Spring has finally sprung, so how about celebrating the start of a new season by adding some color to your living room? Rugs are a fun and fuss-free way to bring a pop of color and freshness to any room. The only problem is that you have vinyl plank flooring and have heard rumors that rugs will damage them.
Having dealt with floor damage from a rug before, I’m here to give you an answer to your pressing question: “Can you put rugs on vinyl plank flooring?”
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How The Damage Is Done
Many people are told that rugs will damage vinyl plank flooring, and although this is sometimes true, it largely depends on how the bottom of the carpet is treated. Plenty of rugs available today are sold with rubber or latex backing and synthetic fibers. These materials have several advantages, the biggest ones being rubber’s ability to hold the rug in place and synthetic fibers’ ability to be easily cleaned.
But rubber, latex, and synthetic fibers are no friend to the chemicals used to make this luxury flooring. Vinyl plank flooring is generally made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins, calcium carbonate, felt paper, vinyl foam, and a melange of stabilizers, plasticizers, and fungicides. Any generated heat created over a rubber-backed rug, whether by foot traffic, heating, or direct sunlight, can set off a chemical reaction with the chemicals used in the flooring. This can also occur with latex or synthetic fibers.
A chemical reaction between these materials can cause the rug to leave behind color stains, patterns, and even residue. Although some of this damage can sometimes be undone, it is often beyond repair.
What Type of Rugs Are Best for Vinyl Plank Flooring?
If this last bit of information makes you think you have to give up on your new pop of color, don’t! There are several ways to avoid causing damage to your floors, and one of the simplest ways is to select rugs made out of material that won’t cause a similar reaction. The best choice of carpet for your flooring is made of natural fibers.
Unlike synthetic fibers, these natural materials will not cause any chemical reactions to your floors. However, keep in mind that some of these fiber types may not be as durable as synthetic fibers. In addition to being durable, synthetic fibers are often preferred for their ability to resist stains or quickly treat them.
These positive points are not shared with many natural fiber rugs. So before heading off to purchase a new rug for your home, it’s essential to factor in the amount of traffic your carpet will encounter and the type of household it will be placed in. Do you have any pets or children in the house?
If so, consider going with sturdier, easy-to-clean natural fiber rugs, and keep away from more delicate fibers, like silk.
Best Natural Fiber Rugs for Vinyl Plank Flooring
There are many natural fiber rugs to choose from, but the most common natural fiber rug you can find on the market are made out of jute, cotton, seagrass, and wool. All of these rug materials have their own unique set of pros and cons.
1. Jute rugs
Jute is a natural fabric made from the white jute plant. The material undergoes a process known as ‘retting,’ where the non-fibrous components of the plant, such as the stem and skin, are removed to expose its fibrous core. The core is then used to weave into rugs. Jute has a silky, folden-like appearance, and rugs are mostly made with the material without transforming the color. Although less common, there are colored jute rugs available, but they are colored with synthetic dyes that may damage your floors.
2. Cotton rugs
One of the most common natural fabric rugs available is made up of cotton. These rugs are popular among households with pets or young children, as maintenance is largely fuss-free. Most cotton rugs can easily be spot treated, or if the size allows for it, they can simply be thrown in your washer!
Unlike other natural fiber rug options, cotton rugs don’t have a great lifespan. If placed in a high-traffic area, you may find yourself looking to replace the rug in a few years’ time. Luckily the cost of cotton rugs tends to be much lower than other chemical-free rugs.
3. Seagrass rugs
Not actually stemming from the sea, this natural fabric is made up of dried sedge plants grown in salt-water marshes. The plants are dried, spun into yarn, and then woven into a harm-free rug for your vinyl plank flooring. Thanks to their hard fibers, many people know of and prefer seagrass rugs for their durability and resistance to collecting dirt.
However, not many color options are available for these natural rugs, as the fibers don’t take well to color. Another issue with this material is that it is relatively quick to mold if exposed to moisture.
4. Wool rugs
Wool rugs are hand-woven items made from sheep’s wool. The wool is spun into yarn and dyed in a variety of colors. These carpets are commonly found in Persian style designs, but modern/contemporary wool carpets are also available. Although the color of some wool carpets may bleed when exposed to water or too much moisture, wool is considered a safe option for your luxury floors.
5. Check the Flip Side
I’m sure that it’s assuring to know there are several varieties of natural fabric rugs that you can lay directly on your floors. Still, when selecting one of these rugs, it’s important to ensure that the material is 100% made from natural fibers. There are many natural fiber rugs available that may have latex or rubber backing.
Add A Rug Pad on Vinyl Plank Flooring
There is another option available to protect your Vinyl Plank Flooring, no matter the type of material you choose, and that is to add padding under your rug.
There are natural fiber rug pads available that can help protect your vinyl floors from the rubber and latex found on the bottom of some rugs. A great quality rug mat is also a great addition to natural fibers rugs as it helps to prevent any dents or scratches that can be caused by furniture. Besides a barrier between your floors and carpet, a rug mat can help to securely keep a rug in place and even give it a more luxurious feel.
Other benefits of rug pads include extending the life of your rug and even helping to reduce noise from walking on floors.
Just as there are rugs with latex or rubber backing, there are plenty of rug pads made with the same materials. Opt for rug pads made of natural materials, such as options made of soybean oil-based polymer blend, viscoelastic memory foam, or felt.
One common mistake made by people when purchasing a rug pad is not buying a pad with the exact dimensions of the rug that it will lay beneath. If you can’t find a pad that perfectly fits the dimensions of your rug, select one of a larger size. These pads can easily be altered by using a utility knife or fabric scissors.
Cutting the pad to the exact size of the rug will ensure that no areas will come into contact with chemicals that may harm your vinyl plank floors and help minimize any accidents caused by flipped corners. For example, if you choose to have a rug with rubber or latex backing, it’s best to tape the padding to the carpet using carpet tape to avoid the carpet moving out of place.
Can The Damage Be Undone?
If you find yourself looking for an answer on how to undo damage to your vinyl plank flooring caused by a rug, rest assured that you likely won’t have to redo flooring for the entire room. In some cases, damage to these floors can be corrected with a bit of elbow grease. More precisely, you may be able to fix minor scratches and discoloration by gently sanding the damaged planks. Deeper scratches and scuffs may be filled in and buffed with wax.
If the damage to the planks is beyond being salvaged, it’s best to replace them. The difficulty of replacing the panels greatly depends on how they were installed. For example, vinyl flooring snapped into place (floating vinyl floor) is easy to replace, while flooring glued directly to the floor will need more material and patience.
So, Can You Put Rugs On Vinyl Plank Flooring?
In a quick answer – absolutely! Whether you use a natural fiber carpet directly on your floors or a natural fiber rug pad to protect them from rubber or latex bottoms, there are safe ways to add a beautiful new rug to your home.
Don’t be shy to leave a comment if you have any questions about the best type of rug to place in your home. Do you have a preference for any natural fiber rugs or rug mats? Tell us about it in the comments below!