How to pick the right rug
February 12, 2019
The right rug can make a good room even better, lending color, texture, and, of course, warmth beneath your feet. But how do you pick the right rug? It all comes down to selecting the correct material and construction technique, the right size for the room, and knowing how to care for your choice.
Here are some tips:
How to pick the right materials and construction technique
- First, think about the activity that occurs in the room where the rug will be. Areas with high traffic are suited to rugs that have a flat weave or low-pile, tighter weave. Rugs with a softer, higher pile are perfect for the bedroom.
- Pick rug colors and patterns that complement the central pieces of furniture in the room, and don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns. In fact, we think our rugs offer the perfect opportunity to kick your room’s decor up a notch or two.
- Rugs are made from a variety of materials, including wool, natural fibers, synthetics, cotton, and animal hide. Some rugs are also a blend of compatible materials. The content of the rug and its construction technique will affect its cost, longevity, and care.
- Wool is a classic material for rugs and wears quite well because of its natural oils, which prevent dirt from adhering. Wool rugs can be constructed by techniques that include hand-knotting, the most durable but costly method; weaving by machine or hand, a durable and long-lasting method; or hand-tufting or hand-hooking. Most of our wool rugs are made with this final technique, which uses a tufting tool to pass yarn through a stretched canvas fabric backing. The underside of the tufted rug is backed with latex for stability.
- Natural fiber rugs are handwoven or loomed from materials that include jute and sisal. Some are backed with latex for cushioning and stability. Natural fibers are absorbent and can shrink and expand with changes in humidity, so these rugs are probably best suited for indoor use only.
- Synthetic fibers, which are man-made, are extremely durable and provide ease of maintenance because they are also highly stain-resistant. Because of that, they’re perfect for the wear and tear that comes with kids and pets. They may also be suitable for indoor/outdoor settings.
- Cotton rugs provide an easy pop of color in spaces like kitchens and bathrooms, and they’re often budget-friendly. Usually, they’re woven on looms by hand or machine.
- Animal hide rugs, sometimes called hair-on-hide rugs, are commonly constructed from cowhide that has been cut into individual pieces that are stitched together, glued to a cotton-latex backing, and then stitched on all four sides. Be aware that there can be some color variation in these rugs because animal hide is a natural material.
How to choose the right size
- Larger rooms need larger rugs. A rug that’s too small will make the furniture look like it’s floating. Try to keep the rug at least 4 inches from the walls and be sure your rugs are clear of any floor vents.
- Not sure about the size you need? Use painter’s tape to mock up the area you want to cover and pick the next size up. Our largest rugs are a generous 9 feet wide by 12 feet long.
- Be sure the front feet of your larger furniture, such as sofas and chairs, are on the rug. For dining rooms, the chairs should still be on the rug when they are pulled away from the table. In a bedroom, the rug should be placed so it covers the floor where your feet will be when you get out of bed. You can put a runner between twin beds.
- Who says a rug must be on the floor? Hang one of our smaller rugs on the wall, like the piece of art that it is.
How to care for your rug
- The care of a rug is dictated by its content. For our rugs, consult the label and our website for the most current information.
- Most rugs benefit from regular vacuuming to preserve the original sheen. Keep in mind that wool rugs will shed more fibers when they are new and may need more vacuuming in their first few months.
- Periodic professional cleaning is recommended to keep your rug looking as good as new.
- Always blot spills immediately with a clean, absorbent white cotton cloth. Removal of stains depends on the rug content, so follow the label instructions and consult a professional if needed.
- Do not pull loose ends from a rug; clip with scissors.
- Rotate your rugs monthly for even wear and avoid direct sunlight to prevent fading.
- Always use an anti-slip pad underneath the rug, even those that are smaller in size. It will lengthen the life of your rug and provide stability and cushioning.
- Use rug protectors under legs of heavy furniture to avoid flattening the rug’s pile.
- Indoor/outdoor rugs should be used in protected areas without direct exposure to sunlight. Avoid excessive moisture and be sure the rug is completely dry before it is placed on the floor.