Ruggies rug grippers: Do they work?

Stop by any local design center and you'll see that tile and solid wood are materials of choice for floors these days. But that creates a slippery problem if you also want to use area rugs.

A product called Ruggies promises to solve that problem. They're sticky, reusable pads that claim to hold your rug in place.

Fear of tripping and slipping is why you won't find area rugs scattered around Becky MacPherson's house. But she admits a nice rug would add comfort when she does the dishes. While she hasn't considered buying Ruggies, she's seen the ads on TV.

The commercials tout an exclusive tacky grip technology. Transaltion: soft polymer pads that stick to floors and rugs, but are also reusable. The smooth side of the tacky triangle attaches to the corner of your rug. The dimpled side sticks to the floor. But Becky and I had problems right off the bat. The tacky grip had no grip on the back side of the rug we selected for the test.

A double check of the instructions revealed a disclaimer: "All carpets vary - if Ruggies do not stick firmly to carpet, stick Ruggies removable tape (provided) on carpet, adhere smooth surface of Ruggies directly to Ruggies tape, textured side down."

The tape sticks to the carpet, so the carpet can stick to the Ruggie gripper. Once we applied the tape, the Ruggies kept the rug secured to the linoleum floor, as promised.

But unlike the Ruggie gripper, we found the Ruggie tape is not reusable. We tested three rugs. Each required the special tape to get the ruggie to stick to the rug backing. But the instructions don't say whether the tape stays on in the wash.

Just for grins, we decided to try Ruggies on wall-to-wall carpet. Again, the grippers don't stick to the rug without the tape. And our traction test confirmed that Ruggies are not intended for use on carpeted floors. The commercials only show the product being used on hard floor surfaces for good reason.

Even with the special tape, the rug slipped and buckled, because the polymer pads did not stick to Becky's wall-to-wall.

For preventing slips on hard floor surfaces however, the Ruggies worked well. Becky gives them 3 stars on a scale of 1 to 4. A set of 8 Ruggies, tape included, sells for about 10 bucks.

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