What You Need To Know Before Buying An Area Rug

Monday June 02, 2008
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Area rugs are often like the Rodney Dangerfields of home décor – they get no respect, no respect at all. Area rugs are sometimes called throw rugs because some people just throw them down and let the rest take care of itself.

Area rugs should be considered as an important part of your home’s personality. They can add accent and color and can be the focal point of a room that is in need of a facelift. What type of area rug should you get for the rooms in your home? What size area rug is right for your needs and will look good in your room? Should you go with a traditional or contemporary area rug?

Here are some tips to remember to help you improve the look and feel of your home with area rugs:

  • Are you going to redecorate? – Before buying an area rug, think about what you want to do with the room in question. Are you going to buy new furniture, or do you just want to add a small splash to the room? If you are going to keep the same furniture and furnishings, then you will want to match your rug’s design and colors to your current room. If you are going to redecorate, you may want to pick the rug’s colors and style first and then decorate accordingly.
  • Keep in mind the size of the room – A lot of people wonder, "What size should area rugs be with respect to room size?" A good rule of thumb for large area rugs that are going to cover the majority of a room’s floor is to leave at least 18 inches of space around the edges of the room. For smaller area rugs that are going to be placed under a coffee table or couch, this obviously won’t apply. The type of floor you have will also be a factor in determining how much of the floor you want to show. If you have beautiful wood floors, you might not want to have a large area rug that will hide their beauty.
  • Think about the type of foot traffic your area rug will see – An area rug for a den is going to see more foot traffic than one that is placed under a dining room table. An area rug placed in a high-traffic area like a den or recreation room will need to be more durable and thicker than one that is going to be in a bedroom or dining room. This is where the materials that the rug is comprised of will need to be taken into consideration.
  • Don’t forget the rug pad – Before you lay your area rug down in its final resting place, don’t forget to put a rug pad down. Rug pads will help protect the floor underneath the area rug, they will help to keep the rug in place, prevent it from sliding and they will help to cushion the area where the area rug will be.
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