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5 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Kitchen Rug

5 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Kitchen Rug

A Kitchen with a Jute Runner Rug - 5 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Kitchen Rug

Finding the perfect kitchen rug will give your kitchen the inviting feel of a gathering space while protecting floors from high foot traffic. Whether your kitchen floor is hardwood, linoleum, or tile, adding a kitchen rug will give you the benefits of noise reduction and a little cushioning for your feet. Follow these tips to ensure you pick the perfect kitchen rug that does what you need it to and looks good doing it.

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Coordinate Your Rug With Your Existing Kitchen Decor

Kitchen Runner Rug and decor with a complimentary pattern and color palette - 5 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Kitchen Rug

Do you want your kitchen to feel sleek or cozy? Whether you’re looking for a small accent rug or large area rug, it’s important to choose a piece that coordinates well with your flooring and furniture. For example, if your kitchen cabinetry or decor includes bright colors, consider a neutral rug that won’t compete with your design. You can also measure the vibrancy of your rug color or pattern against the tones or grain in your wood floors.


If you’re looking to brighten up a neutral kitchen, placing a saturated solid-color rug beneath your kitchen table or in front your sink is a great way to transform the look of the room without working too hard. This can be really effective if you have a subway tile backsplash, or you’re an apartment dweller with lackluster countertops. Bringing in a multicolor rug gives you the freedom to switch up your palette.


You also want your rug size to fit your kitchen. You don’t want a rug so tiny that it looks like a dishrag fell from your stove handle, but you don’t want to overwhelm the space either. Typically, a runner rug is perfect for kitchens with narrow gaps between islands and counters. A runner also helps to visually extend the length of your kitchen. You want a maximum of 6 inches between the rug and your counters or cabinets. For open floor plans or kitchen-dining-room combos, read detailed rug sizing instructions in our Complete Rug Sizing Guide.


Pick a Rug Material and Weave Type That Meet Your Needs

Flatweave Runner Rug for a Kitchen - 5 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Kitchen Rug

The best kitchen rugs are made from durable materials. You need your kitchen rug to be water resistant for when an unwatched pot boils over or ice flies out of the fridge door. It should be also super soft to save falling dishes and give your feet a break when you’re standing for long periods of time.


If your kitchen tends to get busy, a flatweave rug is an ideal choice. Flatweaves tend to be colorfast, so they’re both beautiful and durable. They are also made from cotton and other easy-care fibers, which means when your dog topples the Thanksgiving turkey, you can just throw the rug in the washing machine. Your pets will also be less interested in tearing up a flatweave rug, since it’s woven with smaller loops that don’t catch as easily on teeth and claws.


Have tile floors in your kitchen? Bigger loops are what you’re after. Consider placing a plush, high-pile wool rug under your kitchen table or in walkways. This will add instant warmth to the floor while enhancing your decor. A thicker rug also provides extra padding underfoot to add comfort and reduce noise. You can distract yourself from how much you hate doing dishes by wiggling your toes into its soft fibers.


For a cross-comparison of kitchen rug textures, read our Guide to the Best Rug Materials.


Consider Rugs That Are Easy to Clean

Easy to Clean Polyester Runner Rug in a Kitchen- 5 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Kitchen Rug Image Provided by Building the Farm

Between your dog’s sloppy eating and the times you go a little Emeril with the seasoning, kitchen messes are inevitable. It’s important to consider rugs for your kitchen that are easy to clean.


Flatweave cotton rugs are machine washable and smart, practical options. Additionally, rugs made with natural fibers such as jute, sisal, or bamboo are simple to hand wash with soap and water and are sturdy enough to withstand heavy foot traffic.


Foot traffic causes its own slew of stains. Instead of gating off your kitchen, consider polyester and polypropylene rugs. For one thing, they’re non-flammable, which is an obvious benefit in the kitchen. Traditionally used as indoor/outdoor rugs, they’re also by far the easiest to clean. You can use fast, aggressive cleaning methods, like scrubbing or bleaching, and your rug will be fine. For more sensitive cleaning options, read our guide on How to Get Stains Out of Rugs.


If a plush feel underfoot is more important to you in your kitchen, many wool rugs will certainly work in your space. Wool is naturally water and stain resistant and will hold up well with regular maintenance. It’s important to have a durable rug that can survive nearly any kitchen catastrophe, from spilled milk to dishwasher leaks. The easier your rug is to clean, the better.


Think Safety

Rug pad placed under a kitchen rug for safety - 5 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Kitchen Rug

If you’ve got slick kitchen flooring, such as tile or freshly polished hardwood, it’s important to think about safety when purchasing a kitchen rug. There are a couple of options when it comes to preventing slip-and-fall accidents. Some rugs come with a non-slip backing so your rug will stay in place on its own. A rug pad is another solution to help keep your rug in place, but for even more safety, choose a non-slip rug pad instead of a felt one. Any type of rug pad will also help minimize wear and tear, reduce noise, and add comfort. To consider your options, read our Complete Rug Pad Guide.


Rely on Foam Standing Mats Over Rugs for Serious Comfort

Foam Standing Mat in a Kitchen - 5 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Kitchen Rug

While a thick rug can feel plush and luxurious, you may need a little more help for tired feet in the kitchen. Anti-fatigue mats are good options for anyone who spends a significant amount of time standing in front of their kitchen sink or counter. These kitchen mats are made with memory foam or similar materials that cushion and support the feet. Whether you’re packing lunches or chopping up onions, a supportive mat will help prevent those aching pains in your feet, knees, and back.


While these synthetic mats are super kind to your body, they just don’t bring that handmade polish a rug does. Place these smaller mats where you stand the most, then position a larger kitchen rug under your table to make the rest of your kitchen pop.

A rug does wonders when it comes to adding color, style, and warmth into your kitchen space. Learn more about adding rugs to any room in your home by visiting The Complete Rug Buying Guide. Or start shopping kitchen rugs on Overstock for free shipping* to be included with your order. You’ll get more rug for less dollars. Overstock is where quality costs less.

*Not eligible in Alaska or Hawaii.