Can Rugs Damage Hardwood Flooring? How to Keep Your Floors Protected

Can Rugs Damage Hardwood Flooring? How to Keep Your Floors Protected

If you’ve just installed or restored hardwood flooring, you’ll want to do everything in your power to keep your floors in pristine condition for years to come. Hardwood flooring can be quite expensive, and installing them can be an intricate process best left to a professional, so when it’s all said and done, you don’t want to do anything that could possibly damage your new floors. 

When it comes to protecting hardwood flooring from sunlight, from temperature changes, pets, children, or heavy traffic, using area rugs or carpets seems like a no-brainer solution. Rugs placed strategically in high-traffic areas or entryways can protect hardwood floors from scratches, spills, or moisture, while adding warmth and coziness to any space. However, if you’re not careful, sometimes area rugs can end up doing more damage than good to hardwood floors. 

Use a quality rug pad

First of all, it’s crucial to make sure that any rugs or carpets used to cover hardwood floors feature a rug pad, and a quality one. Poor quality rug pads can trap dirt, dust, oil, or debris underneath the rug, causing scratches and discoloration over time. The color of the rug pad could also transfer to the hardwood plank, which might require a fresh coat of finish to even things out. A good quality rug pad will reduce wear-and-tear, protect the hardwood at all times, without transferring color or doing any damage. It will also help keep the rug in place, avoiding slipping accidents and making cleaning and vacuuming a lot easier. Choosing a rug pad made out of felt and rubber will help keep your hardwood floors in top shape, without scratching it or causing discoloration.

Place mats around entryways

Secondly, to protect hardwood floors from debris, dust, grime, water, dirt, and other things one might bring from outside, make sure you install mats both outside and inside. Normal rugs or carpets won’t work as well here. You will need to look for a proper mat designed specifically to retain any outside debris from coming inside and damaging hardwood floors. A quality mat will retain and absorb water, collect dirt and dust, so you don’t bring it inside. 

Consider the purpose of the rug

Thirdly, consider the area where rugs or carpets will be installed. If you want to place a rug in a hallway, a living room, or another heavily trafficked area of a home, you’ll want to make sure you pick a rug that can withstand that traffic and the wear-and-tear. You’ll also need to place a stable, high-quality rug pad underneath to make sure the area rug will stay in place no matter what, and won’t damage the floors due to the heavy traffic. What’s more, it’s essential to protect the hardwood from heavy furniture. This can be done by placing area rugs underneath furniture, choosing a large size rug to cover up the entire room, or simply using felt protectors on every furniture leg. 

All in all, rugs are a great and effective way of keeping hardwood flooring protected from heavy traffic, furniture, sunlight, extreme temperatures, dust, debris, moisture, and more. As long as you use a quality rug pad and place your rugs strategically where you need them, and ensure you vacuum underneath them regularly to prevent debris from collecting, your hardwood floors will stay in top shape. 

Frequently asked questions

Is it safe to put a rug on hardwood floors?

Yes, it is generally okay to put a rug on hardwood floors. Rugs can enhance the aesthetics of a room, provide warmth and comfort underfoot, and help protect the hardwood flooring from scratches and wear. It’s important to use rug pads underneath to prevent slippage and protect the floor’s finish. Regularly cleaning and maintaining the hardwood floor and the rug can ensure that both remain in good condition while complementing each other in your interior design.

How long to wait to put rugs on new hardwood floors?

The time you should wait to put rugs on new hardwood floors can vary depending on the specific finish and type of hardwood used, as well as the manufacturer’s recommendations. In general, it’s a good idea to wait at least two weeks before placing rugs on new hardwood floors to allow the finish to cure and adhere properly. However, it’s best to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific flooring and finish, as they may recommend a longer waiting period to ensure the hardwood is fully settled and any off-gassing from the finish has dissipated, which can vary between two weeks to a month or more. Waiting helps prevent any potential damage or discoloration to your new hardwood floors.

Looking for more tips on how to install, refinish, protect, or replace hardwood floors? Follow First Atlanta Flooring and reach out to our team if you have any questions about our products and services.