If you put an area rug on hardwood floors, it will keep moving from one place to another if it is not anchored down by furniture. Apart from moving around, it can also bunch together to form folds.
You do not want any of the above scenarios because it makes your home décor look disorganized.
In addition, it is a safety hazard because the moving rug can easily cause slip and fall accidents, especially for kids, older adults, and pets, which can result in serious injuries.
The reason why slipping is inevitable when you put a rug on hardwood floors is because of the texture difference in the two materials. The hardwood floor is rough, while the rug is soft.
Therefore, this post will answer the following questions and many more;
- How do I keep my rug from sliding?
- What to put under a rug, so it doesn’t slip?
HOW TO KEEP AREA RUGS FROM SLIPPING ON HARDWOOD FLOORS IN 2 WAYS
1.USE A RUG PAD
You might be already wondering what a rug pad is?
Before you bought your area rug, I am sure you spent too much time finding the ideal size, color, material, and weave. You took extra precautions and put enough thought into the process to make sure you ended up with the right rug choice for your home.
That is the same effort and time you should put when choosing a rug pad for your hardwood floors to avoid creating future problems.
For example, if you buy a cheap rug pad or if you fail to buy one at all, you might end up with scratch marks, stains, color leaks, and worn-down finishes on your hardwood floors.
Correcting those mistakes will cost you a lot more than it would have if you bought a high-quality rug pad for your hardwood floors.
Thus, there is no debate that you need a to add rug pad beneath your hardwood floors to serve the following purposes;
- Protection: Apart from taking care of slip and fall accidents, a rug pad will protect your hardwood, laminate, and vinyl floors from damage by stains, color bleeds, and scratches.
- Cushioning: A rug pad is soft and thick to absorb extra foot traffic pressure, which would damage your floors if applied directly. The softness also adds warmth to your feet.
- Sound absorption: The thickness will absorb sound, reducing noise, which could have occurred if you walked on the hardwood floor directly.
- Durability: Both the area rug and your hardwood floors will serve you longer when a rug pad is used than when it is not.
The best rug pad for hardwood floors?
Gorilla Grip Original Felt & Rubber Rug Pad
Here are the qualities which make the above rug pad ideal for hardwood floors;
Purpose: This rug pad is specifically made for hardwood floors.
Thickness: It is extra-thick to serve the cushioning purpose well.
Materials: It is made from felt and natural rubber, which is the most recommended material for use in rug pads for hardwood floors.
Natural: This means it not made from any chemical adhesives or additives which might stain or damage your floors. Also, it will not release toxic gases, which might be harmful to your family.
Affordable: You will only spend less than $50 to solve a problem that can cost you a fortune if left unsolved.
Size Availability: Comes in a wide variety of sizes, and it’s made from a material that can be easily cut and trimmed to the ideal size. Remember to buy the right rug pad size to avoid scenarios where the rug pad shows outside the area rug, or it is too small and only covers a small section.
What rug backing is safe for hardwood floors?
Therefore, below is a summary of the best rug materials to go for when choosing a rug pad for your hardwood floors:
- Natural Rubber
- Combination of Felt & Natural Rubber
- Jute-tends to be more expensive and has a weird smell.
Avoid rug pads with latex backing. You might think latex is good because it is made from natural fiber, but you will be wrong. You will end up with trapped moisture and gases, which will eventually sip into your hardwood floors, causing discoloration and stains.
Also, avoid rug pads with cheap rubber backing, especially the imported ones, because in most times that rubber material is usually synthetic and not natural.
Rug pads Choices & Mistakes to avoid with hardwood floors
1. Cheap rug pads
Avoid cheap rug pads at all costs because adhesives are used to coat the padding and enhance the grip. The problem with that is that those adhesives have toxic chemicals and volatile organic compounds that will leave stains or wear down your hardwood floor finishing. Those toxics can also cause health hazards to your family if breathed for a prolonged time.
2. Thin rug pads
Avoid thin rug pads that might stick to the hardwood floor in the long run. That sticking will leave residue stains on your floors, which might be expensive to remove. Also, the sticking may cause the rug to crease and bunch together, which is another problem that will cost you money to solve.
3. Placing a rug tool soon after refinish your hardwood floor
Area rugs, especially those with rug pads underneath, reduce air circulation and breathing in your hardwood floors. Therefore, placing a rug could get stuck on your wood floor if placed too soon before complete drying. It could also result in the formation of stains and scratches.
Pro Tip on wait time: If you use an oil-based polyurethane finish, you should wait 30 days or more, but if you use water-based polyurethane, two weeks wait period should be enough. Read more refinish hardwood floors.
4. Use of Non-waterproof area rugs
Area rugs, especially those use in high traffic areas, such as the kitchen and entryways, are prone to get wet. It could be urine from your pet, water from an umbrella, or slipping of a bowl of water. If that water seeps through your hardwood floors, it will cause damage, staining, and even swelling. For that reason, you must always make sure you use waterproof area rugs & pads with hardwood floors.
5. Too much sunlight Exposure
Hardwood floors are prone to discoloration by direct UV rays from the sun or any other source of too much light. An area rug will protect your wood floors from that discoloration. However, you need to beware because the light can easily damage the areas not covered by the rug. Therefore, you can stay safe by buying area rugs & pads which cover the entire wood floor, especially in the living and dining room where there is too much foot traffic and sun rays exposure from the windows and doors.
An alternative option if you cannot afford a rug pad
Some experts recommend the use of a non-skid Rubber Shelf Liner as an alternative to a rug pad.
However, you have to note that this should be only a temporary solution because the liner cannot be as effective as a rug pad for several reasons, such as;
Firstly, it is made from a lightweight material, which means it will solve the slipping problem but will not add other benefits like cushioning and wood protection.
Secondly, it is a cheap and economical solution, so it will not help you avoid all the problems caused by cheap rug pads, such as discoloration, stain residue and color shed.
2.USE CARPET TAPE
By now, you can tell that hardwood floors are very delicate.
The same way you took in lots of precaution shopping for a rug pad is the same way you will make sure you pick an ideal carpet tape for your wood floor.
Below is the best carpet tape for your hardwood floor:
XFasten Double Sided Carpet Tape
Purpose: This product is specifically described as “hardwood floors safe”. When I read through the reviews, I noticed most customers bought it to use on wood floors.
Self-Adhesive: This means the tape will not stick to your area rug or hardwood floors, creating problems related to the possibility of residual being left behind.
Double-sided: This adds an extra grip to rough wood floors.
Easy installation & removal: You do not need any experts to put or remove the tape.
Remember to take the following precautionary measures before you use this carpet tape of your hardwood floors;
- Test: Apply a small amount of the tape on your wood floor then leave it for some time like a week to see how it reacts. If you notice any residues or stains after removal, it might not be the best option for your floor.
- Clean: Both the hardwood floor and area rug must be dust free and freshly cleaned before you put the tape because the dirty can easily make the tape to leave residues.
If you cannot seem to find a rug tape that does not leave any residues, make sure you go for the option which leaves stains that can be easily cleaned with natural products, such as baking soda or mineral oil.
Pro Tip: Rug Grippers can also be used instead of rug tape, but make sure you shop the option which will be safe for your hardwood floors.