So, would you like to put a rug on your vinyl plank flooring? The short answer is, Yes! Although your floor is stunning as is, you may still want to decorate your home with some added texture or comfort appeal that only a soft, cozy rug can provide.
If you are like me, then you spent a long time deciding what type of flooring you want in your home or office space. You have also spent countless hours watching DIY tutorials, not to mention, your knees still hurt from the time on them installing your floor.
Likely, you have also read your flooring manufacturer’s care and maintenance manual along with countless blogs to ensure that you follow a floor-safe cleaning and maintenance schedule. You understand what you should keep away from your floors, but you are still unsure what you can place on them.
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Is My Vinyl Plank Flooring So Sensitive?
Vinyl plank flooring, also known as luxury vinyl plank (LVP) or luxury vinyl floor (LVF), is highly versatile, very durable, and even low maintenance. So if you know that you want to add a rug or even several rugs around your space, be sure that its materials are compatible with your vinyl floor.
You are already aware that dust and dirt can scratch the wear-resistant layer of your vinyl plank floor. But did you know that the petroleum-based products in your vinyl plank floor do not get along with the plasticizers found in most rubber?
When ‘smothered’ by certain types of floor coverings containing rubber or latex, the plasticizers, and polymers in your vinyl plank floor will downright destroy your once-beautiful floor.
You will visibly notice several things occurring, such as yellow staining and disintegration of your rug backing. If it goes unnoticed and advances too far, your rug may end up sticking to your floor.
Rug It Out
For practical reasons, you may decide to place a rug by your front door to catch most of the foreign debris that would otherwise get dragged onto your floor.
Or maybe you have a toddler at home who needs a soft place to practice crawling and walking? Do you have a pet who would enjoy a cozy surface to stretch? Do you like sitting on the floor to read a book over a cup of tea or coffee like me?
Whatever your reason for wanting a rug, do not feel discouraged. I will share plenty of safe rug alternatives with you throughout the rest of this article.
Not all Rugs are Vinyl Friendly!
Although rubber-backed rugs are incredible for not slipping on your smooth flooring, manufacturers universally agree that rubber is not a good match for your vinyl plank flooring.
A chemical reaction between the polyvinyl chloride compound used to manufacture the vinyl plank and the rubber can “off-gas.” This reaction discolors and stains your vinyl floor, along with releasing harmful vapors into your home environment.
Poor circulation is another cause of the discoloration of your vinyl plank floor. In addition, everyday foot traffic and exposure to sunlight will cause fading and stains to your vinyl surface.
The reason why a rubber-backed rug is an excellent anti-slip option is in part because it is stuck directly to the floor surface. The rubber can adhere to your vinyl flooring when no air circulates between the two for too long.
Lucky for you and me, vinyl-safe rug pads do exist. These non-rubber alternatives provide traction and extra bounce to your favorite rug. RugPadUSA offers several options, including felt, soybean blends, and visco-elastic memory foam.
I had a great experience applying the Eco Plush 1/2 rug pad underneath a large handwoven bohemian-style area rug. I made my selection after careful research and multiple conversations with the manufacturer.
The purpose of this purchase was to provide my newborn son a soft area to play on since my entire house had luxury vinyl plank flooring. My son met many milestones on top of this rug combination throughout his first year of life that was a centerpiece of my living room.
The Eco Plush rug pad met every one of my expectations. An eco-friendly alternative constructed of 100% recycled felt provided more than adequate cushion to protect my son from his many tumbles and falls.
This rug pad has no “glues, bonding agents, or adhesives that can outgas and ruin floors.” By the way, RugPadUSA offers various thicknesses, sizes, shapes, and materials to meet your every need and fit any flooring finish you have.
Natural fiber rugs will pair with your vinyl plank floor much better than synthetic fiber. However, be aware that even some natural fiber can create light scratches on your vinyl surface because of the friction caused by foot traffic.
When searching for a rug or rug-pad (for that matter), you should look at the item description for keywords such as non-staining or colorfast. Do not make the mistake of quickly settling for a rug that is labeled “safe for use on hardwoods.”
Even if a rug has been cleared safe for hardwood, it does not necessarily mean it is okay for your vinyl plank flooring.n You should always consult your floorings manufacturer, so you do not have any surprises later down the road.
Let us take a closer look at the vinyl-friendly rugs you will likely see that will not harm your flooring over time.
1. Cotton-backed rugs
Cotton material is very soft and will not have any adverse chemical reaction with your vinyl plank floor. Even with friction, it will not cause scratches on the vinyl surface.
2. Handwoven rugs
Handwoven rugs include natural materials such as cotton, seagrass, sisal jute, bamboo, and hemp. Handwoven natural fiber rugs do not have any backing on them, so there is no worry about discoloration or other adverse chemical reactions to your vinyl.
Jute is both scratchy and slippery on top of a smooth surface such as a vinyl plank. Wool is a pricier option mainly because of its durability. Amongst several other benefits, wool tends to maintain its color and pattern over time.
3. Colorfast rugs
These rugs will likely be the most difficult to find. When you find that perfect rug, be confident in knowing you are more than qualified to perform a colorfast test.
The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists has developed standards to test textile quality since 1921. However, you can perform a much simpler test than their more scientific approach if you rub a damp white cloth on a hidden area of your rug. If the dye bleeds over onto the damp white cloth, then you have discovered the rug not to be colorfast.
Benefits of a Vinyl-safe Rug Pad
If you have found the rug with which you plan to decorate your vinyl flooring, now is the time to consider a rug pad.
Here are several benefits to placing a vinyl-safe rug pad underneath your rug:
- It protects your vinyl plank floor from the rug backing or lack thereof in some cases (jute).
- It adds visual depth making your rug appear much more luxurious to the eye.
- It provides traction so to deter slipping and sliding accidents.
- It gives an extra cushion to your carpet for added comfort.
- It keeps your rug from constantly moving around.
TIP: Remember to periodically clean both your rug and rug pad closely, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- You should vacuum your rugs weekly to remove dirt, dust, and debris.
- It would help if you shook out your rug pads at least twice a month. A seasonal vacuum is also an excellent way to ensure a more in-depth cleaning.
- Independent from your preferred cleaning schedule, spot cleaning is a helpful way to remove spills and stains that may occur in the interim.
- Please remember to check washing instructions for both your rug and rug pad before attempting a wash cycle. It is equally essential to maintain good care practices for your rugs and rug pads as it is for your vinyl plank flooring.
To Rug or Not to Rug
I strongly urge you not to buy a rug with a rubber backing. Otherwise, you could seriously ruin your luxury vinyl plank flooring. However, if you do not have any choice, I highly recommend that you purchase a vinyl-friendly rug pad to be a safe and practical layer between your rug and the vinyl floor.
As a homeowner, it is entirely your choice whether or not to decorate your vinyl plank flooring with a rug or even several rugs.
Whatever you decide, please remember to be careful when shopping for that unique rug to complete the look you envision for your home or office.
Please know that you can enjoy your vinyl plank flooring and favorite rugs at the same time.
Please feel free to comment below with questions or concerns in choosing the best rug for your vinyl plank flooring.