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Home > Ideas & Tips > Area Rug Buying Guide

Area Rug Buying Guide

Area Rug Buying Guide

Area rugs are versatile. They can create cozy conversation areas, allow you to embrace a bold print or provide a neutral anchor to a room.
With all the styles and colours available, choosing an area rug that integrates with your decor isn't hard if you consider the following factors!

Shop Area Rugs Area Rug Buying Guide
Decorating with Area Rugs Decorating with Area Rugs


Tips

  • Use rugs of different patterns within the same room as long as the colours coordinate.

Area Rugs
Area Rugs
Area Rugs

  • Select rugs of different shapes and sizes to create more interest and contrast. Using two rugs of the same size may divide the room in half. Octagonal or circular rugs add a unique touch to a room, and runners are great for hallways and other narrow and/or high traffic areas.

Area Rugs
Area Rugs
Area Rugs

  • Try laying out a bed sheet to get an idea of the area you want your rug to cover. Measure the area the sheet covers and use it as a go-by for your area rug

  • A good rule of thumb is to leave at least 8 inches of floor exposed around the perimeter of your area rug.

  • Be careful in cleaning your rug, especially ones with a higher pile height such as shag rugs. The fibres may get caught in your vacuum's rotating barrel, so it is best to either turn that off or use an attachment without one.
Things to Consider Things to Consider

  • SIZE - Measure the space where your rug will be. This will help you avoid buying a rug that's too big or too small. Most rugs come in multiple sizes, but it's no use falling in love with a rug only to find out it doesn't come in the size you need.


  • PILE HEIGHT - A rug can have a variety of pile heights. Whether it's a short pile or high, it all refers to the thickness of a rug measured in length from the backing to the surface. Pile heights can vary, anywhere from ¼" in low, ½" in medium, ¾" in high, or longer in some shag rugs. A key rule to follow is that high-traffic areas in your home can benefit from a rug with some density. Short-pile rugs on the other hand, are easier to maintain, and will generally last longer. If you use a rug underneath your furniture, be aware that high-pile rugs can be vulnerable to indentations and marks from table legs or chairs.

  • COLOUR AND PATTERN - The colours in the rug don't have to match the colours in the room, but at least one colour should coordinate. Remember that lighter-coloured rugs make a room seem more spacious. Darker colours in the rug bring a cozy atmosphere to a room. Take into account patterns on the furniture and walls in the room, so they don't compete with the rug. If you have furniture or wallpaper with an ornate pattern, choose a subtler pattern for the area rug. If the walls and upholstery are fairly subdued, you can try a busier pattern to add more interest to the room.


  • DESIGN - Choose a rug with a central medallion if you want it to serve as the focal point of the room. However, if there's another obvious central point (ex. A fireplace) go with a more repetitive pattern.

Know Your Area Rug Fibre Know Your Area Rug Fibre


Originally, area rugs were made from wool or cotton. Today, there are several natural and synthetic fibres available. Check out the different options here:


Acrylic

Acrylic

Synthetic fibre that is highly resistant to sunlight, stains and mildew.

Shop Acrylic Rugs
Cotton

Cotton

Natural fibre that is versatile, durable and soft. Easy to clean, with many being machine washable.

Shop Cotton Rugs
Nylon

Nylon

Synthetic fibre that is versatile and durable. Easy to clean, and great for areas with heavy foot traffic.

Shop Nylon Rugs
Polypropylene

Polypropylene

The most stain-resistant synthetic fibre. Less expensive than other fibres, it can repel water and is impervious to most stains.

Shop Polypropylene Rugs
Wool

Wool

Natural, durable, soft, and repels water. Wool is prone to shedding and colour fading, making it easy to clean. A good tip is to rotate regularly for even wear and tear.

Shop Wool Rugs
Selecting A Rug Pad Selecting A Rug Pad
Rug Pads
  • Rug pads keep your rug properly positioned, preventing it from slipping and sliding. Rug pads also:

  • Reduce wear and tear on the rug.

  • Help to absorb the impact of feet and noise.

  • Make vacuuming your rug easier.

  • Protect smooth-surface flooring, like hardwood and laminate, from being scratched by the back of the rug.

For rugs placed over carpet, choose a pad of thin polyester fabric coated with adhesive. This type of pad prevents dark rug colour from bleeding through on a light carpet. A pad made from slightly heavier polyester scrim coated with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) holds a rug firmly on wood or other smooth-surfaced floors.

Shop Rug Pads
Rugs For Every Room Rugs For Every Room
Area Rugs for the Entryway

Area Rugs for the Entryway

  • This is a high traffic area, so you want a rug that's durable and easy to clean (Wool, Cotton, and Nylon).
  • Look for a rug that's slightly wider than your front door so more than one person can stand on it upon entry.
  • A 2-ft x 4-ft to 3-ft x 5-ft area rug will work perfect for the entryway; runners are also nice.
  • Most entryway rugs have non-skid backing so you don't have to worry about slipping or sliding on the rug when you walk in.
Shop Small Sized Rugs

Area Rugs for the Living Room

  • Typically 4-ft x 6-ft or 5-ft x 7-ft area rugs work well under coffee tables. The size you choose depends on the size of your coffee table and surrounding furnishings.
  • The area rug should be large enough to accommodate all four legs of the table and approximately the same length and width of the furnishings in the space.
  • To accent the furnishings most effectively, leave some flooring between the area rug and the furniture exposed.
Shop Medium Sized Rugs
Area Rugs for the Living Room
Area Rugs for the Living Room

Area Rugs for the Living Room

  • Typically 4-ft x 6-ft or 5-ft x 7-ft area rugs work well under coffee tables. The size you choose depends on the size of your coffee table and surrounding furnishings.
  • The area rug should be large enough to accommodate all four legs of the table and approximately the same length and width of the furnishings in the space.
  • To accent the furnishings most effectively, leave some flooring between the area rug and the furniture exposed.
Shop Medium Sized Rugs
Area Rugs for the Dining Room

Area Rugs for the Dining Room

  • Measure the length and width of the table, then add at least 4 feet to each measurement.
  • Most dining room tables need an 8-foot wide area rug.
  • The chair legs shouldn't fall off the rug when people are seated at the table or pulling the chairs away from the table to seat themselves
Shop Large Sized Rugs

Area Rugs for an Entire Room

  • Leave an equal amount of flooring exposed as a border on all sides. If that isn't possible, try to ensure the borders on parallel sides of the rug are equal.
  • Place furniture coasters under the back legs to raise them to the height of the rug. It's okay if the front legs of the furniture are on the rug and the back legs are off the rug, as long as the piece is stable and balanced.
Shop Whole Room Rugs
Area Rugs for an Entire Room
Area Rugs for an Entire Room

Area Rugs for an Entire Room

  • Leave an equal amount of flooring exposed as a border on all sides. If that isn't possible, try to ensure the borders on parallel sides of the rug are equal.
  • Place furniture coasters under the back legs to raise them to the height of the rug. It's okay if the front legs of the furniture are on the rug and the back legs are off the rug, as long as the piece is stable and balanced.
Shop Whole Room Rugs
Learning Your Lingo Learning Your Lingo


Here are some terms to eliminate confusion from your shopping trip, so you can focus on what's pretty.


  • HAND-CARVED - Using hand shears, the weaver cuts a design into the rug. The carving and sculpturing give the rug a distinctive and unique look.

  • HAND-HOOKED - The weaver pushes a hooking tool through the foundation cloth to the front of the rug and then pulls the yarn to the back, leaving a loop on the surface.

  • HAND-KNOTTED - Each knot is individually tied by hand. These knots are single strands of yarn that have been looped around two adjacent warp threads.

  • HAND-TUFTED - An inked-on foundation cloth is stretched over a loom. Then a manually operated hand-tufting gun pushes the yarn through the back of the cloth. When the rug is taken off the loom, a scrim and layer of latex is placed on the back. A backcloth is then sewed on to the latex and scrim to protect your floors.

  • HEAT SET - This is a process polypropylene goes through to put a twist in the yarn. When the yarn is set with heat, it has a wool-like appearance.

  • LINE COUNT - One indicator of rug quality is the number of knots or stitches per square inch. When comparing the line count number of different rugs, it's important to remember that this number may be calculated differently, depending on how and where the rug was made.

  • PILE - This is the surface yarn that makes up the face of the rug.

  • STITCHES / NEEDLE COUNT - The number of loops of yarn is known as the stitch or needle count. The higher the stitch or needle count, the denser the rug. Higher-density rugs last longer and wear better than more loosely woven constructions.

  • WILTON LOOM - These rugs bear a close resemblance to hand-knotted rugs but are machine made. The pile is woven between two backings and then split down the middle so you get two separate rugs.

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