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Are Jute Backing Rugs Safe For Hardwood Floors?

When it comes to jute backing a lot of people wonder are jute backing rugs safe for hardwood floors?

To put it simply, jute backing is not safe for hardwood floors because it will scratch and damage the floor, even more so in high traffic areas.

There are a lot of misconceptions about jute backing being safe for hardwood floors because it is a natural material, but these are misinformed. Read the rest of this article to find out exactly why jute backing is not safe for a hardwood floor and what measures you can take to keep your floor safe from it.

What Is Jute Backing?

Every rug has a backing that is used to attach the fibres of the rug to it. A rug backing faces the floor and provides grip and stability to the rug.

Jute backing is simply a type of rug backing that is made from the material jute, which is a natural fibre produced from flowerings plants of the family Malvaceae. Jute fibres are associated with being long, soft and shiny and are commonly made into ropes and other things.

Jute is really common because it is extremely cheap and can be grown and produced easily. The main production of jute is from India, followed by Bangladesh and then China.

Why Jute Backed Rugs Aren’t Safe For Hardwood Floors

The primary reason why jute backed rugs aren’t safe for hardwood floors is that the jute fibres can scratch the floor, leaving scratches and marks that require sanding to get rid of.

Unlike other backing materials such as polypropylene, jute does not cause a chemical reaction between the backing and floor and instead causes an entirely physical issue. This makes quite the difference to what kind of damage you will get, and in a beneficial way.

Other floor backings that cause chemical reactions between the rug and floor create much harder to remove stains and marks than just scratches, which is the only benefit that jute has over them.

So, jute will scratch your hardwood floor and this becomes more prominent in high traffic areas such as a hallway or kitchen; but how exactly can you protect your floor against this?

How To Protect A Hardwood Floor From Jute Backing

The simplest way to protect your floor from a jute-backed rug is to buy a rug pad, which is a pad designed specifically to go underneath your rug to prevent any damage to it.

Rug pads are made from materials that will not damage your floor in any way; whether that be from a scratch from a jute-backed rug, or from a chemical reaction such as from a polypropylene rug on a vinyl floor.

When it comes to hardwood floors the best material for a rug pad is felt. Felt pads are made from a combination of fibres and are made specifically to not damage the flooring in any way.

Our top choice when it comes to felt rug pads for a hardwood floor is this pad by RUGPADUSA, which will provide that needed protection against jute backing.

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08/14/2022 09:37 am GMT

Due to the density and plushness of this pad it will actually make your rug feel more comfortable and give it more of a cushioned feeling when you walk on it. Although it can be a bit expensive to buy a rug as well as a rug pad, it is worth it in the long run as it will prevent any repairs being needed for the flooring underneath; especially if you have jute backing.

Should The Rug Pad Be The Same Size As The Rug?

Once you’ve made the choice to purchase a rug pad you need to consider what size you should use.

We recommend cutting the pad and leaving half an inch of space between the rug pad and the rug itself so that the rug is in essence half an inch larger around its circumference.

The reason to keep your rug slightly larger than the rug pad all around is so the edges of the rug can taper towards the ground, reducing tripping hazards and the likelihood of fraying occurring. This is why it makes sense to buy a slightly larger rug pad than what you need and then you are able to cut it into the right size.

Does Jute Damage Other Types Of Floors?

Unfortunately, jute backing can also cause issues with other types of flooring as well. We recommend using a rug pad regardless of your type of flooring if you have a jute-backed rug, just to err on the side of caution.


Vinyl flooring, despite being known for its durability, can also get scratched by jute. It is not quite as easy to scratch as laminate however so you will have a bit more breathing room with this type of flooring.


Laminate flooring, believe it or not, is actually quite susceptible to scratches.

This means when it comes to jute backing you need to be especially careful to not cause scratches to it. Luckily a rug pad will work just as well to protect the laminate floor as it does for hardwood.

Final Thoughts

Don’t forget that jute, despite being a natural fibre, can still cause damage to a hardwood floor.

The best way to counteract this is by using a rug pad to provide much-needed protection to your rug. If you have any other questions regarding rug backings then don’t hesitate to contact us here!