Area Rugs

Make sure your rug is the perfect fit for your room with our size, shape and style tips

Area Rugs

Area rugs bring comfort and style to your home, and with the right positioning, they can alter the entire appearance of a room.

This guide will help you sort through the different sizes and styles available so you can make the best choice for your home.

Style

Traditional rugs, which are often mistaken for true Oriental rugs, are most often rectangular, but can be found in other shapes, such as ovals or octagons.

True Oriental rugs are woven or knotted by hand using wool or silk fibers and feature ornate patterns.

Persian rugs usually have a central medallion framed by an intricate border.

Both Oriental and Persian rugs are ideal for formal areas such as dining rooms, living rooms and sitting areas.

American rugs feature patterns based on colonial styles and work well with traditional, country and casual décor.

Dhurrie rugs are economical and available in a wide range of colors, particularly pastels.

Animal print

An all-over pattern, or parts of a pattern resembling animal fur or hide

Border

Features a design on the perimeter of the rug, surrounding the field. The border can also be inset.

Chevron

A rug with a design of connected V’s creating a zig-zag stripe pattern

Coastal

Features elements of the ocean, sea or beach

Distressed

The look of a rug that has been worn-down after many years and becomes aged and faded. Parts of the pattern are missing from wear and tear.

Floral

A rug with a pattern of flowers, or elements of flowers

Geometric

Any pattern created with geometric shapes

High-low

High-low

Uses low pile and high pile tufts to make a pattern or design

Ikat

Resembles blurriness in repeated Aztec/global design, with multiple colors and complicated patterns

Lodge

A rug with elements of the mountains, country or woods

Medallion

An all-over design that resembles stamped shapes that have circular, organic elements. Pattern can be symmetrical or asymmetrical.

Novelty

Themed, kids (maps, cars or dinosaurs, for example), sports, characters, clocks, etc.

Oriental

A traditional ornate hand-knotted rug that is composed of several decorative borders, a field pattern, and a central ornate medallion

Overdyed

The look of a traditional handmade wool rug that has been all-over dyed a new color, leaving the light and dark shapes of the original design to show a faded pattern

Plaid

Pattern of transparent perpendicular lines at different widths that overlap each other to form uneven squares

Shag

Long pile tufts of yarn to create an overall texture

Solid

Gradient is an increase and decrease of the colors creating a fading effect on a rug; can also be known as ombre. A solid rug appears to be one color but can also have different tones of one color creating a “heathered” feel.

Southwestern

A rug with elements resembling Navajo weaving and Native American motifs

Striped

A pattern made of stripes or bands different in color or texture

Trellis

Displays connected lines in geometric, uniform shapes

Watercolor

Has elements that resemble an artist’s brushstrokes, or the movement of water mixed with ink or paint

Size

Scatter rugs are typically 2 x 4 feet and are used in bathrooms, kitchens and entryways.

Runners are long, narrow rugs ideal for hallways and areas where you want to define traffic flow.

Use 3 x 5-foot or 4 x 6-foot accent rugs to define nooks or other special areas.

Room-size or room-fit rugs are most commonly found in 5 x 8 or 6 x 9-foot sizes.

This guide will help you calculate the ideal rug size you need and determine placement.

When purchasing a large, room-sized rug, select the rug first and then the furniture, drapes and other features. Large rugs can dominate your room, so it's important that the rest of the room match accordingly.

Smaller rugs should be selected to match existing décor as much as possible. When choosing a color, darker hues help create a cozy, more intimate feel while lighter colors complement open spaces and make smaller rooms feel more spacious.

Shape Common Sizes Ideal For:

Rectangle

Living Room
Bedroom
Entryway
Home Office Sink/Stove/Laundry

Runner

Bedroom
Hallway

Square

Living Room
Dining Room

Round

Dining Room
Entryway

Oval

Living Room
Dining Room

Octagon

Dining Room
Entryway

Hearth

Hearth

Entryway

Kidney

Kidney

Living Room

Construction & Materials

Rugs are available in a wide range of materials, from soft cotton to synthetic polyester or nylon.

Cost is largely determined by the materials used, how the rug was constructed and its size.

Rugs made of synthetic materials are normally less expensive than those constructed of natural fibers.

Choosing either a natural or synthetic fiber depends on the style of the rug and how much traffic you expect to have in the area. Fibers may be either staple fibers, which use short lengths of fiber and may shed initially, or bulk continuous filament, which uses continuous strands of fiber and does not shed or fuzz.

Many synthetic rugs are also durable enough to be used outdoors.

Resilience measures how well fibers bounce back from crushing and the weight of heavy furniture. Look for rugs with high resilience if you plan to place them underneath furniture or in high-traffic areas.

If you have children in the house or are placing the rug in a high-traffic area, look for rugs labeled stain-resistant to make cleanup easier.

Natural Materials

Cotton

  • Durable
  • Soft feel
  • Wide range of colors
  • Ideal for high-traffic areas

Jute

  • Beautiful natural coloring
  • Suited for low-traffic areas
  • Soft feel
  • Should not be placed under furniture

Sea grass

  • Easy to clean
  • Should not be placed under furniture
  • Natural coloring provides a rustic look
  • Well suited to high-traffic areas

Silk & silk blend

  • May provide highlights in wool rugs
  • High luster
  • Soft feel
  • Best for low-traffic areas

Sisal

  • Strong
  • Ideal for high-traffic areas
  • Best for indoor use
  • Coarse texture

Wool & wool blend

  • Soft, thick and luxurious feel
  • Static-resistant
  • Perfect for high-traffic areas
  • May shed when new

Synthetic Materials

Nylon

  • Strong and resilient
  • Ideal for high-traffic areas & placement under heavy furniture
  • Conceals and resists stains and soil
  • Available in many colors

Polyester

  • Retains color clarity
  • Easy to clean
  • Provides a plush feel
  • Ideal for living areas

Polypropylene (Olefin)

  • Easy to clean
  • Resists moisture and mildew
  • Best for low-traffic areas
  • May be used outdoors

Care

Always care for your rugs according to the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damage.

It is usually safe to clean all rugs with water or steam clean them once or twice a year, but double-check the tag for instructions regarding chemical cleaners.

Vacuum high-traffic areas frequently and always clean spills quickly by blotting rather than scrubbing.

Rotate your rugs every six to 12 months to prevent uneven wear, and check the back of your rugs periodically to monitor potential damage from moths or carpet beetles.

Use a rug pad underneath, especially on hard floors. This will help prevent slipping as well as provide greater comfort underfoot.

Pads, just like carpet padding, help extend the life of your rug by keeping it in place while providing extra cushion and insulation. They also prevent spills or dyes from seeping through the carpet to the surface below and staining the floor.

If you don't use a pad, be sure that rug corners are out of the way in high-traffic areas. Many scatter rugs feature nonskid backing, which prevents them from sliding out from underneath you when you step on them, even if the floor beneath them is smooth.

Tip: If you have a very expensive rug or are dealing with a particularly tricky stain, contact a professional rug cleaner for assistance.