5 Reasons NOT To Use Outdoor Rugs Indoors

Most rugs can be quite expensive, especially if you would go for ones made of wool. However, placing a rug inside your home is one of the easiest ways to decorate and add life to it.

It is very common for people to use outdoor rugs indoors. Outdoor rugs are made of synthetic polyester, nylon, and polypropylene fibers.

Outdoor rugs are made to withstand various outdoor elements, but they can also mimic the look of indoor rugs like those made of wool.

However, since these rugs are primarily designed for outdoor use, there are reasons not to use them indoors.

Here are the reasons NOT to use outdoor rugs indoors:

1. Outdoor Rugs Are Not As Soft And Comfortable As Indoor Rugs

Many outdoor rugs, particularly polyester rugs and polypropylene rugs, can mimic the look and feel of indoor rugs made of wool. Some high-quality synthetic rugs look so good that they almost look like authentic wool rugs.

Even though they look like indoor rugs, outdoor rugs are still not as soft and comfortable as indoor rugs.

The fibers of outdoor rugs are derived from plastic, so they will never be as plush as indoor rugs. They do provide some cushioning underfoot, which makes them inexpensive options.

But if you are looking for a plush rug in your room that will be comfortable to walk on and sit on, outdoor rugs are not recommended.

2. Outdoor Rugs Can Damage Hardwood Floors

This is not to say that outdoor rugs can stain or damage hardwood floors – they do not. But outdoor rugs generally repel water, which may not be good for hardwood floors.

Most outdoor rugs repel water, so if they are exposed to moisture or liquid spills, the water has to go somewhere.

And in this case, it is your hardwood floors.

If you place an outdoor rug indoors, the moisture in the air or incidents of liquid spills will not affect your rug, but it will affect the hardwood floor that it is placed on.

Outdoor rugs are not meant to be placed indoors for a long time.

Eventually, when you remove the rug or when the rug has worn off, you would probably find the hardwood floor underneath is damaged or rotting. If your rug is dyed, it may even stain the floor.

3. Outdoor Rugs Are Prone To Shedding

Most rugs tend to shed, but the latter sheds more between indoor rugs and outdoor rugs. One type of rug that sheds a lot is polyester rugs, which are outdoor rugs.

The reason that outdoor rugs shed is the way they are made. Outdoor rugs like polyester, nylon, and polypropylene rugs are machine-made.

Their fibers are woven and glued to a backing using a machine.

Because of this process, the fibers of outdoor rugs are not as resilient as that of hand-woven or hand-knotted indoor rugs. With use, these rugs tend to wear out and fall apart.

Indoor rugs naturally shed, but only when they are brand new.

The shedding eventually stops after a couple of months. Meanwhile, outdoor rugs shed continuously.

If you do not like shedding, this is one good reason why using outdoor rugs indoors is a bad idea.

4. Outdoor Rugs Do Not Last Very Long

Outdoor rugs are specifically made to withstand different outdoor elements, even the harshest ones. But even so, they do not last long compared to indoor rugs.

Outdoor rugs are synthetic rugs, with polyester rugs, nylon rugs, and polypropylene rugs, being the most common ones out there.

On average, these rugs have a life span of two to three years.

Those with really good quality can last for five years at best, given that they are maintained well.

Still, five years is not a long time compared to other rugs.

Indoor rugs that are made of natural materials last way longer. Sisal rugs can last for up to ten or fifteen years. Hand-knotted or hand-woven wool rugs can last for decades and even generations. Cowhide rugs and sheepskin rugs can last for a lifetime with the right care and attention.

The life expectancy of outdoor rugs is one of its drawbacks. People who buy outdoor rugs often find themselves replacing them after two or three years of use, especially if you place them in rooms with moderate to high foot traffic.

Outdoor rugs would last longer indoors in a room with low foot traffic, but it still wouldn’t be as long as indoor rugs last.

5. Outdoor Rugs Can Be Harmful To The Household

Not all outdoor rugs, but many of them pose a health risk to you and the members of your household.

Like polyester rugs and polypropylene rugs, most outdoor rugs are made of synthetic material that may contain harmful chemicals. The fibers of these rugs are made from plastic, which is usually derived from petroleum.

This also explains why these rugs have an unpleasant chemical smell when they are brand new.

The smell of these outdoor rugs can contain volatile organic compounds or VOCs. These VOCs can cause:

  • headaches,
  • dizziness,
  • nausea,
  • and other symptoms, 

Especially in people who are very sensitive to certain smells.

They can also cause allergies.

Using these outdoor rugs indoors can be harmful if you have kids or babies in the household or even pets. Having these harmful chemicals indoors can leave them trapped in the air and affect everyone in the household.

These outdoor rugs can also be harmful to the environment. The production of polyester and polypropylene fibers depends a lot on the extraction of fossil fuels which leaves a high carbon footprint. Even from the manufacturing phase, these rugs are already causing harm.

Outdoor rugs are non-biodegradable.

The fibers of these rugs are made of plastic, and just like most types of plastic, they do not easily break down or decompose.

Synthetic fibers can take up to 200 years to decompose.

Imagine the amount of plastic waste that will destroy the environment if people buy these outdoor rugs and replace them every two or three years.

Of course, there are still polyester and propylene rugs that use eco-friendly and non-toxic plastic or synthetic materials. It is just a matter of knowing if the rug you are getting has toxic chemicals or not.

Outdoor rugs can be placed indoors as alternatives to indoor rugs. Plus, they are cheaper, especially if you want the look and feel of authentic wool rugs without spending a lot.

But there are downsides to it.

So before getting an outdoor rug to place indoors, consider these downsides and think about whether it will be worth it.


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