Rugs…Your Flooring’s Fashionable Cover-Up

Rugs…Your Flooring’s Fashionable Cover-Up

I love rugs!  I have a throw rug in every non-carpeted room in my home.  Rugs today are fashionable, affordable and bring out our style and personalities.  They add comfort and warmth, protect our flooring, tie our furnishings together, cover imperfections and even help with noise reduction.  Rugs are available in an endless assortment of colors, shapes and sizes. Where do you begin? I personally feel it’s important to see, feel, touch and be one with a rug prior to purchasing.  With internet shopping however, that’s not always possible. To help you with your search I’ve put together a checklist of things to consider (fibers, construction, colors and textures), how to choose the right size and tips on cleaning and care.

Let’s start with fibers.  Choosing the right fiber for your lifestyle is important.  Durability, softness, cleanability are factors to consider.  Do you prefer synthetic or natural? Here’s a breakdown on the most common fibers used in rugs.


Acrylic~Moderately priced and durable, commonly combined with other fibers.

Polypropylene~Very affordable and easy to maintain, highly durable, commonly used in indoor/outdoor rugs.

Viscose~Sometimes referred to as Art Silk because it is a shiny fiber, more affordable than silk.

Polyester~Super affordable, wears well and feels soft, retains color, easy to clean.


Cotton~Soft, easy to clean and maintain.

Jute~Relatively affordable, a natural shiny vegetable.

Sisal~Stems from the agave plant, attracts minimal dust.

Wool~Most common fiber in rug production, from sheep, diameter determine price and quality.

Hand-Knotted Construction

Next consider construction.  Here are a few construction processes used in rug manufacturing.

Hand Knotted:  Most prestigious and highest quality, great durability and minimum shedding.

Hand Tufted:  More affordable alternative to hand-knotted, quality and price depends on fibers used.

Hooked:  Also more affordable, large looped rugs are plush and heavily textured, small loops have greater detail.

Power Loomed:  Most affordable, synthetic fibers commonly used, a computer dictates texture, design and color.

Flat Weave:  Common fibers used are wool, juste and cotton, great durability and toughness, these rugs are reversible.

Size does matter.  The size of a rug can greatly influence the appearance of a room.  Consider these dimensions for the following rooms and aesthetic.

Family/Living/Great Rooms:

5’ x 8’:  For smaller rooms or if you prefer to keep all of your furniture off the rug.

8’ x 10’:  Most likely with this size all of the furniture front legs will be on the rug, back legs will be off.

9’ x 12’:  This size allows all furniture pieces to sit on the rug.

Dining Rooms:

5’ x 8’:  Great choice for smaller sized dining tables with 4 chairs.

8’ x 8’ Round:  Best choice for square or round tables with 4-6 chairs.

8’ x 10’ or 9’ x 12:    Works best for dining tables with 6-8 chairs.


Twin Beds:  If you have 2 beds consider a 9’ x 12’ to pull together the look.

Full Size Bed:  5’ x 8’ rug on the horizontal would be best.  Let the room size determine how much of the rug shows at the foot of the bed.

Queen Size Bed:  Same rule of thumb as with the Full Size but using an 8’ x 10’ or 9’ x 12’, both will work.

King Size Bed:  Ideally a 9’ x 12’, but no less than an 8’ x 10’.


Same rules apply to indoor seating options.

Color, design and texture are final things to consider before purchasing a rug.  Consider how the colors in the rug will coordinate with the colors in your rooms.  Let your personal style and decor guide you in selecting traditional, transitional, contemporary or modern designs.  Consider texture and pattern to add interest and dimension when choosing your rugs.

Lastly, keep those rugs looking new!  Proper cleaning and care depends on the fiber type.  Here’s a quick guide.

Acrylic:  It’s ok to use a common cleaning detergent.

Polypropylene:  This is a stain resistance fiber and has low moisture absorption so best to follow wool cleaning instructions. 

Polyester:  Same rules as polypropylene.

Sisal:  Blot spills immediately.  Professional dry cleaning recommended.

Viscose:  Avoid using this in high traffic and high moist areas.  Blot spills and stains, dry cleaning recommended.

Cotton:  Small rugs can often be machine washed.  Larger rugs treat with a dry cleaning powder.

Wool:  A wool cleaning detergent is recommended.

Jute:  Avoid high moisture areas, blot and opt for professional dry cleaning.

(Rug Information provided from Loloi Rugs 101, Photo Credits:  RDK Design and Build actual client projects)



Camerone Parker McCullough

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