How to Choose an Area Rug - Tips for Every Situation
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How To Choose An Area Rug
What’s the coziest room you’ve ever walked into?
Whether it’s an executive suite from a fancy hotel, a friend’s pod or a high-end lounge, certain elements add up to the warmth of an area. The snug sofa, lighting, wall accent and antique furniture work together to provide a mellow setting to its guest or master. More importantly, a room’s atmosphere won’t be as restful and welcoming without the embrace of a nice, fitting area rug.
Authentic area rugs play a powerful role in transitioning a room from one mood to another. With simple and quick manipulation of carpet rugs, it could transform a traditional-style living area to contemporary and vice versa. But before you start worrying about putting these first rate floor coverings into good use, every owner must begin with the correct steps on how to choose an area rug.
This article will guide you through the task of choosing an area rug for your place. The process is daunting, considering the cost of authentic area rugs. It will be frustrating to spend thousands of dollars on a rug that won’t harmonize with your furniture, floor type and room setting. Start making the best out of this rug investment by reading through our informative content about area rugs.
What Is The Best Kind Of Area Rug To Buy?
Busy consumers often ask, “What are the best quality area rugs?”
Like in many home design topics, no type of rug can be established as the best for any kind of backdrop. As such, it is crucial for first time buyers to learn more about various area rugs and the magic that they do.
The process of making an informed decision in buying an object of virtue like authentic area rugs embarks on considering a number of factors. Overlooking a single aspect may lead you into purchasing a piece that looks out of place.
Factors To Consider In Choosing An Area Rug
Collectors and home makers see authentic area rugs as valuable investments. However, a piece bought by mistake would not complement the rest of the ensemble. Remember that design mistakes involving a rug are blatant atrocities. You wont need a guest to tell you about the injustice you did in the area as the screaming detachment between the rug and other elements would be very obvious.
To avoid this embarrassing moment, keep a checklist of guidelines before you complete a purchase. Make a fail-proof purchase by keeping these several key considerations in mind.
Area Rug Color
Everybody knows that color combination is a starting point in home decoration and this goes the same with area rugs. Think of the colors that you want and other colors you love seeing all day. However, your preference is not the only factor to consider.
As the color of the area rug defines the space and mood of the room’s entirety, it will then occur to you that this aspect is also another important decision to ponder on. If you already filled the room with furniture and the walls are already painted, consider whether the color of your choice would fit together with other existing items.
If you’re designing the room from scratch and you want to start with the area rug, picture out how the color would harmonize with other elements. Area rugs may tone in or dominate, so visualize closely before resolving to a decision. For more advice, read our blog post How to Choose the Best Rug Color for Your Space.
Area Rug Sizes and Placements
First-time rug buyers often perceive rugs as fillers — which is a grave mistake. As such, they end up buying a rug that’s too small for their space. This makes a room looking less than its actual size.
An area rug serves as a focal point that would define a space. For a perfect room furnishing, you must choose the right size for the room. In any case, going to big is far more practical that going too small.
The carpet of an average-sized room should be 10 to 20 inches away from the wall. For bigger rooms, you can adjust the gap up to 24 inches. But in any case, rugs should be centered in the setting and the space between the wall and the carpet rug must be equal in all sides.
As for placement, you’d want to make your living room a good spot for a conversation by placing the front legs of your sofa at the rug’s border. For bedroom spaces, it always feels good to step on a carpet rug after you get out from either side of the bed. In this case, you’d want a wider area rug with the best texture possible.
How To Choose Rug Material
While cost makes one of the primary factors for many rug shoppers, choosing a rug with the resilience to handle your daily life must be your top priority.
If you have kids or pets at home, choose a rug fiber that’s durable and easy to clean. If you constantly drop your phones and other devices, additional security from a denser rug would be appropriate.
People with allergies should stay away from the fiber makeup of a rug. We recommend sticking with organic weave from jute or seagrass. Some knowledge about the pros and cons of rug materials will help you assess which type of rug is perfect for you and other family members.
This part is ultimately subjective. Not that you only want the rug to be a part of your personality, but you’d also prefer it to look great with the rest of your room. Choosing a rug based on style is easy for as long as you want.
A forthcoming challenge would be an endless of possibilities to choose from. For those who need guidance on this aspect, we got some expert advice for you:
It is always a good practice to mimic the shape of a room or a key design element in the area.
This particular attribute of an area rug is often missed as not all rug buyers are keen about patterns. However, they are worth looking into as they contribute balance to the surroundings.
A great example would be a room with walls and furniture of solid colors. Adding a patterned rug will bring life to the environs.
On the other hand, if your walls and furniture pieces have patterns, a solid color rug can give a calming effect. It’s all about balance.
High Pile Or Low Pile?
Pile refers to the fabric loops on your rugs. Taller and looser fabric loops that make a rug a lot softer make a high pile piece. As such, dirt digs deeper to high pile rugs making them harder to clean.
On the other hand, low pile rugs are more durable and easier to maintain. Consider buying low pile area rugs for places with high foot traffic. They are also priced low compared to high pile rugs.
But if you want a luxurious and softer rug as an underfoot, a high pile rug is more suitable. Just remember that it costs higher and would require intense and abundant cleaning.
Do you live with kids and pets at home? These little, lovely creatures will cause a lot of suffering to your rug. Thus, you must choose an area rug made of materials that can handle the stress and dirt such as a flat weave rug.
But if you want to add sophistication, comfort and grandeur to the place, as soft and luxurious area rug high in fiber loops is the way to go. Just keep in mind that it can’t stand damage and other issues a lower pile can take.
Do you have time and resource to maintain high-pile rugs? Or would it take eons before you can hang them outside for some old-fashion beating?
Be realistic with choosing an area rug for your place. Not only that it should complement the existing items in the room but it should also gel well with your lifestyle and amount your resources you are willing to spend.
Choosing The Right Area Rug For A Type Of Room
Each room has its own set of elements working together. If the furniture, wall design and other aspects are already in place and you’ve just decided to add a rug, it’s imperative to consider the existing pieces in the area.
On the other hand, designing from scratch will give you heaps of opportunities to tap. However, this also leaves you prone to indecisions as you’ll have to analyze the compatibility of multiple items at once.
Regardless, there are general guidelines that remain constant. And these, are things you need to hark back to when buying a rug for different room types.
How Do I Choose An Area Rug For My Living Room?
Wall-to-wall carpet on a living area is no longer as popular and as attractive as it used to be. Many home designers have now turned to area rugs for its flexibility and being a practical choice.
What size of area rug should I get for my living room?
The general rule of thumb when it comes to choosing an area rug for a living space is to measure the seating area and choose the closest area rug size. This allows the rug to tie everything together, creating a more unified ambiance.
How should an area rug fit in living room?
Like mentioned earlier in this article, the gap between the wall and the carpet must be considered. An average-sized room will look bigger if you leave around 10 inches gap between the wall and the carpet.
For bigger areas, make it at least 24 inches. More importantly, don’t forget about that the uncarpeted space should be equal on both sides of the rug. You will need to compute the size of the area rug based on the above given facts.
How far should the rug be from a fireplace?
There are two possible focal points in the living room: the area rug and the fireplace. As such, these two elements should not be placed near to each other so that they won’t clash or try to steal the limelight. Moreover, it is not safe to position a fluffy high pile rug close to a spot frequently kissed by fire.
So to answer the above question, the ideal distance between the rug edge and fireplace hearth would be 12” to 18”.
Rug For Living Room Ideas:
- A dreamy, blue rug creates a coastal vibe. If you love the view of the sea and aquatic life, you’ll enjoy a pleasant stay in a living area decorated with ocean blues.
- For a vibrant living area but without the screaming solid colors, a pink boho rug may be a good choice. Bright colors easily catch attention when they’re on the floor!
- Gold accents on area rugs are trending right now. Everything with a touch of gold adds a luxurious touch to a piece.
- Try area rugs with weathered pattern for a pretty, versatile and smart living room. They work with boho and beach-inspired places but they’re true ability is to visually enhance a wide range of decorating styles.
Choosing An Area Rug For The Bedroom
Stepping onto a freezing cold tile floor after getting out of bed is one of the most unwanted sensation ever. If you don’t want to be greeted with a chilly and uncomfortable feeling when you get out of bed, adding an area rug would be more than just a great idea.
How do I choose a bedroom rug?
The most important rule is pretty simple — enough space for your feet to step on after waking up. If you have a small bedroom and the headboard is leaning against the wall, measure 36 inches from the rest of the bedsides. This will be the minimum space that should be covered by the area rug.
For other sizes, the best size of rug should be at least two feet from the edge of your bed. This should give your feet enough warmth and comfort while searching for your fluffy bedroom slippers.
As the bedroom receives minimal foot traffic, you can opt for high pile and luxurious rugs. This is your room so the style and luxury should be based on your preference while considering balance. But if you sleep with kids or pets, a low-pile rug will be sufficient.
Should you put a rug under your bed?
While it isn’t really needed, putting a rug under your bed is a decision that most people are very thankful they made. Not only does a bedroom rug make your room more peaceful and cozy, it also adds incomparable comfort when waking up in the morning and hopping out of bed!
How do I choose a bedroom rug for a variety of bed sizes?
The main attraction of a bedroom is the bed itself. As such, the rug or fit that you should add must compliment the size of the bed. When shopping for an area rug, the below measurements will guide you on how to choose a rug size.
- King Size: 76” x 80”
- California King: 72” x 84”
- Queen Size: 60” x 80”
- Full Size: 54” x 75”
- Twin Size: 39” x 75”
What size of rug goes under a king bed?
A king bed requires at least 8’x10’ area rugs. This will give your feet enough warm space to land onto when you get out of bed. On the other hand, a California king bed needs a 9’x12’ rug. However, these sizes won’t cover your nightstands. If you would like to include them, purchase a 9’x12’ rug.
What size of rug goes under a queen bed?
For the queen bed, you may keep the same rug measurement as the king bed if there is enough space in your room. As a general rule, the bigger the rug is, the better!
The minimum requirement for the queen bed is 6’x9’. But if you’d like to make sure that the nightstands would also stand above the area rug, 8’x10’ will work nicely.
What size of rug goes under a full size bed?
The requirement for a full size bed will depend on its placement. Frequently, these beds are positioned against the wall and if that’s the case, a rug with a size of 6’x9’ or 3’x5’ will look pretty. In other instances, a 8’x10’ area rug would be more appropriate.
What size of rug goes under a twin bed?
There are several rug options for a twin bed. While you can consider placements, a 4’x6’ is a safe choice. If you got two twin beds, a rug placed at the middle works well.
Choosing An Area Rug For A Dining Room
It’s quite a challenge to find a dining room rug that’s both chic and pragmatic. A slight err can cause a disaster. And you wouldn’t want this to happen especially if you have a very important guest.
Read further for tips on choosing a good rug for the dining area.
Should a dining room have a rug?
Many people wonder if dining room is a good place for a rug. While it is not a good idea for some, a table and chairs standing on a beautiful, floor covering is pleasing to the eye! A dining room can sport a rug provided that you know what works best and if you are aware of the consequences.
Best area rugs for dining rooms: flat weave and short pile rugs
Spills are bound to happen especially if you have kids in the house. In the exact sense, a dining area is no place for a high pile rug as they trap dirt deep and they can easily be damaged by frequent chair movements.
Flat weave and short pile rugs, known for their durability and allowance for mobility, are the best rugs for dining areas. In addition, they don’t require frequent cleaning unlike those fluffy and fancy shag rugs.
Use it as a room accent
If you want to impress your guest, a strategic design would be needed. Luxurious rugs often have brushes of gold or silver. If this is not your type of color, go for something that will compliment the area.
A good example of this would be using the lightest color from the rug as the background wall color. That same rug should also have a bolder hue to set the tone of the space. This is possible if you bought the rug first before designing the rest of the room or if you could find a rug that would fit the above requirements.
Pick easy-clean rug materials
Generally, pure fibers such as wool and cotton make the easiest rug materials to clean. On the other hand, synthetic hybrid are the most difficult. Spills will get its way in apart from the inside and outside dirt that the rug would attract as time goes by. As such, pick rugs made out of sterling components to make the job of rug cleaning a lot quicker for you.
Be careful with natural fibers
Natural fibers such as jute, sisal and seagrass may come as thick rugs. Apart from their ability to limit movement, these rugs made of pure materials are also hard to clean. Feel the texture and go with the finer ones.
Choose a rug with shape same as the dining area
Match the shape of the rug with the shape of the room. Doing so adds to the pleasure of order to a space.
Choose a rug with shape same as the table
If you’re using a round table, it’s better to choose a rug that mimics it shape. A round rug adds a playful vibe to every setting.
Avoid light hues
You can purchase a rug with minimal light hues, but bolder or darker colors must be dominant. Lighter hues can easily get dirt and when it does, it will be very obvious and unsightly.
Choosing An Area Rug For A Kitchen
Adding a kitchen rug provides little cushioning to your feet, injects a luxurious vibe and contributes to noise reduction. While a plan to buy a kitchen area rug may raise some eyebrows, it is indeed not a crazy scheme but in fact, a pragmatic idea for many households.
If you plan to add an area rug for the kitchen, here are some tips to help you get started.
What type of rug is best for kitchen?
It really depends on the household needs. However, the general priority would be safety and cleanliness. As such, durable and stain-resistant pieces make the best kitchen rugs.
An expensive high pile rug is not a good idea as it picks up and traps dirt faster than low pile rugs. It’s also a challenge to maintain these rugs.
We listed below the top area rug choices for a kitchen area. If you wonder what rugs are easy to clean, these are our answers to you:
- Flatweave rugs
- Pure cotton rugs
- Foam standing mats
- Polyester rugs
- Polypropylene rugs
Is polypropylene rug toxic?
Being fire retardant, stain resistant and easy to clean, many raised some concerns about the toxicity of polypropylene rug. Although they are not as eco-friendly as other types, they are generally safe to use.
Select a rug that coordinates with your kitchen elements
Design-wise, choose a piece that will harmonize with the flooring and furniture. If your cabinets and wall features wear bright colors, find a light-colored rug that will neutralize the mood. However, it’s best to keep the wall accents and other aspects soft and leave the bold rug do its job of setting the ambiance.
Looking for something cozy? High piles will do but…
A high pile rug will look good under the kitchen table or work area. However, keep in mind that this type of rug is high maintenance. If you are up for something cozy and you don’t have kids or pets in the house, luxurious fuzzy rugs may work without dramas.
Shopping For Area Rugs
Finding the most suitable area rugs for your home is a daunting task. The process could take weeks. Being impulsive and reckless while shopping for area rugs puts you at risk of buying something far from what you want and need.
Here are some tips on buying area rugs to help you get the best value for your money.
Searching for that ideal rug is a daunting task. Even rug collectors take months before they can find the rug that’s most suitable for them. In essence, a great amount of patience is required.
Check multiple stores in your area or visit antique shops for some great finds. You can also go to rug centres of the nearest town or comb through every place you’ve been. If you’re going abroad especially in South Asia, check their rug stores for their authentic and hand-knotted area rugs.
Monitoring online stores and sellers from eBay and Amazon for some good discoveries is also recommendable. However, it is vital to conduct background checks on these merchants to avoid getting scammed.
Shopping In A Rug Centre
One of your good options in shopping for an area rug is by visiting a rug centre. Here, you can see the item yourself, feel the texture and ask the sales associates for more info about the piece you liked.
Examine the knots to verify the rug-making process it went through. Hand-knotted rugs value more than anything. Hand-tufted and machine-made rugs are pretty decent choices, too.
Here’s how to check whether the products are marketed as what they actually are:
- Hand-knotted area rugs are purely handmade. As such, you will see no trimming or backing to keep the knots in place. If there will be fringes, they are part of the body itself and are not attachments.
- Hand-tufted area rugs have glued cotton backing on the underside. They may last up to 7 years which makes them somewhat durable.
- Machine-made rugs have dulled version at the back. You’ll also notice that fringes are just glued or sewn as attachments.
Be ready to spend more than you expect
Rugs, especially the authentic and hand-knotted pieces cost thousands of dollars. In fact, interior designers believe in a general rule: your rug should be at the same price as your sofa.
If you don’t have that kind of money, but would want an heirloom area rug for your household, check vintage shops or eBay for items in auction.
Background check for ethics
You wouldn’t want to line pockets of companies that rely on child labor and animal torture. Before purchasing, conduct an extensive research about the history of the manufacturer. See if they had a past with illegal outsourcing and other cruel activity.
RugKnots creates cruelty-free, hand-knotted rugs made out of pure New Zealand wool. You may also check other merchants who are proud of producing top-notch rugs without engagement to inhumane and illegal activities.
Consider a rug pad
For security and safety, purchase a rug pad of the same size as the area rug you bought. This will prevent quick damages at the base of your rug, prolonging its lifespan. Only choose thin rug pads made of materials like jute and rubber.
Participate in auctions
You can also search for an antique rug in an auction. Items here are frequently used as a loan collateral and never bought back. Given this fact, antique pieces sold here are indeed valuable as lending institutions conducted examinations before accepting them as pawn items.
There are online auctions where you can acquire rugs from good deals. When participating in online auctions, just be cautious of shill bidders. These are types of auctioneers or sellers who bid on their own items to reach a higher tender amount.
You can also check for the seller rating and feedback of their previous clients. If you saw multiple comments about issues with the quality of the item, accusations of scamming and other negative feedback, you might want to take a step back and explore other options.
Purchasing an area rug online
As pointed out above, buying an area rug online may be too risky. First, you won’t have a personal feel of the item which is a very important step. Moreover, there are some fake merchants online who’d send you a bogus version or just disappear with your money.
Look under the terms and condition to see if the online rug seller offers a money back guarantee for orders that did not arrive or for damaged products.
We recommend to only buy from trusted rug sellers who made quite a name. Look for client or customer feedback. Amazon and eBay provide an additional layer of protection through secured payment channels.
We at RugKnots ship our at the soonest possible time. We also offer free shipping and secured payments through PayPal to give you a worry-free online shopping experience.
Frequently Asked Questions About Area Rugs
The topic of applying area rugs to a room is plagued with many questions. Most of them are from first time rug buyers who don’t have the slightest idea of where to start. Even customers who have experience in rug purchase are uncertain of the right way to do it.
But this is absolutely understandable. If you’ll be investing more than just a thousand of dollars, it better be worth it. As such, you feel the need to ask questions until the fog clears.
We listed below the top FAQs about area rugs:
Do I need an area rug?
If you seriously want to complete the appearance of your home, you definitely need an area rug. These rugs define the space and sets the mood of the entire room. Investing on area rugs is a great move to those who love to come home to a cozy environment.
Can you put rugs over carpet?
Yes, you surely can. Whether you put an area rug on a carpet or a hardwood floor, this method is known as rug layering. Dare to be playful in giving your room a new texture by mixing and matching patterns and colors of two materials.
How do you stop rugs from creeping on carpet?
Rug users often ask, “How do I keep my rug from moving?”
When you decide to do rug layering, you also need to think of ways on how you can keep it in place. Be it on the hardwood floor or carpet, always purchase rug pads, shelf liner, and double-sided carpet tapes.
Use these items to hold the rug in place. First, measure the dimensions and cut the strips according to the length and width of the rug. Leave two inches of border on each edge then position the strips 12 inches apart.
Cut multiple pieces of the shelf liner so that it fits over the double-sided tape. Press carefully leaving no sticky areas open. Flip and position the area rug as desired.
What type of rug is best for high traffic areas?
Wool rugs are the best rugs for high traffic areas. Apart from its durability, authentic wool rugs are safe-to-use and far more flexible when it comes to design.
Should furniture be on an area rug?
It depends on the type of furniture and how you would like the room setting to appear. Not all furniture pieces in the room would need to stand on a rug. Remember that rugs are there to emphasize the main attraction
For living areas, we recommend to place the front legs of the sofa on the side of an area rug. This promotes a coalesced vibe enhancing everyone’s mood for a good and lengthy conversation.
For bedrooms, it is entirely optional whether you’re going to include the nightstands in your measurement. However, area rugs would definitely sit under the bed as the rug needs to cover at least 2 feet from the edge of the bed.
Do you need area rugs on hardwood floors?
It’s wise to invest on hardwood floors but they look better with well-made area rugs. Apart from having a soft place for your feet to land and the beauty it adds to scene, these awesome rugs also bestows the room with noise reduction, warmth and comfort.
Other households with hardwood floors may be skeptical with area rugs. However, it is not the area rugs that they should worry about but the type of rug pad used. A rubber pad will take away the shine of the hardwood flooring. Make use of a combination of rubber and felt to keep it safe.
Can you steam clean area rugs on hardwood floors?
Do not steam clean area rugs as the heat would mess up the fiber. Also, there would be no need for steam cleaning if you did not soak your area rugs wet. Leave the cleaning of your precious rugs to professional rug cleaners.
Are rug pads worth it?
Apart from keeping the area rugs in place, rug pads also prevent damage it can get from friction and frequent stretches due to foot traffic. As rug pads secure the area rugs in their position, you’ll have lesser worries of indoor accidents brought by slippery floors and creeping rugs.
How long do area rugs last?
Area rugs are supposed to last long with proper care and maintenance. Foot traffic is another factor that you need to consider. But even so, you also need to check the materials and the processes used to make sure that the rug is of heirloom quality.
Authentic wool rugs that undergone hand-knotting process sometimes last 50 years or longer. On the other hand, the hand-tufted rugs may live up to seven years which is decent enough. Machine-made area rugs, although cheap, may also last if made by a reputable manufacturer.
Wrapping Up: How To Choose An Area Rug
Although an area rug is a wonderful addition to any room setting, its benefits go far beyond beauty. But before you go ahead and make a purchase, it is imperative for you as a consumer to know what’s best for your place and make sure that its quality is a bang for your buck.
Did you finally get the answer you’ve long been searching for about choosing an area rug? We hope that you’ve gained more knowledge on how to buy another valuable home design piece. Let us know your thoughts or ask us any questions in the comment section below.