Laying down runners, mats, and area rugs all throughout your hardwood floors may seem to defeat the purpose of owning hardwood flooring. You want to be able to enjoy the deep, rich luster of authentic wood flooring. At the same time, every home has certain zones that bear the brunt of most foot traffic, and these zones should be protected.
Entryways and mudrooms that lead to the exterior are at the top of that list. Second are interior hallways, plus specific areas of larger rooms such as kitchens and living rooms that receive pass-through traffic. By laying down attractive runners and no-slip rugs, you go a long way toward slowing down the wear and tear on those highly trafficked areas.
In kitchens, lay down mats in front of the kitchen sink and dishwasher to capture spills, as well as to provide a comfortable surface for standing. Boot trays and small mats just inside doorways encourage people to leave their footwear and mess at the door.