Best Rugs for Hardwood Floors

Best Rugs for Hardwood Floors

After you’ve invested in beautiful, engineered hardwood floors, the next step is deciding what to put on those hardwoods. Whether you’re looking to protect your floors or you simply like the look and feel of a rug, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the best rugs for your hardwood floors.

Types of Rugs

Rugs come in all shapes, sizes, and fabrics. Which is right for your hardwood floors? Here are a few options to consider based on your design sensibilities.

1. Wool: Wool rugs are one of the most common choices for hardwood floors. Durable and easy to clean, wools and wool blends come in a variety of styles and colors to work with any type of hardwood.

2. Natural Fiber: If you’re looking for a rug for a contemporary space rather than a formal, traditional look, consider a natural fiber rug like coir, jute or seagrass. Just make sure to choose one without a synthetic latex backing.

3. Cotton: Have a more rustic sensibility? Cotton rugs give a room a more casual look and come in a variety of patterns and styles.

4. Synthetic: For durability with a little more flexibility in style, consider a synthetic rug. If you do choose synthetic, watch out for hard plastic backing as this can scratch your hardwoods without the right rug pad.

No matter what type of rug you choose, avoid a latex backing as latex can trap moisture and gasses that may ruin your hardwood floor’s finish. Woven and heat set backings allow for air flow, but should be placed over rug pads to protect your hardwoods.

Best Rugs for hardwood flooring

Choosing a Rug Pad

Speaking of rug pads, before you buy a rug and lay it down, make sure to invest in a good pad as a rug’s backing can actually scrape hardwood floors. But not all rug pads are created equal.

Cheap pads are often made of materials full of VOCs, which can significantly impact indoor air quality. Plus, the wrong materials can actually result in scratches to your hardwoods, negating the effects of an area rug all together!

Avoid plastic and PVC rug pads. Instead look for pads made with felt, natural (not synthetic!) rubber or a mix of both. Not only are they extra thick for more cushioning and safer for the air you breathe, they’ll protect your floors from color bleed-through, scratches and worn-down finishes.

Hardwood Floor Rug Placement

Where to Place Rugs

Consider putting runner rugs in high-traffic areas like hallways and entryways. And don’t just place that welcome mat outside your front and garage doors, put an extra one inside to help catch dirt. For large rooms, consider oversized area rugs for more protection. Of course, no matter where you put a rug, make sure to sweep the entire area and fix any scratches before putting the rug down.

Design Tips for Your Rugs

If you’re looking to add a rug to your space, don’t forget to consider 2019 design trends before making your purchase. One of the top looks? Carpet layering.

Create your own art statement by overlapping one corner each of equally sized rugs in different patterns and colors for a modern look, or cozy up your rustic décor with layered area rugs like a southwestern style fringe over a larger, neutral-ton jute rug.

Best Types of Rugs for Hardwood Flooring

Have more of a traditional design sensibility? Frame a floral rug in your foyer with a larger solid color underneath. Bonus: Florals are in this year!

For a boho feel, place colorful Moroccan-inspired or fringe rugs over bamboo or wicker mats (but don’t forget the rug pads!). Prefer an ocean vibe? Go with a coastal look by using a sand-colored circular rug over a larger square one in ocean-blue.

3 Responses to “Best Rugs for Hardwood Floors”

  1. Try to buy both rug and runner with same pattern and color for hard wood floor.
    They should be heave, padded, so non skid.

  2. Hi any suggestions on where I can buy the best underpad to protect my new hardwood floors – everything in your write up is what the floor company said – no rubber , natural, breathable materials

  3. You mention not to use a rubber backed rug in a kitchen which could trap moisture and ruin wood floor finish… but what kind of rug /backing/pad can one put in front of a kitchen sink that wont slip?

    Thank you

    Alison Margolis


Leave a Reply