How to Select the Right Size Area Rug

Standard Sizes

When purchasing a pre-made patterned rug, such as an Oriental or Persian rug, start by considering the standard sizes available. Usually, area rugs are available in the following “standard” sizes. (Keep in mind that they may vary by several inches either bigger or smaller.

Typically, the manufacturer will offer the rug in three or four of the standard sizes. Be sure to check on the sizes available when you look for rugs, to ensure that the rug you like is available in the size you want.

Of course, if you have your area rug custom-made, you have the luxury of having it made to whatever exact size you wish. This is a huge benefit to having your rug made out of broadloom, especially if your space would best suit a non-standard size.

How to Determine the Size You Need

The most common mistake people make when buying an area rug is choosing a size that is too small for their space. Often, they have just spent a good deal of money on a new hard surface flooring underneath, such as hardwood or laminate, and they can’t bear the thought of covering up too much of it. This is an understandable concern. But rather than hide the floor underneath, the right area rug will set it off, enhancing its beauty.

It’s often recommended to decide on the appropriate size of the rug based on your furniture configuration, not based on the specific room size. Some layouts look better by allowing a certain amount of the floor to be visible around the edge of the room. So, the main guideline to determine the best rug size is to always consider the furniture placement over the room size. This “rule” is especially true for placing a rug in a living room, dining room, or bedroom.

Hallway and Foyer Area Rugs
For areas of the home that have no furniture, such as hallways and foyers, rug size is determined based on how much floor space to leave exposed around the edges of the room. For larger areas, a bit more of the floor can show; usually anywhere from 12 inches up to 24 inches. For smaller areas, decrease that amount; six or eight inches should be enough.

Use the Tape Trick to ‘See’ the Area Rug

If you are having trouble visualizing how a rug size fits a specific room, here is a trick to help you. Before you go rug shopping, measure out a floor space based on the size you think you’d require, according to the standard sizes listed above. Then, using removable masking tape or something similar that will not damage your floor, tape off the area you just measured. You will be able to see the outline of where the rug would end, helping you to see how a rug of that size would fit into your space. Once you are satisfied with the size of your taped-off area, you are ready to go rug shopping!

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