Rugs.  Some people love them, some love to hate them.  There are so many decisions to be made when it comes to type, size, colors, and placement.  Rugs are often a necessary element in a space and can be used to bring warmth, color, and texture into the room.  But all the decisions can be enough to make anyone throw their hands up and say forget it.  


Let’s look at the different types, placements, and costs. 

A rug can accomplish lots of different things in a room. Adds warmth, dampens sounds, can add color and texture, even cover a floor you don’t love. 


Some additional questions that come along with buying a rug. 


Do I need a pad? 

Rug pads keep your rug from sliding and protect your floor depending on the backing of the rug. Rug pads should be 1” from the edge of the rug. So 2” total.  For example an 8 x 10 rug needs a pad that is 7’10” x 9’10”.  Most rug pads can be cut to size for this reason.  

My favorite pad 


Should my rug match or contrast?  

Keeping in mind the 4-5 patterns in a room theory, look at the other colors and patterns you already have.  If you’ve got a lot already going on, a solid rug may be the way to go.  If not, bring in a fun pattern or color!  This is a great place to make a fun statement.  Remember too that most of your rug is usually covered up with furniture so you won’t be seeing it all at once. 


What’s the difference in materials?

Wool: $$$$ 

Wool’s fibers are soft and crush resistant so they will last for years to come.  Sheeps naturals oils repel water, dirt, etc so a sheep’s wool rug will last and is great in a high traffic area. The cost for this durable, soft, and long-lasting wool is expensive.  

Gorgeous Navy and Cream Wool 8×10 rug 


Silk: $$$$

One of the most luxurious attributes of silk is the shimmer and softness. These are good in low traffic areas.  Depending on which direction you lay the rug, you get a different view of the fibers, giving you virtually two completely different looks. Silk rugs do fall into the expensive category. 

Beautiful gray abstract 


Polypropylene: $$

A durable alternative to wool.  Still water-resistant and easy to clean, but comes at a lower cost than wool. The softness of the fibers mimics wool, but it’s strength makes it durable enough for porches and covered patios as well as indoor areas of your home. 

Farmhouse look 


Nylon: $$

These rugs are the busy family’s dream.  They are flat so they can be used under tables, beds, and chairs.  They also clean easily- virtually any spill.  They resist fraying so they will look new longer. Nylon rugs do not shed fibers so you won’t be constantly vacuuming them. They come in bold and muted tones, perfect for any home. 

Buffalo check look 


Cotton: $

Cotton rugs are an affordable alternative and have a very relaxed look.  Not as durable but often reversible extending the life of the rug. 




This is a man-made fiber meant to mimic silk with a lower price tag.  It has a very low pile and sheen.  It is good in low traffic areas.  


Jute and sisal: $$ varies 

A large natural woven pile can be beautifully organic. Often creating a spa-like experience on the owner’s bare feet.  They do snag easily and are not good around pets with claws.  The natural color of the rugs makes them neutral enough for many types of styles.  They are also great on porches. 



With its beachy feel and highly durable fibers, these are great for decks and patios.  They don’t fade and clean easily.  The natural textures can often be seen as rough and are not ideal in places where you are often barefoot. 


Rugs can be a beautiful addition to any space.  Know what your budget is and what type of traffic area you are putting it in.  This will help narrow down your choices.  


My Guide to Choosing the Right Rug is available here.  This guide will share ideal furniture and rug layouts, as well as guide you through selecting size and material.


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