What backing is not good for vinyl plank flooring?
I am pretty sure you’re asking this because you’ve heard that some rugs have backings that cause discoloration on vinyl plank flooring. Thus, you don’t want to make the mistake of purchasing the wrong rug.
Well, it’s true. There are rugs with backings that are not safe for vinyl plank flooring and you should steer clear of them if you have this kind of floor.
I am talking about rubber and latex-backed rugs.
What Backing is Not Good for Vinyl Plank Flooring?
What Makes Rubber-Backed Rugs and Latex-Backer Rugs Unsafe for Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Vinyl plank flooring is one of the most popular flooring for many homeowners.
It’s often considered as a more attractive alternative to hardwood flooring and tile floors mainly because of its versatility and flexibility.
It feels much warmer, has excellent sound absorbing ability, is waterproof, easy to clean and maintain, and so many other benefits.
However, vinyl plank flooring does have one major shortcoming- it can be easily discolored or stained by rubber or latex-backed rugs or mats.
This is why it’s best to avoid such rugs or mats if possible.
You see, the latex and rubber in rugs or mats (both natural and synthetic) tends to undergo a chemical reaction with the chemicals found in vinyl. This causes staining that may easily become permanent.
Usually, this chemical reaction is as a result of exposure to heat from the sunlight or due to friction from foot traffic. High-traffic areas may have a more extensive discoloration compared to other areas.
Besides rubber and latex, some rugs also have backings that are made of a type of plastic known as PVC.
Such rugs are typically constructed with glues and other types of adhesives that stick to floors. The sticky residue can damage your vinyl plank flooring as well.
You’ll want to avoid these kinds of rugs as well.
What Kind of Rugs are Safe for Vinyl Plank Flooring?-Best Rugs for Vinyl Plank Flooring?
The best rugs for vinyl plank flooring are those that do not contain any of the materials I’ve mentioned above.
Go ahead and look for rugs with natural backings. These include;
- Regular woven backings
A good example of a jute-backed area rug is the nuLOOM Moroccan Blythe Accent Rug. It’s a beautiful area rug that will complement your home décor and won’t stain your vinyl flooring since it does not have a rubber or latex backing.
If you want a pure jute rug, I totally recommend the nuLOOM Rigo Hand Woven Jute Area Rug. It’s completely natural, extremely strong and durable, and is versatile too. Since it does not contain any rubber or latex, the nuLoom jute rug is an excellent choice for vinyl plank flooring.
However, there is something else you need to know.
Jute-backed area rugs tend to be slippery compared to rubber or latex-backed rugs. That’s why a big percent of area rugs in the market have a rubber or latex backing which helps keep the rug in place.
In this case, what you need is a felt rug pad.
A felt rug pad will not mark or stain floor finishes. But that’s not all there is to a felt rug pad.
It also prevents your area rug from slipping since it’s able to grip the surface firmly. The rug pad also protects your vinyl plank flooring from scratches from furniture placed on area rugs.
The RUGPADUSA 1/2″ Thick – 100% Felt – Protective Cushioning Rug Pad is one of the best rug pads in the market right now.
Unlike some rug pads, this particular pad does not have a rubber or latex backing, thus making it a great, safe choice for vinyl plank flooring.
Placing this pad will not only protect your vinyl plank flooring from stains and scratches, but it will also prolong its lifespan and that of the area rug as well.
You see, a thick rug pad adds some extra cushioning between your vinyl plank flooring and area rug. Since it’s thick, it’s able to absorb all the shock from foot traffic and even bear the brunt of the heavy furniture placed above it.
This simply means that both your vinyl plank flooring and area rug are properly shielded against damage.
What If I Already Have a Rubber-Backed Area Rug on my Vinyl Plank Flooring?
If you had already purchased a rubber-backed rug before realizing how much damage it can cause your vinyl plank flooring, don’t worry.
You can simply place a felt rug pad like the RUGPADUSA 1/2″ Thick – 100% Felt – Protective Cushioning Rug Pad.
The rug pad will prevent your rubber-backed area rug from damaging the floor.
When buying a rug pad, be sure to measure the dimensions of your area rug.
Typically, a rug pad should be at least 1-inch shorter than an area rug. If the rug pad is slightly smaller, the edges of the area rug therefore taper to the floor.
The area rug tapering to the floor prevents it from curling at the edges, thus preventing tripping hazards in case the heel of a shoe catches the edge of the rug.
Also, it prevents the premature wear and tear of the rug since there won’t be any curling on the edges that may constantly get caught in shoe heels.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can You Use Rubber Backed Rugs on Vinyl Plank Flooring?
When used without a felt rug pad underneath, then rubber-backed rugs are not safe for vinyl plank flooring.
That’s why you need to install a felt rug pad between your vinyl plank flooring and rubber-backed area rug to prevent staining.
Alternatively, you can always purchase a non-staining rug for vinyl floor like the one I’ve suggested above. However, you’ll still need to purchase a rug pad since such rugs tend to be slippery and can be a slipping hazard in your home.
Are Polypropylene Rugs Safe for Vinyl Floors?
Polypropylene is one of the most frequently used components in rugs – and yet, the damage that such rugs can cause eventually outweighs their initial benefits.
Polypropylene in and of itself is not harmful to vinyl floors. The substance is resistant to UV rays, water, and stains while still remaining soft and durable.
Unfortunately, polypropylene rugs are often backed by rubber, which – due to a chemical reaction that occurs within four weeks of placing it – will cause your vinyl flooring to develop an unsightly pattern. Moreover, polypropylene backings are no good either due to their UV resistance, which will cause your vinyl flooring to fade over time.
Is PVC Rug Backing Safe for Vinyl Floors?
PVC-backed rugs are fairly common, but like polypropylene rugs, they can often have a negative effect on vinyl flooring. This, again, can largely be attributed to the presence of certain chemicals which soften vinyl over time. In this case, the offending chemical in question is phthalate.
But that is not all. PVC and rubber-backed rugs are also made with glue and other adhesive substances, which can stain and damage your vinyl flooring. In general, it is best to avoid these types of rugs.
Can You Use a Rug Pad on Vinyl Flooring?
Rug pads are immensely useful when it comes to protecting your expensive vinyl plank flooring. Not only will they protect your floor against scratches and indentations, but they will also protect it from the rugs themselves.
As mentioned, certain rugs use backings composed of substances that can be detrimental to vinyl flooring. Following suit, some rug pads are also composed of these same substances and should therefore be avoided.
Fortunately, memory foam and felt rug pads are perfectly safe for use and are among the softest rug pads available.
Which Rugs Works Best on Vinyl Floors?
There are many types of rugs for you to choose from, so much so that it may seem overwhelming. However, when it comes to vinyl floors, certain rugs are safer than others.
The best rugs to invest in are wool rugs, which have remained immensely popular due to their softness and their easy maintenance. They come in different colors and styles, so you will surely be able to find one that will best suit your particular tastes.
Alternatively, cotton rugs also work well, though they tend to give the rooms they are placed in a distinctly casual feel.
What Backing is Not Good for Vinyl Plank Flooring?-Bottom Line
One of the biggest mistakes that many homeowners make is placing rubber-backed rugs without a rug pad. This is often a costly mistake.
The truth is, most people usually have no idea that rubber or latex-backed rugs can discolor their beautiful and expensive vinyl plank flooring.
Hopefully, you’ve now learned what backing is not good for vinyl plank flooring and why placing a felt pad is a great idea.