How to Choose the Proper Sized Area Rug

Posted in Tips & Trends

Homeowners gravitate to area rugs because they are so versatile. Unlike carpeting, area rugs can be moved from room to room or from house to house. Also, if you tire of a rugs style you can easily switch it out for another rug. Area rugs are also great for rooms that already have hard wood flooring. You can add softness, texture and pattern to the room with the rug while still allowing the beautiful wood to be visible.

Area rugs are made in standard and non-standard sizes and come in a variety of shapes.  Standard area rugs tend to be rectangular and come in a range of sizes generally 2’x3’, 4’x6’, 5’x8’, 6’x9’, 8’x10’. However, custom area rugs allow you to select the exact dimension to fit your room.

Here are some guidelines for selecting a size and shape for an area rug adapted from the World Floor Covering Association.

If you are thinking square or rectangle, place a piece of paper where each of the corners will fall in the area you wish to cover. Measure the space and adjust the “corners” as needed to make the space larger or smaller given the standard rug sizes. You’ll probably have to go up or down a few inches. Take your time.

If you’re considering a round rug, you can run a piece of tape from the center of the space you want to cover to the outside edge. Measure it. This gives you the radius of the circle. Double it and you have the diameter. Round rugs are sold by the diameter. Again, you may have to adjust it up or down to reach a standard rug size.

Oblongs or ovals are measured like rectangles — by the length of the longest part and the width of the widest part. You can run a piece of tape on your floor to determine the length and a second to determine the width. You will have a large cross taped to your floor, but it will tell you how big an oblong you need to cover the space.

If you choose to cover the whole room with your area rug, it is best to leave a 12-inch to 15-inch border of flooring exposed to frame your rug.


Interior Design by Michael Smith - Architectural Digest


Please click here to read specifically about selecting an area rug size for adining room.

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