While itself is aesthetically up there, one thing remains amiss about vinyl plank flooring – it just doesn’t provide the cozy appeal we all need for our flooring. As such, you could find it tempting to supplement it with a rug as a way to ramp up the texture.
Now, if that’s what you have in your mind, you could be wondering whether a rug will work well with your vinyl plank flooring. After all, not all materials are safe for use on this type of flooring. So, is rug a safe addition? Well, keep reading to discover.
Do You Need a Rug Pad on Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Before we answer this question, it’s worth mentioning that rugs can safely go on vinyl plank flooring. But you have to be careful about the type of rug you choose. In other words, not all carpets are safe for vinyl floors.
More of that is coming shortly. But before we get there, let’s take a quick look at our main question – Is a rug pad necessary for vinyl plank flooring?
Though not always a necessity, a rug pad between a vinyl plank flooring and the rug remains a brilliant idea. It will benefit you in lots of ways.
- Reducing carpet wear
- Protecting the vinyl floor from scratches by the rug backing
- Enhancing the visual depth of the carpet
- Providing better traction to keep the rug put
- Offering extra cushioning
With that said, as you choose the right rug for use, we recommend that you also pay attention to getting a nice rug pad. A rug pad will save your floor, carpet, and wallet too!
Which Kind of Rugs Can You Use on Vinyl Plank Flooring?
When buying rugs for your vinyl floor, consider cotton, wool, handwoven, and colorfast varieties. They are all friendly to vinyl plank flooring. However, rugs coming with rubber aren’t.
But isn’t a rug just a rug? Well, that’s a common misconception. The fact is a rug isn’t just a rug! That’s more evident when it comes to vinyl plank flooring. While some rugs are friendly to this flooring, others aren’t. A case in point is rubber-backed rugs.
So, “why rubber?” You could wonder!
Generally, rubber isn’t bad. In fact, it offers better traction than most materials. That explains why most furniture foot caps are of this material. Those small attachments at the end of your chair or desk aren’t there to only protect your floor from scratches. They also ensure that the piece from slipping.
That’s just one area where rubber outshines other materials. There are more. But again, all isn’t sunshine and rainbows for this material. As much as it comes in handy in many applications, rubber is the number one enemy of your vinyl plank flooring.
A vinyl floor features polyvinyl chloride and additives such as plasticizers. In the presence of heat, whether from sunshine or friction from foot traffic, these two compounds react with the rubber in the rug backing to cause yellow staining and discoloration of the vinyl floor.
Unnoticed for a while, the carpet may even stick to the floor. That’s another problem of its own. So yes, if you have to add a rug on your vinyl floor, be sure to shun the rubber-backed varieties.
Nevertheless, rubber isn’t the only threat to your beautiful vinyl plank flooring. Also, keep away from rugs coming with jute backing. Jute is natural and thus friendly to vinyl. But its texture will scratch your delicate floor. That’s not what you want. So yes, on top of the rubber, avoid buying jute-backed rugs.
If you already have a jute or rubber rug, don’t panic. You can utilize it on other types of flooring within your home. If not, it’s still possible to use these rugs with your vinyl floor.
However, a rug pad here is a must-have. Again, not just any rug pad! It has to be vinyl-friendly. It also needs to be thick enough. That way, it will protect the floor from exposure to the rug backing.
What Should You Not Use on Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Knowing what rug to use and what you shouldn’t is one way to evade trouble with your vinyl floor. However, to keep your vinyl plank flooring in tip-top condition takes more than just that. Here are a few other things you shouldn’t use on your vinyl plank flooring.
1. Steam Cleaner
Mopping the floor can be a tedious affair. That’s especially true if you have to clean a large area. Most people opt for a steam cleaner. This innovation goes a long way to save time and hassle. However, if you have vinyl plank flooring, never use a steam cleaner on it.
While highly resilient, there’s one thing a luxury vinyl flooring can’t stand – high heat! The high temperatures from a steam cleaner will cause irreversible damage to your beautiful floor.
Of the most common household chemicals is bleach. You can use bleach for a wide array of tasks, ranging from brightening white clothes to removing mold and mildew and so much more. But it doesn’t work well with vinyl floors.
Using bleach on a vinyl floor will compromise the lifespan of the flooring. This household chemical will erode the vinyl’s protective layer. Of course, it may not happen the first or even the second time of use. However, with prolonged use, bleach will gradually wear your floor out.
3. Abrasive Cleaners
If you’ve ever dealt with stubborn stains that won’t come out no matter how hard you try, then you know how tempting it can be to grab an aggressive scrubber. And while that’s absolutely fine for some types of floors, it’s never an option when talking about vinyl plank flooring.
As much as most manufacturers claim vinyl floors to be scratch-resistant, that’s not the case. All vinyl floors are way too susceptible to scratches. They will catch scratches more easily than one may think.
So yes, the next time you’re cleaning your vinyl flooring and encounter stubborn stains, don’t give in to the thought of using highly abrasive scrubbers. These scrubbers are likely to cause more harm than good.
4. Ammonia-Based Cleaners
Steam cleaners, bleach, and highly abrasive scrubbers are all a no-no for luxury vinyl flooring. But that’s not all! Also, avoid ammonia-based cleaning solutions. Ammonia products are notorious for causing cracks on the vinyl floor.
With cracks, water ingression becomes very likely. And when water gets into the vinyl layers, you better begin thinking about installing a new floor. That’s definitely not what you want. So again, keep off ammonium-based cleaners.
Can You Use Pine Sol on Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Yes, it’s safe to use Pine Sol on your vinyl plank flooring. This multipurpose household cleaner will go a long way to enhance the shine of your vinyl flooring. Only ensure that you use it appropriately.
Pine-sol is becoming a go-to cleaning solution for most homeowners – and with a good reason. It’s noncarcinogenic, versatile, and doesn’t contain ammonia or any other dangerous ingredient for your floor. Plus, it’s available in different fragrances, so you can choose the one that best matches your interest.
But again, how you use this cleaner matters a lot. As much as pine sol is safe for vinyl floors, like any other product, it can produce an undesirable outcome when you don’t use it correctly.
Firstly, you have to mix it adequately. That’s the first step of avoiding catastrophe. Undiluted, pine sol is way too harsh for almost any flooring, leave alone vinyl. Here, the rule of thumb is a ¼ cup of pine sol for every gallon of water.
In addition, ensure that you avoid leaving puddles of water on the vinyl floor when and after cleaning. They could trigger a chemical reaction between pine sol and the chemical compounds on the flooring.
You see, as much as pine sol will deliver excellent results for most applications, this cleaner shouldn’t sit on any floor for very long. And yes, that tells you why you need to rinse the floor immediately of any traces.
Can You Use a Vacuum on Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Sure, vacuuming is okay for vinyl plank flooring. Actually, we recommend that you vacuum your vinyl floor at least every week. Vacuuming is a reliable way to keep your flooring in the best condition.
Vacuuming gets rid of even the smallest particles of dirt. This method will save you elbow grease when cleaning your vinyl flooring. But again, only use a soft brush. That way, you won’t leave scratches on the floor.
In addition, if you just installed your vinyl plank flooring, wait for at least 48 hours before using a vacuum cleaner. That’s to allow for healing of the floor before you can begin moving anything on it.
Can You Use Polypropylene Rugs on Vinyl Plank Flooring?
While it’s hands down one of the best materials for rugs, polypropylene rugs aren’t the best option if you have vinyl plank flooring. The polypropylene in itself isn’t dangerous to vinyl floors in any way. The real problem of these rugs lies in the backing.
Most polypropylene carpets use rubber for their backing. Rubber isn’t bad for some floor types. However, as earlier said, this material is a real threat to the beauty and lifespan of your vinyl floor.
If you have to settle for a polypropylene carpet, choose one with a vinyl-friendly backing. One with a rubber backing can still do. But that will come with an additional cost of a rug pad.
Rugs on vinyl plank flooring offer lots of perks. However, not all are safe for this type of floor. Shun carpets that come with rubber and jute backing. While these materials are okay for most floor types, they don’t go well with vinyl flooring.
Also, don’t use bleach, ammonia-based cleaning solutions, steam cleaners, and abrasive scrubbers. Each of these will harm your floor. As for vacuum cleaners and pine-sol, they work great for vinyl floors. But be sure to follow the necessary precautions.