|Jaipur Grant Design Collection|
Sure the label says indoor/outdoor, but what exactly does that mean? Will the rug hold up to any type of weather? Should you have the rug cleaned? Will it work indoors, even if it's made for outdoors?
Sounds like you may need a lowdown on indoor/outdoor rugs.
What's in a Name?
Although outdoor rugs can be used indoors, indoor rugs should not be used outdoors, unless the rug is specifically listed as a multipurpose indoor/outdoor rug. Even if the rug is perfect for your outdoor space, if it is not labeled as an outdoor rug, it will most likely no hold up to the elements and quickly deteriorate.
|Loloi Indoor/Outdoor Enzo Collection in Ivory-Blue|
The Outdoor Rug Deconstructed
Indoor/outdoor rugs are made of fibers that are durable, lasting, resistant to mildew and hold up to muddy or sandy feet and inclement weather. Because the rugs are designed to be durable, they can easily be scrubbed and cleaned when necessary, without a concern for damage, and dry very quickly when they are wet. These are truly rugs for all seasons.
A rug that can hold up to the weather and heavy use outdoors will be constructed of polypropylene, nylon, polyester or other synthetic fiber. Most polypropylene rugs are made from recycled plastics. The backing of these rugs is also entirely synthetic, usually a polyester mesh. The jute backed rugs would not hold up to the mildew and would easily rot. Also, the synthetic mesh back is skid resistant, so you don't have to worry about slippage.
If you are all about the natural fibers, bamboo rugs can be used outdoors. However, we would caution you to keep it out of direct elements. While a bamboo rug will work in an outdoor living area, the area should be covered, to prevent consistent direct contact with the elements.
Will Any Rug Made of These Materials Work?
That is difficult to say, but the rule is generally, if the rug is not 100% polypropylene, it will not withstand the elements. It will most likely trap moisture, fray and fade, making the rug almost unrecognizable after only a short time. We would recommend sticking with a rug that is intentionally made to be used outdoors.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The same general rug care rules apply to both indoor and outdoor rugs. Clean up spills as quickly as possible Vacuum the rug regularly to keep dirt getting ground into the fibers. On occasion, you may want to sweep under the rug to precent the rug from underneath. If you prefer to keep your vacuum indoors, you can easily hose off the rug, as it will dry very quickly. During very bad storms (such as hurricanes or dangerous flooding) it is a good idea to remove your rugs and roll them up for storage. Likewise, if you do not venture outdoors during the winter, you can easily store your rug for the following summer to prolong its life and decrease the amount of necessary cleaning.
The Great Indoors
The indoor/outdoor rug can be used inside as a replacement for a door mat in entries and exits. Instead of placing a rug in a high traffic entry that may not hold up as well, consider an indoor/outdoor rug. For a living area near a major entryway, such as a back door, try an indoor/outdoor rug instead of a typical indoor area rug.
Use your imagination. Maybe the indoor/outdoor rug is used in a child's playroom. Perhaps your art studio could use a rug that just get hosed off when new messes appear. Create a place for your pets that keeps them comfy without ruining rugs or carpet. The ideas are endless.
Don't think just because you have limited outdoor space, that you can't enjoy the brightness and whimsy of a indoor/outdoor rug. Runners can be used on stairs, balconies and ramps. Image and design courtesy of Garrison Hullinger. Spruce up your second floor balcony, your Manhattan roof garden or your decked walkway to the shore.
Of course, the obvious outdoor living area placement still applies.