Latex rugs are very popular and are used in many homes. Care should however be taken to avoid using these rugs on the wrong types of floors. Latex rugs, grips and pads have been known to cause irreparable damage to the hardwood floor and they also inhibit ventilation. Ventilation here refers to the ease with which moisture can escape from under the rug. The accumulation of moisture underneath the rug will surely lead to some problems. The plasticizers that have been used in the latex rug may find their way to the hardwood floor and this could lead to the discoloration of the floor.
It is therefore very unsafe to use synthetic materials such as latex, plastic, treated rubber or foam on any rug that will come into contact with the finished hardwood floor. The consequences are dire since your hardwood floor may be permanently damaged if you use these synthetic materials in your rugs.
Going natural is the best thing that you could do if you want to keep your floor in a good condition. Most rugs that have latex backings usually have grid patterns that can at times leave blemishes etched on your floor which are not very pleasing to look at. If possible you should opt for natural materials such as sisal, cotton or wool rugs which breathe much better compared to the synthetic materials.
Natural fibers are the best for use on hardwood floors. Synthetic rugs are also safe for use if they do not have the latex backings so long as they allow for proper ventilation. Materials that offer alternatives for backing and padding include natural untreated rubber and recycled felt. You should also make sure that any rug underlayment which is allowed to touch the hardwood floors does not have glue or any other type of adhesives.