What Rugs are Safe for Hardwood Floors?

A hardwood floor is the height of sophistication; its diversity makes it a popular choice of flooring. Rugs for hardwood floors can add that extra finesse into a room, whether it be bringing the room together or as a statement piece. However, hardwood floors are less forgiving when it comes to showing marks, and so it is important to follow certain safety tips when choosing your ideal rug, in order to keep your hardwood floor safe.

This blog explores how rugs can cause damage to a hardwood floor, the best ways to avoid damage and what to look for when purchasing a rug for a hardwood floor.

How Rugs can Damage your Hardwood Floor

rugs for wood floors
Pictured: Our Capri Rug

Hardwood floors can require slightly more care compared to other flooring choices. There are a few things you could be doing that are ruining your floors without you even realising!

•  Using carpet tape

Whilst you need the rug to stay in its place, resist taping it to the floor! The tape can be near impossible to remove from the floor and can even remove some of the finish with it when it is pulled off.

•  Using low-quality rug pads

Lower quality pads have a PVC composition which react with the finish on your hardwood floor and potentially permanently discolour your floor.

•  Not rotating the rug

If your room has a lot of windows, the sunlight will shine through onto the floor. This causes a natural slight discoloration, whilst the area under the rug will remain the same colour.

Dodging your doormat

Doormats are the unsung heroes for hardwood floors. They rid your shoes of the outside dirt and grit that acts like sandpaper against the floor. So the cleaner your shoes are when your feet hit the floor, the better it is for your flooring.


We’ve all accidentally knocked a drink over on a rug. If these spillages are not cleaned up quickly and properly they can seep through the rug and become absorbed by the flooring.

What Rugs are Safe for Hardwood Floors?


Realistically, there are no specific rug types that are worse than others for the safety of your hardwood flooring, as long as you put the correct measures in place to protect your floors.

  • Place the rug near the doorway

This is highly recommended by most hardwood flooring manufacturers. The type of rug you choose is down to personal preference.

  • Use the right rug pads

Rug pads enable you to put any type of rug on your hardwood floor whilst keeping it protected. There are a few different types of rug pads:

Synthetic Latex- these are best short term. Often a blended mix between clay fillers and latex, which keeps them cheaper. However, the clay tends to dry out and tends to leave a pile of rubber flakes.

100% Natural Rubber- medium priced. These eco-friendly pads are a safer alternative to PVC pads and offer non-stick grip to flooring.

100% Felt Pads¬- excellent for offering cushioning to your rug, due to their high density. These pads are better suited to larger rugs as they have less grip than rubber pads. Also eco-friendly as they are often made from recycled materials.

Rubber/ Felt Hybrid Pad- best of both worlds! This premium pad offers the cushioning of the felt with the gripping attributes of rubber.

At Rug Traders, we offer an affordable anti-slip mat that will keep your rug in place but also protect the back of your rug!

  • Occasionally rotate rug

This helps prevent sun-fade. During the sunniest parts of the day, use your window coverings to shade the room from the sun. Ideally in a very sunny room, it is best to go for longer periods without a rug to prevent sun-fade.

Handy tips when purchasing your rug

It’s your house! There is no particular style of rug that is better suited to hardwood flooring than others as long as the correct protection is put underneath the rug. Check out our website to view our large selection of rugs!

Hopefully, this blog has succeeded in giving you some useful tips on styling rugs for hardwood floors and how to protect your hardwood floor during the process. If you are struggling to find a particular style of rug to put in your home, check out our Rug Buying Guide or previous blogs for inspiration!

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