Pinterest Fail: Using Caulk as a Rug Gripper

One of my Pinterest Boards is titled: Why Didn’t I Think of That?!

It consists of a variety of ideas that I wish I would have thought of first. I have found quite a few to be helpful around my house. However, today was a different story. Once upon a time, I pinned this idea of putting caulk on the bottom of a rug to keep it from slipping around on the floor. Apparently it was from Martha Stewart but the site didn’t give me a link to the original source of the idea.

Like I said, I pinned this a while back but I remembered the concept and thought it was a great idea. So when I had a new rug slipping around on my floor, I thought, “Hey! I remember that I should put caulk on the bottom of it and it will serve as a gripper!” So I  fought with the caulk gun for a while, got it unplugged, applied it to the bottom of my rug, worked extremely hard to distract my grabby child from touching it, and let it dry for a few hours.

After it had dried and I convinced my husband that I was not caulking the rug to the wood floor, I tried it out.


It still slipped around like it did before.

I later went online to check out the original pin (which I probably should have done in the first place). Apparently you are supposed to use acrylic-latex caulk.  I had failed to see this before I put my regular, all purpose caulk.


So, to be honest, I’m not sure if this works or not. I do know it doesn’t work with the regular stuff I have. Let me know if you’ve ever done this before! I don’t want to waste money on acrylic-latex caulk in the future!

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  1. hickorynut says

    Can a rug still go in the washer if it has caulk on the bottom? i saw this idea before, but then worried it would make a mess the first time i washed it.

    • Polly says

      I’ll be honest- I’m not sure!
      I don’t think the caulk would disintegrate or anything. I’m guessing the worst thing that could happen is that the caulk would just detach from the rug. But I really don’t know.

  2. Lily says

    I’d be too scared to put caulking in my nice washer! You could buy a rug gripper at Wal-mart, they’re probably the same price as new caulk and proven to work 😉

  3. Matt says

    I don’t see why you couldn’t wash it. Most caulk is water soluble, I believe.

    • Polly says

      You’re probably right.

  4. Matt says

    My comment about washing applies to Latex-based caulks; silicone is another story.

  5. hexe says

    In a word, you did it wrong.

    Yes, if you simply just run lines of caulk in one direction, your rug will still not stay put. But the instructions I found–which DID call for using clear silicone tub caulk, not acrylic or latex–direct your to run a bead of the caulk around the perimeter of the rug first, about 1″ from the outer edges, and then run your parallel lines within that frame, about 6 inches apart. As you go along, use your finger or a putty knife to spread the bead out and flatten it, which also makes it wider, and will permit the silicone to grab the bare flooring better. I also ran short lines diagonally between the parallel ones, and another short diagonal line from the outer edge of the ‘frame’ to the outer edge of the runner or rug on each corner, to keep the edges from curling. Let the caulk cure for a full 24 hours, and then lay your rug where you want it. Two adult German Shepherds run across my runners and rugs now and neither the rugs/runners or the dogs are slipping and sliding anymore!

    As for washing the rugs, mine are too big to fit in a machine, so I’ll be using a shampooer on them anyway, but if I use this technique on throw-rugs, I expect I’ll need to wash them using the handwash cycle, and either line-dry them or use the air-dry only setting on my dryer.

    • Rachel says

      Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Jacqui says

      Why clear silocone & not acrylic or latex? Cant find the answer to this.

  6. Jacqui says

    You didnt apply it correctly. The demo clearly shows to apply like frosting, in a straight line, every 6 inches…not like a kindergarten glue project. Works great if done correctly.

  7. Kim says

    Jacqui…..they say acrylic Latex,not silicone.So, stunt understand your question.

    • Kim says

      The above response to Jacqui was “dont..,not stunt.Can’t make a change.