How to Choose the Best Area Rug for your Home


the choices… Part 1

In a previous blog, I talked about the impact on landfills of discarded carpets and so an obvious follow-up is to walk through some of the factors that a homeowner should consider when choosing an area rug. A poor choice based on your real-life application will lead to frustration and a premature need to replace your rug.


Area Rugs have a life expectancy that is often spelled out on the display samples. However, it stands to reason that a pet-free, retired couple who travel a fair amount, may not unduly stress their floor coverings. In comparison, a family with 2 active children, a dog, and a large social circle, will probably see the same rug have a shorter life cycle.

Recently, there has been a significant departure from installed carpets on main floors, but also to a lesser degree on upper floors and basements.

 I will reserve another blog to talk about the negative impact of removing carpets from homes, but for the purpose of this illustration, we will look at some of the basic Area rug choices you should consider.

We will assume that the entire main floor features hard surfaces with the exception of area rugs in the family room, dining room, and office/sitting room. 

Today we look at area rug choices and here are some quick and helpful considerations.

  • The SIZE of an area rug can dramatically alter the room’s overall effect. A rug that is too small for your space can cause the room to feel uninviting: too large & the room feels smaller. 

QUICK TIPS: A large rug that will cover most of a room, should leave anywhere from 8” – 24” of floor spaced exposed.

Make sure your rug is at least 6″-8” wider than your sofa on both sides. Under a dining table, make sure the chairs remain on the rug when pulled out, to protect your floor. 

  • The TYPE of area rug should reflect your expected usage level. 

Here is a quick summary of 3 products, from lower-priced to higher.


  • Characteristics: Lustrous appearance, high level of stain resistance & eco-friendly properties.
  • Pros – Stain-resistant. Sun fade resistant. Cost-effective
  • Cons – Attracts oils.  (Problem for bare feet lovers!) Wears out fairly easily.  Can “matt”.

Viscose/Bamboo silk.

  • Characteristics: High sheen, bright & varied colors, eco-friendly properties & soft feel.
  • Pros – Stunning looks that can easily define a room.
  • Cons – Harder to clean & maintain, even professionally! Fibres brown and weaken with moisture. Not recommended for pet owners & heavy usage areas.


  • Characteristics: Rich coloring, heavy, natural fiber & self-extinguishes fire!
  • Pros: luxuriously soft, soil-resistant, very strong and wear-resistant 
  • Cons: loves dyes found in wine, coffee, etc. Sensitive to strong cleaning products. 

Ultimately, budget will impact your area rug buying decisions, but hopefully, this brief synopsis will at least help you kick start your journey!

We are happy to provide more in-depth information if you have questions, as well as talk to you about we can help you maintain your carpets with the application of our ZebraSeal protectors.

Mike Holmes