What Backing is Not Good for Vinyl Plank Flooring? (September 2022) Guide

Vinyl plank flooring is best with a backing.

You’re probably asking this question because you know that certain rugs can cause discoloration to vinyl plank flooring. You don’t want the wrong rug.

Well, it’s true. Vinyl plank flooring is not safe for certain rugs. You should avoid rugs that have backings.

These rugs are rubber-backed and latex-backed.

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

Vinyl plank flooring is a popular choice for homeowners.

Because of its flexibility and versatility, it is often considered a better alternative to tile flooring and hardwood floors.

It is warmer than the average blanket, has excellent sound absorption, is waterproof, is easy clean, and maintains many other benefits.

Vinyl plank flooring has one problem: it can easily be stained or discolored by latex or rubber-backed mats or rugs.

It is best to avoid mats or rugs that are too thick.

The chemical reaction between vinyl and the latex and rubber found in mats and rugs (both synthetic and natural) causes the latex and rubber to react with vinyl. This can cause staining that could easily turn permanent.

This chemical reaction occurs most often due to exposure to sunlight or friction from foot traffic. Some areas with high traffic may show more discoloration than others.

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

These rugs are usually made with glues or other adhesives that stick well to floors. Vinyl plank flooring can also be damaged by sticky residue.

These rugs are best avoided.

Which Rugs Are Safe for Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Vinyl plank flooring rugs that don’t contain any of these materials are the best.

Look for rugs that have natural backings. These include:

  • Jute
  • Cotton
  • Regular woven backings

The nuLOOM Moroccan Blacklythe Accent Rug is a good example of a jute area rug. It doesn’t have a rubber backing or latex backing and will not stain vinyl flooring.

The nuLOOM Rigo Hand Woven Jute Area Rug is a great choice if you are looking for a pure jute area rug. It is 100% natural, strong, durable, and versatile. The nuLoom Jute Rug is a great choice for vinyl plank flooring because it doesn’t contain rubber or latex.

But there’s more.

Rubber or latex-backed rugs are more slippery than jute-backed area rugs. A large percentage of area rugs on the market are rubber- or latex-backed, which helps to keep them in place.

A felt rug pad is what you will need in this instance.

A felt rug pad won’t mark or stain floors. However, a felt rug pad is not the only thing you can do.

Because it grips the surface well, it prevents your rug from sliding. Your vinyl plank flooring is protected from scratches by the rug pad.

The RUGPADUSA 1/2″ Thick – 100% Felt – Protective Cushioning RugPad is the most popular rug pad on the market.

This pad is safer than other rug pads and does not contain a rubber or latex backing.

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This pad will protect vinyl plank flooring against stains and scratches. It will also extend the life expectancy of the rug.

A thick rug pad provides extra cushioning between vinyl plank flooring and an area rug. It is thick enough to absorb the shock of foot traffic and bear the weight of heavy furniture.

This means both your vinyl plank flooring as well as the area rug will be protected from damage.

What if I already have a Rubber-Backed Area rug on my Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Don’t panic if you have already bought a rubber-backed rug and didn’t realize how damaging it could cause to vinyl plank flooring.

Simply place a felt pad such as the RUGPADUSA 1/2″ Thick – 100% Felt – Protective Cushioning RugPad.

Your rubber-backed rug will not damage the floor with the rug pad

Measure the rug area before purchasing a rug pad.

A rug pad should not be more than 1 inch shorter than an area rug. The rug pad should be slightly smaller than the area rug. If this happens, the edges of your rug pad will taper towards the floor.

The tapering of the area rug to the floor keeps it from curling at its edges. This prevents tripping hazards for shoes whose heels catch the edge.

It also prevents premature wear of the rug because there won’t be any curling around the edges that could be caught in shoes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can Rubber-backed Rugs be Used on Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Rubber-backed rugs that aren’t backed with a felt pad underneath are not suitable for vinyl plank flooring.

To prevent staining, you should install a felt rug pad under your rubber-backed rug and vinyl plank flooring.

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You can also purchase a non-staining vinyl floor rug like the one I suggested. You will still need a rug pad because these rugs can slip and cause slipping in your home.

2. Are Polypropylene Rugs Safe to Use on Vinyl Floors?

Vinyl floors are not safe with polypropylene rugs, especially if they have a backing made of polypropylene.

Polypropylene can react with chemicals on vinyl floors, just like rubber. This could cause discoloration. The rug may discolor irreversibly if left in place for a long time.

What can you do?

The only way to solve this problem is to use a felt rug pad such as the RUGPADUSA 1/2″ Thick – 100% Felt – Protective Cushioning RugPad.

As I explained earlier, a rug pad acts as a shield by protecting the floor underneath from getting damaged by rugs that are either rubber, latex, or polypropylene-backed.

You can use polypropylene rug on vinyl plank flooring safely,

Why Vinyl Plank Flooring Does Not Need Backing?-Bottom Line

Many homeowners make the most common mistake of putting rubber-backed rugs in place without a rug pad. This can be costly.

Most people don’t know that latex or rubber-backed rugs can cause damage to expensive vinyl plank flooring.

You should now know what backing is bad for vinyl plank flooring, and why a felt pad can be a great idea.

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