2022 Area Rug Buying Guide: Deciding on the Best Area Rug for your Space
Finding the right area rug for your space can be a mind-boggling process, especially if it’s your first one! Everything from material type to color scheme can have a large impact on your buying decisions. But with so many options to choose from it can be difficult to narrow your choices down — the last thing you want to deal with is regretting your new rug.
We’ve put together this “Area Rug Buying Guide” to help you get on the right path to ensure you find the rug that blends perfectly with your space!
Start with the Right Material!
One of the first decisions you should consider about your new rug is the material. Every material serves a unique purpose, but ideally, you want to purchase a rug in a material that is designed specifically for your needs.
Every attempt at improving synthetic materials is meant to mimic wool, but there is no match to this natural wonder. Wool is an organic, sustainable and reusable material that is a must-have in every home. It's the longest lasting, softest and most resilient type of rug you can put on your floor. Most manufacturers also save their most decorative designs and unique colors for their wool lines, making these materials not only pleasing to the touch but also the eye. Wool rugs are sensitive materials, so be sure to avoid this material if you have pets or in areas with high foot traffic.
Beyond wool, there are a handful of other natural fibers that serve as great flooring for your home or office. Texture is considered a commodity in interior design and that’s exactly what natural materials provide. Sisal, jute, tencel, hemp, and seagrass are some of the most commonly used natural materials thatls are a great option if you want a rug that is both eco-friendly and stylish.
Natural fibers also are known for being sensitive materials, meaning they do require an extra level of care and maintenance to ensure they last as long as possible. We recommend placing this rug in areas away from exposure to moisture or constant foot traffic.
Polyester, P-E-T, and polypropylene (olefin) are synthetic materials and the least expensive materials you can put on your floor. There are both positive and negative attributes to this choice. Synthetic materials do not collect mold or mildew, so many indoor/outdoor carpets and rugs are made from these poly products. They also are the most economical products to use for basement carpets.
Because of the rising cost of nylon, most manufacturers are finding ways to utilize these less expensive options in more decorative ways. However it’s worth mentioning that these materials tend to be one of the shortest lasting and least resilient, and can emit an odor when first installed.
However, when it comes to synthetics, nylon is king.
It’s softer, more durable, sustainable, and holds onto color much better than any other synthetic material available. Able to be used in most areas of your home or office, nylons are even rated higher in terms of fire resistance. Many manufacturers will treat their nylon products with Stainmaster to resist stains or Magic Fresh to reduce odor. However, with the rising cost of oil (nylon is petroleum based), nylon is almost as expensive as wool.
A wool blend material is the combination of wool blended with a synthetic or natural material.
Wool can be blended with numerous fibers including nylon, polypropylene, sisal, and jute, to name a few. With these blends, wool tends to be the dominant material. You get many of the durable and soft qualities of wool, but with a unique touch from the blended fiber.
Wool blends are much more affordable than 100% wool and can feel just as great. The presence of other fibers available in the market have given mills the ability to innovate when creating wool blends. This gives you the ability to find a perfect middleground and provides you with a handful of the benefits from both wool and the other material. It’s the best of both worlds!
Natural Fibers are materials derived directly from natural plant materials without the use of any synthetics. Many carpet styles in the market tend to use artificial materials, but the use of natural fiber carpets now make an appearance in many homes.
While each specific natural fiber carries its own unique characteristics, you can still achieve a stylish look on any style. Aside from its eco-friendly properties, natural fiber carpets are appreciated for their lavish textures and natural weaves.
Size and placement
Trying to locate the right rug size for your space can be difficult to determine, especially if you want it to blend in flawlessly with your aesthetic.
The golden rule: It’s better to have a rug that is too big rather than too small.
If you’re stuck between two sizes, your best bet is to choose the larger option. Adding a rug that is too small for your space can throw off the proportions of the space, which may take away from the aesthetic you’re creating.
It’s very important you also consider the furniture arrangements in this space. Once you have everything in place and set up, you should visualize where you want your area rug placed. Ideally, you want your rug to be under all of your key furniture pieces. However, if you don’t want your rug to stand out too much, or perhaps you want to keep costs lower with a smaller rug, you can consider just placing it under the front legs of major furniture pieces. when it comes to smaller pieces of furniture, we recommend all four legs to be placed on the rug.
The New England Rug Co. currently offers four sizes to choose from
3x5 - This is a standard sized rug that is perfect for smaller spaces, or areas where you don’t want your rug to be too pronounced. These rugs fit great in a small living room or by your bedside. This may also be a great option if you want to give your office space a contemporary look. For college students looking to refresh their dorm room with a stylish rug, this would also be the perfect size.
The 3x5 size option may also work in larger spaces if you want to spread out the placement of rugs. For example, in an open concept room you could decide to place a rug in different areas of the space, rather than settling for one large area rug piece. This also gives you the flexibility to get creative and tie together different carpet styles across the space.
3x8 - This size is called a runner for its narrow dimensions. This style would fit perfectly in entryways, hallways, galley kitchens, beside your bed or in other tight spaces. If you’re interested in a runner for your stairs or a longer hallway, we would recommend getting precise measurements and sending a custom request to email@example.com
5x8 - This is a set-up from our 3’x5’ sized rug that fits great in medium-sized spaces. We would recommend you consider this size in living rooms, under smaller dining tables, or as a great addition to any office space.
If you’re interested in placing a rug in your bedroom, the 5x8 size is great for something low-key or if you’re looking for a low-cost option. However, it’s worth noting that if you want to place this size under a bed, the rug will have to be placed horizontally to have the rug continue to extend between 12 inches to 18 inches from the edges of the bed. This rug will not be as pronounced under larger bed sizes..
8x10 - This option is a great choice in large spaces or open areas. This size will look great in large living room setups or if you’re seeking a rug that covers most of the flooring. If you’re interested in placing this size rug in a bedroom, it will fit amazingly under larger bed sizes, such as a king or queen bed.
Deciding on the Best Rug Padding:
You’ve chosen the perfect rug, and now it’s time to pay attention to the final touches. One of those includes buying a rug pad to go underneath your rug. We cut the best quality rug pads to fit and secure your area rug perfectly.
Contrary to popular belief, a rug pad is not only beneficial for holding your rug in place, but also a great addition to make your rug much more comfortable when walking over. Additionally, rug pads are not exclusive to hardwood floors. A rug pad can and should be placed below an area rug that is on top of carpeted floors as well.
The simplest course of action to take when you buy a new rug is to immediately lay it on the floor, but you may run into problems with this approach. A rug pad is designed to supplement the rug, getting rid of inconvenience and enhancing your experience with the rug. The rug itself takes care of developing a room’s visual appeal, but the rug pad improves your tactile interactions with it.
We’d like to share a few reasons you need a rug pad under an area rug and what to consider when you’re purchasing your next area rug.
To Hold Your Rug in Place
In some situations, you might want to compromise on comfort for the sake of style, but decorating with rugs should not be one of those situations. If anything, a rug should make your home cozier by covering a hard floor with its softness. However, a rug that easily slips around can make you tread more cautiously than you should have to when you’re trying to relax. By putting a rug pad underneath your rug, you can completely conquer this concern, as it will grip the rug to the floor and keep the rug from sliding around.
To Protect Your Flooring
A rug pad also can protect your flooring, whether it be hardwood, LVT, tiles, etc., The underside of some rugs may be rough enough to scratch the floor when they rub against each other. The rug pad physically stands between the rug and floor, absorbing and stopping the abrasive shifts that frequent foot traffic can cause.
Dirt and debris will accumulate over time underneath your area rug. These materials are abrasive. That means that they wear away at the floor surface due to friction.
A rug pad prevents this grime from contacting the floor. That way, little bits of dirt and other waste materials can’t scratch, blemish or otherwise damage the floor.
To Cushion and Quiet Your Steps
One of the main reasons for having an area rug is to improve the “underfoot experience.” A rug slightly softens up a portion of the floor. However, a rug without a pad can result in sliding, bunching, knotting and wrinkling. That makes for a decidedly unpleasant surface to walk or place furniture on.
A cushioned rug pad provides grip to hold the rug in place. It also makes for an even softer landing for your footsteps, providing a plush and giving surface for walking or sitting.
The cushioning also will block some of the sound transference from your feet to the floor. That helps to mute the sounds created by footsteps.
Its ability to cushion and quiet your steps is yet another reason you need a rug pad under an area rug. Some rugs are thinner, and you may prefer to have a gentler feeling underfoot than your rug alone provides. A pad adds extra cushion when you walk on your rug since it’s often made of rubber, felt, or a foam material.
What happens if you don’t use a rug pad?
Not using a rug pad can result in a variety of bummers, ranging from mildly annoying to costly and distressing.
Curious to know what types of pads we offer? Learn more below:
Our 32oz felt pad is made from 100% recycled content! Sometimes we will recommend this pad for certain projects, and sometimes customers will ask for this pad specifically. If you’re looking for a little extra cushion, this is a great pad to use.
Our premium non-skid felt pad is made from 100% recycled content! The premium blend of fibers provides a long lasting support. The rubber backing helps area rugs stay in place and not shift around as much. We highly recommend this pad. The felt also adds cushion, which is really nice to have underfoot!
Our thin waffle pad and premium waffle pad are the solution for rugs bent on slipping and sliding in high-traffic areas. Waffle pads are one of our best-gripping rug pads yet – and better grip also means better floor protection. Its waffle design facilitates airflow between the rug and flooring while lending a comfortable level of cushioning. Additionally, it’s thin enough to hold rugs fast and keep them lying flat.
Lastly, our blue pad is one of our newest offerings and is great if you’re looking for extra cushion! For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to share some more details.
Need a pad for your new or old area rug? Shop pads at https://nerugco.com/collections/pad. If you don’t see the size you’re looking for, send us an email at email@example.com and we’ll help you get started on your custom rug project.
–Are you ready to discover your next area rug? Check out our latest collection on New England Rug Co. to begin crafting your next luxurious rug. If you’re interested in a custom project for your space, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our dedicated project managers will assist you in creating your personalized area rug or runners.