Area Rug Glossary
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Area Rug Buying Guide
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Removing Stains
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Decorating with Area Rugs
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How Area Rugs Are Made
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Where Area Rugs Are Made
Oriental vs. Persian Rugs
Understanding Rug Names
Parts of a Rug Design
The History of Rugs
Measuring for a Rug
Measuring for a Rug |Understanding Rug Sizes

Measuring for a Rug

Before you begin shopping, accurately measure the total width and length of your room. In addition, measure the major functional pieces in the room, such as the dining table, bed, sofa or coffee table. Sketch a floor plan to show furniture placement and traffic flow. It's much easier to move furniture with pencil and paper than muscling heavy furniture by yourself.

Measuring for a Rug

Once you've taken all measurements, go back and subtract the area rug from your room measurements to judge the exposed floor space. Is the space between the wall and the area rug too wide or too narrow? This measurement is important to remember when selecting the appropriate size rug.

If it helps you visualize your room better, draw your furniture and floor to scale, then make paper cuts outs. Do you like the traffic flow? Is the rug smaller or larger than you expected? Decorating computer software and kits are available on the market today to help your decorating process.

dining room floor planDining Room

A rug in a dining room should be large enough to fit the table and the chairs when all of your guests are seated and the chairs are pulled out. This will give the room a balanced feeling as well as prevent your floor from getting scratches. Generally, your rug should be at least three feet wider and three feet longer than your dining table when all chairs are pushed in. Or add 48 to 60 inches to width of the table to accommodate side chairs and 60 to 72 inches to the length of the table to accommodate arm chairs.

An average sized dining room table with six chairs works well on an 8x10 rug. A three-foot diameter round table with four chairs works well on top 8’ round rug. A larger table that seats eight or ten would work best on a 9x12 or slightly larger. A 10x14 works best for 10 chairs.

Expose approximately three to four feet of hard surface or carpeting around the perimeter of the rug to give the illusion of a larger dining room. The exposed floor underneath also works as a border to the rug, just as a mat finishes a piece of framed artwork.

All other dining room furniture, such as the china cabinet, should rest on the floor, not on the rug.

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living room floor planLiving Room/Family Room

Rugs are a great way to define living areas within large rooms to make them appear cozy. For instance, a conversation area can be quickly defined in front of a fireplace. A sofa, two chairs and a coffee table could be comfortably arranged atop an 8x10 rug. Then, off in a corner, a reading area with a leather armchair, ottoman, bookshelves and lamp table can be offset by a complementary 5x7 or 4x6 rug.

If your living room has a dominant focal point such as a fireplace, it's best to choose a rug with an all-over pattern so it doesn't compete with or distract from the focal point.

When deciding whether to use two rugs in a room setting, it is best to vary the scale of the pattern and alter the design. The rugs don't have to be identical, but they should match either in color tone or feeling.

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bedroom floor planBedroom

The size of the rug depends on whether you want the bed to sit on top of it or not. A 12x15 or 12x18 rug would be appropriate with a queen- or king-size bed. Use scatter rugs if you do not want the bed to sit atop the rug. Most often, an 8 x10 is an ideal size for a bedroom.

For a child's rug, user smaller rugs in whimsical shapes and patterns to mirror a child's imagination. Oval or round braided rugs in pastel colors aslo make great children's rugs.

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kitchen floor planKitchen

Mats and scatter rugs are typically the best options for kitchens and small areas in front of the sink or a door. The area under the kitchen table may need a 5x7 or larger depending on size of your table and room.

Kitchen rug runners are also an option if you have a long narrow kitchen, or would like to provide a walk-through area. Most runners are two and a half to three feet wide. If you have enough space, expose six inches to one foot on either side of your rug runner.

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hall and entryway floor planHallway/Stairway

Halls typically range in size from three feet wide to six feet wide. Most runners are two and a half to three feet wide. Expose six inches to one foot on either side of your runner. If you prefer not to vacuum the edges of the exposed floor, purchase a rug as wide as the hallway.

If you can’t find a rug long enough for your hall, mesh two of the same rug runners together and hold the seam together with carpet tape. It's best to use runners that have the exact same simple design to help hide the center seam.

When installing runners on stairs, you can use stair rods to keep the rug in place. Because safety is extremely important, it is best to hire professionals to properly install carpet on stairways. We do not recommend that you try to install runners on a staircase by yourself.

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Understanding Rug Sizes

Did you know that an area rug is actually a specific size rug? Below, learn more about the different sizes of rugs and how they are traditionally used.


A mat measures 2x3 and is often used in entryways, in front of a kitchen sink and small spaces.


A scatter rug ranges from 2x4 to 4x6. These rugs work well in an entryway or under a grouping of one or two armchairs


A prayer rug is a scatter-sized rug, but one of the sides is rounded and is intended to face the holy city of Mecca.

Area Rug

Sometimes referred to as a Dozar, an area rug measures 4.5x7 or 5x7. This is the perfect size rug to define a seating area in a living room

Runner or Corridor Rug

Measuring two to three feet wide by seven to twenty feet long, runners are used in hallways and stairways.


After a rug reaches eight feet by ten feet in size, it is considered a “carpet.” Nine by eleven is another popular carpet size. After a carpet exceeds 14 by 24 feet, it is then called a “palace carpet.” If you want to purchase a carpet-size rug that covers almost the entire surface area, measure carefully to ensure that the rug doesn't touch or ride up onto the baseboards.

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Read aboutRoom Layout Ideas next.

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