Rugs and hard wood flooring, the perfect combination

The rise in popularity of the hard wood floor or laminate floor in recent times has given a new life to the humble rug. Many modern homes have opted for a hard wood floor as it has many benefits. As well as being aesthetically pleasing to the eye, people like to be surrounded by the look and feel of natural substances and wood has always been used in many aspects of home décor both for its beauty and its durability.

One of the main benefits of a solid hard wood floor is that it can be periodically sanded and re-finished to give an 'as good as new' finish, this is not possible with laminate flooring and once this is damaged or marked the piece has to replaced. There are instances of solid oak floors in houses that have been in-situ for several hundred years that are still as good, if not better, than when first installed. This is because the original wood was of a very good quality and the after care was also first rate. If the original planks were treated correctly and dried properly there is no reason that a solid wood floor cannot last several lifetimes.

So, you have installed your hard wood floor and it looks superb but what to use to give it a personal touch and perhaps introduce a little more colour and warmth to your room? The answer of course is an area rug or area rugs.There is nothing more beautiful that a lovely wooden floor polished to a perfect sheen with a really striking statement rug placed just exactly in the right position to bring an added dimension to your room.

Hard wood flooring cries out to be completed with a stylish statement rug. Try adding a bright splash of colour with a centrally placed rug or create a chic modern feel with a monochrome rug. A muted oriental fringed rug will bring a sense of the mystical East into your room. Placing a stunning rug over a larger rug of jute or sisal can give an added depth to your room. There are so many different ways a rug can enhance the look of a room.

Another reason to add area rugs to your room is to give a little protection to your new floor. Areas of high footfall such as kitchens, hallways and entrance ways might benefit from a good quality rug to give the flooring added protection. It is important, however to clean both your rugs and your floor regularly to prevent a build up of dirt and abrasive substances that might damage your wood floor.

Hoover your rug and perhaps take it outside to give it a good shake, and also hoover or brush the floor beneath to remove particles that might be abrasive and damage the finish of your floor.  When adding area rugs to your polished wood floor it is important to make sure that they are held firmly in position so that there is no risk of slipping, tripping or falling. There are several ways to do this, the easiest being to anchor your rug with a heavy piece of furniture like a sofa or chair, but probably the best method is to invest in some good rug pads.

These are generally made form a non-slip fabric like rubber or latex and need to be fixed to the underside of your rug to prevent slipping or movement. They come in a variety of sizes and can be cut to fit most rugs. If you are in any doubt about which is best for your style of rug and floor then it would be wise to consult your flooring installer or supplier. Remember that your solid wood floor will darken or perhaps lighten with age depending on the type of wood you have used and the amount of sunlight entering the room. For this reason many installers and suppliers of wood flooring recommend that you do not put down any rugs for several weeks after initial installation to prevent colour spots from occurring where your rugs are placed.

There will always be some colour change in your floor where the sunlight bleaches the wood and this is probably not completely preventable, but you can lessen the visual impact by periodically changing the position of rugs and furniture and, if possible keeping blinds or curtains drawn in very sunny weather to help protect both the wood floor and the rug.

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