Can You Use Rubber Backed Rugs on Vinyl Plank Flooring?

can you use rubber backed rugs on vinyl plank flooring

If you just installed vinyl plank flooring in your home, congratulations on your new floors! However, what you should know is that vinyl plank floors have a strict no rubber backed rugs rule for their floors.

Which means you cannot use rubber backed rugs on vinyl plank flooring because the rubber will react with the chemicals used to make vinyl planks due to friction from slipping and exposure to the sun causing stains on them and leaving behind icky mucky residue.

Do not worry though, because you can still use the rubber backed rugs but you MUST put a rug pad which is safe to use on vinyl plank flooring to protect your floors from getting ruined. Another great option is for you to use rugs with backing which is safe to use on vinyl plank floors. Such as cotton backed rugs, rugs without backing and rugs with hot adhesive technology for your bathrooms.

Why avoid Rubber Backed rugs on Vinyl Plank Flooring?

As we have mentioned using  rubber backed rugs on vinyl plank flooring will end up ruining your expensive floors.

Stains and Discoloration

The compounds in rubber whether natural or synthetic will stain vinyl floors. Vinyl is a synthetic material made from petroleum products and other additives such as plasticizers. The additives are not bound to the planks, due to friction from traffic on the rug and exposure to UV rays from the sun.

A chemical reaction is  triggered between chemicals used to make vinyl such as polyurethane and the rubber back of your rug. Which in turn releases a gaseous compound that will discolor your floors rendering them ruined. 

Sticky Residue

Another byproduct of the chemical reaction described above is the settling of a sticky icky residue which is very hard to clean out. You can even scratch your floors in hopes of getting rid of it.

Rugs Suitable for Vinyl Plank Flooring

Thankfully, you still can use rugs on your vinyl floors to spice up your living space. These rugs include:

Rugs without Rubber or Latex Backing 

When shopping for any rug for your home, be it a bathroom rug or an area rug you must ensure the rugs have ZERO rubber backing in it. 

Most rugs have rubber backing to make them non-slip and also waterproof. However because vinyl is waterproof you do not need rubber backed rugs.

Some rugs in the market also contain jute backing which is not safe to use on your vinyl floors because they will scratch them overtime. In such a case, you can get a non slip rug pad safe for vinyl plank flooring to cushion your floors

Cotton Backed Rugs

Look out for unbleached cotton backed rugs because cotton will not react with the polyurethane finish on vinyl floors. In addition, cotton is a soft backing and hence it won’t scratch your floors. To make cotton backed rugs non slip, you can get a non slip rug pad made of felt or PVC material.

Colorfast rugs

Some rugs in the market are labeled colorfast, which is a term used to refer to a rug which will hold on to the dye used to give it color when exposed to heat, light and moisture. This means that the rugs will in no way transfer the dye on your floors. Saving them from discoloration and stains.

See also Rugs Safe for Luxury Vinyl Floors

Handwoven Rugs without Backing

Some handwoven rugs are made without backing and these are perfect for vinyl flooring. Below are some worth mentioning. Washable and reversible cotton rugs. For your bathroom rugs that are safe for vinyl flooring.

Consider using washable and reversible cotton rugs. They are super absorbent and very easy to maintain. Alternatively, you can get bathroom rugs with non slip backing safe for vinyl floors such as PVC backing or hot adhesive technology backing.

Rug Pads Safe for Vinyl Plank Flooring

For situations where you found a nice rug which you must have for your home and it has a rubber or latex backing -You must get a rug pad safe for your vinyl plank flooring. The rug pad should not contain rubber or latex. 

Safe materials for vinyl flooring include memory foam rug pads to add cushioning to area rugs and soundproof your floors. Felt rug pads which are made from natural fibers being compressed together such as wool. Double sided silicone and felt combination of felt and silicone rug pads will not stain or react with chemicals in vinyl floors.

See also Rug Pads Safe for Vinyl Floors

Questions on Rubber backed Rugs on Vinyl Flooring 

1.Are Ruggables safe for Vinyl Plank Flooring

According to the manufacturer, ruggables come in a two piece system made of the rug which is washable and a rug pad cover which attaches to it. The rug pad is however made of recycled polyester and thermoplastic rubber which is latex free but non the less has rubber.

Which means ruggables are definitely not safe to use on vinyl plank flooring because of their rug pads which must work with their rug cover. Instead you can opt for cotton backed rugs, rugs without rubber or latex backing and hand woven rugs from natural materials such as wool.

2. Can you put rugs on vinyl plank floors 

Yes, you definitely can place rugs on vinyl plank floors, the only rule you need to keep is no rubber or latex backing on vinyl plank floors. This is because rubber reacts with vinyl leading to discoloration and sticky residue which renders your vinyl floors ruined.

Considering how expensive vinyl floors are to install, the cost does not compare to the price of a rug. Instead, get rugs which are safe for your vinyl floors such as cotton backed area rugs, reversible and washable rugs for your bathroom, door mats without rubber backing or

Rugs labelled as colorfast rugs are also safe because they do not transfer the dyes used on them when exposed to heat, moisture or light. Alternatively, get a rug pad which is safe for vinyl floors such as a anchor grip rug pad or a non slip rug pad made from polyvinyl chloride.


Most vinyl plank flooring installers inform the home users of the strict no rubber or latex backing rugs and rug pads rule on vinyl plank flooring after the installation is done.

It is not safe to use rubber backed rugs on vinyl plank flooring because they will stain and discolor your floors plus leave behind icky mucky residues that are very hard to remove. As a homeowner you want to decorate your space further with rugs, and it is frustrating trying to get a rug without rubber or latex in the market today.

Consider getting cotton backed rugs for your living, dining and bedroom. For your front door get door mats without rubber backing and for the bathroom get rugs which have non slip PVC backing safe for vinyl.




I am Lulu a rug lover with more rugs than the number of rooms in my house. On this blog I share helpful buyer guides, tips and area rug reviews.

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