No More Rubber-Backed Bath Rugs

chisueApril 24, 2011

Thanks to help from The Kitchen Table forum on GardenWeb, I hope I've thrown away my last bath rug with a ruined rubber backing. I can't count how many have been discarded over the years after the backing dries out and leaves a crumbly mess in the washer.

I've found a spray by Performix that's called "SuperGrip". You spray it on the bottom of non-rubber-backed rugs and they stay put. I just bought three nice cotton rugs. They come with the spray applied to the bottom, but it wears away in the wash. Now I can keep my rugs longer, wash as needed, and keep them from slipping.

The spray is about $9 at Ace Hardware. I couldn't find it anywhere else.

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My husband is disabled. We had a professional case worker come to check our home for safety hazards. We had already installed rails by all entrances , stairs, and around the bathtub. And we have adequate lighting. Good for us! But the one danger found in our home were the throw rugs. I thought they looked nice! All home stores (Macys,J C Penney, Target,etc) sell bath sets. You know, a couple of throw rugs and a toilet tank cover. Yet she told me, get rid of them, they are a major cause of slips and falls. So out they went!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 8:13AM
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Jannie -- I used this spray on the bottom of an old cotton rug that I have in our back hall. It stays put. I cannot *budge* it with my foot. I have to pick it up if I want to move it.

Those rubber-backed 'sets' are what I've thrown out. They grip at first, but then the backing starts to dry out, and the rug becomes a super-slider. That's the hazard, AFAIK. The spray solves that.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 2:32PM
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aww.. couple circles of duct tape hold any rug down.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 4:37AM
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Another benefit of no bath rugs in my bathroom is that my bathroom looks cleaner, and less places to grow molds or fungus. I like the spare, clean look. But if griiper spray or duct tape work, good for you!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 6:13PM
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i haven't heard of the spray... do you spray your rugs after each wash??? or does it last awhile? sounds great!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 8:16AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

haven't heard of the spray... do you spray your rugs after each wash??? or does it last awhile?

Per the link below:
Performix 91209-6 Super Grip is a clear, air dry, non-yellowing, synthetic rubber coating that bonds to most types of fabrics to prevent skidding/slipping on slick surfaces. The tackified synthetic rubber coating bonds to most fabrics to stop skidding and shifting. This durable rubber coating formula is machine washable and remains flexible. Super Grip will not transfer or yellow surfaces and will not pick up dirt or lint. Stays Flexible Safety - Stops Skidding.

I too hate how the rubber backing soon goes bad after being washed a few times.


Here is a link that might be useful: Performix 91209-6 Super Grip

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 9:56AM
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thank you!!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 8:18AM
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Jannie, you are smart to get rid of the throw rugs. My aunt was told the same thing but kept just one in the bathroom. She tripped on it and broke her hip. She never completely recovered, had to use a walker and died about a year later.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 7:39PM
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Thanks for the tip! I'm going to have to look for this stuff! It always seems that the cute rugs never have the rubber backing and I hate how they always slide around. THANKS!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 4:47AM
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Hi, I live in a senior apartment complex and have disabled friends. Yes, the first thing the therapists do is get rid of all area rugs. It is not that the rugs slip. It is because we older people do not lift our foot as high as we did years ago and we trip on anything.

Good luck

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 8:46PM
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I had rather step out of the tub or shower onto a throw rug than on a slick floor, it's much safer. I can do without throw rugs in the kitchen but not in bathrooms and entry way. I can get 5 years out of a rubber backed rug on my hard floors and am happy with that.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 4:34PM
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In my basement bath, the previous homeowner used pretty large tiles....they are extremely slippery when wet. Sometimes if my rugs are in the wash, I've almost broke my neck. Ugh, every time it happens I look at all the tile and glass and thank my lucky stars just one foot slipped and I didn't go down and hit my head. At least if I slipped on a rug there may be a something to cushion the fall a teeny bit.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 12:56PM
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I agree about slick tile getting out of the bathtub. One way to solve this problem is to put a bath mat down while taking a bath and after drying hang bath mat on a towel rack until the next time. No mat on floor to trip on.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 8:37PM
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I had a stroke in 2001, spent 6 weeks in hospital getting rehab. When I was discharged, a visiting therapist came to my house to make suggestions for safety, etc. He suggested I get rid of all throw rugs, but I insisted on keeping my bathroom throw because it was pretty and part of a "set", you know those matchy-matchy sets with a tank cover and everything? So I was careful and nothing bad happened. His other suggestions included hand rails at all doors, stairs,etc. Plus several grab rails around the bathtub and toilet area. Again I resisted but I found attractive grab rails that double as towel hangers. Then in 2010 my husband had a terrible setback in his MS (Multiple Sclerosis). He had a bad reaction to some medication, had seizures and ended up in a Rehab Hospital for several months. Before he came home, I threw away that bath rug. I knew he would be coming home with a wheelchair and that darned old rug was a hazard. So out it went. I don't miss it one bit and the bathroom looks so much neater and cleaner without it.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 10:26AM
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I do have a rubber backed rug, heavier than the bath mats, which I like to use in a back hallway. Unfortunately, it too has the rubber backing which is now crumbling (and it has never been machine washed). I wonder if I can brush away the loose backing and spray it. Do you think it would adhere and stop the other backing from crumbling?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 1:14PM
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Rubber backed throw rugs will last longer even when being machine washed, if the are air dried instead of dried in the dryer.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 8:13PM
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My Mom had a home nurse sent by her doctor. The nurse started picking up all Mom's throw rugs, When Mom ask, "what are you doing", the nurse said these things are dangerous. My Mom promptly toss her out of the house and told her not to come back. Her house her rules.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 3:23AM
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I had a pretty red throw rug in the kitchen and "throw" is what it did to my husband. He didn't pick up his feet and he fell flat!. Thankfully he did not get hurt at all. I picked the "throw" rug up and got rid of it...right then. Small rugs are dangerous for older people. As far as a bath rug.....put one down when you take a shower and hang it over the towel rack between of both worlds.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 3:45PM
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My only concern is if the spray will damage the floor in any way? I know that my rubber back ones do not ruin my wood floors.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 5:29PM
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I've seen throw rugs in homes that are indeed dangerous. They are not heavy and no backing at all on them. They would be okay on carpets but not on hard finishes. I have a light weight one by my patio door that is very pretty but annoys me, it moves just a little when I step on it. Always under the blinds and blocking them.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 7:25PM
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Thanks for the great tip!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 1:19AM
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Just as an aside, some rubber-backed rugs give off an ammonia smell that tells your cat it's ok to pee on it.

1 Like    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 3:29AM
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We have one small rug in the bath (no rubber backing), but we dry off in the shower and step out on the end of the towel before drying the top of the feet and hanging up the towel. The rug simply provides a place to stand that is not as cold as the tile floor.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 7:00PM
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