How To Prevent Rugs From Sticking To Your Floor
The backs of many area rugs are sprayed with a latex that normally transfer to the floor that can cause serious damage. Use of the proper rug pad under your rug prevents the rug from sticking to the floor.
There are all types of area rugs manufactured in different ways. The traditional old world weaving of area rugs by hand has been replaced more and more with a machine weaving process to cut down on costs. Unfortunately, this also compromises the quality and endurance of the rug. In hand tied area rugs, the back of the rug consists of hand tied knots that keep the rug together. In today’s machine process with lack of these knots, a latex can be found sprayed on the back fibers of the rug to keep the rug together. Unfortunately, this is a common cause of floor damage.
Latex Sprayed to the Back of Rugs
A common method of manufacturing area rugs is to tuft the fibers to a mesh screen. Once all of the fibers are tufted through the screen, the pile, or face, of the rug, is created. The other side, or back, of the mesh screen contains the lose fibers. In a handmade area rug, these fibers would wrap back around the screen, or foundation and are then tied into knots that keep the rug intact. In this machine tufted rug, the back of the fibers are sprayed with a latex. The latex serves two functions- it holds the fibers together to prevent shedding of them and since latex carries a non slip function, it serves to prevent the rug slipping on the floor. The end result of this is an area rug that has a plush face pile and a latex backing that is placed on the floor.
Latex Spray Sticks to the Floor
While the result of using latex on the back of an area rug offers a finished rug product, there is a negative outcome – mainly that the latex damages the floor. Unfortunately, since the spray is not a solid layer of rubber, it is not as stable as solid rubber. Within a short period of time of use on hardwood or any hard floor, the latex on the back of the rug starts to transfer to the floor. The reason for this is due to the fact that the spray method does not provide a strong bond with the rug fibers. After use of the rug, particularly with sunlight shining onto the rug, the latex takes on a melting form and transfers to the floor in the form of a sticky gummy texture. To make matters worse, most people do not know this it is happening and continue to use the rug. With more use and pressure to the floor, the latex is pushed harder and almost becomes impossible to remove from the floor.
How to Remove Latex Stuck to Floor
There are a few ways to remove, or try to remove, latex that stuck to the floor from the back of a rug. Depending on the amount and strength of the damage, methods such using paint thinner or WD-40 on the affected area to actually scraping the latex from the floor are common methods of repair. Again, the way to remove the latex damage depends on the strength of the damage and in the worst case, it will be necessary to refinish the floor, it it is hardwood or some sort of wood.
How to Prevent Rugs From Sticking to Floor
Since the latex back of the rug rests directly on the floor, we need to consider a barrier to use between rug and floor – This is in the form of a rug pad. Since we want to prevent any latex from reaching the floor, we need to be sure to use a solid, as opposed to open weave, rug pad. Common non slip rug pads with a mesh design will not be effective, as they allow passing through to the floor. Felt rug pads are one of the few rug pads to offer a solid protective barrier to prevent any latex from affecting any floor under the area rug. Since the object is to use the rug pad to prevent sticking and other damage to the floor, it is important to choose a natural rug pad. Too many pads contain an adhesive that transfers to the floor and this defeats the purpose of protecting the floor against damage from latex backed rugs.
If you are on a budget and need to choose an area rug backed with latex, or if the only style you like happens to be this type of area rug, be sure to protect your floors with the use of a solid rug pad under the rug. With a rug pad, even if the latex starts to fall off of the rug sooner rather than later, the pad will trap the latex and prevent it from damaging the floor. Based on the fact that the rug pad will trap the latex, it is an excellent idea to periodically check and clean the pad from any latex.