Furniture PERK is reader-supported and participates in the Amazon Services, LLC Associates Program. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn affiliate commission.

Do Rug Pads Damage Hardwood Floors?- (Both Yay and Nay)

Do rug pads damage hardwood floors?– It comes to mind when we think about getting a rug pad for our expensive flooring.

Surprisingly, the answer is both NO and YES.

Placing a good-quality and floor-type-friendly rug pad beneath your rug is a practical addition to your comfort and floor care. It does everything from protecting your hardwood floor to prolonging your rug’s life. Owning a rug pad makes all the senses.

But having the wrong rug pad that is not compatible with your floor type may damage your floor. Low-quality, cheap rug pads spoil your floor with stains and discolorations.

In this post, I will explain why/ how a rug pad can damage the floor and what kind of rug pad is safe for hardwood floors.

Stay with me!

Rug Pads that Damage Hardwood Floor

A rug pad protects your hardwood floors from scratches, provides a non-slip surface, and insulates against noise and cold. In summary, your hardwood floor demands rug pads.

Unfortunately, a rug pad can also damage your hardwood floor. There are plenty of potential problems if your rug pad is not compatible with your floor.

Let’s find which rug pads may damage your hardwood floor.

There are a few factors to consider when shopping for a rug pad.

Verify your floor’s hardwood type and get the right pad that goes well with it.

First of all, a rug pad’s material should be given more thought. Professionals and floor experts warn against using certain rug pads, which might damage the finish on hardwood flooring.

Take note; hardwood floors are finished with vinyl, acrylic, laminates, lacquered, etc. On the other hand, rug pads are constructed of various materials. Some common materials are felt, rubber, PVC, etc.

Rug pad material can cause damage to your floor if it is not compatible with the floor.

Are PVC rug pads safe for hardwood floors?

Synthetic latex or PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) rug pad is safe as long as it allows ventilation.

Most of these types of rug pads inhibit ventilation. As a result, moisture may accumulate beneath the rug. Moreover, the plasticizers of the latex may migrate into the floor surface and cause irreparable damage to the floor.

Latex rug pads or latex backings rugs often have a grid or cross-hatch pattern that leaves unsightly blemishes due to long-term use.

Can cheap rug pads ruin your expensive floors?

Quality matters!

Unfortunately, rug pad markets are over-flooded with cheap and inferior rug pads that may cause serious issues to your hardwood finishes.

Most of the imported rug pads come with an appealing price tag but are inferior in quality. These pads can ruin your beautiful rug and the finish of your expensive floor. Poor-quality cheap rug pads are risky to your safety and health.

Low-quality rug pads contain off-gassing plasticizers or synthetic fiber, which may discolor and stain hardwood surfaces. Imported plastic rug pads may contain toxic chemicals that react with the chemicals in your floor finishes and fill your home air with the toxin.

Non-slip rug pads prevent it from sliding or slipping on hardwood floors. But some inexpensive rug pads are coated with adhesives to enhance non-slip grip. Unfortunately, in most cases, these pads stick to the floors rather than gripping them. The chemicals of adhesive can “off-gas” and stain your floors. Even worse, they can pollute your home air with toxins.

Any rug underlayment that comes into contact with hardwood floor finish should not contain adhesive or glues.

To sum it up, PVC, plastic, treated rubber, foam backing, and latex rug pads are not safe for hardwood floors.

Rug Pads That won’t Damage Hardwood Floors

The good news is – there are various rug pad materials that are safe for hard surface flooring or hardwood.

Natural Rubber

Natural rubber rug pads are the best in terms of performance, hardwood floor protection, and safety. It is odor-free, free of toxins, and eco-friendly. It provides a non-slip grip without sticking to the floor.

A quality natural rubber rug pad will never stick, discolor or stain your laminate or vinyl floor.
On the negatives, these rug pads offer little cushion. However, they work great when you need thinner padding for low clearance, such as rugs and mats under doors.

RUGPADUSA – Super-Lock Natural ‎(RPSN10-0017) is a natural rubber Gripping Open Weave Rug pad. It is safe for all floor types.

best natural rubber rug pad

100% FELT

Are felt rug pads good for hardwood floors?

Felt rug pads are often constructed of recycled materials that make them eco-friendly. If underfoot comfort and cozy feeling are your priority, a felt rug pad is great for you. It adds a cushion to your rug.

I recommend RUGPADUSA – Basics (model: ‎RPBF24-1941) rug pad. It is a 100% felt rug pad that provides a protective cushioning and safe for all floors and finishes including hardwoods.

best felt rug pad

On the negative, they are not great for non-slip features. However, felt rug pads fit perfectly for large area rugs under heavy furniture such as tables, recliners, and couches.

Felt/ Natural Rubber Hybrid

The combination of natural rubber and felt offers dual surface hardwood floor-friendly rug pads. This option is both non-slip and cushioned.

The manufacturing process uses a chemical-free heat pressing technique to combine the rubber and felt layer. As a result, the layers won’t come apart over time and won’t off-gas.

In addition, this hybrid pad is durable. It is also great for flat-weave rugs.

Mohawk Home ‎BFR-810 is one of the most popular dual surface rug pads. Its felt surface and latex rubber backing combination is safe for all floor surfaces. It also helps to prevent slipping the rug.

mohawk home non slip rug pad

Closing Remarks

I believe now you have no confusion regarding whether rug pads ruin hardwood floors.

When choosing the right rug pads for your hardwood floor, keep in mind that “no one-size-fits-all” approach.

Your hardwood floor’s life is in the hands of your rug pad’s quality and materials.
Rug pad-floor type compatibility, rug pad materials, and quality are some of the factors that you should consider before buying the best rug pad for hardwood floors.

Most importantly, invest in a good-quality rug pad.

A cheap rug pad initially may cost less, but it may lead to more expense in the long run.

Leave a Comment