How to Waterproof a Rug In 3 Steps


how to waterproof a rug

Rugs and rain aren’t friends.

If you have a rug on your patio, you’ll know what we’re talking about.

Stepping on a carpet that absorbed tons of rainwater isn’t my idea of a nice wintery day.

That’s why I’ll show you how to waterproof a rug in easy steps anyone can do.

You’ll basically grab the rug, place a waterproof fabric underneath, and use a waterproof fabric seal on its upper side.

That way, you can leave it out in the rain as much as you’d like.

You’ll need a piece of waterproofing fabric, vinyl grip pads, and a fabric seal spray for waterproofing the rug.

You’ll also need the basic tools, such as scissors, carpet tape, etc.

1. Waterproof The Underside

The rug’s bottom is the primary recipient of any moisture on the floor. That’s why it needs as much waterproofing as the upper layer does. 

Since it’s not visible to the eyes, you can pick any waterproof fabric you want in any shape.

It won’t matter since no one will see it anyway. You just need to make sure it’s efficient enough.

underside of rug

Cut your waterproof fabric to the rug’s size, and stick it to the bottom. Bear in mind that you’ll stick it with the waterproof side facing the rug. You can use double tape or carpet tape to stick it.

After you’re done with this step, stick the adhesive grip pad below.

This step is optional, but it’s better to put a vinyl pad to avoid slipping incidents.

The waterproofing fabric won’t provide good traction with the floor, so the grip pads are necessary.

2. Waterproof The Upper Fabric

The rug’s bottom isn’t the only side that needs waterproofing.

The rainwater will fall directly on the upper side, so you need to waterproof that as well.

However, waterproofing this side is much easier since you’ll only need a fabric seal spray.

waterproof the rug with a spray

Thompson’s spray is one of the best options available on the market, and most people who’ve used it said it’s pretty efficient.

Firstly, spray one coat on the rug, then wait until it’s completely dry.

You don’t need to spray heavily; just leave a thin layer and spray from afar. Afterward, leave the rug to air-dry for four hours. 

If you want, you can test the spray before you start to check if it changes the fabric’s color.

It reportedly doesn’t, but each material is different from the other. 

After the first coat dries, spray one more layer and leave the rug until it dries again.

3. Test It

Now, the actual waterproofing steps are done, but testing the rug is essential to check if you succeeded.

Bear in mind that you can’t expose it to moisture until 24 hours pass, though. That’s when the spray will be dry, and it’ll start working. 

You can test the rug using anything, whether it’s water, a beverage, or any kind of moisture. It should slide off the fabric without being absorbed.

If you notice it’s getting absorbed rather than repelled, you should add another coat of the spray and test again.

Any fabric shouldn’t need more than four coats to start repelling the water.

You’ll want to test the bottom, too. Spill some water on the ground and put the rug on top.

When you pick it up again, the water should be easy to wipe without being absorbed into the material. You can also try stepping on it to check if it’s too slippery.

Why Waterproof a Rug Instead of Buying a Waterproof One?

Waterproof outdoor rugs are available at many stores, and they’re ready-to-use without applying any spray or sticking any fabric to them.

So, why don’t you buy one and save yourself the hassle of the waterproofing steps?

Well, for starters, waterproofing the rug is much more affordable than buying a waterproof one.

You won’t need to spend more than 20$ on average to get the necessary tools. For this amount of money, you can’t buy an efficient waterproof rug.

On top of that, there’s the fact that you’ll be able to stick to your chosen rug’s design.

Waterproof rugs are mostly made of rubber, so they aren’t available in a lot of attractive designs.

You’ll be able to keep the rug you like while adding a waterproof layer on top.

Closing Thoughts

As you’ve seen, there’s nothing easier than waterproofing a rug.

As long as you have the right fabric seal spray, you’ll be just fine. 

Just make sure you test your mat before using it, and have fun spilling drinks on it!

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