Area rugs for hardwood floors warm the ambiance of a room, provide a soft and cozy surface underfoot, for pets and playtime, and they also help protect your wood flooring.

But before you invest in area rugs, take these tips and precautions into consideration:

  • If you use the proper rug pad, you can choose almost any area rug you’d like without concern for your floors. But the rug pads themselves can cause permanent damage if not appropriate for a polyurethane finish.
  • Area rugs should be non-staining so that the colors don’t bleed into your floor.
  • We suggest a rug of the same material front and back, so you can flip it over routinely and prolong its wear – such as wool or cotton.
  • Note the cleaning instructions before purchasing to ensure you can and will clean your area rugs frequently.

Area Rug Pads

Some area rugs are made with a backing that seems adequate to hold it in place on the floor and provide enough cushion for your comfort. Therefore, an area rug pad may not seem necessary.

However, even these types of rugs move or slide around, which can be a safety hazard to family and guests. An area rug pad serves the purpose of holding your rug in place.

An area rug can cause ‘out of sight – out of mind’ syndrome so that you forget what hazards may be trapped beneath it. There could be moisture, grit, dust and dirt which are scratching your floor’s finish or warping the wood. An area rug pad is another valuable layer of protection.

In fact, some area rugs are made with a type of backing that actually scratches or discolors the floor all on their own.

Keep in mind that area rug pads can do a whole lot of damage too if they are not made from materials friendly to polyurethane-coated floors.

Recommended Rug Pads for Urethane Finished Wood Floors

UV and Area Rugs for Hardwood Floors

Your hardwood floors will age naturally over time due, in part, to heat, moisture and sunlight.

Direct sunlight (ultraviolet rays) is one such natural occurrence that causes color degradation or sun fading. Therefore, the portions of your hardwood flooring covered from UV rays by area rugs may appear darker than the rest of the exposed floor.

To help balance the aging process of your wood flooring, relocate your area rugs periodically.

You might also consider window coverings, such as drapes or blinds, to help protect color fading for both your area rugs and your flooring.