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How to Choose a Kitchen Rug

MAY 25, 2016

by Andrew Schneider Rug Specialist

The kitchen is often considered the "gathering area" of the home, as it is the place where meals are prepared, families eat together and memories are made. Whether you’ve got a hardwood kitchen floor, linoleum or tile, kitchen rugs work wonders when it comes to adding color, style and warmth into your kitchen space. If you’re currently on the hunt for a new rug to brighten up your kitchen area, there are plenty of kitchen rug styles to choose from. Here are some tips to follow to ensure you pick the perfect rug to suit your specific tastes.


Coordinate with your existing decor

Coordinate with your existing decor

Whether you're looking for an accent rug or large area rug, it's important to choose a piece that coordinates well with your flooring, kitchen table, and even your appliances. For example, if your colors are warm tones such as red and orange and your floor is hardwood, you may benefit from a natural colored fiber weave rug that will complement your existing decor without being overpowering. Tile flooring looks great when paired with soft rugs with pile heights over 1 inch, as these pieces add instant warmth to the cool elements of tile.

Choose a flat-weave style

Choose a flat-weave style

Flat-weave style rugs are both aesthetically pleasing and stand up well to heavy foot traffic. If your kitchen tends to get a lot of action, flat weave rugs are an ideal choice. These rugs typically have low pile heights that allow for optimal durability, and the tight, sturdy fibers are easy to clean with soap, water and a stiff brush. Additionally, choosing a sturdy flat-weave rug or low pile rug doesn't mean you're missing out on style, as there are a variety of looks to choose from ranging from neutral, natural fibers and colors to bold bright prints and attractive chevron patterns that instantly add that "wow" factor to your kitchen space.

Consider the thickness

Consider the thickness

Thick rugs offer both cushion and insulation while creating a warm, welcoming look in your kitchen area. Wool rugs and plush rugs generally have thicker pile heights and work well to insulate tile and hardwood. These rugs also provide additional padding underfoot, making them a great choice to place on the floor in front of the sink or stove. Placing a thick rug in front of a kitchen door that leads outside also helps keep drafts out during cold weather periods.

Select an anti-fatigue rug or mat

Select an anti-fatigue rug or mat

Anti-fatigue rugs and mats are a good option for anyone who spends a significant amount of time standing in the kitchen, whether preparing meals or washing dishes at the sink. Anti-fatigue mats are ideal for placement beneath the sink, as they are typically designed with memory foam or similar materials that cushion and support the feet. Alternatively, practically any type of area rug can be paired with an anti-fatigue bottom pad, which gives you more options when it comes to color and design.

Choose a rug that’s easy to clean

Choose a rug that’s easy to clean

High traffic in kitchens or simple overexcitement during a fun baking or cooking session often leads to spills and unfortunate stains. Machine-washable rugs are smart and practical options, as they are the easiest to clean and stand up to repeated use. If you prefer a more natural look, rugs made with natural fibers such as jute or bamboo are simple to hand wash with soap and water and are sturdy enough to withstand heavy foot traffic.

Pick a color that creates a nice focal point

Pick a color that creates a nice focal point

If you're looking to brighten up your kitchen with a pop of lively color, placing a solid color rug beneath your kitchen table or in front of a doorway is a great way to transform the look of of the room with minimal effort. For white tile or linoleum, bright blues, reds and greens create a brilliant contrast. To complement hardwood flooring, consider a softer hue such as cream, gold or lavender.

Look for rugs that are stain-resistant

Look for rugs that are stain-resistant

While many rugs are easy to manually clean or just pop in the washer, stain-resistant rugs are definitely a great option for kitchens in which spills, stains and splatters are inevitable. Stain-resistant rugs are perfect for homes with toddlers who love to throw their food, or pets who have that adorable habit of tracking in outdoor dirt and other goodies. Stain-resistant rugs are also hand or machine-washable for those times when you need to remove dried-on food or sticky substances.

Pick out a non-slip rug for slick flooring

Pick out a non-slip rug for slick flooring

If you've got slick flooring such as linoleum or freshly polished hardwood, it's important to take that into consideration when purchasing a kitchen rug. Non-slip rugs are designed with durable backings so they stay in place when walked upon, so you never have to worry about unexpected slip-and falls. If you've found a rug you absolutely love but it doesn't have the proper backing, you can easily solve the problem by pairing it with a non-slip pad.