Rubber of latex backed area rug on refinished hardwood?


Old 02-13-10, 07:52 AM
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Rubber of latex backed area rug on refinished hardwood?

Hoping somebody can give me some insight on this..... I'm finding differing opinions on the web.

I just moved into an apt with beautiful old polyurethane refinished hardwood. I found a great deal on an area rug that looks expensive but is not the highest quality on the market. It is a jute rug but the backing is rubber or latex, similar to the ones seen on many bath or kitchen mats.

How safe is it to use on my hardwood? I've read that it can discolor the hardwood. I've also read that if it is non-ventilated it can trap moisture and damage floor. This apartment is not particularly moist or anything. If i put some type of padding underneath will it protect it? The guy at Lowe's told me not to worry about it. He said if the wood floors were finished correctly and i clean underneath the rug regularly there should be no problem

Any advice is appreciated!
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Old 02-14-10, 06:10 AM
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Welcome to the forums! You may want to supplement the backing with a waffle non skid matting. (you didn't say if it was solid rubber or waffled) It will allow a certain amount of air underneath if necessary and will prevent it from sliding. However, as stated, if your floor is clean and the finish is proper, you should have no problems. NOW, with that said, if liquids are spilled near the perimeter, it is possible for capillary leakage. This leakage will become trapped and will discolor the flooring. You will also need to remove it occasionally and clean both the backing and the floor to prevent scratching of the surface of the wood. Also take into consideration the amount of light entering the room. If the sun shines directly in the rug area, it will tend to leave a darker area where the rug is versus the surrounding area which will bleach out slightly over the years.
Just some things to be thinking about.
Old 02-14-10, 11:35 AM
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Thanks Chandler!

Yes the backing is a solid rubber or latex but textured. Similar to what you might see in many bath mats. So I guess you're talking about the foam like waffle underlays that i saw at Lowe's and Home Depot. I've gone back and forth trying to decide whether I was going to even keep the rug. Didn't want to risk know. Thanks so much for your help!
Old 02-14-10, 12:40 PM
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Just to add a bit...

Be very careful and check under the rug often. I put new rugs down (on vinyl flooring) and even though there was no cleaning solvent or coating on the vinyl...when I went to move them to clean the floor a week later..the backing was stuck to the floor and when removed had caused yellow spots. could have been some sort of outgassing from the new rug..or maybe the vinyl floor and backing were just chemically incompatible.

I doubt you will have an issue..but best to be very cautious...esp if this is a rental. I'd hate for you to have to pay for refinishing.

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