Selecting an indoor area rug

Men laying new hardwood flooring

Purchasing an indoor area rug is a simple way to change the look of a room, whether you want to add a pop of color to a drab space or cozy up an area with hardwood floors. But with so many options on the market today, selecting the right rug can be tough. Following are some tips to make your decision a cinch.

Size does matter

Before you even begin shopping, determine what size rug you’re seeking. Unless you plan on having one custom made, you can expect to find area rugs in 2×3, 3×5 and 4×6 sizes, which work well as accents in smaller areas, such as bathrooms and foyers. Larger sizes include 6×9, 8×10, 9×12 and 12×15, which are often appropriate for larger spaces, such as dens and dining rooms. Remember, however, the larger the rug, the larger the price tag.


Facts about fibers

Area rugs are available in a multitude of materials, from cotton and wool to bamboo. Before you decide on the rug’s material, consider its purpose. If you are simply buying it to spruce up the decor in your home and plan on switching it out frequently, select a nylon or polypropylene variety, which are generally inexpensive. If you want an eco-friendly option, consider purchasing a rug made with plant fibers, including bamboo. If you’re seeking a rug for a high-traffic area, try one made from wool; while they’re not the most inexpensive option, they are extraordinarily durable and will last for years.

The power of patterns

Will your rug be placed in a high-traffic area, such as a kid’s playroom or hallway? If so, consider investing in one with a busy pattern and multiple colors, as it’s more likely to hide dirt, stains and foot traffic compared to a solid-colored rug with no pattern.

fun fact: persians and orientals

The difference between Persian and Oriental rugs is that Orientals are hand-knotted in Asia, while Persians are made only in Iran.

get a no-slip grip

If you’re placing your area rug on top of a hardwood surface, be sure to use a rug pad to keep it from slipping and sliding around the floor. Select a rubber pad, not one made with spray-on latex. Some synthetic sprays can wear off of the pad and onto your hardwood floors.

where to buy?

Area rugs can be purchased in a number of locations, ranging from carpet and decor showrooms to websites to big-box stores. According to Home Textiles Today, however, the most popular places that consumers purchased their area rugs in 2009 were discount department stores and mid-priced chains, including Walmart, Target, Kmart, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Meijer and Sears.

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