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We are happy to help our walk-in clients also, however, we are often out on area rug deliveries and may not be available if no appointment was made.  

Is It Okay to Turn My Area Rug Over and Use the Backside? – Prescott Valley AZ

Recently at Arizona Oriental & Specialty Rug Care, we had a client bring in an area rug that we had cleaned for them 8 months prior.  This rug is a Persian rug with short, plush pile.  Our client stated that there was a problem with his rug and that it was leaving a dark, unknown substance on the floor beneath it.  He even showed us a photo of the substance on the floor.  Sure enough, it looked like a pile of dark dust on his tile.  His first thought was that we had left all of this dirt in his rug.  However, further investigation showed that this was not the case.

His wife had decided to turn the rug upside down, thinking that this would provide a softer surface against her newly finished tile.  However, this placed the delicate wool face fibers against the hard subfloor where there was tile and wide grout lines.  Much like sandpaper, grout is made up of a mixture of both sand and cement.  When dry, this is very hard and abrasive, just like sandpaper.  Unfortunately, the rug fibers did not do too well with this circumstance and abuse.  Additionally, this rug is a long runner and located in their hallway.  Runners live very active lives, especially considering that people walk up and down the hallway many times a day.  With each pass under the weight of the person, the delicate rug fibers were being forced to grind themselves against the tile and, worse yet, the grout.  This caused a grinding away action on the fibers.

First of all, rugs require a cushion beneath them to prevent unnecessary wear and tear.  Not only were the rug’s delicate face fibers being grinded away from the grout, there was no protective padding beneath it.  Rug pad acts as a shock absorber for rugs and absorbs the pounding of people’s weight walking over them day after day.

Secondly, a rug with a pile should never be turned upside down.  These wool face fibers are far too delicate to withstand this kind of treatment. Just by looking at them, you can see that rugs with pile have a soft topside while the underside is much sturdier.  So you can see why a piled rug has only one top and one bottom side and is not reversible.

A dhurrie, or flat weave rug, on the other hand can in fact be used on both sides because there is no soft-cut pile on either side.  American Indian rugs can be flipped over and both sides can be used equally for this reason.

Educating our clients is one of the things that we at Arizona Oriental here in Prescott AZ try to do as much as possible.  Hopefully you found this information helpful and interesting!

Till next time, enjoy your beautiful art for your floor and remember a clean rug is a rug that can last you a lifetime!

Arizona Oriental & Specialty Rug Care serves Prescott Valley, Prescott, Sedona and much of the Northern Arizona areas. We meet the highest standards in professional cleaning of area rugs with rug wash specialists having earned the highest training which includes certification as WOOLSAFE FIBRE CARE SPECIALISTS through the WOOLSAFE ORGANISATION. Such extraordinary certification ensures the area rugs of our client’s receive the utmost in care.

If you would like more information about if you can safely use either side of your rug or a free estimate to clean or repair your area rug, give us a call at 928-445-1718, visit our website at, or stop by Monday through Friday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at our rug washing facility at 565 EZ Street, Prescott, AZ 86301 (pick-up and delivery also available). 


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