Do area rugs damage hardwood floors?

an area rug being made at Y's Way

Custom area rugs are manufactured by Y’s Way.

Nothing can dress up a room quite like the right area rug. These significant décor pieces can add interest to any room, separate spaces in a main common area, and even make a room appear larger or incredibly cozy. Area rugs can also protect floors in high-traffic areas and spaces from damage due to daily wear and tear. Nothing can protect a hardwood in a hallway constantly used by people and pets like a runner, or a large area rug in a main living space.

Area rugs do come with a certain amount of frequently asked questions—questions we hear from customers who come in for these attractive floors and the area rugs that protect them.

Do area rugs damage hardwood floors?

Whether an area rug is going to damage a wood floor depends on the fiber of the rug. Be cautious about buying any rug without considering the risk to the floor. Certain kind of rug fibers can scratch or damage wood flooring. When purchasing a wood floor, ask about what kind of area rugs can be added to a space and if any kind of protection (such as mat) should be used. Sometimes a waiting period is recommended after floor installation before an area rug should be added to the space.

How do I clean my area rug?

Cleaning an area rug is the same for carpet and an area rug.

  • Spills should be absorbed with paper toweling or another soft cloth before cleaning with a stain remover.
  • Stain remover should always be tested in an area that is not visible to lessen the chance of discoloration or fading. (Contact a local flooring store to get the best carpet stain cleaner for the area rug.)
  • Do not use too much elbow grease when scrubbing, which can damage the area rug fibers. Instead blot at the stain to remove it.
  • A deep cleaning is recommended on a periodic basis to keep an area rug looking new.

However, these area rug cleaning tips come with a word of caution. Be careful when cleaning an area rug over a wood floor; moisture can damage a wood floor and permanently stain a floor. When deep cleaning a rug, trust the job to the professionals or move the area rug to an area where the rug can be cleaned without damaging the floor underneath.

What is the best area rug for my space?

Choosing the right area rug is different for every homeowner and space, but there are several factors that can be used in the decision:

  • Size. There are several different theories on the size of an area rug in proportion to a room. In general, decide on the size of the rug after looking at the space. Will furniture be covering the rug (like in a dining room)? Is the area rug an anchor for a room, and is only going to be under a coffee table and couch? Should the area rug be sized to fit under and around a bed as a comfortable (and warm) feel under feet?
  • Color & Pattern. An area rug can serve one of two purposes with room décor: as an item of interest or as a neutral coordinating piece of décor. A brightly colored or strongly patterned area rug can pop in a room, while a rug with colors similar to other items in the room plays a neutral role in the décor. Either way, try to find or custom order a rug that has coordinating colors that pull out the color of the furniture or wall.
  • Shape. The most common area rug shape is a rectangle. However, when centering room decor around the rug, feel free to think out the box. Would a round rug complement existing furniture, such as a round coffee table? Would a long narrow runner be more appropriate?
  • Traffic. Before choosing a rug, consider the amount of traffic (both foot and paw) in a space. Is the rug in a main hallway? A living room? Or in a bedroom? A high pile rug, or “shag” rug, may fare better in low traffic areas, while a low pile rug can handle a high amount of foot traffic.

Tough Mudroom Flooring that Looks Great

mudroom with durable tile floorMudrooms deserve a certain amount of respect. After all, these rooms are the dropping ground for shoes, backpacks, sports bags, winter gear, as well as a receptacle of all the sand, dirt, snow and gravel that gets tracked in on our shoes and paws.

No matter how many shelves, hooks, and other organization hacks are utilized (and how many times kids are told to clean off their feet), mudroom floors are the recipients of a lot of abuse. That’s why mudroom floors need to be tough, durable, attractive, and easy-to-clean.

Not every kind of flooring can fit all the criteria. Wood floors are attractive and tough, but can be water damaged or stained by standing water. There are other floors, however, that can take whatever life throws at it and still look great.

Luxury Vinyl

Luxury vinyl is one of the most popular products on the market and for very good reason. These floors come in a variety of styles that fit with almost every kind of décor. Luxury vinyl floor mimic the look of tile and wood—without the issues. Luxury vinyl floors aren’t as cold underfoot as tile and can be installed without grout (making them easier to clean). While these floors bear a striking resemblance to wood (so close many can’t tell!), luxury vinyl is resilient to water and won’t be damaged or stained by puddles. As an added bonus for handy homeowners, some luxury vinyl plank floors can be installed as a do-it-yourself project (if you intend on a DIY installation, let the salesperson know).

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tile can take everything that comes with a busy mudroom. These gorgeous floors are water, odor, and mildew resistant (perfect for rooms that are wet or humid). The one complaint that comes with porcelain tile is that it is cool underfoot; this concern can be addressed by installing the tile over radiant heating. If you are considering the latter, there are two options for radiant heating. For homes with radiant heating, the system can run with a boiler. Homeowners with forced heating can install an electric radiant heating mat under the tile; porcelain tile is a natural heat conductor (and can be installed with a thermostat).

Brick Tile

For a truly unique look or to add character to a home, consider brick tiles. These tiles are incredibly durable and easy to clean; the tiles can be swept, vacuumed, or dry mopped to maintain their one-of-a-kind (and charming) appearance. Brick tiles are also durable and can easily be installed in a neighboring bathroom for a cohesive look.

Waterproof Laminate

Laminate floors are incredibly durable but have not been a recommend flooring choice for mudrooms in the past. However, some new laminate floor products are waterproof, alleviating the concern while still offering an affordable and stunning flooring option for a mudroom (if you need waterproof laminate, let your salesperson know that you are looking for flooring for a room with water). In addition to affordable, laminate floors can mimic the look of wood or stone and can hold up in mudrooms that are heavily trafficked by feet and paws.

Sheet Vinyl   

When it comes to looks, modern sheet vinyl products have come a long way. Today’s sheet vinyl floors look fantastic and are extremely durable. In some cases, sheet vinyl floors have even held up in rooms that have flooded (talk about waterproof!). These floors are easy-to-clean and can take all the snow, gravel, dirt, and sand that gets tracked into a busy mudroom.

What types of floor works best in a kitchen?

wood floor in a kitchen that needs to be protected from water on floorToday’s kitchens are for more than just meal preparation. Kitchens are for homework, dining, baking, and a lot of special family moments. All that time in the kitchen can be hard on floors, especially with frequent spills, heavy foot traffic, and messes on the menu.

Kitchen floors are an investment that pays dividends, both in terms of style and use. For that reason, deciding on the right flooring for a kitchen is not one that can be made lightly. There are four types of floors that are quality options, though the best flooring is different for everyone. Once you’ve browsed through the list of kitchen flooring options, ask your local pros to see the styles that would look and wear the best in the kitchen.

Luxury Vinyl

luxury vinyl plank floorLuxury vinyl is the newest water-resistant flooring product; it’s also one of the best floors for kitchens, both in terms of appearance and resilience. Modern luxury vinyl floors come in a variety of styles and colors, looking just like a wood or tile floor. Because of the diverse amount of options, luxury vinyl floors can fit in with traditional, rustic, and modern-styled rooms. These floors are also extremely practical, proving to be incredibly durable even in high traffic areas and easy-to-clean.


Hardwood floors are a timeless classic that can actually increase the value of a home. Modern hardwood floors come in wide- and thin-plank styles in almost every color and type of wood. Homeowners can choose between a traditional wood floor that is installed unfinished (the finish is chosen after the installation). For a “less fuss” option, choose a pre-finished wood floor that can be installed and enjoyed almost immediately. There is one disclaimer that comes with a beautiful wood floor, however: wood floors can be damaged by standing water. Be very careful about puddles and appliance flooding and leaks; they can stain and permanently damage the floors.


Today’s tiles come in more styles and varieties than ever before, making them an ideal addition to any décor. Some tile products resemble wood (perfect for a room where water damage is a concern!) or brick for a unique look. As an extra bonus, tiles can be laid over radiant heating which warms them even on the coolest days.


cherry colored laminate floor in kitchenA laminate floor can be a durable addition to any kitchen; these floors do come with a similar disclaimer to wood floors, though. Laminate floors can be damaged by standing water and appliance flooding and leaks. These floors resemble the look of wood, but with a more affordable price tag, and are extremely durable (even with a lot of foot and paw traffic). For these reasons, laminate floors can hold up even in the highest-trafficked rooms, such as the kitchen.

5 Beautiful Lake House Flooring Ideas

friends pedaling on lake before heading back to cabin on lakeA house on the lake is the source of all good things: fun on the water, campfires, cool nights by the fireplace, boat rides, kayaking, tubing, water skiing, paddle boarding. A home on the water can also be a bit of an enigma when it comes to choosing the best flooring that can handle the constant foot traffic of guests and pets—and all the water that gets tracked in!

Luxury Vinyl

Luxury vinyl may be the newest product on the market, but don’t count out the “new kid on the block.” These floors are incredibly durable, can handle the heaviest amounts of foot and paw traffic, and are easy-to-clean. Many luxury vinyl floors are water-resistant or even waterproof (ask your salesman for details). Newer luxury vinyl products are being built to handle the hottest and coldest areas, making them ideal for rooms that aren’t air-conditioned or heated (again, ask your salesperson about the temperature range for your preferred luxury vinyl floors). For the handiest lake house owners, luxury vinyl floors can be installed as a do-it-yourself project.


Tile floors come in a variety of colors and looks, ranging from long planks to the classic square tiles. Porcelain tile is water, odor and mildew resistant, making it an ideal tile for in a sunroom, or around the front or garage door. New tile products also come in the look of wood, making it almost impossible to tell the difference (but without worrying about water damage!). To keep tile floors warm under foot on cool nights, consider installing radiant floor heating under tiles which naturally conduct the heat (for other flooring ideas that can be installed over radiant heat flooring, read this list).

Sheet Vinyl

Modern sheet vinyl products have come a long way from their traditional predecessors, both in style and durability. Sheet vinyl is easy-to-clean and install, and can take as much water, foot and paw traffic as lake house life can throw at it. New sheet vinyl floors resemble the look of wood, tile, or stone floors.

Carpet Tiles

If softness is a priority, consider carpet tiles. Carpet tiles are durable and look great. Depending on the method of installation, carpet tiles can also be pulled up and replaced when needed (such as when stained). Carpet tiles can also be installed in a pattern, making it a fashionable choice for any lake house.

Engineered Hardwoods

Traditional hardwoods can be installed in main areas of a lake house but comes with disclaimers. Hardwood floors can be damaged and stained by water, and shouldn’t be installed over concrete slabs; moisture in the slab can warp and permanently damage wood floors. Engineered hardwoods, which can withstand moisture from a slab and looks just like real hardwood. Engineered wood floors are also extremely durable and easy-to-clean. Depending on the thickness of the floor, some engineered wood floors can be sanded and refinished. Unfortunately, these floors can be stained or damaged by standing water; because of this, it’s best to install these floors in interior rooms away from exterior doors (especially doors that get a lot of wet paw and foot traffic).

Cabin Floor Cleaning Tips

home on lakeHomes on the water have a lot going for them: breath-taking views of the lake, wonderful opportunities for beachfront (and boating) fun, and endless days of waterfront dining. Waterfront property does come with some maintenance, both on the property and on home floors.

The truth is that water can cause premature wear and damage to floors (especially flooring in the room adjacent to the lake). Water can warp floors, cause permanent stains, and wear down flooring. To avoid all of those scenarios, use these tips to keep your lake house floors lasting longer and looking like new.

Choose the right water-resistant flooring.

The first step in avoiding water damage is prevention. When choosing flooring for rooms adjacent to water, ask the floor salesman to see water-resistant flooring. Unfortunately, wood floor does not fit into this category. However, there are many floors that resemble wood that are good choices for rooms adjacent to the lake. Luxury vinyl flooring is water resistant, resemble wood or stone, and newer products are produced for hotter and cooler temperatures. Tile and sheet vinyl are both water resistant, incredibly durable, and easy-to-clean. For a softer feel, choose carpet tiles which can swapped out with new tiles when the tiles are dirty.

Place rugs and towels by all doors.

After a day of fun in the sand or boating, it’s natural to track in sand and water. Stem the flow at the door; keep a rack or bin full of towels for family and guests to dry off. Also, place rugs by the exit to ensure that all water, gravel, and debris is not tracked on to the floors. Make sure that the rug is big enough for everyone’s shoes to keep cabin floors clean. Ask a local flooring salesperson for tips for putting down rugs without worrying about fading or yellowing to the floors. Often, a mat can help prevent any discolorations under rugs. For a personalized look, order a custom rug specifically designed to fit with cabin décor.

Do a daily sweep and vacuum.

Sand and water can accumulate over time, scratching floors and leaving puddles that can lead to water damage. Clean up puddles as soon as possible and do a daily sweep and vacuum to keep water and sand from being tracked into the home. Use this guide to choose the best vacuum for a lake home.

Regularly dry mop floors.

To prevent residue and build-up, mop all your floors—especially in rooms adjacent to the lake. For a deep clean, schedule a professional cleaning that can keep all your cabin floors looking new and as beautiful as the lake view.

6 Ways to Add Character to Your Home

front steps with porcelain tileUnique. Charming. Warm. Homey. Cozy. If you want any of those five words to describe your home, it takes time and effort; not every home is built to break the traditional mold (unfortunately!). The good news? Adding character to a home is an effort that is worth the time AND it doesn’t always take a lot of funds.

Tile your front porch

Start your effort at the front door with an appealing porch that practically invites guests to enter. Tile your front porch for a unique look; coordinate the look of the tile with an attention-getting door or a distinct planter. There is one note of caution, however; when shopping for the right tile, make sure you let your salesperson know the tile is for exterior use. Not all tiles can be exposed to the elements (like during our cold winters) and still look great.

Install crown molding

Crown molding is an expensive way to add character to any room. Search carefully for the right crown molding; if you want to make the room an unexpected pop of color, paint the crown molding a unique color. Once you’ve chosen the right crown molding and color for the room, use these instructions for installing the crown molding or hire a pro to complete the room.

patterned tile in bathroom

Add interest with patterned tile

Nothing spruces up a room and catches guests’ attention like a patterned tile. Use the patterned tile as a backsplash, around a fireplace, or in a bathroom. Choose patterned tiles in colors that accent other elements in the room, such as the flooring and window coverings. To avoid creating a room that appears too “busy” or “cluttered,” pair patterned tiles with neutral window coverings, furniture, and paint colors.

Consider beadboard.

Beadboard on its own can make a statement; where you choose to add beadboard sets a room apart. Add beadboard to the ceiling for a cottage feel. Beadboard in a bathroom can make the room feel fresh and bright. In a dining room, adding beadboard can add a hint of formality or give the room a traditional look.

wood floors in front of a fire place that needs to be protected from high humidity

Warm up with hardwood floors

Wood floors may feel cool underfoot but they can make any room feel warm and cozy. As an added bonus, wood floors come in a variety of styles, widths, and colors. If you want a practical reason to add wood floors (and the character that comes with it), wood floors can increase home value. In a basement, choose an engineered hardwood which can withstand the moisture of a porous slab without warping.

Be interesting with tile

If patterned tiles aren’t your first choice for adding character to your home, install tile in interesting locations (or hire the pros and take the credit), such as behind the vanity, or in unusual ways, such as in a herringbone pattern. Your guests will ooh and ah over your modern twist and classic choice of tile.


4 Floors that Keep Your Home Cool (and Look Great)

kitchen and dining room with island, table, and laminate floorsWarm and cozy may be fine in the winter, but this is Wisconsin. Our summers get hot and humid. When the mercury rises, warm and cozy goes right out the window—especially under your feet. You want coolness all around you; that’s why we’ve put together a list of floors that stay cool under foot during the summer AND a solution that’ll adapt your floors to the winter.

Luxury Vinyl

Luxury vinyl floors are durable, beautiful, versatile, and feel extremely cool under foot. These floors come in styles that resemble stone or wood, but with the added benefit of being water resistant. Because of the water resistance, luxury vinyl can be installed in kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms and in rooms near pools and lakes (which keep us cool on the hottest summer days!). New luxury vinyl products also boast an incredible temperature tolerance, making it possible to install in rooms that experience the hottest and coldest temperatures. If you are handy, luxury vinyl plank floors can also be installed as a do-it-yourself project; talk to the flooring pros about your flooring options and installation tips.


patterned tile in bathroomWhen thinking about tile floors, get those old visions of traditional square tiles out of your head. Today’s tiles come in all shapes and sizes, and many products even mimic the look of wood floors (while being fairly water resistant). Tiles also come in unique patterns that can add character and charm to a bathroom, kitchen or mudroom. Most tiles can be installed with or without grout and are durable and easy-to-clean. In fact, the only hesitation most customers have with this product is that tile is cool to the foot, a problem that can be resolved with radiant heating.


cherry colored laminate floor in kitchenLaminate floors are incredibly durable and cool to the touch. These floors also resemble the look of wood—so much so that some people think they’re real wood. With regular sweeping and felt pads for protection, it’s fairly easy to keep laminate floors looking great. When the coolness of laminate floors are not as appreciated (like during the cold winter), laminate floors can be covered with an area rug that warms up the space and the toes.


Even when the weather is simmering, wood floors can feel cool underfoot. Hardwood floors are durable and in demand; installing hardwoods in a home can even increase the home’s value. These floors are long lasting that can be sanded and refinished as needed. To compensate for the cool feel during winter, order a custom area rug that can feel warm and cozy. (Ask flooring professionals for tips on how to add a rug to a room without damaging or fading the floors.) While these floors feel cool even on the hottest of days, wood floors can add a warm feel to any home.

Radiant Heating

Radiant heating is not a flooring, but it is a mat that can heat a floor during the cold winter months. During the summer, a thermostat can be used to control the temperature of the radiant heating and keep the floor cool. If the home is heated with a boiler, radiant heating can be installed under the floors. In a home with forced heat, electric radiant heating mats are laid underneath the flooring.

What is the right window treatment for my bedroom?

bedroom with new carpet and fresh home decor ideasUsually light in your home is a good thing, unless you’re one of those homeowners who prefers to have a dark room when you sleep. For some people, sleeping in a completely dark room is more than a luxury; it’s a requirement for a good night’s sleep. Since no one wants to feel cranky and sleep-deprived (and we do love happy customers), we’ve put together a list of window treatments that can block out the light and guarantee a good night’s sleep.


Drapes fit right in in a traditional home and come in a variety of opacities. The darkest and heaviest options are ideal for a bedroom where light-blocking is a goal, though sheers can be added for a classic feel. Floor-to-ceiling drapes also make a window look larger than it is.

window shutters blocking light


Shutters are a stylish investment that adds character to the bedroom and keeps the room dark. These window treatments can be custom-made to fit any window and give the room a traditional, southern, or beach-front look (and can be installed by the professionals).

Black out curtains

Curtains typically are made with a lighter fabric, but that doesn’t mean they can’t block light. When shopping for curtains, keep the other elements of bedroom décor in mind; too many patterns or colors can give a bedroom a busy or cluttered look. For functionality, look for curtains with a black out liner that can keep out the light and give you the good night’s sleep you desire.


man sitting in sunroom with blindsBlinds look great, come in a variety of colors and styles (stop in to see options for blinds), and can fit any size window, even those hard-to-reach windows. These window treatments can be fitted to skylights and can be controlled by remote or automatically with the sun rays. If privacy is also needed from these window treatments, the blinds can be installed to function from the bottom to top.


The right window treatment is not always one or the other but a combination of both, especially if you have a sitting area in your bedroom. Combine blinds with drapes for a dressed up and functional look. Sheer and heavy drapes can be combined to create a stylish and practical purpose. The perfect window treatments look great and serve a practical (and peaceful) purpose.

6 Window Covering Ideas that Block Out Light

shades installed in Wisconsin home Window treatments may be an integral part of home décor, but there is also a practical side to choosing the right window coverings for a room. Ask anyone working third shift hours and they’ll tell you that a window covering is a godsend for sleeping during the day. But there are other ways a window covering can function in a room as well; in media rooms, the window coverings block out the rays that prevent enjoying the big screen. In homes with a wood floor, homeowners use window coverings as a way to prevent fading and discoloration.

The reasons are many, and so are the options for window coverings. If complete blackout window coverings are needed, mention that key criteria to the salesperson to ensure that the window covering meets expectations. Some window coverings can be broken down further by material, such as wooden versus metal blinds, or opacity, such as blackout or opaque shades, but the overall list of functional window coverings is fairly short and simple.

open shutters installed in a Wisconsin homeShutters

What: Shutters are a functional and beautiful investment; shutters can be open to shut out light or allow in the sun when light is wanted. Though a more expensive option, these window coverings often increase the value of the home. Shutters can be installed over windows and doors.

Ideal rooms/areas: Living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms

Motorized Shades

What: When you can’t reach a window, such as a high window or skylight, motorized shades are the answer. Motorized shades operate automatically, moving when sun rays are detected, or by remote, opening and closing when requested. The automated shades are ideal in spaces where light is desired but fading of décor (i.e. floors, wooden countertops, etc.) are not. Automated shades move throughout the day dependent on the rays. Motorized shades function by remote, giving you the opportunity to block light when needed without getting out a ladder or any kind of extension pole.

Ideal rooms/areas: Skylights, rooms with cathedral ceilings and high windows, rooms with direct sunlight, bedrooms

Lined Drapes

What: Drapes may be one of the most traditional window coverings, but drapes come in patterns and designs suitable for any modern home. For functionality, many drapes are lined to block out light while still looking striking.

Ideal rooms/areas: Bedrooms, media rooms, dining rooms

Roller Blinds

IMG_5187What: Roller blinds are one of the most versatile and functional window coverings. These blinds can fit almost any size and shape window, and can be installed by a professional or as a do-it-yourself project.

Ideal rooms/areas: Patio doors, living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, kitchens

Pleated & Cellular Shades

What: Pleated and cellular shades are fabric shades that look great and add function to a room. As an added bonus, cellular shades can also insulate and increase the energy efficiency of a home. These shades can also be installed to open from the bottom of the window up, allowing light while still adding privacy to a room. While not the best blocker of light, pleated and cellular shades can block UV rays that fade and make it hard to enjoy a screen.

Ideal rooms/areas: Sunrooms, living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms

Wood & Aluminum Blinds

What: Wood and aluminum blinds are one of the most affordable options, but they aren’t always the best option for blackout because light can seep in on the sides. They are an attractive option, and a good window covering for spaces where some light blocking is needed.

Ideal rooms/areas: Sunrooms, living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms

How to Keep Your Home Clean(er) ALL Summer

picture of kitchen remodel with wood floors that need to be cleanedSummer in Wisconsin is a fun time, but all that fun can also make it incredibly busy. Between the sports camps and games, baseball outings, parties, grill outs, hiking, biking, and all those other summer favorites, life can get incredibly hectic. Those hectic summers can take a toll on the home (and the mind!)—especially when the piles of stuff gets as high as you. That’s why we’ve put together a list of tips that’ll get you and your home through the summer as clean and organized as possible.

Do as much daily cleaning as often as possible.

Small cleaning tasks do add up, so try to do as many small cleaning tasks as possible. Routine cleaning tasks, such as sweeping or wiping down the table, prevents a build-up that takes more time and elbow grease to clean. Routine cleaning also keeps floors and surfaces looking new and prevents damage, such as when you do a daily sweep of a wood floor. A daily sweep removes gravel and debris that can scratch and damage hardwood.

Be prepared for busy times.

When your calendar starts to fill up, take a moment to organize and get ready for a busy week (or month!). Prepare by organizing the mudroom, and putting items that are needed for activities into a bag. For example, put all your swimming items into a bag, sports chairs into the car, and any other items into a bag or backpack that you can easily grab and go.

Enjoy al fresco dining.

If you want to minimize the mess in your home, head outside! Eat meals out on the patio or deck every night so you can keep the mess outside (plus it’s a lot of fun to eat outside!).

Bring in the pros.

Don’t have time for anything other than light cleaning? Contact the pros to do deep cleaning processes, like cleaning the floors. Schedule a floor cleaning before or after a party, or when you have time to let the carpet dry (like right before you go on vacation!). A good deep floor cleaning keeps floors looking new, removes allergens from carpet, and maintains the warranty.

Prevent the mess before it starts.

When you don’t have time to clean, try to keep the mess outside. Place mats by all exterior doors to keep gravel, water, and debris from being tracked in. If placing the mats on a wood floor, contact your local flooring store about protection that should be put under mats to minimize fading or other problems.

Clean faster.

Anyone who has ever sold their time can tell you that speedy cleaning is possible (especially when your agent calls about that possible buyers want to see the home!). Use as many “fast home cleaning” tactics as possible, such as carrying cleaning supplies with you to prevent trips back and forth, so you can keep your home clean and enjoy all your favorite summer activities out in the sun.