Are Rubber Mats Safe for Hardwood Floors?

Are you thinking about getting a rubber mat for your hardwood floors but worried that it might cause damage to your precious floors? If that is the case, then you’ve come to the right place, as that’s exactly what we’re going to be discussing today.

Rubber mats have a myriad of benefits. They are remarkably durable, they provide a non-slip surface, and most importantly, they are excellent shock absorbers. But, the question is, “Are rubber mats safe for hardwood floors?”

Rubber mats are safe for hardwood floors. In most cases, rubber mats will not affect hardwood flooring in any way. However, in some unfortunate cases, hardwood floors get discolored because of rubber mats.

You can easily prevent such unfortunate scenarios if you know the process of keeping your hardwood floors safe. Just keep reading in order to learn more about how to protect your hardwood floors from rubber mats. 

So, without any further ado, let’s begin!

Can I Put Rubber Mats on Hardwood Floors? 

Actually, you can put rubber mats on top of your hardwood floors. In fact, natural rubber is the best option for hardwood floors simply because of the overall safety provided by rubber mats and also for its performance. 

You should be able to safely use rubber mats on your hardwood floors without endangering the finish of your flooring, provided that you use a high-quality rubber mat. 

Furthermore, rubber mats made out of natural rubber have really strong gripping power, but at the same time, they don’t stick to the floor. That makes rubber mats desirable options for hardwood floors. 

 Are Rubber Mats Really Safe for Hardwood Floors? 

Typically, rubber mats are used in commercial as well as residential spaces as a form of temporary flooring solution. These mats come in several sizes and designs. They are frequently used in commercial gyms and cross-fit gyms. 

On the other hand, hardwood flooring is one of the most sought-after flooring solutions out there. They have so many desirable features like their durability, smooth finishes, and aesthetics. 

Hardwood floors can practically last forever if you take good care of them. There are some considerations that you need to abide by. You wouldn’t want your beautiful hardwood floors to be damaged, would you? 

In some cases, like when you want to turn your spare room into a gym room, you need to consider using rubber mats on your hardwood floors. That’s where the safety of your hardwood floors becomes an issue.

The fact is that it’s possible that your rubber mat can cause damage to your hardwood floors. But it’s highly unlikely. Sometimes, moisture gets trapped between the rubber mat and the floor, which causes damage to the floor’s surface. 

And in some cases, the rubber mat might cause stains on your floors. They could leave marks or residue on the hardwood floors, making them discolored.  

You can take preventive measures in order to protect your hardwood flooring. 

How to Prevent Rubber Mats from Damaging Your Hardwood Floors? 

There are tried and tested preventive measures that you can take in order to protect your hardwood floors from getting damaged. You have to take the following steps to accomplish that:

  1. First and foremost, you have to determine what type of finish your hardwood floor has. For instance, if you have a polyurethane finish, then it’s at risk of being damaged. An oil finish or an aluminum oxide finish, on the other hand, is relatively safe. 
  2. Next, you have to create a barrier between the rubber mat and your hardwood floor. You can do so by using a simple plastic sheet before installing the rubber mat. This also prevents any sort of chemical reactions. 

Now, you can only take preventive measures if you’re aware of the possible damage due to rubber mats beforehand.

But, in case you didn’t know, and you have stain marks on your hardwood floors due to prolonged use of rubber mats, you need to take a different approach.

First, you need to determine if the stains are just residue or actual stains. If it’s just rubber residue, then you can easily scrape it off. After that, you can wipe it down with a hardwood surface cleaner. 

However, if you have permanent discoloration of your hardwood floor, then there’s still no need to panic. You can sand the wood down and then refinish it with a thick veneer. 

What Should You Not Put On a Hardwood Floor?

In order to make sure your hardwood floor does not get stained or damaged, you need to refrain from putting certain things on your floors. Here’s a rundown of the things that can damage your hardwood floors:

1. Certain Cleaners:

You should never use alkaline products, straight ammonia, or abrasive cleaning solutions on your hardwood floors.

It will make the floor dull and scratch the finish. You should also refrain from using vinegar solution or lemon juice to clean hardwood floors.

If you are looking for a liquid cleaner for cleaning your hardwood floors, check out my favorite hardwood cleaner on Amazon by clicking here. It’s a water-based solution and very gentle on hardwood floors.

2. Rug Pads:

Rug pads come in handy as they prevent the area rugs from sliding around.

But, if you use the wrong rug pad, it will leave marks on your hardwood floors. 

3. High Heels:

Unless you want to intentionally ruin your hardwood floor, you should not wear high heels around your house.

As you know, high heels have a pointy end at the back, and your weight will get disproportionately distributed, which scratches the hardwood floor’s surface.

Does Rubber Scratch Wood Floor? 

In theory, rubber won’t scratch wood floors and should be perfectly safe to be used on hardwood floors and finishes.

As natural rubber has a non-slip surface while maintaining a thick layer of protection, it’s ideal to be used as floor pads. 

But, in some cases, rubber-backed mats can dull down your hardwood floor’s shine. It can also cause discoloration. In order to protect your hardwood floors, you can use a combination of rubber and felt pads. 

Are Rubber-backed Rugs Bad For Hardwood Floors? 

As we have discussed before, natural rubber is safe to use on hardwood floors. But, the rugs that have plastic or artificial rubber backings contain adhesives. 

These rugs are quite harsh on hardwood floors, and they do tend to cause damage to them. 

These rugs can scratch or damage your hardwood floors, and it will cost you a lot to repair them. 

Do Foam Mats Damage Hardwood Floors? 

There are some mats that are made out of PVC. And PVC is known for staining and damaging hardwood.

If you roll these mats up and store them when not in use, you’ll be able to prevent such a fate from befalling your hardwood floors. 

Can You Put Latex-backed Rugs on Hardwood Floors?

No! No matter what type of rug you may choose for your hardwood floors, you should never go for a latex-backed one.

That’s because a rug with a latex-backing will trap moisture and gasses that will ruin the finish of your hardwood floor. 

Final Thoughts 

That marks the end of our discussion about whether or not rubber mats are safe for hardwood floors.

I hope that we were able to answer your question and that you’ve found this article helpful. 

As you can see, rubber mats do have a myriad of benefits that should be overlooked. And it’s actually safe to use rubber mats on hardwood floors, for the most part. 

But, we do recommend you take preventive measures to protect your precious hardwood floors. 

Thanks for sticking with us. Till next time, bye! 

Asif Iqbal

Hi, I’m the co-owner of I had spend hundreds of hours researching on Office Chairs. This is the site where I share everything I’ve learned about office chairs.