A: I would definitely used padding because the carpet will surely move on the floor and the backing will act like an abrasive on the finish. I would use a mesh type of pad which will grip the carpet and still allow the floor to breath.
Related questions about wood floor maintenance and cleaning:
Cleaning and Maintenance
>Do you need to wax or clean hardwood with a buffer or electric polisher? What is the best cleaning product?
>Are the cleaning products we use making our new floors look dull and mottled? What can we use to get the shine back?
>Why should we not use "oil based cleaners" on our hardwood floors?
>What's the best cleaner for wood floors?
>How do we clean these old floors?
Care & Maintenance
>How do I care for my hardwood floor?
>I put on three coats of polyurethane on my newly sanded and stained floor, do I need to wax it?
>How do I get my dull laminate floor to shine?
>How long should I wait to replace the furniture after the final coat on our floors?
>What can I put in between wide pine boards after installing so stuff won't fall in the cracks?
Humidity & Home Environment
>Is this true about new hardwood needing to settle?
>Preventing cracks in floor boards of harder species.
>Is cracking due to humidity?
>We have large cracks even in our master bath. Now after 3 months of humidity control & moisture on the insides of my windows the cracks are even worse. I can see the subfloor through some of them. Is moisture the only cause of these cracks or might there be some other causes we should consider, and what are the best ways to take care of this problem?
>How long would it take for the wood to respond to the increased moisture, and is is reasonable to expect the cracks to close completely? What is the recommended thing to fill these cracks? Wood putty, etc?
>How do we protect our floors from cold weather?
>Have you ever seen a change with your moisture meter on hardwood flooring in just one week?
>How do you prevent douglas fir from oxidizing and turning orange?