Area Rug Buying Guide
One of the first things you need to do before you start researching and shopping is to measure the area that you will be putting the area rug. This will ensure that you get a rug that is not too small or large for the space.
Area rugs can be all different sizes, so you will need to decide how much coverage you want for your chosen area and choose the size of your area rug accordingly. Continue reading below to learn more about choosing the right area rug regardless of where you are putting it.
Choosing the Right Area Rug for the Space
- Dining room area – To find an area rug that fits perfectly in your dining area, measure the length and width of your dining table and choose an area rug that is at least 2 feet larger than the table on all sides so the dining chairs comfortably slide back and forth without “falling off” the rug. Keep in mind that area rugs underneath dining tables are subjected to food and drink stains of all kinds. Look for stain resistant rugs that minimize the damage from dropped or spilled food and drink.
- Kitchen area – Many people place area rugs in front of the sink or stove. These area rugs can help ease the pain in the legs, lower back and feet that can be caused by standing for long periods of time. Make sure that your kitchen area rugs have non-skid backing so they stay put.
- Bedroom – Using an area rug in the bedroom can make your bed the focus of your room and also provide a warm, comfortable place to put your feet when you get out of bed in the morning. This is especially nice on cold mornings. You can lay an area rug several ways in the bedroom. One way is to measure the bed’s width and length and choose an area rug that extends2 feet beyond every side of the bed. You could also choose to put a runner on either side of the bed or place the area rug at the foot of the bed.
- Entryway – What better way to make a great first impression that by placing a beautiful area rug in front of your door on the inside. You want to choose an area rug that is wider than the doorway.
- Hallways/Passageways – Runners are perfect for hallways. They are much narrower than a lot of areas rugs and are specifically designed to be used for adding some comfort and style to the floor or your hallway. To have the best fit, choose a runner that offers 6” of floor space on all sides of the runner. If your hallway is too narrow to have 6” clearance around all sides, allow for as much clearance as you can.
Common Area Rug Shapes
There are several different shapes that area rugs can have. Rectangle is the most common shape but it certainly doesn’t have to be the only one that you use. Area rugs can also come in round, oblong, animal shaped, square, or runners. The shape you choose will be largely determined by where you are putting the area rug. Choose a shape that complements the room and both the area rug and the room will look terrific.
Area Rug Colors
If you want your room to look balanced and stylish follow the 60/30/10 rule. This means that 60% if the room will be decorated in your dominant color. This could be the walls, or the largest piece of furniture. 30% is a secondary color that complements the first. This is where you want to include the area rug color. Last is 10% when is used for accent pieces reading lamps, vases, etc.
Area Rug Patterns
Many area rugs have raised patterns that can be seen in the pile of the rug. Before you purchase a patterned area rug, look around at the furniture and wall décor where you will be putting the rug. If the walls or furniture have patterns you don’t want to overwhelm the space by choosing a patterned area rug also. Go for more solid color rugs if there is a lot going on in the furniture patterns and walls. If the furniture and walls are solid colors, you can definitely go for a patterned look with the area rug.
High Traffic Areas
When you are looking at different area rugs think about the traffic area that the space gets. If it is a high traffic area you want to look for a low pile area rug. This hides the tracks that can be left much easier. Detailed patterns are also good at hiding stains and tracks as well. If you love the high-pile styles, save those for the bedroom or den which are low traffic areas.
Which is Better- Natural or Synthetic?
Although natural fibers are very beautiful and they feel great under the feet, synthetic fibers are better at resisting stains and fading and they are also less expensive. Natural fibers include cotton and wool.
Area Rug Terminology
There are several terms that will be helpful for you to know when you start researching the different area rugs that are available. We have listed these terms and their definitions below.
- Hand-hooked – This term has to do with the method in which the rug was created. Hand hooked is when the weaver takes a hooking tool and pushes it through the foundation or base cloth to the front and then pulls the yarn in the back. This will leave a loop in the pile.
- Hand-Carved – A hand carved area rug involves the weaver taking a pair of hand shears and cutting a design into the rug.
- Hand-Tufted – Another process of manufacturing. This process involves taking a foundation cloth that has been inked on and it is stretched over the loom. Next the hand-tufting gun shoves the yarn through the back of the cloth to make the carpet pile. Once the rug is taken off the loom, scrim and latex is placed on the back along with a backcloth that is sewed onto the scrim and latex to protect the floors.
- Hand Knotted – Every knot that the area rug contains is tied by hand. Each knot is a single strand of yarn that is looped are two warp threads.
With so many different styles, colors and patterns available you may find it difficult to sort through them all to choose one that will meet your needs. There are a few things you should think about when it comes to choosing the best area rug for your home.
These considerations will help you know exactly what to look for and what to compare when you start researching different brands, types and styles.
Area rugs are excellent for adding color and texture to different areas of your home. They can be used anywhere from in front of the bathroom or kitchen sink to the hallway or entrance of your home. The information in this buyer’s guide is designed to help make the selection process much easier.
You can use the knowledge you have gained to eliminate the area rugs that don’t fit your needs or preferences. This will enable you to make an informed decision that will fit everything you need.