How to Keep a Rug in Place on Wood Floors: 4 Ways That Really Work

How to Keep a Rug in Place on Wood Floors: 4 Ways That Really Work

An area rug, if not properly secured, can pose a significant safety risk for your family. Picture this: your mom could trip over a sliding area rug and break her hip. You could slip on a mat and spill hot coffee all over yourself.

Alternatively, your kids could end up breaking something valuable while running over the bunched up rug you’ve been meaning to secure.

Perhaps you’re looking for some peace of mind about the potential safety hazards of your sliding rug. You need a solution that will securely hold your rug and protect the hardwood floor you invested so much to install.

We get it.

So, we've put together a list of the best ways you can prevent rugs from sliding on your hardwood floor. You’ll also learn about the additional benefits of each solution.

Ready? Let's get to it.

4 Ways to Stop Rugs From Moving on Hardwood Floors

There are various ways to keep your mats from sliding on hardwood floors, and today we’ll cover four of the most effective methods.

But first…

Why Do Rugs Move on a Hardwood Floor?

The main reason area rugs slide on a hardwood floor is because there's no grip between the floor and the rug. So the rugs will move at the slightest push.

Besides the fact the rugs sliding around on your wood floors being a potential injury risk, it's also just really annoying. And if you are taking extra care with hardwood flooring, then you'll want to chose a non-slip solution that doesn't cause any damage.

Here are the most effective ways to hold your carpets securely on a hardwood floor.


1. Use a Non-Slip Rug Pad


Cost: high
Effectiveness: high
Ease of Installation: easy
Damage Risk: low
Longevity: long term

A anti slip rug underlay is the best solution when trying to hold your rugs in place on a hardwood floor. Here are the reasons why you should be using a rug pad:

Offer Comfort and Quiet

A rug pad provides an additional layer between the floor and your area rug, giving your feet a plusher surface.

Additionally, a non-slip rug pad absorbs noise and foot impact. So, if you live in an apartment, it’ll help with soundproofing.

Prevent Accidents

Having a non-slip rug pad helps you avoid tripping or sliding. Furthermore, it’ll prevent your area rug from forming wrinkles or curling at the corners.

Protect Your Floors

A quality rug pad absorbs spills because it’s made of spongey materials like foam rubber, which absorbs liquids.

Also, a breathable rug pad allows air to circulate between your area rug and the floor, which prevents bacteria from forming on the hardwood.

Moreover, since a rug pad prevents dirt from getting onto the floor, it ensures that your floors remain as impeccable as when they were installed.

Prolong the Life of Your Rug

Using dense felt rug pads like the Eco Plush and Superior Lock will help your rugs spring back quickly when stepped on.

So, when picking a rug pad for your home, choose one made with natural materials over plastic. A cheap plastic rug pad will:

  1. Discolors Your Hardwood Floor. A plastic rug pad is made using a combination of toxic chemicals like phthalates that can stain your hardwood floor.
  2. Sticks to Your Floor. Most plastic rug pads have too much adhesive, causing them to stick to and damage your floors.
  3. They stick to themselves. You may find that some plastic rug pads will stick to themselves, forming lumps at the bottom of the rug, which defeats the purpose of having a rug pad in the first place.

So, invest in a rug pad that's made with natural materials to keep your floors safe from scrapes, stains, discoloration, and disintegration.


2. Use Silicone Caulk to Keep Rugs From Slipping


Cost: low
Effectiveness: high
Ease of Installation: easy
Damage Risk: medium
Longevity: long term

Martha Stewart says that you should apply lines of hot glue to the bottom of your rug, then place the mat on top once the glue’s dry.

Alternatively, you can use silicone caulk to preform the same function. The rug will stop sliding over your floor immediately because the rubbery silicone strips keep it in place.

These are some of the benefits of using silicone caulk to keep your run in place:

Better Grip

Due to its adhesiveness, silicone provides better grip than any other non-slip solution. So, it’s the best solution to keep an area rug in high traffic areas like entryways in place for longer.

Save Money

You can easily find silicone caulk at your nearest hardware store if you don’t already have some in your garage; plus, it’s inexpensive.

That said, although silicone caulk can be an excellent alternative to buying rug pads, you may experience some challenges when using it, including:

  1. Pulls Rug Fibers. It’s unwise to use silicone caulk to keep woven and oriental rugs in place because the adhesive will pull on the rug’s fibers when you try to remove the rug for cleaning.
  2. Leaves Residue on the Floor. Like most adhesives, dried hot glue or silicone caulk will leave residue on the floor. If you intend to use an adhesive to secure your mats, use it on rugs in low traffic areas because the increased foot impact will cause the dried glue to leave more residue on your floor.


3. Use Rug Gripper or Tape


Cost: low
Effectiveness: medium
Ease of Installation: easy
Damage Risk: high
Longevity: short term

One option is to place a rug gripper in strips at the bottom of your rug — at the corners or along the length — to hold it in place. This way, your rug won’t get bunched up or have curled ends, preventing you from slipping over it.

Here’s why a rug gripper is effective at securing your area rug:

Easier to Vacuum

Since the rug tape holds your rug securely in place, it makes vacuuming easier and faster.


Just like silicone caulk, you can easily get a rug gripper at any decent hardware store. Moreover, most rug grippers are inexpensive and offer the same grip as some of the pricier options.


A quality rug tape can be reused, adjusted, or moved when repositioning the rugs in your home, which helps you save even more money.

Choosing a quality tape made explicitly for wooden floors is essential to protect both your rug and floor from damage. To ensure you pick the right carpet tape, check the packaging to see if the tape is double-sided carpet tape.

Most double-sided carpet tapes are safe to use on wooden floors.

However, some of the challenges you may face when using carpet tape include:

  1. Pulls Rug Fibers. When you use carpet tape, you run the risk of pulling fibers from your rug. To avoid this, you should only use tape on inexpensive rugs, so you don't damage your more valuable rugs.
  2. Adhesion Causing Problems. Due to its adhesive nature, carpet tape is hard to remove from wood floors. As such, they easily damage the finishing of your floors. And removing the rug for cleaning will more often than not leave residue on the floor.
  3. Loses Grip Over Time. A rug gripper placed on a carpet in a high traffic area starts losing its grip faster than a low-traffic area because of the increased foot impact.


4. Use Velcro


Cost: low
Effectiveness: high
Ease of Installation: easy
Damage Risk: medium
Longevity: short term

Velcro straps are an excellent alternative to using carpet grippers because they’re more friendly on your carpet and floor.

So, why should you use velcro to help an area rug stay in place?

Easy to Install and Remove

Velcro is simple to install on your area rug since all you need to do is remove the protective backing on the velcro, attach it to the back of your area rug, and anchor it to the floor.

It's also easy to remove on cleaning day because you just peel off the velcro then wash your carpet.

Easy to Use

Velcro is easy to use because it’s packaged with pre-cut straps ready for use. But that doesn't mean that you can't trim the already cut straps to your preferred size.

Protects Your Floor

Velcro helps keep your carpet in place, which then protects your floors from scrapes, scratches, and damage caused by dirt, sand, or furniture.

Furthermore, velcro is waterproof and non-porous, so it provides a layer of protection for your floors against spills.

Velcro straps are an excellent solution to sliding carpets, but they also have drawbacks.

These drawbacks include:

  1. Become Loose. If you put velcro on area rugs in high traffic areas, the consistent impact can loosen the fibers, which may cause the carpet to move around. To avoid this, make sure to change the velcro frequently.
  2. Damage the Floor. Just like carpet tape, velcro straps are adhesive and may harm your floor.


How to Secure Your Rug And Protect Your Wood Floors



It’s essential to protect your wooden floors from scratches, stains, and moisture damage.


Aside from offering a natural beauty to your home, wood flooring increases the value of your house, which is excellent news if ever you plan on selling it.

Now, some methods of keeping rugs in place can damage your wood flooring by leaving permanent marks or stains. Some may even dull the finish on your hardwood floor.

Therefore, it’s critical to carefully select a solution that keeps your rugs in place while protecting your floors from damage and deterioration. Of all the methods we provided, a rug pad will do the best job of protecting both your rug and the floor while offering extra padding.


FAQs About How to Keep Rugs From Sliding on Wood Floors

We’ve established the four best ways to keep rugs from sliding on your hardwood floor. Now, we compiled a set of Frequently Asked Questions to help you choose the best method for your home.

What Do You Put Under Rugs on Hardwood Floors?

  1. Non-slip rug pads
  2. Silicone caulk or hot glue
  3. Rug grippers
  4. Velcro

Do Area Rugs Ruin Hardwood Floors?

No, quality area rugs won’t ruin hardwood floors.

A quality area rug is breathable to allow air circulation and absorb any damage that the floor would otherwise sustain. Additionally, the rug’s colors shouldn’t run, staining your hardwood floor.

Are Rubber Backed Rugs Bad for Wood Floors?

Yes, rubber-backed rugs are bad for wood floors because the backing can discolor them and take away the shine. Or worse, leave permanent marks on your hardwood floor.

If you decide on using a rug with rubber backing on your wood floor, ensure you place it over a breathable rug pad like RugPro for high traffic areas and Super Lock Natural or Nature's Grip for low traffic areas.

Is Rug Tape Safe for Hardwood Floors?

It depends on the type of rug tape you choose. Rug tapes explicitly made for wood floors are safe to use and won’t cause any damage.

However, carpet tapes not specified for wood floors may leave a residue on the floor. So, check the product descriptions and customer reviews on the tape to purchase the right one.

What Are the Best Rug Pads for Hardwood Floors?

The best rug pads for hardwood floors are those made with:

  1. Natural rubber, like Super Lock Natural and Nature’s Grip
  2. Felt and natural rubber, like RugPro and Contour Lock
  3. Felt only like Eco Plush

Are Rugs Necessary on Hardwood Floors?

No, rugs are not necessary on a hardwood floor. But there are benefits to having a rug on a hardwood floor, including:

  1. Comfort — a rug provides a cozy feel and acts as a noise insulator
  2. Décor — helps to unify colors in a room
  3. Protection — acts as a layer of protection against scuffing and scraping by furniture
  4. Warmth — a rug keeps your feet warm on cold days

What Should You Not Put on a Hardwood Floor?

To protect your hardwood floor, here are some things that you shouldn’t put on them:

  1. Rubber-backed rugs
  2. Double-sided tape not explicitly made for hardwood floors
  3. Plastic rug pads