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Area Rugs to Protect Your Hardwood Floors

Today's hardwood floor finishes are more durable then ever, but they're still not indestructible. You've spent a lot of money on your floors, so you're going to want to take a few precautions to protect them.

A regular cleaning routine of vacuuming or sweeping is very important. It will keep dust, dirt and grit that could possible damage your floors from accumulating. Cleaning spills right away will also help prolong the life of your floor.

Another thing that you should consider is the use of walk off mats or area rugs. These will not only protect the floor, but can also create added beauty to your home. Rugs can be found in a variety of styles, colors and price ranges, so depending on your particular taste and the decor of your home, the choices are endless.

Most hardwood floor manufactures recommend the use of rugs in front of doors. This will help to trap most of the dirt and moisture from shoes that may otherwise get tracked across the floor and lead to premature wear of the finish. I also recommend rugs be used in high traffic areas. Using them in front of sinks, dishwashers and refrigerators not only protects from excessive wear but will help catch any moisture from spills and drips.

It's important to keep these rugs clean as well. Just take them outside once in a while for a good shaking and they'll go a long way to protect the floor. For larger rugs in living rooms or dining rooms, just clean up spills and vacuum them regularly.

Rugs can become very slippery on hardwood floors so you will want to use some type of a non-slip pad underneath. These can be found at any floor covering outlet or home improvement center like Lowe's or Home Depot. They come in different sizes and are easily cut to fit any size rug.

They are also made from different materials. Try to stay away from the rubber, plastic or foam ones. They tend to break down quickly and can sometimes leave a sticky residue on the floor. There are some good vinyl and wool products on the market that will work much better.

The only real downside to using area rugs is that they may cause discoloration of the wood. The area under the rug will keep its original color while the uncovered areas will tend to fade from exposure to sunlight.

Where I live in Colorado, the sun is even more intense and can cause quite a bit of fading. It's something you really don't notice until you pull a corner of the rug back and see a distinct line of color change. This can be pretty extreme, especially with certain woods like American cherry or Brazilian cherry.

One of the things you can do to minimize this is to hold off a while before putting the rugs down. Most site finished floors, those that are sanded and finished in your home, require you to keep rugs off for about 30 days so the finish can fully cure. Pre-finished floors don't have this issue because the finish is fully cured before it leaves the factory.

Another thing that will help is to have good window coverings on your windows, especially those where you have direct sunlight. Keeping those shades closed during peak hours of the day will help to prevent fading. Also, like in your car, you can have the windows in your home tinted with a UV resistant film. There are do-it-yourself kits available or you can have it professionally done.

Finally, you may want to occasionally move you area rugs around. This will help to keep the fading more consistent. If there are times where you'll be away for extended periods, like vacations or business trips, you may want to completely remove the rugs to let those areas "air out".

The bottom line is, you've spent a lot of money on your hardwood floors and you want to protect your investment. Follow these tips and you'll have great looking floors for years to come.



Contact Alpine Flooring in Boulder or Denver Colorado, for your home's hardwood floor installing and/or refinishing needs.

Or give us a call at your convenience: 303-884-8020