Rugs and Wood Flooring

Rugs are a popular way off adding cosy textures to your interior. They can be a good way to reduce noise and protect high-traffic areas too. But is it a good idea to put rugs over wood flooring? Well, it depends.
rug on wood flooring

There are a few things to consider if you’re thinking of putting rugs over your new wood flooring, especially if you have an underfloor heating system.

Putting Rugs Over Underfloor Heating Systems

Putting a rug over your underfloor heating (UFH) means you’re creating an extra layer for the heat to pass through before it reaches the open space of your room. Put simply, rugs make your UFH system work harder and can make it less effective. Thick rugs may put more strain on your UFH, especially if you have an electric system, and may cause damage to your wood flooring and to the heating system itself.

Thick Rugs Can Cause Hotspots

Avoid placing a thick rug on top of your wood flooring as the heat could build up and cause ‘hot spots’, which could damage your floor. If this trapped heat raises the surface temperature to more than 27 degrees in certain areas, it can cause stress in the boards that may result in them warping or causing surface splits in the hardwood top layer.

Choose Thinner Rugs Made from Natural Materials

Thinner rugs that are made with natural materials tend to be lighter and more breathable. These rugs with lower tog ratings (low thermal resistance) are the best choice to avoid causing damage to your floor. Natural rugs can allow heat to pass through them more easily, greatly reducing the risk of damage to your wood flooring. We would advise monitoring the floor temperature under the rug and adjusting your UFH if needed.

Read more about wood flooring and underfloor heating in this guide.

Stay Safe with Non-slip Rugs

Choose a rug with a non-slip backing or use a non-slip grip sheet to prevent unwanted movement and make it safe. However, low-quality rugs with synthetic rubber or latex backing may react with the wood finish and can leave stains or even be abrasive. Opt for a better-quality natural rubber backing instead.

Cleaning Under Your Rugs

Often neglected, the areas of wood flooring under your rug will need regular cleaning too. Rugs can trap dirt and moisture underneath, which if left unattended for too long may lead to mildew or damage to the wood. Make sure you lift and clean the rug periodically. This can an ideal opportunity to reposition the rug too.

Move Your Rug to Prevent Uneven Fading of Your Flooring

If you have a lot of sunlight in your room, your wood floors will naturally lighten. If you leave rugs in one place for a long time it can cause issues as there will be less natural fading of your wood flooring in areas where sunlight can’t reach. So, whilst the effects of natural sunlight on your wood flooring will usually be gradual and too subtle to notice, the area underneath a rug will be less affected by it. As a consequence, it may look noticeably different to the rest of the floor if the area is covered for too long. So, if you do choose to have a rug, we advise moving it around the room from time to time to avoid this issue.

We’re Here if You Need Help

If you need any more advice on flooring for your project, contact our friendly Customer Service Team.