How Do You Fix Crumbling Rug Backing


When a rug slides underfoot when trodden on, or strange small white, rubbery flakes form on the floor around the mat, it shows the backing has crumbled. Designers apply a liquid latex on the back of the rugs to keep yarn tufts from coming free and make the carpets less slippery on smooth surfaces. 

If the rubber backing of the rug is crumbling, cut a piece of a new one and add a thin layer of hot glue methodically from left to right where the old backing crumbled. Maintain the edges intact till the hot glue cures. 

Most craft stores and hardware stores sell hot glue and hot glue guns. Natural rubber-backed mats break down with time. It may cause additional vacuuming time. If the rubber backing is disintegrating and cracking, it could be time to replace the rug. 

This article talks more about rug backing crumbling and how to remedy the problem. 

How To Repair A Crumbled Rug Backing

Rubber backing is fantastic for keeping scatter rugs in place, but it degrades over time. It is vulnerable to deterioration from chemicals and heat included in contemporary appliance wash and dry cycles, frequent creasing and smoothing from foot activity, and even exposure to UV radiation inside and out. 

Here is how to treat a crumbled rug with rubber backing:

Step 1

To clean the rug, wash and rinse it with the least amount of detergent feasible. Avoid using fabric softeners and other additives in the washing or rinsing cycles. 

Hang the mat to dry. 

Step 2

Place the carpet upside down on a solid, level surface where it will be left undisturbed for at least one day. The environment should be warm (65 degrees F) for the latex rubber to dry completely.

Step 3

Brush or detach any old backing, thread, or other debris from the rug’s surface to make it smooth. 

Step 4

To mix the contents of a can of liquid latex rubber that may have solidified, open the container and stir carefully. 

Step 5

To fix any flakes or cracked sections of the backing, immerse a paintbrush into the liquid latex and add a liberal layer to the affected areas. Any cheap three or four-inch broad regular bristle paintbrush will do. 

Don’t overspend because you’ll be throwing it away after the task. If the entire backing is loose but still connected, apply a thin uniform layer of latex to the area underneath the damaged piece and gently press the old backing over it. 

The latex acts as a binding agent. 

Wait for the latex to dry (this could take several hours). Once it becomes solid, move to the next step. 

Step 6

Apply a second application of liquid latex to the entire backside of the rug to create a single, consistent surface over the mended regions. Keep dipping the paintbrush in latex and adding it to the back of the carpet until you have an equal coating throughout the whole back. 

Otherwise, it could absorb water when the rug is wet, hastening the degradation of the fresh latex layer. 

If required, apply a third layer as soon as the second layer is dry. 

Allow drying as previously, ideally for 24 hours before using. 

Step 7

Using scissors, measure and cut a piece of cheesecloth to match the size of the rug. While the latex is still fresh, open it flat and push it against the back of the carpet. 

The cheesecloth supports and protects the rug.

Step 8

Gently press the fabric into the wet latex with your brush until it is level and securely adhered to the entire rug. A stippling or tapping action with the bristle end works better than brushing over the cheesecloth. 

Brushing causes the fabric to become dislodged or wrinkled.

Step 9

Put the brush in plastic wrap and restore any excess latex to the container. Place the covered paintbrush in the freezer to keep the rubber from hardening between treatments.

Step 10

Leave the latex to dry for at least 24 hours. You may shorten the drying time by administering the latex in a warm area, as it cures faster when heated. 

Step 11

Discard the brush and dish, or wash them. 

See also Will Jute Rugs Scratch Hardwood Floors

Minor Rug Backing Repairs You Can Do on Your Own

Visiting a rug repair service might be a costly affair. There are instances when there is no way around it. 

However, there are a few minor repairs you can undertake at home to save money and maintain your rug.

Here are some of them:

1) Back Tears

A little hole or puncture on the back of the rug is simple to mend. There’s always the low-cost option of wrapping it with sticky tape.

Designers may fix indoor area rugs with duct tape. Brush off debris and dirt before using the tape for a more secure grip. 

Push any strands that come to the surface back into place. Then, using the sticky tape, grab the strands. 

Nevertheless, for double-fabric-sided mats, slide the dislodged fabric through the slit to the correct side and knot off the gaps with upholstery thread. 

2) Loose Backing

If the rubber backing of your rug is crumbling, cut a piece of a new one and add a thin coating of hot glue methodically from left to right where the old backing crumbled. Keep the edges tight until the hot glue hardens.

If the rubber backing disintegrates and cracks, replace the carpet or invest in a new non-slippery natural rubber felt pad.

See also Non Slip Rugs for Vinyl Flooring

FAQs on Rug Backing Crumbling

1. What Is Used For Rug Backing?

The most popular rug backing materials are woven, felt, latex, and heat-set. Most animal hide carpets do not survive long.

2. What Is A Latex Backing On A Rug?

You can only harvest natural rubber from a rubber tree, while you can get latex from the trunks of approximately 20,000 tree species. 

Latex-backed rugs are non-slip and waterproof. As a result, it grabs the floor and keeps water out. 

See also bathroom rugs safe for vinyl floors

3. Will Latex Backed Rugs Damage?

Latex carpets, pads, and grips obstruct airflow and may permanently ruin the surface of a hardwood floor. 

Besides the problems caused by moisture accumulation beneath the carpets, the plasticizers in a latex covering could seep into the wood’s surface. It could cause discoloration.

See also Are latex backed rugs safe for laminate floors

4. Why Is My Rug Buckling?

A rug often buckles because of excessive moisture in the atmosphere and the movement of large items across it. You may remedy this problem by hiring someone to re-stretch the rug, which will eliminate the ripples but not the lines.

5. Is Latex Backing On Rugs Toxic?

Almost all brands treat artificial rugs with a latex mixture that contains styrene, a probable human carcinogen. If you want a healthy house with improved air quality, avoid synthetic materials or those containing VOCs. 

See also Can You Put Rubber backed rugs on vinyl plank flooring

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, the post above has provided you with adequate information if you have a rug backing crumbling problem. Go over the steps again to have them at your fingertips and save the money you’d otherwise spend visiting a repair shop. 

See also Rugs safe for luxury vinyl floors

Sophia Lulu

I am Sophia Lulu a home decor enthusiast with more rugs than the number of rooms in my house. On this blog I share helpful buyer guides, tips and how to care for your rugs, floors, doormats and carpets.

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