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Area rug and wood floor in a room decorated with lamps, a bookshelf, and an accent chair

Area rugs offer a beautiful, easy way to protect your hardwood floors, especially in high-traffic areas. There are also some caveats that homeowners should know to keep their floors looking as beautiful as the day they were first installed. Okay, that may be a tall order, but you can certainly keep them in tip-top shape.

Runner rugs are ideal for hallways and areas such as in front of countertops and your stove where you spend a lot of time preparing meals. Runner rugs keep sand from scuffing the finish of your floors.

Water May be Your Floor’s Number One Enemy

Areas such as those in front of entryways can be permanently damaged if you don’t keep them protected. Whether it is snow, rain, or sand, your entryway is at the highest risk for damage. You will want to make sure that the rug you place in front of these doors is colorfast and waterproof. Synthetic fiber and wool rugs are ideal

Large Area Rugs

Large Area Rugs can protect the floors in your rooms from furniture and sunlight. Because of this, it is crucial to move the placement of your area rug periodically to prevent your floor from getting “tan-lines.” Otherwise, the wood under the rug will stay vibrant and dark, while the wood that is left uncovered will become sun-bleached. Try to reduce this sun bleaching by using blinds or draperies.

Area Rugs are an Easy Way to Define Spaces

You can divide large rooms by placing an area rug in one area. This will make the room more comfortable, warmer than it would be without the rug. Use care not to use a rug that is too large. This can overwhelm the decor of the room.

Never use a rug with latex backing.

Rug manufacturers often put latex backing on natural fiber rugs. Unfortunately, latex traps moisture and gases. They can stain and strip your floor’s finish. PVC pads can include off-gassing chemicals that may react with the chemicals in your floor finish. One example of this is the use of Phthalates. These chemicals are used to soften many PVC rug pads. But they can cause floors to discolor. Another issue stems from when manufacturers use too many clay fillers in their latex blends, which causes latex to break down or dry out prematurely.

Instead of latex backed rugs, purchase rugs backed with a natural woven backing. One ideal example is wool. Wool rugs are safe for hardwood floors since they allow air to move through their breathable fibers. But wool can be scratchy. A thick felt pad underneath will offer protection for your floor and feel comfortable under your feet.

TIP: When you measure and cut the backing for your rug, don’t include any tassels or fringe on the rug.

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If you plan to install hardwood floors in your home, or have your existing flooring refinished, contact us today for a free quote. We are hardwood floor experts.