Non-latex, breathable rugs protect hardwood floors.
Latex rugs, pads and grips inhibit ventilation and potentially cause irreparable damage to the finish of a hardwood floor. In addition to problems caused by the accumulation of moisture beneath the rug, the plasticizers in latex coating can migrate into the wood’s finish and cause discoloration. It is generally unsafe to use latex, treated rubber, plastic and foam backing on any rug that comes into contact with finished hardwood floors.
Rugs with latex backings often have a cross-hatch or grid pattern that etches onto hardwood and leaves unsightly blemishes. Whenever possible, choose cotton, wool or sisal rugs that “breathe” well. Natural fibers are best, but synthetic rugs without latex backings are also safe, as long as they allow ventilation. Alternative backing and pad materials include recycled felt and natural, untreated rubber. Make sure that any rug underlayment that touches hardwood floors does not contain glues or adhesives.