Will an Outdoor Rug Damage a Wood Deck?

Image of an outdoor deck. So, Will an Outdoor Rug Damage a Wood Deck?The deck is a wooden outdoor platform raised above the ground and linked to the main building. It is usually surrounded by rails to keep you from falling over. Outdoor rugs are laid on decks to make them look beautiful and to keep them warm. Conversely, a wood deck should not be covered all the time, especially if it is uneven; so, will an outdoor rug damage a wood deck?

Yes, but that’s only if you leave the rugs on your deck over an extended duration. Rugs hold up moisture which can lead to the damaging of the surface if you don’t change them over time. It would be best to change the cover plan on your deck on occasions so that some sections are not engulfed by rugs and furniture all the time; this protects your deck from irregular fading and moisture-actuated issues such as mold growth and rot. Covering the wood deck with an outdoor rug all the time also provides breeding grounds for insects such as wood ants that consequently damage your deck.

The wrong choice of carpet leads to scratching, staining, and discoloration. It is not advisable to use outdoor rugs backed with rubber or latex as they are implicated in the downsides mentioned above. Outdoor rugs that are good for wood decks are made from traditionally woven polypropylene or recycled plastic material.

These are moisture-resistant, do not allow mold growth, and will not scratch your floor surface. After establishing a wooden deck, you need to wait for 3 months before placing an outdoor rug to enable natural discoloration to take place evenly on the wooden deck.

Things to Consider as You Purchase an Outdoor Rug for a Wood Deck.

  • Material

You should choose an easy to clean fabric that does not attract rodents or insects which feed on wood decks. The rug should also be fire-resistant, and it should not shed its fibers as this may cause allergies. With all these factors taken into account, polypropylene is the best material for an outdoor rug.

  • Color

Outdoor rugs that are brightly colored tend to get dirty quickly, and the dirt is conspicuous. Therefore, you need a somewhat dull-colored carpet for the wood deck because they are relatively easy to manage.

  • Affordability

You need to buy an outdoor rug that is pocket-friendly but of high quality still. You have to balance affordability with quality as you may find a cheap carpet of low quality, which won’t help your wood deck.

Overpriced outdoor rugs are also a disadvantage as they don’t deliver results that match their price; this is not good for wood decks.

  • Wood Board Spacing

I recommend using outdoor rugs on wood decks with spaces between the wood planks as it enables proper aeration and drainage, making your wood deck durable. Outdoor rugs are not suitable for wood decks with no spacing between the planks as they trap heat and moisture to initiate decay.

  • Weather

If your wood deck is exposed to frequent rains, you need to purchase an outdoor rug that is water-resistant. If you live in a windy place, you need to acquire an outdoor rug that is heavy so that it is not blown off of your wood deck. If you are in a sunny region, you need a heat-resistant rug.

Can You Put an Outdoor Rug on Composite Decking?

If your place features a composite deck, you’re probably wondering whether you should be placing an outdoor rug on it. While composite decking is famous for its durable nature, it needs an appropriate outdoor rug to better its best.

It is essential to use the right type of rug to cover your deck; otherwise, you may end up ruining the integrity of your decking. So, Yes, you can put an outdoor rug on a composite decking but it has to be the right one.

Why Use an Outdoor Rug on Your Wood Deck?

Image of a deck rugOutdoor rugs have several design benefits. First, they pull your space into a cohesive design that is welcoming and comforting.

The splash of texture and color is a visual cue to the design concept within that space and simply put, an outdoor rug makes the wood deck sparkle.

Feasibility is another reason for using an outdoor rug on your wood deck. Mats protect your composite deck from dust and grime in sections that are frequently walked on.

If strategically placed, an outdoor rug will also protect your wood deck from scrapping and scratches by moving furniture.

How Durable is a Wood Deck?

Wood decks are constructed from recycled timber and polypropylene, a synthetic material that links several similar but smaller units. This composition produces a wood deck that is durable, strong, and with excellent aesthetics.

If you think about what can corrode or destroy a wood deck, you’ll realize that they are limited; this is because wood decks are: crack-resistant, rot-resistant, fire-resistant, UV-treated to abate fading. Therefore, you can place an outdoor rug on a wood deck without causing much damage to the wood’s surface.

What Do You Put Under an Outdoor Rug?

Outdoor rugs do not always call for high maintenance responsibilities. Even so, it would help if you accord them some show of care if you want them to last. 

So, what do you put under an outdoor rug? It would be best if you used the rug pads for your outdoor rug. The rug pads are excellent at prolonging the life of rugs as they act as a buffer between the rug and the surface beneath, protecting both in the process. 

Additionally, the pads minimize the possibility of slippage, making the rug safer, especially if you are walking.

Vacuuming is another option in maintaining your outdoor rug as it prevents dirt build-up underneath. As it is in the case of most rugs, ensure that you remove your vacuum’s beater bar before vacuuming. 

Other methods of removing dirt off your outdoor rug include using a carpet sweeper or a broom. Also, you can do a hard shake or even use a leaf blower to remove dirt.

In the cases of spills, move swiftly to clean the mess. Allowing the spill more time on the rug could be catastrophic in the long run.

You will find that most outdoor rugs are receptive to washing using the washing machines. You can also use a backyard hose for cleaning; however, ensure that you always check the outdoor rug’s cleaning tag before you make it wet.

A standard outdoor rug can handle natural environmental conditions; however, if that the temperatures dip below freezing, I’d advise that you clean and store your outdoor rugs. 

Even as you store the rugs, ensure to roll them with the bottom facing out.

Can I Leave My Outdoor Rug Outside all Winter?

Yes! Feel free to leave your outdoor rug outside during the winter season. As I stated earlier, the Outdoor rugs are designed to stay outside regardless of the prevailing weather condition. 

If you break for the winter holiday and forget to store your rug, worry not. It will not damage, and you won’t necessarily have to buy a new one.

What Is the Best Outdoor Rug Material?

Polypropylene remains the best and the most popular outdoor rug material. This material is stain-resistant, cleans easily, does not fade from sunlight, and above all, can handle high moisture as well as heavy foot traffic. 

In short, the material is strong and durable; however, the material is pricey.

What Do You Do With an Outdoor Rug When It Rains?

If it rains on your rug, ensure that you flip it to dry on both front and back. Once the outdoor activities and entertaining season are through, roll your outdoor rug after it dries and keep it in a safe area.

Best Outdoor Rugs that are Safe for Wood Decks

The thing about wood decks is that they are durable and stunning; this means they will serve you for a long time. However, it costs a lot to always refurbish bare wood decks due to discoloration, staining, and rotting. Below is a list of outdoor rugs that will not damage your wood deck:

  • NuLOOM Ripple Contemporary Sherill Runner Rug

This runner rug can also be used as an outdoor rug for a wood deck, mostly if the surface is highly frequented. The rug comes in a dark-grey color, which won’t show stain and dirt; this is good because your wood deck will always look neat. This rug does not shed its fibers; therefore, it will not damage your wood deck. 

Buy it here:

  • Ottmanson Multicolor Area Rug

 This synthetic outdoor rug is made from 100% nylon, second to polypropylene, the most recommended rug material. The outdoor rug is excellent for your wood deck as it holds out against high foot traffic. This rug is also suitable for a wood deck because it is easy to maintain using simple spot cleaning, vacuum cleaning, etc.

Buy it here:

  • SUPERIOR Modern Rockwood Area Rug

This outdoor rug has good customer reviews and has soft fibers that give your feet’ soles comfort and warmth. The rug is suitable for your wood deck as it has a jute backing to keep it secured on the wood deck; it does not skid on the decking surface.

Buy it here:

  • Despkon Home Print Large Outdoor Rug 

The rug is of a beautiful design, which gives your wood deck a decorative and smart outlook. This outdoor rug is polypropylene-made making it long-lasting and easy to clean. Therefore, it is ideal for wood decks.

  • Nourison Aloha Multicolor Transitional Outdoor Area Rug

This outdoor rug will not damage your wood deck as it is water-resistant, fade-resistant, durable, and stain-resistant. It is made of 100% polypropylene, which is the most recommended material for outdoor rugs.

Buy it here:

Are Outdoor Rugs Worth Laying on Wood Decks? 

Yes, so long as you choose the right rug which is durable and resistant to adverse outdoor weather. You should not use indoor rugs or accent rugs on wood decks because they are not the right rugs in that sense; only outdoor rugs suit wood decks. If you do it the right way, the rugs won’t ruin your wood deck.

How Do You Secure an Outdoor Rug to a Deck? 

To secure an outdoor rug on a wood deck means keeping it fixed in place so that it does not move about the deck surface. Skiddy rugs cause slip-up accidents, leading to injuries; this is risky to children, older people, and pets.

You should use outdoor rugs that are heavy and rough on their underside as they tend to be motionless on a wood deck. You can also use a caulk, rug pad, or carpet tape to anchor the rug to the wood deck.

Are Outdoor Rugs Safe for Wood Decks? 

Yes, provided you remember and follow these precautions. Firstly, outdoor rugs, especially those found in rain-prone regions, retain a lot of water, damage wood decks, get mildew smells and attract moths.

Thus, you should ensure that outdoor rugs on wood decks are always dry. You can put a rug pad under the carpet to protect both the deck surface and mat from mutual damage. Arguably, outdoor rugs made of recycled plastic are the least likely to damage a wood deck.

The Dos and Don’ts of Wood Deck maintenance

Don’t use organic outdoor rugs to cover your wood deck: Natural materials such as bamboo and jute are not suitable for carpets as they can’t be cleaned easily, trap moisture leading to mold, and mildew growth on wood decks.

Outdoor rugs made of synthetic material such as plastics and synthetic polymers are incredible for wood decks as they don’t absorb moisture and are easy to clean.

Be keen on spotting any damage that may be present on your wood deck before laying an outdoor rug on it. Such damages include loose nails, rotten planks, and splinters, and you should promptly repair these damages. Covering damaged parts of your wood deck with outdoor rugs only makes the problem worse.

Don’t place an outdoor rug on a dump or wet wood deck: The outdoor rug will serve its intended purpose if you lay it on the right surface and with the right conditions. Rugs on dump surfaces promote rot, which weakens the wood deck.

Clean the wood deck surface thoroughly every once or twice a year: you can remove the rug on occasions to clean the wood deck, let it dry, then put back the outdoor rug. Once-in-a-while cleaning is useful for checking minor defects on the deck and checking whether the outdoor rug serves its purpose.

When it rains, kids, pets, and adults step on outdoor rugs with muddy footwear. Ensure you clean and dry the rug as soon as possible so that the stains don’t get soaked into the rug fibers and wood deck.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Laying Outdoor Rugs on Wood Decks


  • Attractive

 Outdoor rugs are a part of home decor, making your wood deck look nice. The wood rugs have varying decorations, colors, designs, materials, and shapes from which you can choose. You will always find an outdoor rug that matches your style due to the unlimited options available.

  • Durable

The rugs are made of high-quality and durable fabric such as wool, silk, synthetics, and cotton. These will cover your deck well, and you won’t have to spend money purchasing carpets all the time.

  • Protection

Bare wood decks are vulnerable to adverse weather such as strong sunlight. Corrosive chemicals, paints, inks, bleach, and acids spill on exposed wood decks causing damage; you need outdoor rugs to protect from this.

  • Easy maintenance

Exposed wood decks accumulate dust quickly and therefore need continual cleaning for maintenance, which is tiresome. If you lay an outdoor rug on your wood deck, you’ll save yourself this burden as they don’t require frequent cleaning.

Warm and soft: It feels good to stand on outdoor rugs with bare feet rather than stepping on the hard and cold surface of a wood deck.


  • Breeding grounds for harmful insects

 Outdoor rugs provide a good cover for insects such as wood ants, termites, and woodlice: these insects attack and damage wood decks leading to costly losses.

  • Uneven covering

Most of the time, outdoor rugs don’t cover the wood deck’s entire surface; this leads to disproportionate fading of the wood deck, which doesn’t look appealing. 


Laying an outdoor rug on a wood deck makes it look attractive and classy. However, it would be best if you used the right carpet to achieve this purpose. Wood deck usage varies in several aspects, which ultimately determine the type of outdoor rug required. These aspects include:

  • Foot traffic

There are wood decks that are highly frequented by people and pets. These decks need an outdoor rug that is stain-resistant and durable, like the Ottmanson Multicolor Area Rug.

  • Weather

Wood decks in rainy regions require an outdoor rug that is water-resistant and fade-resistant such as the Image of Nourison Aloha Multicolo, a water resistant deck rugr Transitional Outdoor Area Rug. It is made of polypropylene. Heat resistant outdoor rugs like the NuLOOM Ripple Contemporary Sherill Runner Rug are perfect for wood decks found in sunny regions.

Windy areas require an outdoor rug that is heavy and with a coarse backing to keep it intact on the wood deck, for example, the SUPERIOR Modern Rockwood Area Rug, which has a jute backing.

Wood decks in hotels and scenic environments require decorative outdoor rugs like the Despkon Home Print Large Outdoor Rug.

This rug adds a classy touch to the wood deck, making it appealing to the eye. Bright and multicolored outdoor rugs fit such wood decks because the people who step on them use clean footwear or clean bare feet most of the time.

  • Price

 High-quality outdoor rugs cost more than low-quality rugs; this is because the high-quality ones don’t damage your wood deck in the long run. Low-quality outdoor rugs shed off their fibers on the wood deck leading to damage, and they also distort the allure of a wood deck.

In places infested with rodents, termites, and wood ants, the wrong outdoor rug will damage your wood deck because it provides an environment conducive to these harmful insects. In this case, you need a light outdoor rug that is routinely inspected for wood-eating vermin.

So, Will an Outdoor Rug Damage a Wood Deck?

My answer is an arguable yes! To elaborate, if you buy the wrong outdoor rug for your deck, it will inevitably damage it. On the other hand, if you buy the right outdoor rug, your wood deck will not suffer any damage; or if it gets damaged, at least it won’t be courtesy of a substandard outdoor rug.

Image of a woodworker wearing hearing protectors for woodworking

Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.