Area Rugs on Hardwood Floors

cactuscatieJanuary 29, 2008

We have new oak floors. We want to get some area rugs. But we were wondering whether the rugs will protect or damage the floors. Also, those of you who have area rugs over your hardwood floors, do you pick them up to clean under them? How often?

Since our floors are new and so beautiful we want to do everything right to preserve them.

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Buy some (don't know what they're called) floor protector sheets from Wally World; they're folded and packaged in ~18" X 24" clear bags, they're tan in color. They go under the rugs; you can cut them to size. You should at least lift up the edges of your rugs and vacuum or dry mop when you clean, and roll them up once in a while to clean underneath, shouldn't need to that often.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 6:53PM
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Some flooring professionals will recommend that you don't put rugs down for up to 30 days if you floors were finished on the job-site. You might want to ask you contractor is your floors were finished on site.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 8:40PM
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be aware that your floors will usually fade or darken depending on species. The area under your rugs will appear different colors. Normal but some people freak out. Most info you will receive tell you to 'rotate' the rugs which is normally impossible to do. No problem unless you decide not to have the rugs. Just a heads up.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 11:04PM
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My floor is Brazilian Cherry, which darkens a LOT over time. I've just accepted that there are going to be light patches wherever my furniture/rugs are. Whoever buys this house after me probably isn't going to be thrilled, though.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 12:57PM
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Just drove 200 miles today to inspect a floor. She peeled back her area rug, to show me the color difference. She didn't want to here that it was natural for the UV light coming in the wall of west facing windows, to darken her new exotic wood.

She was dead set on a new floor. LOL!!!! Sorry Charlie!!!
Claim denied... Go pound sand, lady Her stance was the sales guy @ one of the big box stores should have told her it was going to change colors.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 11:22PM
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Well, she should have done some research. And I'd be surprised that a sales guy didn't say something. We had several salesmen point out to us at different flooring stores how Brazilian Cherry darkened over time. We accepted that as part of going with our floor choice.

One thing I find interesting -- we left our master bedroom open to sunlight for, oh, maybe a couple of weeks before moving any furniture into it. The dark/light difference in that room has been very slight compared to the other rooms (and it does get a decent amount of sunlight). If I had it do over again, I would let each room "cure" for a few weeks before moving furniture in, since it seems that a lot of the darkest darkening seems to happen in the initial weeks.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 5:24PM
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What is a good color stain to put over oak flooring since it darkens anyway? Is there any tried and true stain color that's in vogue and never goes out of style?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 10:50PM
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Regarding the carpet pads -- we have Brazilian Teak floors with several area rugs throughout. When we recently had one of our area rugs picked up to get cleaned we noticed that the pad underneath (which was a thin foam) had stuck to the floor and left a slight gummy residue. It took quite a bit of elbow grease to remove. This is a similar pad that you find at BBB or many other stores that sell inexpensive area rugs.

When we checked the pad underneath one of our other rugs we noticed a different pad made of felt which had not left any residue. So my advice is to get a good quality felt pad so as to not ruin your floors. We didn't not choose our pads -- the dealers who sold us the rugs brought their own hence the different types in our home.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 3:28PM
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I think people make way too much out of the wood darkening. I have Brazilian Cherry and it did darken for the first year or so -- so what? It stays slighly lighter under the rugs but then again no one looks under the rugs! It really does not bother me whatsoever.

I think rugs at entryways are an absolute must. They catch a ton of dirt. Personally, I think area rugs are just one more thing to clean. Plus a lot of dirt/dust gets trapped underneath them at the edges.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 2:14PM
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I agree with GardenChick1. Good carpeting stores will sell you the felt-back pads that you need to protect your floors under area rugs. They can be cut to any size and they are well worth the extra cost, which still isn't that much more than then thin cheap underpads sold at big box stores. We have some large area rugs and some runners. I occasionally pick up the edges of the large rugs to vacuum, and occasionally pick up the runners to vacuum under them. The runners are big enough to vacuum but debris does sneak under the edges over time.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 10:50PM
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GardenChick, I have the same thing with my oak floors. It almost looks like the finish has been etched by the rubber mesh pad. Any tips for removing this stuff? I am sure it is a lot of work.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 3:28PM
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We had the same problem this weekend. We bought an Oriental rug and pad from Macy's 2 years ago and placed them on our oak floor. We were changing rooms around and picked up the rug and the foam pad was stuck to the oak floor. My husband gently used a putty knife and WD 40 which is a solvent to remove the foam pieces that were stuck.

But the foam pad left a mirror image on the floor - you could even see all those little pincushion hole marks from the pad. And the floor is still sticky. Needless to say we've been on the phone to Macy's.

I will never use those pads again. Now I'm looking for the felt ones that were mentioned above. Can anyone recommend a source or a brand name?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 11:06PM
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If anyone has the sticking problem again, try Goo Gone~great for unsticking anything and no nasty odor.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 11:54PM
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I know NOW to rotate area rugs, but it's too late for me. We gave our dining room table to our daughter and when we removed the rug that had been under it.....oh dear. The wood floor underneath the rug looks beautiful and new, and there's a very clear line of demarcation between that and the rest of the floor.

We're putting our house on the market in a month or so. Is there ANYTHING we can do to make this problem less obvious? Our furniture will all be in our new house by the time we try to sell this one, so leaving the rug there all by itself would look odd and, besides, it wouldn't feel honest.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 8:35PM
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coral ok: Maybe you could have it sanded and refinished, preferably after you get your furniture out of the house. That is a big job of course. I bet floorguy has a good solution for you.

Personally, if everything else in the house looked good, I would be so happy to get a hardwood floor that what you describe would not keep me from buying.

I salute your honesty, that alone makes you a wonderful seller. Maybe you could have your rug there, turned back at the corner to show you're not trying to hide anything, with a big sign that says credit to buyer of $(whatever) for new area rug of your choice. Then they can use the credit to sand the floor or whatever.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 11:37AM
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Bigdoglover......THANK YOU for your comments. I hadn't meant to hijack this thread, but I'm glad I checked back here. I like the idea of giving the buyer a credit; sounds like a good solution to me! Thanks again.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 10:18AM
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Coral OK, you're welcome! People like hardwood and people like money, so it's a winning combo.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 12:04PM
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Hello everyone! To answer the question cactuscatie (I do see this is an old post, sorry to go back), you probably won't have any problem with placing a rug on your Oak floors.

However, it is very important to have a padding underneath your rug. Otherwise you may incur the discoloration as mentioned. That is to say, both rug and floor need to breathe.

As for vacuuming under the rug:
It's a great idea to clean underneath your rug and pad. But full cleaning need not be frequent. Proper attention to the rug and pad is as follows:

Full sweep out from under the rug every 3-6 months. If you decide to mop, at least allow a full day for the floor to dry in a normal climate. Every week, however, it is advisable to flip each side and end back 2 feet or so (of both rug and pad) to sweep out dirt and grit around the perimeter. This will help prevent any high abrasives from dulling your floor.

Additionally, it's also important to note that you're rug will need attention too: especially if it's an Oriental! Oriental Rugs should be vacuumed on the face every week, or as needed.

Every 6-12 months, do a more thorough vacuuming: Vacuum first the back of the rug with a beater vacuum (helps push dirt and abrasives out through face of the rug) then vacuum the front.

Also keep in mind the traffic of the area in which the rug is located. It is very important to encourage even wear of your rug to preserve not only it's value but it's appearance as well. I have seen from experience how important it is that rugs be rotated every year.

I think it was Grendle Fly who said new floors need 30 days to breathe. This is very true in the instances of natural wood, and treated wood. For purposes of proper curing, it is essential.

This is my first post to this forum, so I would like to leave everyone with a tip: If you walk on your Oriental Rugs with socks, it will actually polish the wool over time. Also, this will help keep your rug looking newer for longer as well as giving it a finer sheen and luster.

Good health

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 12:22AM
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HELP - Has anyone discovered how to remove the sticky residue left by the rubber pad??? I have the "grid" marks by the pad on my hardwood floor and have no clue how to remove it. Refinishing the floors isn't an option, I had them done shortly before putting the rug and pad down. Thanks for any suggestions.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 8:41AM
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If the pad is "rubber...i.e.latex"...then you may have a permanent staining there.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 9:22AM
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Try mineral spirits, to remove the sticky residue.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 2:49AM
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This is why I bought laminate flooring...:-)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 1:11PM
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We had the same problem with what appeared to be in imprint of the rug pad left on the floor. The floors were previously finished with Bonakemi "Mega" finish over "Pacific" sealer probably 10 years before the tenant put down the pad under her rug.

I just had the floors cleaned and buffed and then had them put on two new coats of the finish (the guy said one would be enough, but I thought two would be better). Looks great! and the imprints are gone.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 7:16PM
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I just had my oak floors refinished, and needed rug pads for new rugs. I called two online shops I found online since I wanted to stay far away from any PVC pads. ( called rugpadcorner and rugpadusa respectively).

Both were adamant about using a natural rubber rug pad over glossy polyurethane hardwood. I'm not sure why most of pads on the market are PVC if they can stain your floors, it makes no sense to me.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 1:27AM
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First of all people should keep in mind that they should wait at least 3 weeks better will be1 month after refinishing their hardwood floors to use a rug pad. Because if the polyurethane hasn't cured yet, it will be react with the pvc or rubber based pad, amusing it to mar the floor. What to expect from a high-quality hardwood floor rug pad
With so many rug pad materials on the market, finding the best rug pad for hardwood floors to protect both your carpet and wooden floor can be quite a challenge. While quality rug pad for wood floors are designed to protect and offer stability, a low-quality padding may do more harm than good. As a rule of thumb, a good rug pad should keep your carpet in place, make cleaning easier, and protect the flooring underneath. But there are other characteristics to look for when buying rug pads for hardwood floors:
a high-quality padding should not smellâ¦
it will not stick to your floor; those that do stick to your floors or stain them are made from low-quality PVC or are cured with various chemicals that can react with your sensitive hardwood floors. Always keep in mind that you should wait at least one month after refinishing your floors before laying any type of rug pad, otherwise the finishing may react with the padding.
environmentally friendly rug pads minimize landfill waste and they do not contain harmful chemicals. Thicker rug pads for hardwood floors will help prolong your a carpets life.
äRreduce slippage
äMake vacuuming and cleaning so much easier
äOffer a soft feeling under your feet
äReduce carpet wear and wrinkling
äProtect your wooden floors from stains
äAdd cushion, warmth, and comfort
äExtend the life of your hardwood floor.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 3:50PM
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It is better to make rug from cloth it is smooth to use and easily under Hardwood Floors should be better to use it.hand knotted rugs will be also useful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Alrug

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 8:38AM
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What a great post as I am going to be getting new hardwood floors after my tax season due to my floors being water damaged from my water heater and I this time I want area rugs as I miss the warmth of some rugs.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 10:32AM
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