Latex backed rugs on hardwood


Old 06-18-07, 11:15 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 33
Latex backed rugs on hardwood

We have brand new prefinished maple floors. I want to buy some rugs, but some that I like have the no slip latex back on them and I wondered if that was ok to put these floors. Also, what should I put under the regular rugs? The no-slip backs that I've bought in the past get very gummy with age. Anyone have other ideas?
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Old 06-18-07, 12:08 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: usa
Posts: 242
We just got our floors too and the rug/back/underlayment thing has been making me crazy!! I hope someone comes to answer with some really good information.

I had rugs with the white rubber/latex? backing that I wanted to reuse from our old tile floors. The installer said we could not use any of these because the floor has to "breathe" but we could use them IF we put the underlayment down first. So that is what I did for those rugs but it is a pain because the small kitchen rugs and the bathroom rugs keep slipping off the underlayment and the edges of the underlayment constantly show.

Then I bought 4 new giant rugs and getting the underlayment has been a real undertaking! First, we had to look for ones that specifically said for hardwood floors but I swear they all look the same to me. Then it was hard to get the right sizes to fit the rugs. Even if the package said 8X10 or 9X12, it was always a few inches short and the backs of some of the rugs are rough as sandpaper, especially the mohawk ones, so I had to buy an extra piece and cut it to add more width. Why is is okay for 2-3 inches of each side of the rug to be directly on the floor and won't the rugs scratch the floor just like sandpaper?

It has been difficult to find them too, kmart had one for $20 but only one, so I went all over town and to get large ones, I finally had to pay $40 each at home depot for "economy" ones that aren't as nice as the cheaper kmart ones. Every rug I put down, has an assortment of pieces of the underlayment and it was maddening getting all the egdes straight so the back of the rugs did not scratch the floor. I fell in love and bought one really expensive rug that does have a nice soft cotton back but still used the underlayment so it would not slip around.

I did go to the carpet store to buy the cushy padding I remember having when I was a kid and they don't make stuff like that anymore. The "premium" padding for hardwood floors was only about 1/4-1/2" thick and they quoted me $8/sq ft!! I did find some on the web but the cheapest I found for the large sizes I needed was still well over $100.

The other thing driving me crazy is the felt pads for chair legs, etc.. They don't stay on!! We bought 3 different kinds from pricey to cheap and they constantly come off and then simply sliding the chair back (without even sitting on it) scratches the floor!! Any tips here? Should I go get crazy glue and try that? Thanks in advance.
Old 06-18-07, 03:31 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Butylated Hydroxy Toluene (BHT) is one of several plasticizers used in the latex coating on the back of some rugs and in inexpensive rug 'grips' and underlayments. Plasticizers are used to keep rug underlayments soft and flexible. Plasticizers migrate into finish of wood and causes it to discolor. Most manufacturers of prefinished wood flooring caution against the use of latex, rubber, plastic, and foam backing on rugs and underlayments. Discoloration is what frequently happens to vinyl rugs where inexpensive mats were used, and this can occur on hardwood flooring. Purchase a high quality underlayment for hardwood floors which specifically states that it is nonyellowing. Too, seasonally removing rugs will allow floor that is covered by rug to oxidize and catch up with areas exposed to sunlight.

For some quick tips on hardwood floor care, go to

Self-stick felt works great for protecting floors. Additional adhesive may have to be applied, especially on pieces of furniture that get moved frequently.
Old 06-19-07, 10:34 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: usa
Posts: 242
Thanks twelvepole! I will try some extra glue for the self stick felt pads. Do you think I should get some of the "nail in" felt pads instead if the glue doesn't help? Most of the ones that are falling off are on the wood legs with nothing else on the bottom but some are stuck to the metal nail in glides that apparently came already attached to the better pieces of furniture. Will no glue ever stick to the metal? Should I try superglue or? Should I remove all the metal pieces and switch them to the nail in glides? I also saw some more expensive "carpet backed" pads. Are these better than the felt? Part of my daily routine now includes not only the dust mopping and sweeping (which I don't really mind) but also the tedious job of checking all the felt pads and recentering/reapplying them-ugh! No one is moving the furniture frequently. My daughter who is 60 lbs sat on one chair and it slid back and the felt fell off!

Also, another quick question about the underlayment. The ones we bought specifically state "for hardwood floors" but not one said "non-yellowing" so now I am a bit worried! Also, the op mentiioned that the pads got "gummy" after some time so will that happen or is that something that used to happen with older type materials? If so, what kind of time frame, months, years...? At $8/foot the premium padding the carpet store had seemed really expensive considering I just bought 4 giant rugs(10X12 and 12X15) but I will order it if it would solve all the worries. What is your opinion? Seems like overkill and it was NOT very cushy at all. Lastly, how often should I move the rugs around. Luckily, we have plenty of space to do that but it is a big job moving all the furniture so once a year, 2Xs, less?

Thanks as usual and sorry if this is tedious!
Old 06-19-07, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Most folks remove the metal and plastic glides and apply stick on felt. Avoid nails and anything that will harm the floor. You will likely find that once the glides are removed that the stick on felt protectors will adhere. If not, apply some additional adhesive. Super glue would likely work.

If you purchased cushion that was labeled safe for hardwood floors, you are likely o.k. If in doubt, contact the manufacturer.

Seasonally removing rugs, such as when doing spring cleaning, and replacing in fall, such as when doing fall cleaning, will allow the floor to be exposed to light and allow for more even oxidation of finish.
Old 08-22-11, 04:05 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 1
To Protect the Wood Floors

My brother and sister-in-law had beautiful wood floors installed in their kitchen and found their kitchen chairs, which had plastic "pads" on the bottom, scratched the finish. My sister-in-law placed infant-size baby socks (nice, tight socks with a high cuff, which she folded over onto the chair leg) on each of the chair legs and found no further problems with the scratched floors. A periodic spraying of "Endust" on the sock surface kept them sliding easily over the wood surface, and helped to keep the floor dust-free when the chairs were pushed in or pulled out. A nice plus: They just get tossed into the washer when they get dirty, and they're ready to go again.

She used plain, white infant socks, which matched the color of the chair legs, but there are several colors from which to choose. Socks with a nice, high cuff stay in place very well.
Old 08-22-11, 04:20 PM
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Rosie, welcome to the forums!! Although the thread is 4 years old, I find your solution interesting. Keep those ideas coming, and if you have need, we're here to help.

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