Quality area rugs offer a positive and lasting effect on your home. Products that can beautify your home, enhance design and décor, meet your specific comfort, performance and budget needs, are easy to care for, and stand the test of time. Area rugs can transport your rooms from ordinary to extraordinary. The fastest way to change a mood or character of a room is to add an area rug.

Advantages of Area Rugs

  • Area Rugs can go over any flooring type with proper pad
  • Use a rug as a design centerpiece for any room décor
  • Rugs can easily define a space
  • Area Rugs can be re-positioned to create a new feel in a room
  • Rugs can be changed each season or as your style changes
  • A rug offers softness, warmth and sound absorption
  • There is a rug for every decor and every budget
  • Hand knotted rugs can last for hundreds of year
  • "Machine made" rugs mimic handmade rugs at reduced costs


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Being familiar with area rug construction also helps you understand and evaluate performance aspects: why certain rugs wear better and longer. Understanding how area rugs are created help you better determine rug value and keep you inside the borders of your budget.

Machine made

  • Typically more budget conscious
  • More readily available and faster to produce
  • Machine made rugs are created on automated weaving looms or other powered machines
  • Elaborate designs created by placement of different colors of yarn


  • Handmade (also called hand knotted)
  • These rugs often offer one-of-a-kind designs
  • Unique details and intricacies in each due to the village, city or country of the creator
  • Handmade rugs are also often created with natural dyes for color longevity
  • It is an ancient and unique process that can allow rugs to be passed down generations

Learn all you can before buying flooring, including area rugs. Knowledge about rug specifics, characteristics, and traits can be invaluable. Choosing the best area rug for your home is really about knowing the right combination of characteristics, aesthetics, performance and budget to best meet the needs of your lifestyle.

Size and Shape

  • Rugs are made in different sizes and in different shapes
  • Standard and most popular sizes include 2’x3’, 4’x6’, 5’x8’, 6’x9’, 8’x10’ and up
  • While rectangles are the most popular rugs also come in round, square, oval, octagon or runners
  • choose the correct size depending on the dimensions of the room or space
  • Measure the size of your room and the space you want covered
  • Place pieces of paper where each of the corners will fall or use a sheet to cover the area
  • Make adjustments as needed to make the space larger or smaller and re-measure
  • to cover the majority of the room, leave a 12”-15” border
  • under the dining table- select a rug that is large enough so that when seated at the table the back legs of the chairs are on the rug with enough space to push back and get up from the table


  • Select a rug with colors to visually enhance the decor
  • Colors don’t have to match other colors in the room
  • Choose colors that either contrast or compliment a color scheme
  • Think outside the box


  • Helpful elements in narrowing down rug selection
  • Pattern is the way lines are used to form shapes on a rug
  • Divided into three categories: curvilinear, geometric, and pictorial
  • Woven with curving lines (curvilinear) or straight lines (geometric)


  • Defined as the way different motifs, colors and patterns give character
  • Can range from Traditional to Transitional
  • The number of design and patterns available will almost guarantee a rug that suits your style and lifestyle
  • All-over designs have motifs spread throughout a rug
  • Medallions have a large centerpiece as the focal point of the rug
  • One-sided rugs are woven in one direction with designs that can be intricate or simple, solid, or feature borders


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  • Don’t avoid walking on your area rugs!
  • Buy a quality vacuum and use it regularly.
  • You should vacuum or sweep your rug as you would wall-to-wall carpeting.
  • Rotate your rug 180 degrees every few months, or every year, depending on traffic patterns.
  • All parts of the rug should be exposed to an equal amount of traffic so that the pile wears evenly.
  • A water spill should be dried immediately with a hairdryer set on a warm temperature.
  • Have your rug professionally cleaned every 18 months depending on the amount of traffic on the rug.
  • Not all general carpet-cleaning companies can clean all rugs.
  • Consult with your retailer about the proper padding to be placed under your rug.

For more information about area rugs, or to schedule an appointment with an NFA member expert, click here.


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