Everything you need to know before choosing a floor rug | homify

Everything you need to know before choosing a floor rug

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
homify Country style corridor, hallway& stairs
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We’ll get straight to the point: floor rugs are prime pieces that impact all rooms, like the bedroom and living room, and even those ‘in-between’ areas like entryways and hallways. Thus, some proper consideration needs to go into the choosing of one, wouldn’t you agree?

Fortunately, we’ve done our research in terms of choosing the best material, construction, colour and a variety of other equally important elements to ensure you pick the perfect floor rug.

You’re welcome!

1. The perfect floor rug: Traffic and usage

First of all, ask yourself how much traffic the room in which you plan on placing the rug gets on a daily basis. This should help steer you in a direction in terms of materials, construction and even colour. 

Flat-weave and low-tufted rugs work perfectly for dining rooms, for instance, as one can easily pull chairs in and out. But a thick shag rug will collect crumbs and spills like nobody’s business; thus, best save this one for another area like the bedroom.

2. The perfect floor rug: Material

Mid Century Eclectic Pfeiffer Design Ltd Eclectic style dining room
Pfeiffer Design Ltd

Mid Century Eclectic

Pfeiffer Design Ltd

Wool: Always a classic choice for a rug, seeing as wool is soft, long-lasting, and can be cleaned easily. A wool rug is a fantastic choice for almost any room. Keep in mind that a wool rug will tend to shed during its first 3 – 6 months (especially if it’s a thick shag design), but regular vacuuming can help solve this problem quickly. 

Viscose: Made from wood pulp that mimics silk, viscose is often paired with wool for a shiny, high-quality look. This is not recommended for high-traffic zones (like hallways) as the material can be quite delicate. 

Nylon: Now this is a more suitable option for your entryways and playrooms, seeing as nylon is durable, affordable, and very shed-resistant. 

Acrylic: Normally a less expensive option than wool, acrylic can also be tufted and woven to replicate the woollen look. Its added advantages include less shedding (fluff), hardwearing, and easy to clean. 

Polypropylene: Seeing as this synthetic fibre is hardwearing and easy to maintain, it’s ideal for high-traffic spaces. One has the option of choosing between flat-weave or shaggy designs. 

Cotton: Normally made in flat-weave designs, cotton is less hardwearing than other similar options like sisal or jute. However, it gains extra points for its supreme softness. 

Jute: Available in numerous weave patterns, jute’s characteristics are very similar to sisal. Ideal for high-traffic spaces due to its durability. 

Sisal: More hardwearing than jute, sisal tends to provide a coarser underfoot feeling than other flat-weave options like jute and cotton. Remember that, when cleaning, this fibre must not get wet due to its easy staining abilities – plus the fibres can easily expand. Rather opt for special dry cleaning kits that can usually be purchased along with sisal rugs and carpets.

3. The perfect floor rug: Construction

Sundown, Widemouth Bay, Cornwall The Bazeley Partnership Modern living room
The Bazeley Partnership

Sundown, Widemouth Bay, Cornwall

The Bazeley Partnership

Any floor rug needs to be just as practical as it is beautiful, and that’s why a little research into the way a rug is woven or tufted is vital.

Shag: These rugs have a deep, thick pile that provides a terrific feeling for bare feet, and that makes them ideal for bedrooms and living rooms. Not recommended for kitchens and dining rooms, as they can be hard to keep clean. And similar to wool rugs, one can expect a little shedding during the first few months. 

Tufted: These rugs can either be looped or cut to create a lush, thick pile. A great choice for nearly any room. 

Hand-knotted: Intricately crafted by experts, just like traditional Persian and Oriental rugs, these labour-intensive rugs are beautiful and durable. Expect a hefty price tag for these prime pieces. 

Flat-weave: A great choice for high-traffic areas, but also dining rooms, seeing as they are durable and easy to clean / sweep. We recommend a rug pad with your flat-weave option, as it can help it to stay in place and ensure some extra cushioning.

4. The perfect floor rug: Size and placement

Some simple rules of thumb to select the perfect-sized rug for your room:

Dining room: Go for a size that allows 5 – 7cm on each side of your table for pulling out chairs. 

Living room: It’s recommended to leave about 2.5cm space between the rug and your living room walls. 

Bedroom: The rug should fit under the front 2/3 of the bed (at least), plus allow no less than 7cm on each side of the bed for a soft (and warm) underfoot feeling. Of course it’s also possible to place a runner on each side of the bed if your dream rug just can’t reach.

5. The perfect floor rug: Colour

Living Area homify Modern living room

Living Area


Last but surely not least, the colour of your home’s rugs. Remember that choosing a rug’s colour willy-nilly can pull the look of an entire room down. 

White: Certainly not recommended for homes with children and/or pets. Of course we can’t deny that a white rug ensures a whimsical and elegant look, so if you must, rather lay your white rug down in less busy spaces (like the study). 

Bold and bright: Recommended for a room that is dull and light in décor. After all, it’s so easy to replace a rug once you feel its look is a bit too vibrant for that room’s muted colour palette. 

Complementing a room’s paint colour: Due to the colour repeating itself on the floor and walls, the room will look less busy. Just ensure the furnishings and décor pieces add contrasting/complementing colours so that the room doesn’t look too monotonous.  

A neutral tone: For a space that demands a look of sophistication, you can’t go wrong with the neutrals. Greys, browns, beiges, creams… choose your pick! 

Multi colours: Certain rooms just need to look vibrant and fun, like children’s bedrooms and play spaces, and for those instances a multi-coloured rug is ideal. 

Keep your floor’s colour in mind: Unless it’s for a playful space, opting for a rug that completely contrasts from the floor’s tone (i.e. blue and red) is just too much. And don’t pick a bold rug for a floor that’s already dark in colour.

Speaking of getting your interiors right, let’s have a look at How to create the perfect Feng Shui kitchen.

Did we help you choose the right rug for your home?
Whitton Drive GK Architects Ltd Terrace house

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