best rug pad for vinyl plank flooring

Finding the best rug pad for vinyl plank flooring involves a bit of a science lesson. If you’re up for the learning, then work through this blog post in order. I’ll break down the different types of vinyl flooring and materials used in rugs and rug pads so that you can find the right rug pad for your home.

If you just want to find a rug pad that you know is already safe for your vinyl floor, then jump ahead to my recommendations: Top Rug Pads Safe For Vinyl Plank Flooring

Standard Vinyl Floor Versus Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl flooring comes in two main forms: standard and luxury. Standard vinyl is made from a thin layer of solid vinyl that is bonded to a backing layer of felt or fiberglass and printed with a design. It is then covered with a clear protective coating. This type of vinyl is flexible and relatively thin, with a wear layer that is typically between 10 and 15 mils thick.

In contrast, luxury vinyl is sold in multi-ply planks or tiles that are much thicker, with wear layers that range from 2 to 8 mm in thickness. Luxury vinyl is also made up of multiple layers, including a clear top coat, a wear layer, a design layer, a foam cushion, a fiberglass backing layer, and a solid PVC backing layer. Some luxury vinyl flooring may also include ground mineral content, such as pulverized limestone, in its composition.

Luxury vinyl usually comes in two “shapes”: luxury vinyl plank flooring (LVP) and luxury vinyl tile flooring (LVT).

Both standard vinyl floors and luxury vinyl plank floors are made of the same materials, including PVC. So no matter which vinyl floor type you have, you’ll want to follow the same basic principles outlined in this article.

Do You Need A Rug Pad On Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Yes, it is generally recommended to use a rug pad on vinyl plank flooring to protect the floor from damage. You might think that a rug pad is just an extra expense, but trust me, it’s worth it. A rug pad made of the right materials, such as felt or EVA, can actually protect your beautiful vinyl plank flooring from getting damaged. It can prevent staining and discoloration, as well as keep your rug from sliding around and potentially scratching up your floor. 

Plus, it can help to absorb spills and protect your floor from those little accidents that always seem to happen. So go ahead and splurge on a good rug pad – your floor (and wallet) will thank you in the long run!

What Makes Rug Pads Safe For Vinyl Plank Floors?

Rubber can be a little bit of a trouble maker for vinyl plank flooring and it’s best to avoid any rubber, whether as a rug pad or rubber-backed rug, on your vinyl floors.

Rug pads that are safe for vinyl plank flooring are usually made of materials that are not abrasive and do not contain chemicals that can damage the floor. Materials such as felt and EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) can protect vinyl plank flooring and prevent slipping, while materials such as latex or rubber can cause staining and discoloration. 

Ethylene-vinyl acetate, or EVA, is a synthetic rubber material that is often used in the construction of rug pads. It is considered safer for use on vinyl flooring than traditional rubber because it does not contain chemicals that can react with and damage the vinyl. 

Rubber, whether it be natural latex or petroleum based, contains plasticizers that help keep it flexible and soft. These plasticizers can lead to discoloration over time, so it doesn’t matter if your rubber rug is made from natural or synthetic materials – it can still suffer from this issue. 

If you’re looking for an area rug that won’t cause discoloration, consider opting for a natural backing like cotton, jute, or woven materials. If you want to keep your rug in place, consider investing in a recycled fiber rug pad or one free of plasticizers that’s guaranteed to be safe for vinyl floors. These products may be more expensive, but they’re worth it if you want to protect your floors and keep your rug securely in place.

Top Rug Pads Safe For Vinyl Plank Flooring

Many rug pads are made with latex or rubber, and many rugs have rubber backing. While this works for lots of different types of flooring, they can cause damage to hardwood floors and vinyl floors. These three rug pads are completely safe for your flooring, no matter what it is!

Best Non Slip Rug Pad For Vinyl Plank Flooring

This pad is made with felt and EVA, and is specially formulated to not stain or discolor your floors. Plus, its ribbed EVA backing provides a non slip grip to prevent bunching, shifting, and sliding. The recycled felt backing holds onto the underside of your rug to keep the surface flat and minimize tripping. This rug pad will make sure your rug stays in place, from top to bottom.

Safe For LVP

Vinyl Lock

Made of felt and EVA, this rug pad is 100% safe for vinyl flooring. It is designed to keep rugs in place, prevent bunching and shifting, block moisture, and minimize tripping.

But that’s not all (cue game show music) this pad is also low profile, so it won’t interfere with door clearance, and its solid EVA backing is great at blocking moisture, protecting your floors from spills and accidents. And the best part? It’s proudly made in the USA. So if you want to keep your rugs in place and your floors looking their best, give Vinyl Lock a try.

Best Cushioned Rug Pads For Vinyl Plank Flooring

This pad is perfect for rugs that are anchored by furniture or heavy enough to stay put on their own. It’s not non-slip, so if that’s what you’re after. But if you just want to protect your rug and your floors from contaminants that might fall through, this pad is the way to go. 

It’s safe for all floors and has been CRI Green Label Plus and LEED certified, so you can feel good about your eco-friendly choice. Plus, it’s 1/2 inch of dense (40oz sq/yd) felt will provide a luxurious cushion for your rug. And the best part? It’s made in the USA with no glues, PVC, or latex. So go ahead and upgrade your home with this premium rug pad.

Best For Luxury
8/10 Our Score


This 100% felt rug pad is safe for all flooring surfaces and is cozy underfoot.

Say hello to Cloud Comfort Memory Foam, the ultimate solution for turning your floor from a harsh surface into a plush paradise. This rug pad is made from 100% visco-elastic memory foam, so you can sink your feet into a soft, cushioned surface every time you step out of bed. 

Not only is it ultra-comfortable, but it’s also versatile enough to work on a variety of floor types, including hardwood, polyurethane finishes, stone, tile, concrete, laminate, and vinyl. 

Best Cushioning
9/10 Our Score

Cloud Comfort Memory Foam

This waterproof ultra-comfort memory foam rug pad comes in multiple thicknesses for your personal comfort.

Plus, it has a water-resistant foam layer that prevents spills and stains from ruining your floors. And the best part? It’s made right here in the USA. Just keep in mind that this pad is all about comfort, so it’s not recommended for rugs that tend to slip or bunch. Upgrade your floors with Cloud Comfort Memory Foam and never dread stepping out of bed again!

Materials Safe For Vinyl Floors

  • Natural materials. It is generally safe to use natural materials, such as cotton, jute, or other woven materials, with vinyl flooring. These materials are unlikely to damage or stain the vinyl and can be easily cleaned to maintain their appearance.
  • Hand woven rugs. Hand-woven rugs made from natural materials, such as wool, cotton, or jute, are typically safe to use on vinyl flooring. These materials do not contain any chemicals that could potentially react with or damage the vinyl surface. It is always a good idea to double-check the manufacturer’s recommendations and use a rug pad to protect both the rug and the floor.
  • Felt. 100% felt is safe to use with vinyl flooring because it is a soft and non-abrasive material that won’t scratch or damage the surface of the vinyl. It’s also non-toxic and won’t off-gas harmful chemicals that could potentially harm the vinyl or the people living in the space.
  • EVA. EVA, or ethylene-vinyl acetate, is a type of foam that is often used as a cushioning material in various products. It is safe to use with vinyl flooring because it does not contain any chemicals that can react with or damage the vinyl. It’s also a soft, pliable material that will not scratch or scuff the surface of the vinyl flooring.

Materials Unsafe For Vinyl Floors

  • Rubber. Rubber can cause damage to vinyl flooring because it contains chemicals called plasticizers, which can react with the vinyl and cause discoloration or deterioration over time. Rubber can also be abrasive and cause scratching on the surface of the vinyl, especially if it is not kept clean and free of dirt and debris.
  • Synthetic materials. Some synthetic materials, such as certain types of rubber or PVC, may contain chemicals that can react with or damage vinyl flooring. 

Common Questions

Got a few more questions about rug pads for vinyl flooring? Most people want to know which kinds of area rugs are safe for their floors and which rug pad options will keep their rug anchored. Here is what I know:

Can You Put Rugs On Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Of course you can put rugs on vinyl plank flooring! In fact, rugs can add a cozy, homey touch to any room, and they can also protect your floors from wear and tear. 

However, it’s super important to be careful about the type of rug you choose. Rubber-backed rugs, for example, can be a no-no for vinyl plank floors. See, the rubber in the backing can react with the vinyl and cause staining or discoloration. It’s not a pretty sight, trust me. 

So, if you want to spruce up your vinyl plank floors with a rug, just make sure to steer clear of ones with rubber backing. Instead, opt for a rug with a more vinyl-friendly backing, like felt or EVA. Happy decorating!

Are Polypropylene Rugs Safe For Vinyl Floors?

Steer clear of synthetic fiber rugs like Polypropylene, Nylon, and Chenille. These materials are made from chemicals that can react with the chemicals in your vinyl floors, causing staining, discoloration, and even residue. 

Trust me, you don’t want to mess with that. 

Stick with rugs made of natural materials or synthetic materials that are specifically designed for use on vinyl floors to keep your floors looking their best.

Are Ruggables Safe For Vinyl Plank Flooring?


Ruggables are actually made of two parts – a top layer that is a washable and reusable rug, and a bottom layer that is a non-slip rug pad. The rug pad is what actually goes on your floor, and it’s often made of rubber. 

And this is where things can get a little tricky when it comes to vinyl plank flooring. 

That being said, while there is no clear indication on their website whether or not their rugs are safe for vinyl plank flooring or LVP, some users on Houzz found a customer service response a few years ago that assures the customer that their rugs are indeed safe for vinyl plank flooring.

My advice? Avoid rubber at all costs and reach out to the Ruggable team to ask if your chosen rug is safe for vinyl flooring.

Are mohawk rug pads safe for vinyl plank flooring?

As long as the materials used to make the rug pad do not include rubber, latex, or synthetic materials, then it is generally safe. However, if the product description does not explicitly state that it is safe for vinyl plank flooring, then I’d choose something else. I recommend RugPadUSA’s Vinyl Lock rug pad, which is guaranteed to be safe with vinyl plank flooring and LVP.

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