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Area Rugs

The Influence of Area Rugs

Area rugs do more than just cover your floors – they offer both comfort and style and can alter the entire appearance of a room.

Whether you're looking for a way to define traffic flow, group together pieces of furniture or add visual interest, The Home Depot has a wide range of quality area rugs to suit your needs.


Area Rugs: Planning Considerations

Ask yourself what purpose you'd like your area rug to serve. The size should be chosen carefully to ensure it's a good fit with your room size and the placement of furniture. Look for colours and patterns that complement your existing décor and a rug material that performs well based on your room's foot traffic.

Rug Pad

Every area rug should be purchased with a corresponding rug pad (rug gripper). Just like carpet padding, rug pads help extend the life of your rug by keeping it in place while providing extra cushioning and insulation. They also prevent moisture and spills from seeping through the carpet and staining the floor.



Area Rug Fibres

Area rugs can be made from natural or synthetic fibres, which help to determine softness, colour and resiliency. Choosing either a natural or synthetic fibre depends on the style of the rug you want, how much traffic you expect to have in the area and price point. Staple fibre uses short lengths of fibre that may shed initially, while bulk continuous filament (BCF) consists of continuous strands of fibre and does not shed or fuzz.

See below to learn about different area rug fibres and their defining characteristics.

Natural Fibres


Cotton area rugs are available in many colours and patterns, and provide softness and good performance. Cotton is a natural fibre of great durability and strength, and is arranged in such a way that provides a unique combination of resiliency and absorbency.


Bamboo, Seagrass, Sisal and Jute

Bamboo, seagrass, sisal and jute are rough to the touch compared to other fibre types, but provide remarkable strength for a nature-inspired, exotic look. These area rugs are a natural choice for traditional to contemporary interiors, and may also come with a decorative cotton border.


Wool area rugs are soft and resilient, and hold their appearance well over time. Their ability to absorb moisture also prevents static electricity. Wool resists dirt and repels water and other liquids, keeping it clean longer.

It can also retain its pile under the weight of furniture and frequent foot traffic. Wool rugs often shed, but this does not affect the wearability of the rug and decreases over time.



Leather rugs are often made by weaving several strips of leather together for a layered look and feel. These rugs are easy to clean and maintain.

Synthetic Fibres


Nylon area rugs come in a variety of colours and are a good choice for high-traffic areas. Nylon is a durable, stain-resistant fibre that's easy to clean and requires little maintenance. It stands up to heavy furniture and is also resistant to dirt and moisture.




Polyester area rugs provide softness and warmth to your floors and are easy to clean and maintain. Thick-cut polyester rugs have a luxurious, silk-like appearance that enhances any living space.


Olefin/Polypropylene is a popular material for machine-made area rugs because it is soft and wool-like. These types of rugs are stain-resistant, quick-drying and lightweight due to their low-density fibres.




Viscose area rugs have the luxurious appearance and ultra-soft feel of silk rugs at a lower price point. These rugs are a great choice for living or dining rooms and can also be used as decorative wall hangings.

Area Rugs: Patterns and Styles

Area rugs are akin to artwork for your floors. They come in an endless array of patterns, styles and shapes, with options to match any décor. Buying an area rug should be based, in part, on gut instinct. Keep an open mind and you'll be sure to find an area rug that's both attractive and purposeful. Area rug styles can include:

Solid Colour


Kids & Teens




Area Rugs: Size

Be sure to measure a room before making your area rug purchase to avoid a poor fit. Here are some sizing tips:

  • Scatter rugs and mats are typically 2' x 4' and are used in bathrooms and kitchens as well as entryways. Place these rugs in foyers and entryways to help protect floors from dirt and moisture.
  • Runners are long, narrow rugs that are perfect for hallways and areas such as foyers and kitchens where you want to define traffic flow.
  • Use 3' x 5' or 4' x 6' accent rugs to define nooks or other special areas.
  • Mid-size rugs are most commonly found in 5' x 8' or 6' x 9' sizes. These are ideal for general decorating purposes in dens, living rooms and family rooms to provide a stylish accent, group together pieces of furniture, and add comfort and warmth to the floor.
  • Your area rug should be proportionate to your floor space. To cover larger rooms, look for rugs that are 8' x 11', 9' x 12', 10' x 13' or bigger. Furniture should lie on top of the area rug, helping to visually define your living space, with a two-foot border of bare floor around the room to help anchor the setting. Use the following diagrams as an example.

Living Room

Dining Room


In dining rooms, your area rug should exceed the edges of the table by two feet on each side. The chairs should also sit on the rug, even when they are pulled out from the table.


Caring for Your Area Rug

Properly caring for your area rug will prolong its appearance and ensure it lasts. But not all rug fibres should be cared for in the same way. While some can be cleaned with chemical carpet cleaners, others should be cleaned with mild soap and water. When in doubt, check your manufacturer's recommendation for cleaning methods to prevent invalidating your warranty or damaging your rug.

Cleaning Tips:

  • Vacuum high-traffic areas frequently and clean spills quickly by blotting rather than rubbing and scrubbing.
  • Rotate rugs every 6 to 12 months to prevent uneven wear.
  • Consider a professional cleaning periodically.