Are you unsure how to select a rug for your space? A quick online search immediately reveals an endless selection of fabrics, colors, sizes, and styles. Rugs are often large, bulky, expensive, and difficult to return if they don’t work.
So how can you avoid issues and maximize the chances you will find a rug you will love for a long time? You’ve come to the right place.
Do I Really Need a Rug? I Love My Pretty Floors.
In a word, yes. Almost every room with hard floors needs a rug. Rugs add texture, color, sound absorption, and comfort to your home. They also identify spaces, tying individual pieces into a cohesive grouping. While some interior design elements are optional, a high-quality rug is a necessity.
Rug Quality Matters
Rugs take a lot of abuse in comparison to other items in your home, so they need to be durable. Rugs support heavy furniture, get walked on, collect pet hair, and fall victim to spills. High-quality rugs can withstand years of vacuuming and professional cleaning, resist staining and abrasion, and maintain their appearance and structural integrity over time. Lower-quality rugs simply don’t stand the test of time.
What Size Rug Should I Get?
Rug size is as important as rug color and pattern. Here are some rules to help you gauge the right size for most rooms.
Living area – All of your seating should be at least partially on the rug
Dining area – Your rug should provide sufficient space to pull back chairs without catching
Bedroom – Your rug should be large enough to sit in front of and partially under your bed
- Leave at least 10” of space between the edges of the rug and the wall
- You can place furniture partly on the rug by using levelers to keep things from wobbling
What Makes a Rug High Quality?
Two primary factors contribute to rug quality: material (the fabric that comprises the rug) and construction (the technique used to make the rug).
Wool: When it comes to rug material, wool rugs are the gold standard. Wool is a natural fiber that is inherently stain resistant and extremely durable. Antique rugs families hand down over generations are made from wool.
Other natural fibers: Rugs made from other natural fibers such as jute, sisal, and cotton can also be good choices, but these rugs are not as easy to cleaen. For this reason, they are best used in low-traffic areas. The look of a natural texture is lovely, but be weary of stains.
Synthetic fibers: Rugs made from synthetic or non-natural fibers including nylon, polypropylene, and polyester are typically less expensive than wool rugs. You’ll find vibrant color and pattern options in rugs created with manmade fibers, but they are less durable, may not feel as nice, are prone to curling and warping, and can look cheap. These rugs do have their place; just be aware of their limitations.
Rug manufacturers use a variety of techniques to create rugs.
Woven or hand-knotted rugs: Hand-knotted and hand woven rugsare durable, long-lasting, and have a high-quality appearance. They can withstand pulls and crushing more than rugs produced with other techniques.
Hand-woven rugs have a tight weave that keeps the rug from shedding, maximizes durability, and feels great underfoot.
TLDR: The takeaway
A hand-knotted woven wool rug is the ideal rug for most interior spaces. It looks beautiful, feels great underfoot, and is the most durable rug you can buy.
The exception to this rule is outdoor rugs which are typically made from man-made acrylic. These can get wet and are easy to clean.
Where Should I Buy My Rugs?
Local rug dealers offer unique, high-end rugs, and may even let you try rugs in your home. They are amazing sources if you have the budget and prefer to see things in person. If you are looking to make a smaller investment, you’ll find the best rug deals online.
For larger rugs typically used in family rooms or bedrooms
Sites like Overstock and Perigold/Wayfair offer both manufactured rugs and one-of-a-kind rugs.
For mid-size or smaller rugs
Etsy is our go-to for unique kitchen runners, powder room mats, and scatter rugs. We typically stay small here as shipping costs can add up on these one-of-a-kind rugs that often come from overseas.
To find the rug that’s right for you, use filters to narrow your search. Assuming you want to see the highest quality options, select “wool” (any type) for the material and “hand-knotted,” “hand woven,” or “hand hooked” for the weave type. You can also filter based on your size and color preferences.
What Else Do I Need? A Rug Pad.
Yes, you need a rug pad under all indoor and outdoor rugs to hold the rug in place, provide a cushion, and protect your floors. Here is a high-quality, reasonably-priced one we recommend.
- For rugs that at 6 x 9 or larger, we recommend this rug pad or something like it.
- For smaller-sized rugs and runners, you want a rug pad that keeps the rug from slipping, without too much thickness.
Order the size closest to the size of your rug. In other words, if your rug is 8×10, get an 8×10 rug pad. You’ll want to trim the rug pad so it is a few inches smaller than the rug on all sides. It’s easy to cut a rug pad with a box cutter or a good pair of scissors.
Other Rug Shopping Tips
- If you are ordering a rug that comes in a variety of sizes, order a small size to make sure you like the colors and texture before ordering the larger size.
- Consider darker, busier patterns for outdoor rugs and rugs in high-traffic areas. They will do a better job of hiding dirt than will a lighter-colored, solid rug.
- Spray or have your rug professionally sprayed with a fabric protection treatment to minimize impact from spills and stains.
- When it comes to rug appearance, buy what you like! There’s no right or wrong rug. Pick the rug that will make you happy each time you see it.