Area Rugs Basics

Before you purchase an area rug, there are a few key things you should know

Every decision you make about designing your home or business space is an investment, right down to choosing the right area rug. The knowledgeable staff at the Total Flooring Source takes those investments seriously, so we want to help prepare you to make those major decisions confidently.

Our helpful guide of area rug tips will teach you what you need to know before you buy.

The 3 Elements of Area Rugs

When you are area rug shopping, pay attention to these few key features to ensure you find the best fit for your space, style and budget

  • Size & Shape

Area rugs come in just about every size and shape. Common shapes include rectangle, round, square, oval, and octagon. For long, narrow spaces, hallways and stairs, you may opt for a runner. A few common sizes for rectangular rugs are 2’x3’, 4’x6’, 5’x8’, 6’x9’, 8’x10’. For exceptionally large spaces, you can find rugs in even bigger sizes.

To determine what size rug will best fit your needs, consider the following guidelines:

  • Carefully measure the size of your room
  • Use small objects (pieces of paper work well) to plot out the corners of the space upon which you wish to place an area rug
  • Adjust the corners until you’ve found the ideal size, then measure the area
  • Leave at least a foot-wide border of exposed flooring around your rug
  • When placing a rug underneath a dining room table, select a rug that is large enough so that the back legs of each chair are still on the rug when pushed back to stand up
  • Color & Pattern

Each area rug is simultaneously a work of art and a piece of the overall work of art that is the space you’re designing.

You can use color to create a vibrant focal point out of a rug, or you can work with softer, more neutral tones to use a rug as a subtle background. Selecting the right colors will enhance a room, not distract from it. Pattern refers to the combination of color, lines and shapes on a rug. When shopping for area rugs, you’ll find patterns for every style. You may opt for just a simple, solid-colored rug, or a more complex Oriental pattern that combines many colors, borders and shapes. There are rugs that feature traditional themes, and there are modern rugs with abstract geometric patterns and bold color schemes. You’ll also find floral patterns, holiday-themed rugs and friendly graphics for kids’ rugs. The best approach is to start looking at a variety of rugs and find out what you like!

  • Style

The character of a rug is defined by its style.

Traditional style area rugs are inspired by the intricate, ornate patterns and colors of Oriental or Persian rugs. Contemporary rugs are often boldly colored and eye-catching, featuring modern design and geometric patterns. For a blend of the modern and traditional, transitional rugs combine muted colors and open patterns with an Oriental feel.

All graphic or pictorial rugs, such as holiday themes, rugs for kids, welcome mats and novelty patterns fall under the umbrella of casual style rugs.

Having a cohesive room design is important, so work to find a rug that matches the style of other

The Cost of Rug Ownership

The price tag on the rug you’re interested in is just one component of the cost – there are a few other expenses to keep in mind:

    • Rug Pads
    • Cleaning Products
    • Additional Services

Many retailers offer financing options to make purchasing your area rug as easy and affordable as possible.

If you have any additional questions about area rugs that were not answered in this guide, contact the Total Flooring Source and talk to one of our flooring experts! 

Buying an Antique Rug: Ageless Advice

Opting for an antique, handmade rug? There are a few important considerations to make unique to antiques.

    • Age: A true antique is over 60 years old. Rugs older than 25 qualify as semi-antique.
    • Condition: A rug is considered to be in fine condition if it has no stains, tears, holes or repair work. However, even worn rugs should not be dismissed, as they can have good resale value and may even be valuable antiques!

Share This