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Will an Outdoor Rug Damage a Wood Deck

Outdoor rugs are frequently used to style outdoor spaces like patios, decks, and porches. With wooden decks and surfaces, you may be concerned that the rug will damage the wood with moisture, splintering, or fading.The good news is, the proper rug won’t damage your wood deck: in fact, it will actually protect it!

Learn More About Outdoor Rugs & Wooden Decks

  1. Are Outdoor Rugs Bad for Decks?
  2. Type of Outdoor Rug Materials and their Impact on Wood Decks
  3. Preventing Damage to Your Wood Deck with Outdoor Rugs
  4. How an Outdoor Rug can Protect your Deck
  5. Why You Should Use a Rug Pad

Are Outdoor Rugs Bad for Decks?

Most outdoor rugs are perfectly suited for your wood decks. Instead of the rug damaging your wooden deck, it actually provides protection from elements like rain, bright sunshine, and moving furniture. There are many different types of wooden decks out there, but outdoor rugs can be especially good for wood decks with larger gaps between the planks; in these scenarios, the spaces between the planks will help the rug dry out after being exposed to rain or moisture. Even if your deck has a very solid surface, you can still safely place an outdoor rug on top of the wood deck. However, like any other rug, it is vital to care for the rug and its surrounding space to avoid damage or general wear and tear. Choosing the right material is one easy way to care for your deck and ensure that the rug can stand up to outdoor elements.

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Queen Size Runner Rug

Type of Outdoor Rug Materials and their Impact on Wood Decks

Synthetic materials like polypropylene, polyester, and olefin are the most common options for outdoor settings, since they are highly water resistant, easy to maintain, and stain repellent. Polypropylene in particular is one of the most popular options thanks to its resistance to fading and having all the benefits listed above. With each of these water-resistant rugs, you will see that they tend to naturally dry quickly, which prevents the rug and the deck beneath it from forming mildew or rot. However, if these rugs are left in a torrential downpour or storm, they should be properly dried before returning to their designated spot. This will save the rug from damage and ensure that the rug’s moisture does not carry over to the wood. 

Natural fiber rugs like jute are also popular for outdoor spaces thanks to their versatile styles and natural textures. Unfortunately, natural fiber rugs tend to absorb moisture very quickly--even natural humidity can damage these rugs. With that, natural fiber rugs can easily be damaged by outdoor elements and can lead to the rug growing mold and staining the deck beneath it.

Preventing Damage to Your Wood Deck with Outdoor Rugs

While outdoor rugs are unlikely to damage your wood deck, there are still some simple measures you can take to better care for your rug and prevent damage from happening.

  • Proper Cleaning: Regularly sweeping your deck is a very simple, straightforward way to care for both the rug and the deck. With this cleaning, you prevent dirt and debris from building up on the deck and rug. Think of soggy leaves, tree branches, and dirt: when these elements are cleaned away, they will no longer be present as unsightly dirt and will not have the opportunity to stain or scratch the deck and rug. 
  • Rotate the rug: Rotating your rug is standard practice even for indoor rugs. By rotating the rug periodically, you ensure that no single area of the rug is always taking the brunt of foot traffic or stains. In addition to rotating the rug, we also recommend taking the rug indoors during off-seasons. Even though these rugs are difficult to damage, it is still worthwhile to take preventative steps and protect your rug when it’s not in use. 
  • Avoid Using Dark-Colored Rugs: Many outdoor rug materials avoid soaking in the sun, but in general, we recommend not using dark colored rugs on outdoor decks. Dark colors tend to absorb more heat than lighter rugs, and that facet can cause the rug to be too warm beneath your feet. Also, the hotter the rug, the more likely it is to cause discoloration to the deck and even warp the wood beneath it. 
Round rug for queen size bed
Queen Size Runner Rug

How an Outdoor Rug can Protect your Deck

Outdoor rugs rarely risk damaging your deck, which is great! But even greater than that is the fact that outdoor rugs can actually protect your deck. The rug acts as a natural barrier to protect your deck from bright sunshine, rain, and snow. If you frequently move furniture on the deck, then the rug can help prevent that furniture from scratching the deck. As if that wasn’t enough, these rugs are soft surfaces that can protect your feet from rough wooden decks and splinters. All around, using an outdoor rug on a wooden deck is a smart choice.

Why You Should Use a Rug Pad

Outdoor rug pads are a great addition to consider with your outdoor rug. The rug pad can help protect both the rug and the deck, since it can improve airflow between the rug and deck. It will also help hold the rug firmly in place, which is important for keeping it a safe accent and not a tripping hazard. Outdoor rug pads are specifically made to withstand outdoor elements, so you do not have to worry about rug pads soaking up excess moisture or deteriorating outdoors.

Round rug for queen size bed

Outdoor rugs that are specifically made for outdoor settings are highly unlikely to damage your deck, especially if you take proper care of the rug and deck with the methods detailed above. In reality, outdoor rugs are far more likely to protect your wood deck from natural elements, moving furniture, and sunshine. Because of that, outdoor area rugs are a great addition to any wood deck.


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