Many times people do not realize that an oriental rug should not be put down on a hardwood floor without first having a rug cushion cut to the size of the rug. The rug cushion not only provides protection for your hardwood floors , but also for the oriental rug itself. The hand knotting of the rug leaves the opportunity for sand and grit to fall through the piece and then get continually crunched into the backside of the rug as it is walked on. A good rug cushion is made of wool and has divots on the side that is placed in between the rug and a natural rubber grip on the side that is against the hardwood floor. This prevents slipping .
Sometimes a rug will be placed on top of wall to wall carpet and this requires a different kind of cushion to prevent the rug from traveling and causing someone to trip. This type of rug cushion is also cut to the size of the rug but is far different in appearance. It is a very thin double sided sticky cushion so that the rug will stay in place. This is very good to have under accent rugs that are in rooms where the rugs will be walked on.
There are many types of mass produced rug cushions that will claim that they are protecting floors but are actually causing problems beneath the rug that are not discovered until the rug is moved. One such type of cushion has a grid pattern and is a rubbery webbed construction. These types of cushions eventually deteriorate and leave the grid pattern on the hardwood floor even after removal.
A professional oriental rug dealer will stock the appropriate cushions to protect your rugs and many times these cushions will also come with a 7-10 year warranty.