What Backing is Not Good for Vinyl Plank Flooring?

What backing is not suitable for vinyl plank flooring?

You must be asking this question because you have heard that certain rugs have backings that cause discoloration on vinyl plank flooring. Consequently, you do not want to purchase the wrong rug.

That’s true. Rugs with backings can damage vinyl plank flooring, so you should avoid them if you have this kind of flooring.

I’m talking about latex or rubber-backed rugs.

What backing is not suitable for vinyl plank flooring?

Why are rubber-backed rugs and latex-backed rugs unsafe for vinyl plank flooring?

Many homeowners choose vinyl plank flooring as their flooring of choice.

The versatility and flexibility of laminate flooring make it a more appealing alternative to hardwood flooring and tile floors.

It offers a lot of benefits, such as being warmer, having excellent sound-absorbing capabilities, being waterproof, being easy to clean, easy to maintain, etc.

However, vinyl plank flooring does have one major shortcoming—it can be easily discolored or stained by a rubber or latex-backed rugs or mats.

This is why it’s best to avoid such rugs or mats if possible.

Rugs and mats made from natural and synthetic rubber and latex undergo chemical reactions with vinyl. These reactions can leave permanent stains.

The chemical reaction usually results from exposure to heat from the sun or friction caused by foot traffic. The discoloration may be more pronounced in high-traffic areas.

Some rugs have a backing made of a type of plastic called PVC, in addition to rubber and latex.

Typically, these rugs are constructed with glue and other adhesives that adhere to the ground. A sticky residue can also damage vinyl plank flooring.

This type of rug should be avoided as well.

Best Vinyl Plank Flooring Rugs?

Rugs that do not contain any of the materials I listed above are ideal for vinyl plank flooring.

Choose rugs with a natural backing. Examples include;

  •   Jute
  •   Cotton
  •   Regular woven backings

The nuLOOM Moroccan Blythe Accent Rug is an example of a jute-backed area rug. This is a beautiful area rug that will complement your décor and won’t stain your vinyl flooring due to its absence of rubber or latex backing.

My recommendation would be the nuLOOM Rigo Hand Woven Jute Area Rug if you are looking for a pure jute rug. There is nothing synthetic about it. It is completely natural, extremely strong and durable, and also versatile. It contains no rubber or latex, so the nuLoom jute rug is an excellent choice for use with vinyl plank flooring.

However, you should be aware of one thing.

Rugs with jute backings tend to be more slippery than rugs with rubber or latex backings. That is why the majority of area rugs on the market have rubber or latex backings, which help to keep the rug in place.

In this instance, a felt rug pad will be needed.

This rug pad will not mark or stain the floor finish. A felt rug pad is much more than that, however.

The area rug is also prevented from slipping due to its ability to grasp firmly onto the surface. Moreover, the rug pad will prevent your vinyl plank flooring from being scratched by furniture placed on the rug.

There is no rubber or latex backing on this rug pad, so it is a great, safe choice for vinyl plank flooring.

This pad will not only protect your vinyl plank flooring from stains and scratches but will also help to prolong the life of both the flooring and the area rug.

Essentially, a thick rug pad adds an extra layer of cushioning between your vinyl flooring and area rug. Its thickness allows it to absorb all the shocks caused by foot traffic and even support the weight of the heavy furniture above it.

This simply means that both your vinyl flooring and area rug are adequately protected from damage.

How does this affect my vinyl plank flooring that already has a rubber-backed area rug?

There is no need to worry if you purchased a rubber-backed rug before realizing how much damage it can cause to your vinyl plank flooring.

It is possible to use a felt rug pad such as the RUGPADUSA 1/2″ Thick – % Felt- Protective Cushioning Rug Pa By using a rug pad, you can prevent your rubber-backed area rug from damaging the floor.

Make sure you measure your area rug before purchasing a rug pad.

Rug pads are typically 1 inch shorter than area rugs. Consequently, the edges of the area rug taper to the floor if the rug pad is a bit smaller.

If the edge of the rug is caught by a shoe heel, the area rug will not curl at the edges, preventing tripping hazards.

The rug will also be preserved from premature wear and tear because the edges won’t get tangled up in shoe heels, preventing the rug from wearing out prematurely.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are rubber-backed rugs suitable for vinyl plank flooring?

If rubber-backed rugs are not used with a felt rug pad underneath, then they are not suitable for vinyl plank flooring.

To prevent stains, you should install a felt rug pad between your vinyl plank flooring and a  rubber-backed area rug.

Alternatively, you can purchase a non-staining rug for vinyl flooring, such as the one I have suggested above. Even so, as such rugs tend to be slippery and can pose a slipping hazard in your home, you will need to purchase a rug pad.

Can polypropylene rugs be used on vinyl floors?

Your vinyl floors should not be exposed to polypropylene rugs, especially if the backing is also made of polypropylene.

Polypropylene can also react with your vinyl floor’s chemicals, resulting in discoloration as with rubber. The rug may be irreversibly discolored if left in place for an extended period.

How can you prevent this?

The only solution is to use a felt rug pad like the RUGPADUSA 1/2 Inch Thick-100% Felt- Protective Cushioning Rug Pad.

Rug pads protect floors under rugs with rubber, latex, or polypropylene backings by acting as a shield.

Don’t worry, polypropylene rugs can safely be used on vinyl flooring.

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