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Does Carpet Ruin Hardwood Floors?

Despite the common belief that carpets can ruin hardwood floors, they're actually good at protecting wooden floors. Just ensure you install the carpets right.

Photo of Deseré Davis
By Deseré Davis
Head and shoulders photo of Michelle Meyer
Reviewed by Michelle Meyer

Updated March 1, 2023.

Both rugs and carpets can cover hardwood floors. However, you might be worried that installing a carpet will ruin your hardwood floors. This won't happen if you do it correctly. In fact, carpets can do a great job protecting hardwood floors because they’re not exposed to the elements and won’t be damaged by people walking all over them.

Hardwood floors can be damaged only during carpet installation or if the carpet gets saturated with liquid. If that happens, the liquid will be in contact with the wood for a prolonged time, staining and warping it.

» Need to know more about carpets and rugs? See the key differences between the two

Safely Laying Carpet Over Hardwood Floors

Here are three things you can do to protect your hardwood floors when you lay your carpet:

1. Clean Your Hardwood Floor Before Installing Your Carpet

Clean hardwood floors with vaccuum Beija Flor

To prevent wood illness, clean your hardwood floors before you install any carpets. Check for mildew or mold, so you don’t have problems later on. A good vacuum session can go a long way.

2. Install a Moisture or Water Vapor Barrier

Install a moisture barrier Beija Flor

Installing a water vapor barrier will keep your carpet clean and dry, and will protect your hardwood floor against liquid and moisture.

3. Use Masonry Nails

 Use masonry nails to secure rug Beija Flor

Masonry nails are weather-resistant, don’t break, and can safely secure your carpets. They’re also wood-friendly and aren’t as likely to damage your floors.

Cover Your Hardwood Floors With Carpet

Carpets don't ruin hardwood floors and are actually a good way to protect them. The installation process is fairly easy, but you should do it right or risk damage to your floors. Follow our advice, and you’ll protect your hardwood floors quite effectively.

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