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Area Rug Buying Tips: Transform Your Living Space with the Perfect Rug

Are you planning to add a touch of elegance to your living space with an area rug? Look no further! Finding the perfect area rug can be a daunting task, but with a few tips, you'll feel ready to purchase the right area rug for you. In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through some area rug-buying tips that will help you make an informed purchase decision. From understanding the different types of area rugs, sizes, colors, textures, materials, and more, you can choose the perfect rug for your space.

Types of Area Rugs

When buying an area rug, it is essential to consider the type of rug that will match your living space. The four main types of area rugs are hand-knotted, hand-tufted, flat weave, and machine-made. A hand-knotted rug is considered the most durable among the four types, usually made in wool, silk, or a wool-silk blend. Hand-tufted rugs are cheaper and quicker to produce, making them more affordable. Flat weave rugs are ideal for high-traffic areas, while machine-made rugs are an excellent option for those looking for affordable and easy-to-maintain options.

Hand-Knotted Rugs

Hand-knotted rugs are the epitome of craftsmanship and artistry, with each piece unique and rich in cultural tradition. These rugs are incredibly durable, often handed down as heirlooms due to their high-quality materials such as wool, silk, or a wool-silk blend. While they tend to be pricier, their durability and timeless design make them a worthwhile investment.

Hand-Tufted Rugs

Hand-tufted rugs bridge the gap between quality and affordability. These rugs are crafted by punching strands of wool into a canvas that is stretched on a frame using a handheld tool. Quick to produce and available in a plethora of designs, these rugs are perfect for those who want a touch of handmade quality without the high price tag.

Flat Weave Rugs

Flat weave rugs are beloved for their versatility and strength. These rugs are woven on a loom, rather than knotted, creating a flat, thin rug that's ideal for high-traffic areas. Available in various designs and colors, flat weave rugs are an excellent choice for those seeking a durable, low-maintenance option that still offers style and elegance.

Machine-Made Rugs

Machine-made rugs are the go-to choice for affordability and ease of maintenance. Produced on power looms, these rugs emulate many of the designs found in hand-knotted rugs, but at a fraction of the cost. While not as durable as hand-knotted varieties, they come in a wide array of styles, colors, and sizes, allowing you to frequently update your decor without breaking the bank.

How to Find the Best Size of Area Rug?

Here is the step-by-step guide for choosing the best rug size for your room:

  1. Measure the room: Use a tape measure to determine the length and width of your space. This will help you determine the maximum rug size you can accommodate.

  2. Consider the flooring border: Remember, it's not necessary to cover every inch of your floor with a rug. Leave a border of flooring around the rug for a balanced look.

  3. Furniture arrangement: In a living room, if your furniture is against the wall, choose a rug that is large enough to slide under the front legs of all the seating. In a dining room, the rug should extend at least 24 inches beyond the table on all sides.

  4. Bedroom rug size: For bedrooms, opt for a rug that extends at least 24 inches on the sides and at the end of the bed. It can either fully extend under nightstands or stop right before them, depending on your preference.

  5. Home office considerations: In a home office, choose a rug that is large enough to slide under the desk and chair, providing a soft and warm surface under your feet while you work.

  6. Enhance the overall aesthetic: Select a rug size that complements your room size and enhances the overall aesthetic of your living space.

Rug sizes for different rooms and places such as living room, kitchen, entryway, bedroom, dining room, and outdoor
Rug Sizes for Different Places

By following these step-by-step guidelines, you can choose the right rug size that will perfectly fit your room and create a balanced and visually appealing environment.

Size Matters

When buying an area rug, the size should be proportionate to your living space. A small rug in a large room makes the space appear unbalanced and cramped. On the other hand, a large area rug in a small room can make it look cluttered and confined. As a general rule, your area rug should be large enough to fit your furniture comfortably. You can use masking tape to measure the size of the rug you want, so you are sure it fits your space.

Rug Size Examples

Let's consider some examples to better understand rug sizes. If you have a standard-sized living room of around 15 by 15 feet, an 8 by 10-feet area rug would be a good fit. This size allows the rug to extend beyond the furniture, adding depth and dimension to the room. For a smaller space such as a reading nook or home office measuring approximately 6 by 8 feet, a 4 by 6-feet rug would be an ideal choice. This size still allows for a border of flooring to show around the rug, creating a balanced look. For a large master bedroom measuring around 20 by 20 feet, a 12 by 15-feet rug will underpin the entire room and provide a luxurious and cozy feel. Knowing your room's measurements before shopping for an area rug ensures you'll find the perfect fit for your space.

Color and Texture

The color and texture of your rug should complement the design and style of your living space. If you have a lot of patterns and textures in your furniture and decor, a solid-colored rug would work best. If you have a minimalist decor, you can add a vibrant and bold rug to add character and warmth to your space. The texture of the rug is also essential as it contributes to the comfort and feel of your living space. Soft wool, silk, or shag rugs provide a cozy and intimate feel, while flat-weave rugs offer a smooth texture.


The material of your area rug determines its durability, texture, and price. If you have kids or pets, a durable and easy-to-clean rug is ideal. Wool and cotton are durable and can resist spillage and stains. Silk rugs are more delicate and require professional cleaning. You can also consider a rug made of natural fibers like jute, which is affordable and eco-friendly.


When it comes to buying an area rug, maintaining it is crucial for its longevity and cleanliness. Here are some area rug buying tips tailored to different personas:

  1. The Busy Professional: Opt for an area rug that is easy to clean and maintain. Consider rugs with low pile or flatweave construction, as they are less likely to trap dirt and debris. Regular vacuuming and spot cleaning will help keep the rug looking fresh.

  2. The Pet Owner: Choose a rug that is stain-resistant and easy to clean. Look for rugs made from materials such as nylon or polyester, as they are more resistant to pet stains. Additionally, consider using a rug pad to prevent the rug from slipping and sliding during playful pet activities.

  3. The Allergen Sensitive Individual: Select a rug that is hypoallergenic and easy to clean. Natural fiber rugs like sisal or jute are a good choice as they have a low tendency to harbor allergens. Regular vacuuming with a HEPA filter and professional cleaning can help reduce allergens trapped in the rug.

Remember, regardless of the persona, regular vacuuming, spot cleaning, and professional cleaning are essential to maintain the cleanliness and longevity of your area rug. Additionally, using a rug pad under your rug not only prevents slips and falls but also helps to keep the rug in place and wrinkle-free.


An area rug is a perfect way to add sophistication, warmth, and style to your living space. By considering the type, size, color, texture, material, and maintenance of your rug, you can make an informed purchase decision and choose the perfect rug for your space. Keep in mind that an area rug is not just a simple purchase, but rather an investment that has the power to completely elevate and enhance your living space, turning it into a luxurious sanctuary. Happy rug shopping!

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