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Best Rug Colors for All Types of Hardwood Flooring

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Hardwood floors offer maximum flexibility when choosing the best color area rug for your style.

Dark Hardwood Floors

The best color area rugs for dark hardwood floors are colors that contrast or highlight the richness of the wood.

Light Hardwood Floors

The best color area rugs for light hardwood floors are colors that complement the natural brightness and warmth of the wood.

In this blog, we’ll tell you exactly which rug colors you should choose based on the style of your hardwood floor and the atmosphere you want to create.
But first we'll cover rug pad basics and what rug and rug pad materials are safe for your hardwood floors.

What Rugs & Rug Pads Are Safe For Your Hardwood Floors

Many of our showroom customers ask what type of rugs are safe for hardwood floors. Here’s what we tell them:

Generally, you should pay attention to materials that may scratch your hardwood, or rugs with dyes that may discolor or bleed into your hardwood floors. Below are a few options for you.

Area Rug Pads

A quality rug pad will protect your flooring, provide a pleasant cushion and also prevent your rug from moving. We offer two types of rug pads to match your desired price point:

Eco-Friendly Skid-Proof Regular Rug Pad for Area Rugs & RunnersEco-Friendly Non-Slip Extra Cushioned Superloc Rug Pad for Area Rugs & Runners
This is a great choice for an entry-level rug pad. You'll get a layer of protection for both your rug and your floors. It’s made of vinyl-coated polyester, and provides skid-proof technology.The extra cushion of the Superloc Rug Pad offers a higher level of protection plus breathability, in case you’re worried about moisture or humidity.

When to opt for a higher quality rug pad

A higher price point corresponds to thicker cushioning and a more breathable material.

Thicker Cushioning

Thicker cushioning is friendly for your feet, your floor and for your rug. Over time, the weave in a rug will show wear. More cushioning lessens the impact of traffic on the woven fibers.

Breathable Materials

Breathable materials tend to make a rug pad pricier, but if you anticipate humid climates or the potential for moisture, it may be well worth it. Mold enjoys dark spaces, where airflow is restricted and moisture is present.

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Be sure to select a breathable rug pad if your rug will experience: 

  • hot and humid climates, 
  • spaces without air conditioning, such as 
  • basements and cellars, 
  • rugs near exterior doors, and 
  • spaces with plumbing, like 
  • bathrooms and kitchens.

Good news, we make it easy to buy a rug pad. When you add your favorite rug to the cart, we’ll automatically add the rug pad. Our rug technicians will then size and custom-cut the rug pad to fit your specific rug. Contact us if you have any questions.

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The Best Rugs for Hardwood Floors: Handmade & Antique Rugs

Whether you opt for the rug pad or not, another way to protect your hardwood floors is to purchase handmade antique and vintage rugs.

  • Handmade rugs typically feature higher quality, softer fibers, with natural dyes and soft backing materials. 
  • Antique rugs will give you all the features of a handmade rug, plus the additional softness and pliability that comes with a rug that’s been around for a few years.

Search only Handmade Rugs at Magic Rugs

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In Image Above:

Antique Muted Beige Floral 10X13 Distressed Vintage Oriental Rug

Original Price $3,818.75 | Sale Price $1,717.44
Colors: Muted Beige, Dark Brown
Age: 60-70 Years (Antique)
Technique: Hand-Knotted
KPSI: 130 knots per square inch
Material: Wool Pile, Cotton Foundation

Shop All Antique Rugs   |   Shop All Vintage Rugs

Rug Colors For Light Hardwood Flooring, Oak Hardwood Flooring

Most light colored hardwood flooring has a natural brightness and overall warmth that is easily complemented and enhanced with the below rug colors and patterns. Don’t fret if you don’t have oak hardwood flooring. The suggestions below will work with any light colored hardwood.

Neutral Beige, Camel & Tan Rug Colors

Neutral colored rugs create an airy and open feel to the room, while still adding some contrast. Shop Beige, Camel & Tan Rug Colors

Pink, Purple & Blue Rug Colors

Rugs with soft pastel colors increase the brightness in the room while still keeping the overall feel calm and sophisticated. Shop Pinks, Purples & Blues

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Warm Earth Tones

Warm earth tones will add warmth and depth to the room. Rugs with warm beige, camel or terracotta will make things cozy and inviting in your space. Shop Warm Earth Tones

Blue Green Earth Tones

Cool tones like light blue, aqua and seafoam green give a sense of tranquility to a room. The cooler tones will work with the light hardwood colors to convey a fresh and natural feel to the room. Shop Blue Green Earth Tones

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Rug Colors For Dark Hardwood Flooring

Dark hardwood flooring is generally rich in color, adding depth to the room. We recommend the following rug colors and patterns.

Light & Bright Neutrals

Light neutral colored rugs brighten up a space that might otherwise feel too heavy and dark. You can make a purposeful and striking contrast by pairing dark hardwood with cream, beige and light gray rugs. Shop Cream, Beige & Light Gray Rugs

Rich Jewel Tones

Rich jewel tones add drama and personality. Make a statement by pairing dark hardwood with emerald green, sapphire blue or ruby red. You’ll achieve an instant luxurious and elegant look. Shop Emerald Green, Sapphire Blue & Ruby Red Rugs

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Warm Reds & Oranges

Warm reds and oranges add a pop of color and do well to balance the depth of dark hardwood flooring. Think - brick red, burnt orange, golden yellow for this look. Shop Brick Red, Burnt Orange & Golden Yellow Rugs

Earthy Greens & Blues

Earthy greens and blues will bring a sense of tranquility and sophistication to the room when paired with dard hardwood flooring. For this, you’ll want to find olive green, teal or navy blue area rugs. Shop Olive Green, Teal & Navy Blue Rugs

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How to Work with Pattern Play and Hardwood Floors

Light hardwood floors and Subdued patterns or distressed antique rugs

are useful when you are adhering to a classic theme. Subdued antique florals and subtle geometric patterns enhance a classic space without drawing too much attention to the rug itself.

Dark hardwood floors and Contrasting patterns or intricate designs

are our favorites to pair with dark hardwood flooring. The boldness of these patterns add visual interest and texture while balancing the richness of the dard hardwood itself. For this, you’ll want to look at geometric patterns, tribal motifs and Persian area rugs.

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Area Rug Suggestions for Every Hardwood Flooring Trend in 2024

(Check out our handy chart below!)

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Wide plank hardwood floors

Large geometric patterns
Stripes
Botanicals, florals and other natural motifs

Minimalist interior design with light wood

A rug pattern that’s equally minimalistic, such as solid colors (white, beige, gray, black), or simple geometric patterns.

Mixed width wood planks and patterned hardwood

Geometric patterns, patchworks and natural organic patterns such as leaf prints, botanical motifs, or abstract interpretations of nature

Hardwood flooring with high gloss stains and finish

Solid colors make a striking contrast to high gloss. Consider deep rich burgundy, navy blue, forest green and dark charcoal gray.
Geometric patterns can also complement a polished look, adding stripes, lines and interesting tones for a modern or sophisticated vibe.

Herringbone and Chevron Patterns

Because herringbone and chevron are already eye-catching features, you’ll want to make an equally bold choice with your rugs. 

To Decrease the Energy in the Room

For an understated backdrop, choose a solid color area rug which will not take away from the flooring design. This will help relax the energy in the room.

To Increase the Energy in the Room

If you’d rather increase the energy in the room, opt for mixed patterns, abstract designs or stripes. The latter will create visual movement and rhythm in the space. Just be sure to choose patterns that are similar and generally match the direction and angle of the lines in the flooring.

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Best in Class Customer Service

If you're new to the Magic Rugs family, be sure to check out our complete collection of Persian and Oriental rugs. We're a family owned business and consider ourselves the experts in all your area rug shopping needs. We believe in high quality, authentic products, so you'll always know exactly what you're getting.

For each rug, scroll down to see: where it was made, it's knot count (or KPI), the materials and construction techniques used, exact dimensions, a list of colors found in the design, and so much more.

We love to help. If you have an idea, we can give you a selection of rugs to look through. If you need inspiration, we can give you that, too.

How to get in touch

Visit our showroom in Charlotte, North Carolina. Call us anytime during business hours. Send us an email and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!