Whether you are looking for a way to add those finishing touches to a new room or revitalize a not so new room, an area rug is the fastest way to change the mood or character of a room. In addition to its aesthetics and design characteristics, an area rug can help absorb the noise level in a room with hardwood, tile or other hard surface floors, it can also add warmth and charm. There’s an endless array of rug styles and designs to choose from. They vary from Oriental to Persian, contemporary to traditional and European to Native American designs. In addition to the design of the area rug, the next variable is the size of the area rug. There are several common area rug sizes, 4×6, 6×9 and 9×11. The smaller area and scatter rugs can be ideal for adorning smaller spaces, while large sizes work very well for dining rooms, kitchens and living rooms. Most area rugs are rectangular in shape, however you can add flair and make the area rug the focal point of your room by choosing a round or octagonal shape.
A good quality pad can extend the life of your rug. It can also prevent slipping and slip/fall accidents.
Area Rug Selection Tips
Remember, the rug has to fit the room and it can do so in more ways than one. You should consider how the room is used, how much traffic the area gets, how it will be viewed and under what light. For high-traffic areas such as hallways and foyers, you may want a durable, patterned rug.
Choose a rug that will perform well, with the right combination of density and fiber. The denser the pile, (with closer tufts or stitches), the better your rug will wear. Synthetic yarns – nylon, polyester, acrylic, and polypropylene “olefin” – and the naturals – wool and cotton – are durable, soft, and easy to clean.
Machine-made rugs often look strikingly similar to the handmade kind, but they’re usually much less expensive. And as a reminder, you should consider the fringe. If the rug you like has fringe be careful when using the vacuum cleaner. A light colored rug makes a room look more spacious, while deeper colors help make a room feel cozy.
If you have the opportunity, you may want to start with a totally empty room, choose a rug first, then paint or paper the walls in colors found in the rug. Choose furniture that will enhance the colors or patterns found in the rug.
If you already have your furniture, choose a rug that picks up the colors used in your furnishing patterns. Patterns can be mixed if they are coordinated by color. Elements of a rug design can be further incorporated into the overall design scheme.
A rug with a bold, overall design can be the focal point of a room, choose a chair or sofa in solid or subdued patterns.
Don’t underestimate the value of an underlay or pad. Protect your new area rug with a proper padding. Not only will the pad absorb the impact of feet and noise, it will reduce wear and tear on the rug and make vacuuming easier. A proper rug pad will also prevent the rug from sliding on hardwood or laminate flooring.
Lastly, when buying a rug, make sure to select from a reputable dealer with a wide selection and a guarantee on their merchandise.
Construction and Fiber
Your rug should not only look great, it should perform well, too. To find the best rug within your budget, there are several factors to consider.
The type of fiber used in your rug will help determine its appearance and performance. Synthetic fibers provide brilliant colors, easy maintenance, softness and outstanding value. Natural fibers provide soft, low luster colors, long term performance and other aesthetic qualities
The following are some of the general types of fibers, each with different characteristics:
- Nylon - Wear and soil resistant and easily cleaned. Resilient, withstands heavy traffic and the weight and movement of furniture. Unlimited variety of brilliant colors.
- Wool - Noted for luxury and softness. Has high bulk and is available in many colors.
- Olefin (Polypropylene) – Strong and colorfast with a soft wool-like feel. Resists wear and stains. Affordable. Predominant machine-woven synthetic fiber. May also be used in outdoor carpet.
- Polyester – Noted for its soft “hand” when used in thick, cut pile textures.
- Acrylic - Offers the appearance of wool at a lower cost. Sometimes is blended with other fibers. Most often appears in bath rugs and mats.
- Cotton - Noted for its softness and performance. Available in many colors.
- Blends - There may be blends of any of the above fibers.
Wool and Synthetic
Moths and Carpet Beetles can do extensive damage to you rug. They can eat the pile as well as the foundation. Check your rug regularly on the back for signs of damage.
Vacuum every few days in high traffic areas, and once a week in less-used areas. Use a well-functioning vacuum cleaner, with an enclosed, efficient, dirt, grit and dust-catching bag. Most rugs today have been treated for stain and soil resistance, but stain resistant does not necessarily mean, “stain proof.” Address spills quickly and remove them as soon as possible to afford the easiest spot removal. Act preventively and avoid contact with difficult spots that are hard to remove – makeup, pesticides, disinfectants, iodine, mustard, and plant food products. Have area rugs cleaned on a regular schedule, before it begins to show soil – a schedule of every 1 to 3 years by a professional cleaning company is reasonable for well traveled areas of the home. The frequency depends on the traffic, climate, location and geography.
Runner For Stairs
Add a touch of elegance, texture and color to your home’s interior staircase by installing a carpeted runner. The narrow strip of carpeting is set on a pad and then attached to tackless strips nailed to each tread. The thin, dense pad helps to quiet and cushion footsteps, but it also prevents the runner from wearing out prematurely. Don’t use standard foam padding; it’s too soft to provide the necessary support.
Installing a stair runner on a straight staircase is a relatively easy project, even for novice do-it-yourselfers. Winder stairs that turn corners are more challenging, but still doable with our expert instructions.
Stair runners are priced by the linear foot, and available in two widths: 27 inches and 32 inches. They’re made of synthetic fibers, wool, or a combination of both.