Tips on Buying Runners for Your Hallway
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Tips on Buying Runners for Your Hallway

June 7, 2016

by Andrew Schneider Home Decor Specialist

Your hallway probably sees a lot of foot traffic. Fortunately, there are rugs that are designed specifically to protect the carpet or flooring in your hallway. Hallway runners are long, rectangle rugs that are placed in the hallway, and not only do they protect your flooring from wear and tear, they can make a huge design impact on the narrow space. When you're shopping for hallway rugs, keep these tips in mind to find a rug that works well with your space.


Brown Runner Area Rug

Measure the Space

Even though carpet runners are all rectangular, they do come in a variety of lengths and widths. Most hallway rugs are between 2 and 3 feet wide. They are available in lengths ranging from 6 to 14 feet. Ideally, you should have 4 to 5 inches of flooring visible on all sides of the carpet runner. However, if you have an extremely long hallway, you might have more visible floor space on either end of the rug — which is okay as long as the rug is centered properly. If you have a short hallway, you might not need a long hallway runner; an accent rug could work well.

Blue and White Runner Area Rug

Select a Rug Style

Area rugs come in a multitude of different styles, so before you start shopping you need to determine what rug style complements your space. Look for hallway runners that accentuate your home's features. For example, if you live in a cozy cottage, you could consider purchasing a casual or country-style rug. Alternatively, you can choose your rug style by opting for a runner that complements your flooring. For example, if you have chic tile flooring, you might consider shopping for contemporary rugs, but if you have hardwood floors, a traditional-style rug with rich hues helps create a warm, cozy feel.

Brown and White Patterned Runner Area Rug

Choose a Rug Pattern

Once you've determined the rug style, you need to think about patterns. If you've decided to keep things simple, look for rugs with a solid or stripe pattern. Rugs with geometric patterns work well in contemporary spaces, while rugs that feature floral patterns complement homes with country-style decor. Additionally, Oriental rugs are available in a variety of floral patterns, and they work well in homes with traditional decor.

Blue Runner Area Rug

Pick Out a Rug Color

Hallway runners typically feature one main color and depending on the pattern, multiple accent colors. When choosing the right color (or colors) for your rug, consider the colors that are already in the space. If your hallway walls are painted a neutral color, opting for a vibrant rug is a great way to add color to the space. If you want a rug that blends in with its surroundings, purchase a runner in a color that closely matches your flooring. To brighten up the space, opt for a hallway runner that features light, bright colors.

Multi-colored Runner Area Rug

Consider the Material

When you're choosing a rug material, you should take into consideration allergies, children and pets. Purchase a rug made with synthetic fibers if someone in your household is allergic to natural fibers, such as wool. If you have dogs or cats, opt for a hallway rug made from polypropylene, which is easy to clean and resists moisture. You should also take the hallway foot traffic into consideration. If your hallway is a high-traffic area or an area that children frequently run up and down, purchase a rug made from a more durable material, such as cotton or nylon.

Red Runner Area Rug

Decide on a Pile Height

Quality area rugs can be thick or thin. However, because hallways tend to be high-traffic areas, you should opt for a rug that has some density. If you want a rug that feels plush underfoot, opt for a shag rug. Alternatively, choose a rug with a shorter pile if you're looking for a rug that's durable and easy to maintain.