, helping to prevent the foundation from stretching due to the weight of the furniture.

 

9 – If you have a tile floor, a thicker pad is better for your rug

The grout lines in tile can eventually cause your rug to wear unevenly. With time, you will even begin to see the line of the tile wear into the body of your rug. This is best prevented with a pad that is a little thicker and less prone to settling into these lines. If you have both heavy furniture and tile, talk to a rug professional to find out which pad is right for your situation. In those cases we generally recommend the thicker pad, but it is important to factor in all the variables of your particular space before deciding which is right for you.

 

10 – Radiant heat floors can affect the life span of your pad and even cause some pads to stick to your floor

While very energy efficient, radiant heat floors will cut the lifespan of a rug pad down to about half of normal. If possible, turn the heat down a little. Even a few degrees will help your pad to last longer. Fortunately, the rug itself will help to insulate your home more, reducing the need to set the temperature higher. Also, it is very important is the case of radiant heat floors to use exclusively natural rubber as the synthetic we talked about earlier will be very prone to reacting to the heat from your floor.

 


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By: Matt Gabel

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. He has been working closely with rugs for over 25 years.  Serafian’s offers free pick up and delivery in the Albuquerque metro area. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.com

How to hang your rug on the wall.

Rugs are art and great art hanging on your walls can give your space warmth and depth.  There are five main options to consider when it comes to hanging your rug.  Today, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of each.

 

Option 1 – Carpet Tack Strip

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This is a wooden strip with little nails that stick out of it at an angle.  The stripping is generally used to hold wall to wall carpeting to your floor.  It is very inexpensive and very effective at hanging many rugs.  You simply screw the strips into the studs of your wall.  For most rugs the total cost to hang your rug will be under $10.00  

This process usually works great unless you rug is very fine in which case it could potentially cause some damage.  If that’s something you are worried about, we recommend option #2.

 

Velcro

 

Option 2 – Sew Velcro stripping to the back of your rug

This is how many rugs are hung in museums. It is very effective and simple to hang. A strip of Velcro is sewn to a strip of canvas which is then attached to you rug. Then the opposing strip is attached to a 1×4 board which is screwed into the studs of your wall.  The total price will vary depending on the size and quality of your rug, generally anywhere from $30 to $50 per linear foot of stripping.

 

 

 

Option 3 – Have a sleeve sewn onto the back of the rug and use a rod to hang it

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The sleeve is made of canvas and hand sewn to the back to your rug.  You could pick up a rod from any home supply store or buy one specially designed for rugs.  This creates a very strong hold against your wall that will work for years.  Also, it leaves a decorative finish at the top of your rug giving it a little more of an accent.  The price for the sleeve is much like the Velcro, $30 to $50 per linear foot.  The cost of the rod will vary greatly depending on the size of your rug and the style of the rod.  

Clips

 

Option 4 – Hanging clips

Here at Serafian’s we generally recommend against this option as long term it can damage your rug.  We can however well you some simple metal clips which can be used to hang your rug over a 1×4 attached to your wall.  It is a simple process but with time, the rug will sag between the points where it is clipped.  On average, you can expect to pay around $2.00 to $5.00 per clip and will need 1 clip per foot on the rug.
Hanging Boards

Option 5 – Hanging Boards / Clamps

Similar to clips, but much safer for your rug are hanging boards or clamps.  In short, these are two decorative boards designed to be clamped together and hung.  The rug in squeezed in between them along the top.  This can add a decorative and unique look to the rug as the boards themselves can be shaped, carved, painted, or stained to add interest and depth to the rug.  Hanging boards can work very well for thinner weaving techniques used in Navajo or Kelim rugs, but aren’t always effective when it comes to thicker “Pile” weaving styles.  Prices for these can vary greatly.  Generally they run between $10 to $100 per linear foot.

When you are getting ready to hang your rug, take a little time to asses you desires and budget.  It is important to note that the prices we are quoting here are good general guidelines.  They can vary depending on locality and material availability.  Ultimately the right choice for hanging is up to you, the customer.

 


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By: Matt Gabel

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. He has been working closely with rugs for over 25 years.  Serafian’s offers free pick up and delivery in the Albuquerque metro area. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.com

Keep your favorite rug looking its best for decades.

In our modern world, not much is built to last. Most furnishings are made to last between 5 and 15 years, after which they start to look a little worn and ragged. Fine Oriental rugs however stand out as a shining exception and can last for generations. This is especially impressive when you consider just how rough the traffic most rugs receive really is. Like most things, proper care plays an important role in preserving the life and value of your oriental rugs. Here are some quick tips to keeping your favorite rugs in great shape.

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When properly cared for, a rug can look great for decades.  Believe it or not, this rug is about 125 years old.

Keep your carpet clean
Dirt is the worst enemy of fine Oriental rugs. Dirt is abrasive, and when it gets packed into the base of the knots it will actually cut off the fibers from the pile. We recommend vacuuming your rug at least weekly. Your vacuum should have an agitator or beater bar, set so that it beats the surface lightly. Excessive pressure of the beater bar can cause extra wear. Also, we recommend every two years having your carpet professionally washed. Proper washing removes all dirt that has collected in the carpet, restores the original colors of the rug, and rehydrates the wool in dry climates. Professional washing can only be done outside your home, so never allow anyone to come to your house and do a surface cleaning on your rug. Most services that come to the home are set up to clean wall to wall carpets, and your Oriental rug is very different. It is especially important that you never allow anyone to “steam clean” your Oriental rugs as this can cause the colors to bleed, and strips vital lanolin from the wool.

Walk on your carpet (Barefoot if you can)
Oriental carpets are made to be walked on. In the Middle East, most people remove their shoes when they enter a home, leaving the dirt on their shoes outside. In America we generally don’t do this, so timely cleaning becomes essential. Rubber soled shoes are hard on rugs, and tear at the wool fibers, wearing them prematurely. Bare feet or stocking feet are best for the rugs whenever possible. Walking on the carpet massages the lanolin through the wool, giving the carpet a beautiful luster. It also discourages moths from laying eggs on the carpet.

Moth Resist vulnerable areas
Moths look for dark, moist places to lay their eggs. It is actually the larvae which do the damage to any wool garment or rug, not the moths themselves. At Serafian’s, we spray a colorless, odorless solution that discourages the moths from laying eggs on any susceptible areas. Whenever a wool rug is hung on the wall it needs to be sprayed with this moth repellent.

Rotate your rug to even out wear
It is common that we walk through rooms in certain ways, establishing traffic pattern that receive more wear. With time, this can cause uneven wear patterns to form in your rug. Rotate your rug 180 degrees every six months to keep the wear and tear looking more even and less pronounced.

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Eventually, a hole can wear right through the foundation of your rug.  Rotating it 180 every 6 to 12 months helps to prevent this.

Prevent Sun Fading
The desert Southwest has particularly harsh sunlight which can fade the rug. Many rugs get exposed to sunlight unevenly, causing fading only on part of the rug. Turn your rug 180 degrees in the room periodically to avoid uneven fading. This also helps your rugs wear more evenly. Close shades and blinds when you are not in the room to reduce the direct sunlight on your rugs. There are also window films available that reduce the ultraviolet radiation from sunlight. These films are applied to the window surface, and help block harmful rays. Look for “Low-E” films.

Blot up spills with clear cold water
Spills and stains are an inevitable part of a rug’s life. You should clean spills immediately, as many drinks can permanently dye the rug. Blot up the spill with a fresh towel, and use a little clear cold water to dilute the stain. Keep rinsing (not too much water) and blotting until the stain is gone. If someone spills milk on the carpet, it is probably a good idea to have the rug professionally cleaned, as the milk can sour and leave an unpleasant odor. Coffee, red wine, blood, and dark sodas can all leave permanent stains, so get to them as quickly as possible. If you have a “wet/dry” vacuum you can use it to suck out excess water from the rug.

Pet stains
Our beloved pets sometimes have “accidents”. Urine is particularly bad about staining, because it is acidic, but becomes alkali when it dries, which can cause dyes to bleed. Also, left untreated, urine will leave an odor that is very hard to remove. For urine stains, use the same procedure as above, but mix in about 50% white vinegar and be sure to rinse thoroughly. A thorough professional washing is required to sanitize the rug after a urine incident.

Repair any damaged areas quickly
Most repairs are very simple when they first appear. Attend to any tears or damage quickly. When we wash rugs at Serafian’s, we often see major repairs that would have been very minor if they had been attended to just six months sooner. Left unattended, many simple repairs become major repairs.

With these simple guidelines nearly any rug can last for decades if not generations. It is not at uncommon for us to see rugs come into our store that are over 100 years old and have been in use for their whole life.


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By: Matt Gabel

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. He has been working closely with rugs for over 25 years.  Serafian’s offers free pick up and delivery in the Albuquerque metro area. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.com

How to Quickly Judge Quality in Hand Woven Rugs – A Buyer’s Guide to Hand Woven Rugs

When it comes to hand woven rugs, it can be tough to know exactly what you are looking at. In truth, while there are many factors that go into determining the quality of a rug, there are four to focus on.

First is knot count, or knots per square inch. In a hand woven rug, each not is tied one at a time, and much like the pixels on your computer screen, the number of knots per inch affects the resolution of the design in the rug. Most rugs are woven at 100 to 150 knots per square inch. Some of the finest rugs in the world are woven at 1,000 knots per square inch. The number of knots in a square inch tells you not only how fine the rug is, but also, how much time and work went into the rug. If a rug has twice as many knots, it took at least twice as long to weave. For this reason, knot count, more than any other factor, affects the price of your rug.

So how can you tell how many knots per square inch? To count the knots, use a ruler and examine the backside of the rug. In most rugs, each square you see is an individual knot. Simply count the number of squares both horizontally and vertically across the length of an inch then multiply the two numbers together. It’s important to note there are two types of knotting common in hand weaving. Asymmetrical (Or Persian) knotting leaves a single square on the back for each knot. However, the style of knotting known as symmetrical (Or Turkish) knotting leaves two squares on the back for each knot. If you notice that every single knot seems to have a twin, you are probably looking at a rug that uses the symmetrical knotting techniques. For these rugs, simply take whatever knot count you came up with and cut it in half.

The second factor to look at is thickness. As a general rule, the thicker the pile on a rug, the longer it takes for the rug to wear out. This is the easiest of all the factors to judge. It is simply defined by the heights of the pile. As a nice side benefit, thicker rugs tend to be softer underfoot and much more comfortable to walk on.

Third on our list of factors is weave density. Like thickness, this factor greatly affects the durability of your rug. Density is determined by how tightly packed together the fibers of your rug are. When a rug is more densely woven, the fibers provide each other with more support which helps to prevent excess wear from use and also keeps dirt from settling into the foundation of the rug where is grinds at the roots of the weaving. To test density, take your fingers, and try to run them into the foundation of the rug. The more difficult it is to do this, the more densely woven the rug is.

The fourth and final factor is wool quality. A good wool has an oily and supple feel, where a poor quality of wool will feel dry and “brashy” to the touch. A good wool will be more able to bend and flex though years of heavy use, where a bad wool will break apart under traffic and tends to wear out much more quickly. This is probably the most difficult of the four factors to judge, but the general rule is that a good wool feels good to the touch, while a bad wool, not as much.
Just remember to look out for the four big factors, knot count, thickness, density, and wool quality. Generally speaking, as long as you keep these in mind, you will have a good idea of what you are looking at when buying a hand woven oriental rug.


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By: Matt Gabel

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. He has been working closely with rugs for over 25 years.  Serafian’s offers free pick up and delivery in the Albuquerque metro area. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.com

How to Treat A Pet Urine Spot on Your Oriental Rug

We all love our animals. They brighten our days, lift us up when our spirits are down, and make our homes feel complete. Unfortunately, accidents are inevitable, and even the best dogs and cats will occasionally have an accident on your Oriental rugs. Today, we are going to go over a few quick steps you can take to help prevent damage and odor from pet urine. Keep in mind, these steps can be effective at removing urine from your wall to wall carpet as well.

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You will need- White Vinegar and paper towels or dry rags.

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Step 1 – If the spot is still wet, poultice the area. If it is already dry, move on to step 2.

The first reaction a lot of folks have is to wipe the area up with a wet rag. A much more effective method is “poulticing”. To poultice a spot, take a dry rag or paper towels and apply downward pressure on it. The moisture will soak into the rag and get sucked out of your rug. A poultice is more effective because it doesn’t spread the spot around and removes a much greater quantity of moisture. It’s important to note, that if you own good wet vacuum that is capable of removing moisture, you can use that instead of poulticing the spot.

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Pressing down instead of wiping is key

Step 2 – Apply white vinegar.

White vinegar is great for eliminating the odor of most pet urine. It also helps to keep the dye in your rug set, preventing color migration. Pour enough white vinegar directly onto the spotted area to soak it. While the odor of the vinegar is intense, it will fade quickly as the area dries out.

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Step 3 – Let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes.

We call this “dwell time”. The white vinegar will help break down the bonds holding the urine in place. This is especially important if you are dealing with cat urine as it tends to have oils that need to be broken down.

Step 4 – Poultice out the white vinegar

Much like step one, use a poultice to remove the white vinegar. Again, if you have a good wet vacuum, you can use it instead.

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If your paper towels get too soaked, just throw them out and grab some dry sheets

Step 5 – Smell the area, possibly repeat steps 2 through 4.

Take a quick sniff of the area, if you can still smell the urine over the vinegar, it means you need to repeat steps 2 through 4. If the white vinegar is the only thing you are smelling, move on to step 6.

Step 6 – Dry the area quickly and correctly.

Getting your rug dry quickly and effectively is a crucial part of keeping the bacteria in the urine from heavily reproducing. Air flow is key, so using a box fan or desk fan to blow over the wet area will go a long way towards this. If you can expose both the top and bottom of the rug to that air flow, it will speed up the process tremendously. You can prop books up underneath your rug or even drape it over a chair to achieve this.

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Once dry, you have done all you can to treat the spot. In most cases, you will find that the smell is gone and the staining reduced. It is important to note, that while this helps the appearance and smell of your rug, it does not really disinfect it. If sterilization is what you are after, or if problems still persist, it’s probably time to have your rug washed professionally. Full immersion cleaning is by far the most effective technique for eliminating and disinfecting urine.

When it comes to prevention, consistent training of your beloved pet is the first step. Some great material on how to train your pets can be found here –

https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-training/housebreaking-issues/housebreaking

Even the best trained pet will have occasional accidents, so what can you do to help make sure those accidents don’t soak into your rug? We recommend Fiber ProTector brand stain guard.  Built to keep moisture form soaking into the fibers of your rug, Fiber ProTector can keep any accident from becoming a more troublesome spot. 

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And of course, always remember that for a tougher more stubborn spot, Serafian’s can get your rug 100% clean and disinfected.  If you have any questions about these steps or other rug related questions, feel free to e-mail us: Serafians@gmail.com


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By: Matt Gabel

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. He has been working closely with rugs for over 25 years.  Serafian’s offers free pick up and delivery in the Albuquerque metro area. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.com