The beauty and resilience of laminate flooring add great value to your home. But the secret to its long-lasting value is the knowledge of how to take care of it. That’s because its protective layer (plastic coating) is sensitive to environmental changes, weight, subfloor conditions, and decoration elements.
And speaking of decoration elements, we refer to under-rugs, carpets, and paddings.
Besides decoration, soundproofing, minimizing slipperiness, and adding cushioning feel and insulation, rugs are also crucial in protecting laminate flooring because it enhances the longevity of laminate flooring by offering protection against weight, humidity, dirt, and debris from taking impact.
However, rugs can harm your laminate flooring because it blocks the UV rays from reaching the floor and thus causes discoloration under the rug. More to the point, it can also trap moisture, dirt, and debris and scratch the floor, which causes discoloration under the rug and wears down the laminate flooring finish.
A common issue manifests if you place an area rug that does not offer to pad underneath. Or if the rug has latex or rubber-backed padding.
It is, therefore, helpful to acknowledge the downside of rugs before placing them on laminate flooring. Hence, it would be best to opt for the best rug compatible and friendly with laminate flooring.
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Causes of Discolored Laminate Floor under Rug
Lack of UV-Rays Exposure
The downside of using rugs on laminate flooring is that it blocks the UV rays from reaching the laminate flooring surface.
The lack of UV rays exposure for a long time is the primary cause of laminate flooring discoloration under the rug. In addition, UV rays offset oxidation, which is essential in maintaining the laminate floor’s color.
It is evident when you compare the area under the rug to areas without the rug because the area without rugs receives more UV than the areas under the rug.
When moisture is trapped underneath the rug for a long time, it can result in discoloration, appearing in various colors on the floor. It is common to place rugs with latex or rubber padding underneath to prevent the rug from breathing.
Thus, preventing air and humidity/moisture from escaping. Moreover, the rug will trap water or moisture from the footwear going in and out each day.
Rubber or latex-padded rugs also release different chemicals used to manufacture the padding. These chemicals are harsh, and with time they react with moisture underneath the rug leading to the discoloration of the planks under the rug.
It is evident when you spot a sticky residue left behind after pulling the rug off the floor. The sticky residue is also a potential scratching risk on the laminate floor. It is worth noting using a rug without protective padding can also scratch the floor, which quickly ruins its aesthetic look.
How to Avoid Laminate Floor Discoloration under the Rug?
Laminate floor discoloration is irreversible and voids the warranty of the product. Due to this, you must replace the discolored planks to maintain the laminate floor’s uniform color and aesthetic display.
It is both expensive and cumbersome because you will have to purchase a new plank, uninstall the discolored plank and then install the new one.
Therefore, it is advisable to take precautionary measures when using rugs to prevent discoloration of the laminate floor. Below we have shared some tips to help you avoid laminate floor discoloration under the rug. They include:
Use Friendly-Padded Rugs
The type of rug determines its durability, comfort, and friendliness on the laminate flooring. When selecting a rug, it is advisable to opt for one friend for your laminate flooring. The material’s feel and components are potential causes of discoloration and scratches.
We strongly recommend opting for felt rugs made from natural materials like bamboo, grass, jute, cotton, wool, or natural fibers, or rugs with thin and smooth padding made from plastic without dark-colored dyes.
It helps to minimize scratches and the leaching of the chemical reaction between the rug and laminate flooring contact.
Bearing this in mind, you should avoid rubber or latex-padded rugs with colored dyes.
You can opt for rugs with padding made out of natural rubber because they don’t have colored dyes. But it would be completely safe if you avoid rubberized rugs because they deteriorate over time and leave behind sticky messes. In addition, it is a potential cause of scratch and discoloration.
Addressing the Spills on the rug
Rugs can absorb mishaps or spills on the rug, eventually settling at the bottom. It is very dangerous as it triggers a chemical reaction between the contact of the laminate floor and the rug. It results in the formation of a sticky mess which causes discoloration and scratches under the rug.
Suppose you accidentally spill any liquid on the rug or laminate flooring. In that case, you should immediately address it by quickly wiping up or dabbing the rug to prevent the liquid from settling under the rug. Then, air dries the rug to remove the moisture before returning it to its place.
Letting in UV-Rays
UV-rays offset the oxidation of the laminate flooring. Therefore, always open the doors and crack the windows open to let in sufficient UV rays in the room.
First, however, you should remove the rugs from the floor for the area under the rug to receive enough sunlight. Secondly, it would be wise to focus the light on areas that have been affected recently to offset discoloration. Lastly, it would be best to do this periodically to minimize the dangers of excess UV rays because it enhances discoloration.
Vacuuming and Sweeping
Often keep the laminate floors clean by vacuuming and sweeping to get rid of dirt and debris trapped underneath the rug. Both dirt and debris are the enemies of laminate flooring because they are potential causes of scratches that further dull the laminate flooring finishing.
When vacuuming laminate flooring, turn off the brush roll to prevent scratching the surface. Then, use a clean microfiber to dust the mop because it is gentler than a bristle mop or mop with lint.
Removing the Discolored Plank
Only opt for this solution if the laminate floor discoloration under the rug is severe and there is nothing you can do about it. Uninstalling and replacing the old discolored plank would be the best option because it will transform the uniform aesthetic look of your laminate floor.
However, this can be expensive and time-consuming if you select the best and most friendly rug and employ the above preventive measures. Learn how to repair laminate flooring.
Read More on Laminate Floors
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- Laying Laminate Flooring: 13 Common Mistakes to Avoid!
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- Can You Use Goo Gone on Laminate Flooring? (Explained)