Decor Snob Interior Design Ideas and Inspiration
Can Area Rugs Ruin Your Laminate Floors?

Find out how to prevent discoloration, scratches, and slipping

By Blake Lockwood | Curated by Blake Lockwood | Reviewed by Blake Lockwood

Blake Lockwood, the seasoned interior designer behind Decor Snob, has made a name for himself with over 30 years of industry experience. As a member of esteemed associations such as the NCIDQ, CIDA, NAAB, and CCIDC, he upholds high standards in his work.  His content is always people-first, reliable, and engaging.

kitchen with laminate floor and area rug

When your home has laminate flooring in it, you may decide to place a rug down to help keep the area clean. This will warm up the floor, protect the laminate that is there, and can make the room a little more unique. There are specific types of rugs that work the best for a laminate floor though. Is an area rug one of them?

An area rug can ruin your laminate flooring. These types of rugs do not have a padding underneath. Instead, there is some rough material that is under them that can slip and slide around. This will damage the flooring underneath them if the right precautions are not used. It could result in discoloration, scratches, and wearing the finish down if you are not careful.

Let’s take a closer look at why area rugs are not a good idea for your laminate flooring and some of the other types of rugs that you may want to consider to help keep your home looking nice.

Why Do Area Rugs Ruin Laminate Flooring?

There are different types of area rugs and each one is going to cause a different sort of damage on the flooring that you have. When you have a rubber-backed rug, you may notice that small marks are left on the flooring over time. And the natural or synthetic rubber is going to trap water under the rug, which can cause a variety of discoloration issues on the floor if you leave it there for a long time. While they are slip-proof and seem like a good idea, they are often more work than they are worth.

There are also options for area rugs that have latex on the bottom. Rubber and latex are often thought of as the same type of material, but they are different. Latex is known as a synthetic liquid that has different types of chemicals inside to help keep them waterproof and slip resistant. While these rugs are successful with that kind of job, this waterproofing is going to make it hard for the rug to breathe. When you try to pull it off the laminated flooring, you will end up with a huge mess from all the sticky residue that is left behind.

And finally, there are some waterproof rugs available as well. These rugs will catch all of the water from shoes going in and out each day, but it will also trap all of that under the rug and ruin the flooring that is underneath. Without proper care all of the time, the floor will get discolored.

In addition to the discoloration and the sticky residue, all of these types of rugs have the potential to cause scratching on the floor if they are not left on the floor properly. This can quickly ruin the laminate flooring that you have and it almost impossible to prevent with an area rug.

How To Safely Use Area Rugs

If you have an area rug that you would like to use in your home, but you have laminate flooring, then there are a few options that you can choose. Adding some padding to the bottom of the area rug can keep it from sliding around and scratching the floor.

It is also a good alternative to make sure that discoloration or a sticky residue is not left behind when everything is all done. There are several options available, you just need to shop around for one that is the right size for your rug.

The Best Rugs for Laminate Flooring

There are a few types of rugs that you can use on your laminate flooring that will look amazing. You need to avoid options like waterproof rugs, latex-backed rugs, and rubber-backed rugs. All of these can cause a number of problems with the laminate flooring including discoloration, a sticky mess when removed, or scratches that are hard to fix later on when you are done using the rug.

A better option to use will be some type of rug with an alternative back. The best type will be those with some natural fibers, like grasses, jute, cotton, wool, or bamboos. You can also use an underlay for any regular area rug if you already have one that you would like to use. Felt rug pads are available at a lot of your favorite home improvement stores or carpet stores and can be a nice backing to rely on that does not hurt the flooring.

Laminate flooring can be a good investment for your home. But you need to get the right kind of rug on these floors to help them stay safe and to not ruin all the time and money that you put into them. With a little bit of care and attention, you can choose the perfect rug that not only looks nice, but will not ruin the flooring.

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