Area Rug Buying Guide

by Staff Writer

Rugs come in sizes ranging from small welcome mats to room-size area rugs of 13 feet by 17 feet and larger. There are even larger wall-to-wall oversize rugs, measuring 26 feet by 37 feet or larger. If none of the pre-made area rug sizes fit your needs, custom rugs are a possibility; you can have the perfect rug no matter what size and shape you want.

Area Rug Buying Tips:

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  • Always measure first:

    Choosing a rug size helps you pinpoint your vision. Use a large rug to make a statement and create a cohesive design. When measuring for a large area rug, remember to account for furniture. Do you want the rug to tuck underneath your chairs and sofa or create a border? When measuring for smaller rugs, try to leave about 18 to 36 inches between the rug and the wall for an eye-pleasing border. Taping out the dimensions of a rug on the floor can help you visualize the size, shape, and placement. Read our guide on sizing a room for an area rug to get more information.

  • Consider your style options:

    When shopping for area rugs, you may encounter some terms you've never heard before. Some area rug styles are recognizable, like floral, geometric, and novelty. Others, like contemporary, traditional, and transitional, are new to many shoppers. Contemporary rugs are modern and commonly feature patterns with clean lines, like chevrons and stripes. Traditional area rugs are typically ornate with elaborate designs. Many traditional area rugs may remind you of Persian decor. Transitional rugs bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary styles. For more information on styles, read our Area Rug Styles Buying Guide.

  • Don't forget about runner rugs:

    Runner rugs are long and narrow, making them perfect for use in hallways, on stairs, and in other narrow spaces. They help protect your floors in areas with heavy foot traffic while adding elegance and color to a space. Match your runner rugs to the other rugs throughout your home for a consistent look.

  • Add a few accent rugs:

    Accent rugs are small area rugs meant to punctuate a space. Accent rugs, found in every style category, are perfect for your entryway, a child's bedroom, or that spot in front of the fireplace.

  • Buy a rug pad to go with your new rug:

    Rug pads keep rugs from slipping and rolling, while adding an extra layer of padding between your feet and the floor. Conveniently, rug pads can be cut to size to match your rugs perfectly.