Hardwood floors are fascinating and are sometimes regarded as the height of home aesthetics and sophistication. Besides making your home more appealing, hardwood floors can make it feel warmer and more spacious. Some home homeowners see them as long-term investments and points of bargains when trying to resell properties.
Nonetheless, hardwood floors are not without their cons and vulnerabilities. Moving heavy objects and walking in high-heeled or strong-soled shoes on a hardwood floor will leave it looking dull, scratched, and damaged. Hence, the need to add a layer of protection on your hardwood floors with an area rug.
The contrasting textures of a soft rug's fibers and a wooden floor combine to create a stunning view. And if you must use the best rugs for hardwood floors, here are some tips to help you narrow down your options.
What Kind of Rugs Are Safe for Hardwood Floors?
After investing in an attractive and well-engineered hardwood floor, you don’t want to mess it up with a poor rug choice. Rugs come in various shapes, sizes, colors, and fabrics, but here’s a list of the best and most common rugs for hardwood floors:
- Wool Rugs
Wool rugs are the most common and are often regarded as the best choice for hardwood floors. Wool rugs are admired not only for their adorable appearance, but also for being breathable, durable, soft, comfortable, and easy to clean. They are available in a variety of sizes, colors, shapes, and designs to accommodate any type of hardwood.
If you'd like to add a layer of protection to your hardwood floor while also beautifying your space, polypropylene rugs get the job done. They are flexible, durable, affordable, and user-friendly. You can't go wrong with a polypropylene rug. However, make sure to go for those with a jute backing as polypropylene rugs with plastic backings can scratch your hardwood.
- Cotton Rugs
Pieces of cotton such as wool are common natural fabrics with soft and durable textures that are perfect for hardwood floors. Cotton rugs are available in a variety of styles, colors, and patterns to give your room a casual look.
- Natural Fabric Rugs
If you’re looking to keep your hardwood floors clean without sacrificing a modern look in your home, consider natural fiber rugs like jute, sisal, coir, or seagrass. They're long-lasting, inexpensive, and easy to maintain.
Rugs on Hardwood Floors, Yes or No?
Rugs especially come in handy when trying to prevent water damage on your hardwood floors. Install natural fiber rugs or wool rugs in water-prone areas to absorb water that would otherwise damage your floor. Keeping rugs at your sink's base, pets' water bowls, refrigerators, and other similar areas help your hardwood floor remain intact for many years.
Here are some other benefits of Area Rugs on hardwood floors:
- An area rug can help to bring the elements of a room together.
- Area rugs add warmth to any room.
- Area rugs provide comfort and soft cushioning for your feet.
- Area rugs can shield your hardwood floors from scratches and stains.
- Area rugs are very appealing and can enhance the appearance of your room.
- Area rugs help to reduce the noise.
Rugs for Hardwood Floors in Living Room
Installing a rug on your hardwood floor in the living room serves two purposes. Visually, the rug creates a focal point, defines a space, and improves the overall appearance. Functionally, they absorb noise typically caused by hardwood floors and provide extra cushioning. Consider buying an area rug that complements your current living room theme. Place it under your coffee table and partially beneath your chairs and sofas to help define the seating area.
Best Rugs for Hardwood Floors in Kitchen
Kitchens are high-traffic areas prone to spills, drops, and stains, which means the hardwood floors are constantly exposed to dirt and scratches. As a result, we recommend installing a rug in your kitchen to prevent your hardwood floor from deteriorating. Rugs for hardwood floors in kitchens will also create a soothing ambiance and provide a cushion for your feet. Make sure to buy easy-to-clean and jute-backed rugs so you don't have to worry about maintenance. Avoid cheap PVC, latex, and plastic backings.
Hardwood Floors and Rug Pads
Rug pads offer comfort and stability for your rugs or carpets, but most importantly, they protect your hardwood floors against dings, stains, scratches, and damage.
When choosing a rug pad, consider the two most important qualities: performance (rug and floor protection) and safety (resistance to slipping). Natural rubber and felt rug pads are the safest options for hardwood floors. Some rug pad manufacturers combine felt and natural rubber to maximize their combined qualities.
However, avoid latex rug pads. They are not breathable and will trap air and moisture that can damage your hardwood floor. Other types of rug pads to avoid are plastic and cheap PVC.
Natural rubber rug pad for hardwood floors
Natural rubber rug pads are arguably the best choice for hardwood floors as they combine great performance with safety and eco-friendly qualities. They are excellent for holding rugs in place while also protecting the hardwood floor from damage. Although lacking slightly in cushioning, natural rubber pads make up for it in strength and stability.
Tips for Protecting Hardwood Floor with Area Rugs
- Clean the Area Before Placing the Rug
Dirt, oil, and other sorts of waste can stain and damage your hardwood floors. And if you choose to place an area rug on a dirty floor, visible markings will remain after it is removed. You can avoid this by sweeping, mopping, drying the surface, and filling visible scratches with filler.
- Use Runners in High-traffic Areas
High traffic areas like hallways, entryways, and living rooms are prone to dirt and wear and tear. Area rug in such areas will help to preserve the integrity of your hardwood floor.
- Use Waterproof Rugs in Moisture-Prone Areas
Water seeping into a hardwood floor can cause it to swell, get stained, or become waterlogged. The best rugs for hardwood floors are natural wool or synthetic fiber rugs as they are waterproof and colorfast.
- Use Oversized Rugs in Large Rooms
An oversized rug anchored by furniture is appropriate for a living or dining area but use with caution. Oftentimes, hardwood floors underneath large rugs will keep their colors longer than the uncovered ones around them. Lastly, try to reduce the amount of direct sunlight your hardwood floor is exposed to prevent discoloration.
Get a suitable rug pad and fabric furniture pads to prevent scratches and scuffed finishes. Rugs on hardwood floors can improve the visual appeal of the room while also serving as a practical item for protection. Buy an affordable premium area rug for your floor now and pay $0 in shipping fees.
Besides being very annoying, rugs that slip and move around can cause accidents and pose a serious threat to your safety as well as that of others living in your apartment, especially if you have pets and little kids. Not to worry. The truth is, most rug materials tend to move around on tiles, hardwood, marble floor, or in areas with high traffic if not well padded or held down by furniture.
Investing in a large area rug is a fairly big decision.
You have to not only love the design—it also needs to check all the functional boxes such as provide longevity, durability, and be able to be ridden hard.
And just like the smell of a new car, a rug’s appearance can fade rapidly if you don’t take care of it. Maintaining a rug’s beauty goes hand in hand with extending its lifespan. So like it or not, it’s worth it to invest in some cleaning supplies and carve out a little time to work on its appearance.
It might be easier than you think.
Here are 8 ways to keep your area rugs looking new.
No Shoe Policy
Let’s say you really, really want to be a stickler about maintaining the quality of your rug. The best solution? Keep those nasty shoes off of it.
Some families insist that guests take their shoes off at the door, which is one way to avoid shoe sole to carpet contact. Another idea is to place your best rugs in low traffic rooms to avoid the trampling of busy feet.
If you do want a rug that can handle some wear and tear, say in the kitchen area, look to beautiful designs like this Trellis Rug that was crafted to keep its luster.
We know, we know, no one likes vacuuming. Ok, there are a few of you, but for the rest of us, pulling out the Hoover is a drag. But let us tell you why it’s worth it: a good weekly vacuum can prevent build-up from happening on an area rug, and keep it looking new. Leave that gunk on there and it can do lasting damage.
And when the vacuum isn’t enough, take a page out of the Scandinavians book and beat your rug outside.
Address Stains Immediately
If someone spills something on your rug just before you’re getting ready to head up to bed, it can be tempting to just clean it up later.
However, by addressing stains immediately, they have less chance, of, well, staining. The longer a liquid or nasty solid sits, the more time it has to embed itself into a rug. By attacking it within seconds of the stain, you increase your chances of making it vanish altogether.
Embrace Spring and Fall Cleaning
Spring cleaning isn’t just a cute saying. It’s an opportunity to truly dive into the task of home hygiene by taking the typical polish up a notch.
Instead of merely vacuuming, lift up area rugs and clean beneath them as well to ensure there’s nothing below them threatening their lifespan. Break out the store-bought carpet cleaner chemicals for a fuller clean as well. Then let your rugs fully dry before returning them to their rooms.
Replace Vacuum Filter Bags Often
You might think you’re getting a good clean with your vacuum, but if you’re not changing your filter bags regularly, it might not be sucking up very much dirt at all. Changing them out will ensure that you get the full suction power and remove all the dirt.
Invest in Rug Pads
Carpets don’t just fall victim to spills. Wear and tear can actually pull the vulnerable weave apart.
One way to protect rugs from this is to place protective rug pads beneath them. This will add some cushion and separate them from surfaces, like loose wood floorboards, that could pull and tug them apart. It’s also a good way to prevent slippage and keep you safe as well.
Rotate Area Rugs
Do you flip your mattress to ensure it doesn’t get too lumpy or flat in some areas?
The same logic applies to area rugs.
If you want to avoid things like sun damage or strain on certain sections of your rug, rotate it by spinning it or swapping it with another area rug once in a while. This will extend its life while also giving you a fresh look in your home whenever you feel the need for an update. For instance these complimentary rugs, Multi-Colored Modern Bohemian Distressed Area Rug and Elegant Distressed Ivory Oriental Area Rug could easily live in the same room and be swapped for each other whenever the time is right.
Call the Professionals
Calling in the professionals, when it comes to rug cleaning, is nothing to be ashamed of. Rug cleaners know exactly what they’re doing and how to get the most out of your area rug in order to make it look brand new.
When you’ve got a rug that needs some love, has a stain, or is just beginning to show its age, turn to rug professionals to perk it up. Prices will vary depending on size and fabric, so shop around to find a vendor who can work with your budget and your rug goals.
Keeping your area rugs looking clean, new, and beautiful doesn’t have to be a full-time job. With some regular maintenance and occasional deep cleaning, your rugs can keep your home looking lovely for years.