Rug and carpet pads sometimes arrive larger than your rug and require trimming. This could be done a few ways depending on the type of pad you have. For thinner, non-slip pads, usually a pair of household scissors works. If your rug pad is a thicker, more dense one, then a carpet knife or heavy duty scissors are usually needed.
Before I start explaining what to use to cut the different types of rug pads, three important points are involved here. First, so as to not damage the floor underneath, be sure to have some protective layer on the floor to avoid any damage from the scissors or knife. Secondly, whether you have experience in this or not, it is a good idea to wear heavy duty gloves to avoid getting cut. Lastly, for those of you who prefer to lay the rug on the pad and then cut, take care not to cut the rug!
In all instances, I prefer you to measure the length and width of your rug and then cut the pad aside from the rug, as opposed to it being under your rug while you are cutting. From your rug measurements, deduct a total of two inches from each dimension and this will be the final pad size. If the rug measures 8’9″x11’9″, then the pad should be 8’7″x11’7″. When you have the size measured and marked on your pad, try to find something to connect the markings so that you can draw a straight cutting line.
For thinner non-slip pads, a simple pair of household scissors should cut just fine. Cut on the straight line that you marked on the pad and then you are done. If your pad is a solid and thicker, more dense pad, try using a heavy duty pair of scissors. In some instances, this may work and in others, this may prove to just create an uneven cut if the pad is too dense. If this is the case, then a carpet knife is best. For carpet knife cutting, take extra care with the cutting surface. I advise taking the rug pad outside in your driveway or to a concrete floor, such as a basement or garage. Now, carefully cut the pad on the straight line. Depending on the material and density of some pads, you may have to follow your knife cut with a pair of scissors to get a clean cut. While a sharp knife will cut through a jute pad, following with a scissor cut afterwards will result in a cleaner cut as the scissors will trim any jute fibers that were not completely cut with the knife.
Of course, it is best to find a place that actually cuts the rug pad to size. In the case that you have no choice but to cut it yourself, take the correct steps and with a little time, you can do it.