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Can I put rugs on hardwood floors?

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Maybe you just spent a decent amount of money and installed hardwood flooring throughout your home, or maybe you just expended time and effort refinishing existing hardwood. No matter the case, your floors look beautiful and add that touch of sophistication to your house. You finally have the dream floors you have always wanted. But now you start to ask yourself, can I put rugs on hardwood floors? The answer of course is yes, but the bigger questions are ‘should’ I use rugs, and if so what type of rugs would be best. I will provide answers to these important questions when considering whether to use rugs on your floors.

Should I Use Rugs On My Hardwood Floors?

The quick answer to this question is maybe. I know that is not a strong, definitive answer, but each case is different, and you need to take into consideration two main reasons you would opt to have rugs on your hardwood: Style and Functionality.


Rugs can be used to bring a room together, by tying the colors of the floor, furniture, and window covering together. Picking the right color scheme for each room is an important exercise you need to do before purchasing any rugs.

Rugs can also be used as a stand-alone piece of art, drawing the eye to it as a focal point of the room. If selecting a rug, for this reason, it is acceptable to place the rug on the floor or hang on the wall.


You can also choose to use a rug to enhance the comfort and safety of your room. A soft, comfortable rug can be an oasis for bare feet. In most cases they add warmth to an otherwise cold, solid floor. For rooms that small children or pets travel through, the use of a rug can decrease the risk of slipping on the floor and potential injuries. They also offer a small amount of padding in the event someone trips and falls.

One feature of rugs that you might not be thinking about is the fact that they tend to absorb sound. This is a perfect use of a rug if the room you are in has a television or is typically used for conversation. Absorbing the sound will make it a more pleasant place to get together.

Keep reading: 17 best neutral area rug for living room >>

What Type of Rug Would Be Best To Use?

Now that you have decided to use a rug or two (or more) on your hardwood floor, deciding what type of rug is just as important. You do not want to damage the floor that you have invested so much money into. You also want a rug that is durable and will not fall apart after a few cleanings. Lastly, when it comes to rugs, size does matter.

The best options for rugs are those that come with a natural rubber pad. Rug pads provide a great foundation for your rug and it protects your hardwood. The material of the rug itself can scratch and damage the hardwood and repairs can be very costly. Avoid rugs that come with cheap plastic pads, as these are prone to ruin the finish on your floor. If the price of the rug seems too good to be true, it probably is.

A higher-quality rug, while a little more expensive, can stand the test of time and more importantly, the proper cleaning a rug needs. Even in low traffic areas, rugs collect dust, dirt, and somehow everything that falls on the floor. These rugs need to be cleaned regularly and a better-quality rug will keep its color longer and not break down.

As for size, you do not want a rug that covers the lion’s share of your floor. One of the reasons you opted for hardwood is for the look it provides. Covering the floor with wall to wall carpeting defeats this purpose. Rugs should be sized strategically, offering cover where you want or need, but allowing the hardwood to be exposed throughout. Also, rugs are meant to be portable, so if you do ever decide to move, the rugs come with you and can be used in your new house.

The right rug can make an elegant looking room even more stylish

Deciding to cover up the beautiful, expensive hard wood flooring is a decision of both personal choice and functionality. If you do decide to use rugs, make sure that you choose rugs that complement the color and style of the flooring you have, and that the rugs do not potentially damage the hardwood. Can I put rugs on hardwood floors? Of course, you can; they are your floors and the decision is ultimately yours but uses your best judgment. The right rug can make an elegant looking room even more stylish.

Read more: How to remove rug pad residue from hardwood floors >>