Sticky felts, why they rarely work

Let’s start with the tape backing felt furniture glides, or more commonly known as “sticky felts”. The main reason why sticky felts are so popular is that they fit right under the furniture footing and are relatively well dissimulated. The problem is that very few adhesive felt pads actually stay onto the furniture leg to protect your floors. The issue is that most of them use very low quality double face tape as an adhesive. As many of you know, when a single sticky felt falls off it will either leave adhesive streaks on your ceramic tiles or leave big gauges in your hardwood floors. The fact is that if a felt falls off you now have 33% more weight being applied to that feltless leg because the chair is now lopsided due to the missing felt.

Another downside is that essentially all felt pad floor protector products out there (until now) have used either low density polyester or some other type of synthetic fiber. Now why should you care about that? Well other than the fact that they are not very environmentally friendly, the fluffy low density polyester felts pad down very quickly to a paper thin disk. Within a few weeks you no longer have a felt floor protector but a plastic glide under your chairs (if they are still on). Do you remember what plastic glides do to your floors?

It may seem like I’m saying self-stick felt pads are bad, I’m not, I’m just saying you can’t use them on everything. The double face tape performs very poorly on porous materials such as wooden legs. They also perform poorly on uneven surfaces. Here is a bit of physics for you. Do you remember this “the smaller the surface contact area the higher the shear force”? Needless to say the double face tapes don’t resist to well to shear forces and fall off easily.

So to make a long story short no adhesive felt pad on the market will stay on a ½” diameter bar stool leg very long. However, common sticky felts would do fine on a large 3” diameter sofa leg that never moves. The other important fact to note about felt floor protection, as with anything else “you get what you pay for”. It doesn’t make sense to get the cheap dollar store felts to protect a 25,000$ hardwood you just put in. I will discuss later the differences between my adhesive felts and the rest of the sticky felts currently available in retail.

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