Adding area rugs on hardwood flooring will serve both practical purposes as well as ornamental purposes. Due to different types of coarseness of the backings used on the rugs, area rugs can slide on the hardwood flooring and cause scratching. The dirt and grit trapped beneath the rugs can also lead to scratching the flooring.
In order to protect the wood floor, it is recommended for an area pad to be placed under the area rugs. Rug pads can also cause damage to the hardwood flooring depending on the material used in making them. You have to choose carefully, other benefits that rug pads will offer you include noise reduction, comfort and safety. For wood floors they are highly recommended.
Here are recommendations for coated hardwood and polyurethane floors. There are rugs made of PVC (vinyl) which contains plasticizers, this can discolor the wood or the finish. This damage is permanent and can make the floors develop a sight that is not pretty. Floors have to breathe. There are rug pads which will be labeled as good for hard surface floors or just wood floors. But you should remember that you will not have to place the rug pads on the hardwood floor but on the finish of the floor.
Make sure that the rug pad is suitable for your floor finish. In case you are not sure it is recommended for you to call the manufacturer and enquire.
In particular, in the market there is one of the popular anti-skid rubberized products which are synthetic. The product is used for lining drawers and shelves. The product usually leave un-repairable distinct crisscross, egg like crate pattern or grid on the hardwood floor. Some carpet or general stores will recommend the product. My advice; never take chance to buy this type of product. The product causes an irreversible damage on hardwood floors. Even a bluff or recoat will not remove the damage that the product will cause. In order to remove the pattern caused you have to sand off. This is very expensive. Similarly, bathroom style rugs are available which have a certain type of backing made out of rubber, it is also known as yellowing linoleum for vinyl flooring. They are also known to permanently discolor floors made out of hardwood floors. Lastly, never use a stiff pad on hard cleats or grippers. Many people will use them near outside entrances; they can also cause indentations on the hardwood floors.
Area rugs and pad materials should not stain; simply they should not produce colors which will finally bleed into the hardwood floor. It is preferable for you to use rugs that have the same color, this is necessary so that you will slip them whenever you wish. Common materials used in the rugs include cotton and wool. You should note the cleaning instructions of the materials before you decide to buy the rugs. After you choose the right type of pad, you can use any area rug without major concern. In case you need inexpensive hardwood floor, I highly recommend the rebound padding made out of recycled scraps. It has to be made out of foam that lies between 3/8″ and 7/16″ thickness. You have to cut the pad small in sizes, for about two inch smaller when compared to the area rug. To hold the two in place you need to make use of a carpet tape to hold the seams. Polyurethane rug is also preferable; this is simply because it is easily reusable with lots of cushion. Another option is the fiber padding which is made out of recycled polyester fibers. It holds up well but it is not very comfortable.
Retail area rugs suitable for hardwood floors. In amazon.com alone you will find a lot of area rugs suitable for hardwood floors. Even if there are many area rugs available, you should note the chemicals used in making them for you to avoid buying those that will leave a permanent damage on your hardwood floor. For example, antiskid type can cause irreversible damage on your floor. You have to choose carefully for you to avoid damage on your hardwood floors. Here are my recommended area rug pads that are suitable for hardwood floors. They are very worthy for your long term investment on hardwood flooring. They are also inexpensive and are not prone to damages. There are different size options which will meet your specific needs. Wood will tend to change color over time due to expose to sunlight hence you need to move the rugs periodically for you to keep the color of the floor even.