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How To Remove Rug Spots From Hardwood Floors

Updated: Oct 14, 2019

Q: I moved the throw rugs I had in my kitchen, and now I can see the pattern of the back of the rug on the floor. How do I get that off?

Many area rugs have backings that grip the floor but are unkind to wood floor finishes. The plasticizers in the backings actually damage the finish; it's this chemical change that is creating the pattern you see on the floor.

So, unfortunately, no amount of cleaning is going to remove what you see. Having the floor abraded and recoated by a professional may be enough to remove the marks; but it's likely that the floor must be resanded. In the future, remember that only rugs with a natural backing are safe to use on a wood floor.  Q: I thought my contractor could just put new finish on my floors, but he's telling me they should be resanded. What does that mean? How do you know?

When your contractor talks about "recoating," that means he's going to lightly abrade the finish on the floor  and put a new coat of finish on, or he's going to use a chemical recoating system that can put a new coat of  finish on the floor without any abrasion. When he says "re-sand," that means re-sanding. One big indicator that tells you if you need a recoat or a re-sand is how much finish is left on the floor. If there are bare spots on the floor, where there isn't any finish left, you can't just recoat. A floor with bare spots has to be re-sanded. 

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