Securing rugs to flooring

Top 5 Ways to Securing Oriental Rugs to Hardwood Flooring

A number of homeowners prefer to avoid buying oriental rugs. That’s more than understandable: woolen rugs are hard to attach and might easily slip if loose. It is dangerous to use unattached rugs on hardwood floors. Falling accidents aren’t uncommon.

On the other hand, hand-knotted oriental rugs add a lot of style and comfort to a home. They bring that exotic element any home could use. They are soft, warm and fluffy. Is there a way to attach them to hardwood floor without damaging either of the two?

First of all, let’s not forget that the bigger and heavier rugs can be safely placed on any kind of floor. The extensive contact surface, along with the weight of the rug makes it hard to move by accident.

Now, when it comes to small and thin rugs, those should be attached. While there are many ways to achieve that, not all of them might suit you. Some of those ways involve the usage of hot glue, masking tapes, rug pads and the list goes on and on.

There are hundreds of DIY guides about the topic that allow us to avoid purchasing expensive rug pads. While those pads are often the most effective way to secure a rug in one place, there are cheaper ways to achieve basically the same result. It only takes some time, patience and work. Let’s review the top five ways to securing oriental rugs to hardwood flooring:

1. Universal Rubber Rug Pad

Yeah, that’s exactly what you thought. We’re talking about those cheap, waffle-like rubber pads that can be found in any mart. Those can be bought for a couple of dollars and they’re often made in China.

Their coarse rubber texture secures any kind of rugs on the slickest surfaces. Cheap and effective, the rubber rug pads are perfect except for one simple detail. Yeah, there’s a reason why there are more expensive alternatives to them.

Rubber rug pads are known for leaving traces on the floor. After only few months of use they leave a sticky residue on any kind of floor. It looks like most of them are PVC-based. They bond to the polyurethane floor sealant over time. Besides that, some of them come with a weird coating which only adds to the trouble.

If you don’t care about your hardwood floor, then you probably just found the solution. Otherwise, you might want to consider a different solution.

2. Rubber Shelf Liner
Creativity is your friend when it comes to finding budget alternatives to something. For instance, a roll of common rubber shelf liner might be used as a replacement to pads, especially designed for rugs.

Same as universal rubber pads, rubber shelf liner can be found in any big-box mart. What’s great about this material is that it has almost the same texture as the expensive rug pads. The installation process is pretty straightforward:
First, measure the length of your rug. Cut several strips of the liner according to the length of the rug and place them on the floor. Then, roll up the rug, and place one of the ends on the end of the aligned strips. Finally, carefully unroll the rug (avoid any wrinkles) and that’s it!

Nevertheless, same as with universal rubber pads, some kinds of rubber shelf are made of cheap material that leaves residue on any surface it touches. It’s a good idea to periodically check the floor under the rubber to ensure that it’s free form any sticky residues.

3. Should You Use Carpet Tape for Oriental Rugs?

Many homeowners claim that double-sided carpet tapes are a decent alternative to rubber carpets or rubber bands. The tapes are cheap and don’t devastate your floor.
But it’s all about personal preferences. As a zealous user of woolen oriental rugs, I don’t consider carpet tape as an option. You’ll see, the tape adhesive won’t harm the floor, but it will stick to each and every fiber of the hand-knotted Oriental rug. The day you want to move it, you will face the obvious need to tear the rug apart. It won’t break, of course, but its intricate pattern might be deformed, since the adhesive might pull the knots that form it.
Now, if you use tufted rugs, then the adhesive will more likely stick to the synthetic backing and won’t harm the rug itself.
The remains of carpet tape adhesive might be a pain to remove from hardwood floors, though. If done improperly, that might also damage the floor surface.

4. Felt Rug Pads as an Eco-Friendly Option

If none of the three previous options seem to fit your needs, then you probably should consider using felt rug pads. Those won’t harm either your rug or your floor. Made of recycled materials, Felt rug pads offer great cushioning properties and are hands down the best option for large rugs.
Now, felt isn’t exactly the grippiest material you can find. It is better than nothing, but it’s definitely not enough for small rugs, unless there is furniture on top of them. Talking about furniture, felt rug pads are a great way to reduce premature pile wear from heavy furniture or intense foot traffic.

5. Natural Rubber Pads

Natural rubber pads are made of rubber, rather than of a PVC-derivative plastic. They might be slightly more expensive than the ones we’ve mentioned earlier, but they do the trick. They possess great gripping properties; while at the same time do not damage either your floor or rug. What could be better?
Natural rubber doesn’t have the cushioning qualities of felt, though. There is a way to combine both. In fact, several companies manufacture natural rubber/felt hybrid rugs, which combine the best qualities of both materials.

If you can spend some extra dollars, then you might want to check heat pressed rubber/felt hybrids. Those use no adhesive to keep the two materials together, thus eliminating the presence of any potentially harmful chemical. Those rugs have it all: they have great anti-slip and cushioning qualities, while at the same time they don’t damage your hardwood surface or your oriental rug.

That said, there are certainly other cool ways to secure your rug. Do you have a favorite one you’d like to talk about? Please feel free to share it here.