Rubber backed rugs on hardwood floors

June 22, 2020
Rubber Backed Rugs On Hardwood

Rubber backing prevents slips, but it can discolor your laminate floor.Rubber backing prevents slips, but it can discolor your laminate floor.

Many area rugs have rubber or latex backing to prevent them from slipping. On smooth laminate floors, that's a safety precaution that can prevent a painful fall for someone in the family. Both latex and rubber can harm the surface of the floor, however - but there is a way to prevent this.

The Problem

One of the problems with rubber or latex carpet backings is that they have a solid, featureless surface that prevents the floor from breathing. This lack of air can cause a reaction between the backing and the finish material that discolors the floor by leaving a leaving a yellowish residue. The reaction also deteriorates the backing material, which then gets stuck to the floor and makes the carpet difficult to remove. You sometimes have to scrape the rubber off with a scraper, and you risk scratching the finish.

The Solution

If you have a carpet with a solid rubber or latex backing, place a rubber carpet pad between the carpet and the floor. Carpet pads are also made of rubber, but they are corrugated or honeycombed and allow air to circulate between the carpet and the floor. When there's sufficient circulation, the rubber won't deteriorate and the floor won't discolor.

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