When Oriental Rugs Meet Hardwood Floors

When a hand-knotted Oriental Rug meets hardwood flooring, many homeowners get nervous.

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Will it slip and slide uncontrollably?

Can the wool in the rug damage the floor?

Is there a chance that the floor will damage the rug?

There are several ways to secure your Oriental Rug to your hardwood floor, and your options range from quick and affordable, to durable and more expensive.

1. The Everyday Rubber Rug Pad

Commonly available at big-box retail outlets, these thin pads are often homeowners’ first choices for securing rugs to hardwood flooring. They are affordable and easy to install, but some come with adverse side effects.

In some cases, thin and inexpensive rug pads leave behind a sticky, waffle-patterned residue after just a few weeks of use because they are manufactured with PVC or other plastics, or they might be treated with adhesives. If you are worried about the appearance and longevity of your hardwood flooring, we’d recommend avoiding these thin, rubbery rug pads.

2. Carpet Tape for Oriental Rugs

Many choose to secure their rugs to their hardwood flooring using double-sided carpet tape. Some have successfully used this method for years without experiencing any floor damage. However, when it’s applied to hand-knotted Oriental Rugs, the adhesive can pull at the intricate knots that form your rug. It can also be somewhat difficult to remove from hardwood flooring.

3. Felt Rug Pads

If you’re worried about both the health of your hardwood flooring and your Oriental Rug, we’d suggest using a felt rug pad to secure the rug to the floor. They are often made up of recycled plastics, so they are more eco-friendly than many other rug pad options.

Because they don’t offer a lot of grip, felt rug pads are ideal for large rugs or rugs that have furniture placed on top. They function the best in situations where slipping is not too much of an issue. Their dense cushioning helps avoid premature pile wear from heavy foot or furniture traffic.

4 Natural Rubber Pads

For Oriental Rugs prone to sliding, natural rubber rug pads do an excellent job of both keeping rugs in place and mitigating floor damage. Unlike cheap, synthetic rubber pads that contain plastics and adhesives, natural rubber rug pads will not leave residue behind.

Natural rubber rug pads don’t provide as much cushion as felt rug pads, so many manufacturers have been producing felt-rubber hybrid pads. If you select one of these, make sure that you aren’t purchasing a rug pad that uses adhesives to bond the rubber base to the felt backing.