Best Rugs for Wood Floors

In today’s episode of “thing’s I’ve been doing wrong until I consulted an expert” I am here to help you not make the same mistake that I have when it comes to wood floor care and rugs. As you may have seen from this post, I love sourcing my rugs from a mix of places – vintage wools from Etsy and area rugs from Rugs USA – but after 1 year of officially moving back into our post-renovated home and my experience with rugs, I’m here with a warning. If you are looking for the best rugs for wood floors, beware of the synthetic material rugs and what you should do now to avoid any deterioration of your wood floors. 

best rugs for wood floors

I’m not certain that wood floors were ever “uncool” in interior design, but natural wood floors (and especially antique wood floors) are having their design moment when people are renovating. The majority of our floors are 120-year-old heart pine with the exception of the kitchen due to rot. Whether you have new wood or old wood, all wood still needs to BREATHE. 

Yes, that’s right, wood breathes. 

The first time I noticed something was wrong in my kitchen was when I moved the polyester rug from in front of the stove away and noticed that a white shadow was underneath its space. I thought perhaps this may have been from cooking grease settling around the area but after chatting with a rug expert he told me that the danger of cheap rugs is that they ruin your wood floors because they don’t let the floors breathe and age naturally. 

Think of it as putting a piece of plastic around a tree trunk. The tree will grow where there is the least resistance and be smaller where the plastic was placed until the plastic cracks in the distant future. 

The risk of this is of course aesthetic but if you’ve opted to have wood floors in your home, you hope that as they age, they do so evenly and naturally. 

Obviously, replacing any polyester rug in your home with a wool rug might not fit into the budget right away, so the cost-effective fix is to always buy a wool rug pad to go underneath your polyester rug so that it allows the floors to breathe. 

The mesh grippy rug holders will not suffice as a substitute, so if you want to preserve your floors and your rug, opt for a wool rug pad like this

Now if you are like me and have discoloration due to wood floor suffocation, don’t panic! It will naturally age and darken to the rest of the floor’s coloration- it just may take some time. The best thing you can do is replace it with a rug that is slightly larger than what was there before to hide any “ring” the suffocating rug may have caused. 

I hope if you are embarking on a home reno journey and it includes wood floors you heed this polyester rug warning and the risk of suffocation it may cause to your beautiful new floors. 

Shop my favorite vintage wool rugs below

Author: Cynthia

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