Can Indoor Rugs Be Used Outdoors? (Explained And Solved)

Some rugs are made for indoor spaces, while others are specifically made for the outdoors. Depending on the materials they are made from, some will be better than others in a harsh environment.

Cotton and wool for example should stay dry and clean, while polyester, nylon, and polypropylene can withstand moisture and harsher conditions.

Here Are the Differences Between Indoor Rugs and Outdoor Rugs:

Outdoor rugs are normally made from synthetic materials that can withstand any weather condition, including extreme ones. Indoor rugs are usually made of natural materials that cant’ withstand outdoor elements. Outdoor rugs can be used indoors, especially when they mimic the look of wool rugs.

Do People Generally Use Indoor Rugs Outdoors?

Indoor rugs are normally made of natural materials such as wool, cotton, silk, jute, and sisal. These materials are not made to withstand even the slightest outdoor elements.

Indoor materials tend to be super absorbent, absorb moisture, and tear pretty quickly if exposed to harsh conditions.

Indoor rugs also can’t handle exposure to the sun and tend to fade when placed under direct sunlight. Some indoor rugs become brittle and may lose their shape or form.

Can Indoor Rugs Withstand Rain and Moisture?

The materials that indoor rugs are made of are natural, so they cannot take rain and moisture.

When exposed to rain, indoor rugs tend to absorb a lot of the rainwater, which can foster the growth of mold and mildew. They may also lose their shape after being exposed to the rain.

The same thing happens when indoor rugs are exposed to moisture. Bacteria can grow, posing health risks to people living in the house.

Can Indoor Rugs be Used on WOODEN Decks?

Placing your indoor rugs on a wooden deck or wooden surface would not cause any harm to it.

What would harm the rug is placing it on a wooden deck placed outdoors.

Any rug would do well on wooden surfaces as the surfaces offer a lot of control to prevent the rug from sliding. Indoor rugs would also not scratch the wooden surface.

If you want to use an indoor rug as an area rug on your wooden deck, it would be best if the deck had some overhead protection, so you do not risk getting your rug destroyed by outdoor elements.

Can Indoor Rugs be Used on TREX Decks?

Like wooden decks, you can also use indoor rugs on TREX decks or composite decking.ย Most indoor rugs have backsides that would not scratch the decking.

However, it would be best to put a self-adhesive foam rug under the rug to prevent it from slipping. The rug pad will also protect both the rug and the decking.

Since indoor rugs are not made for outdoor use, it would also be best if your TREX deck had overhead protection to protect your rug from the rain or direct sunlight that can ruin it.

Do You Have to Treat Indoor Rugs for Outdoor Use?

Indoor rugs are not recommended for outdoor use. If you want to use your indoor rug outdoors, you need to treat it to protect your rug and prevent it from getting destroyed way before its life expectancy.

The best way to treat it is through the use of waterproofing spray.

Also, waterproof pads can help keep your indoor rug safe from moisture.

Spray Waterproofing Spray on the Top of the Rug:

Spraying your indoor rug with waterproofing spray can help it repel liquids better.

Here are some brands of rug and fabric sprays that you can use to waterproof your indoor rug:

  • Thompson’s Waterseal
  • Scotchgard Rug and Carpet Protector
  • Scotchgard Fabric Water Shield
  • Nanotekas Waterproof Water Repellent for Carpet and Rugs
  • TriNova Protector Spray
  • ProtectME Premium
  • Vectra Furniture

When using any of these sprays, make sure to spray your rug from a few inches away, and then let it dry before you spray a second coat.

How Long Do Indoor Rugs Last Outdoor?

Most indoor rugs made from natural materials have long life spans.

Indoor rugs made from jute and sisal can last for up to 10 years, or even 20 years, with really good maintenance. Indoor rugs made from wool can last for decades.

However, if you put these rugs outdoors, they will wear out fast. The constant exposure to elements like rainwater and sun can make them brittle, especially if you live in an area with temperamental weather.

They may lose their shape, and you will end up just disposing of them, which can be such a waste.

Also, if you place indoor rugs in outdoor areas, the upkeep can be quite a hassle. Indoor rugs are pretty low maintenance, but they would need a lot of cleaning if you use them outdoors.

Some indoor rugs may need professional cleaning if exposed to extreme weather conditions, which can be expensive. In short, using your indoor rugs outdoors may probably cut their life expectancy by half.

What Rugs Are Recommended for Outdoor Use?

The best rugs to use outdoors are always synthetic material rugs.

These rugs are made to handle different outdoor elements and even the most extreme weather.

Here are the best rugs to use outdoors:

Polyester Rugs:

Polyester rugs are very resilient and durable. The fibers of polyester rugs are flexible and lightweight.

They can easily repel water, making them very simple to clean if liquid gets spilled on them. They are also very soft and warm, so they feel good underfoot.

The con of using polyester rugs is that they tend to shed a lot, making them wear out fast. They are affordable and good for outdoor spaces with low to moderate foot traffic.

Nylon Rugs:

Nylon rugs are also great for outdoor use. They are known as one of the most resilient and durable synthetic rugs.

Nylon rugs do not absorb liquid, meaning that any spills or stains do not dig deep into the fibers.

They are also easy to clean. Nylon fibers are elastic, which means nylon rugs can retain their shape even in high-traffic areas.

In terms of pricing, nylon rugs are more expensive compared to other synthetic rugs.

Polypropylene Rugs:

Polypropylene rugs are probably the best rugs to use in outdoor spaces.

They are lightweight, yet they are very durable. They have the same look and feel as wool rugs to be used indoors and outdoors. They can withstand any extreme weather condition.

Polypropylene rugs are more durable, and they last longer. They are also not prone to shedding and are less expensive to clean and maintain.

Many indoor rugs are also more expensive than outdoor rugs because they use more expensive materials like wool, jute, and sisal.

You would want them to last for as long as they can so you do not end up wasting money on these rugs. That being said, we would recommend keeping these rugs indoors, as they are meant to be, and buy outdoor rugs specifically for the outdoor areas in your home.


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