The main reason you probably picked vinyl flooring for your home is that it's renowned for being extremely hard-wearing.
So, it might come as a surprise that you actually have to be careful about which rug pad you place on your vinyl floors, as some will react badly with your floor's finish and damage it permanently.
Read on to make sure you avoid a disaster and instead pick the perfect pad to keep a rug anchored to your vinyl floor.
Why you need a rug pad for a vinyl floor
Place a rug on any hard surface and it will slip and bunch up. Vinyl flooring is no exception.
If you don't put a non-slip rug pad under a rug that sits on vinyl flooring, you'll end up having to straighten it out just about every time you walk past it. Your attractive accessory will also be so slippy underfoot that it will be a tripping hazard.
Vinyl floors are known for their durability, but even they're easily scuffed, scratched, and stained by a rug that hasn't been anchored down. A rug pad will therefore extend the life of your flooring and your rug.
And because vinyl floors don't provide any cushioning, a thick rug pad will make your rug a lot more comfortable to walk over in bare feet or socks. Plus, the more cushioning under your rug, the longer it will last.
Your rug pad will also add the kind of soundproofing that can go a long way in a room with a hard and echo-y floor.
Last but not least, a rug pad will anchor your rug in place so firmly that you can vacuum straight over it rather than having to lift it up. Who doesn't love making the housework easier?
What to look for in a rug pad for vinyl flooring
It might seem like overkill to proceed with caution over the purchase of a rug pad. But pick the wrong one and you could quickly ruin your shiny new luxury vinyl plank floors.
Here's why (deep breath):
Vinyl flooring is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a material that gets badly damaged by the chemicals that "off-gas" from the synthetic plastics that cheap, imported rug liners are usually made from. And because this happens at a chemical level, there's no way of restoring your flooring once it's been ruined by a cheap rubber rug pad.
What's more, bargain basement rug liners are usually coated in chemical adhesives to enhance their grip by literally sticking them to your floor. It's only a matter of time until this adhesive deteriorates, damaging and discoloring your floor – and your rug – in the process.
Last but not least, cheap rubber pads are often made overseas in countries where manufacturers aren’t subject to the same stringent quality controls as in the US. That means they can get away with using phthalates, a class of chemicals used to make plastics tougher and harder to break that are extremely toxic to both humans and animals. Not exactly the kind of thing you want in your home!
So, when it comes to picking a rug pad for vinyl flooring, be sure to go for one with either a felt, soybean oil-based polymer blend, or viscoelastic memory foam backing. Avoid synthetic rubbers at all costs, as they're certain to ruin your floor.
The best rug pads for vinyl floors
Each of these three rug pads is made from quality organic materials, making it the perfect choice for vinyl flooring.
They're also all made here in the USA and come with a 10-year warranty and free delivery and returns.
Our Anchor Grip rug pad has been specifically engineered to be used on vinyl floors and urethane finishes.
Made from a soybean oil-based polymer blend, it provides plenty of grip without sacrificing a low profile. Plus, it doesn't contain a drop of the chemicals that damage, deteriorate, and discolor vinyl flooring's finish.
Because it’s made from organic materials, it's a sustainable and non-toxic alternative to a cheap, imported rug pad full of harmful chemicals.
After a vinyl-flooring-friendly comfort boost for a large area rug? Look no further than our Eco-Plush pad, which can add an extra level of luxury that's ideal for a living room or bedroom.
The Eco-Plush is made from unused carpet fibers that are tightly woven into an eco-friendly and extremely comfortable felt pad. And because it contains zero glues, bonding agents, or adhesives, it won't "off-gas" and ruin your luxury vinyl flooring.
Available in three thicknesses – 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" – the Eco-Plush is the perfect pad to sit under a larger rug that doesn’t need non-slip grip.
Our Cloud Comfort rug pad gives the last word in underfoot comfort.
Made from sustainable memory foam, it makes your area rug as soft and comfy as a mattress. All that cushioning is extremely forgiving on your rug's fibers too, helping to extend its lifespan.
What's more, Cloud Comfort's proprietary moisture barrier protects floors from spills while also letting your vinyl flooring breathe. And that's all on top of its unparalleled sound absorption, comfort, and insulation – perfect for a large area rug that lies flat on its own.
Other things you need to know
You've got to be more careful than usual when you're picking a rug pad to sit on a vinyl floor. Here are a few things you need to know before you take the plunge.
Can you put rugs on vinyl plank flooring?
If you've just laid some luxury vinyl plank flooring the last thing you want to do is damage it.
Luckily, rugs are completely fine to place on vinyl plank floors – and a great way to add a pop of color and pattern to a space. Just make sure to avoid rugs with a rubber backing, as this could damage your floor.
Do you need a rug pad on vinyl plank flooring?
A rug without a rug pad beneath it will slip and slide on vinyl flooring and can scuff and stain its finish.
Luckily, a rug pad is a simple and affordable way to protect your vinyl plank floor from this wear and tear, extending the life of your flooring and your rug.
Can you use rubber-backed rugs on vinyl flooring?
Steer clear of rubber-backed rugs for your vinyl flooring, as they'll react with your floor's finish, damaging and discoloring it in the process.
The best rug pads for vinyl floors – like the three we've highlighted above – are made of organic materials.