429 US Route #1     Scarborough, ME 04074     207-883-RUGS (7847)     Showroom - M-F 9AM-5PM, Saturdays 9AM-12PM     Warehouse - M-F 9AM-3PM, Closed Saturdays

Before Buying Area Rugs

Important facts you should know before purchasing an area rug.

Everyone knows it pays to go slow when considering the finishes for your home; be patient and read the fine print. But is all that really necessary when buying area rugs? Absolutely!

Any floor covering in your home impacts interior beauty, design, décor, comfort, livability and upkeep. It’s a truth of housing: floor coverings can make, or break, a home.

So our advice is to learn all you can before buying flooring, including area rugs, and you can start right here. Because 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.

There are five important elements to think about prior to purchasing an area rug.

1. Size and shape: they’re fundamental, yet essential.

Area rugs are made in different sizes and in different shapes.

The most common sizes are 2’x3’, 4’x6’, 5’x8’, 6’x9’, 8’x10’ and up.

Shapes are rectangle, round, square, oval, octagon or runners.

You should know that most handmade rugs are rectangular and have standard sizes.

As a general rule, choosing the correct size area rug depends on the dimensions of the room or space you are trying to cover.

Follow these guidelines to determine what size rug will best suit your needs:

  • Measure the size of your room. (Measure twice to be sure.)
  • Measure the space you want covered. (Follow advice in first bullet.)
  • Now place a piece of paper where each of the corners will fall; adjust the “corners” as needed to make the space larger or smaller and then re-measure the area. Be patient and careful.
  • If you want to cover the majority of the room, be sure to leave a 12”-15” border of flooring exposed to set off your area rug.
  • If you are placing an area rug under your dining room 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. Your dining guests will appreciate that.

2. Color: it has impact, here are some insights.

Color is one of the most vital elements of an area rug, whether its machine made or handmade.

The right combination of colors, expressed through the right design, becomes more than an area rug, it becomes a work or art. Your art.

Select a rug with colors that will visually enhance your room’s décor.

The colors don’t have to match the other colors in the room perfectly.

Some of the best interior designs feature new and interesting combinations of colors that either contrast or compliment a room’s color scheme.

So feel free to express yourself – think outside the box.

Different rug producing areas use different combinations of colors and different types of dyes. You literally have the world at your feet.

3. Pattern: which arrangement do you prefer?

Pattern is one of the most helpful elements in narrowing down rug selection, especially after size and color.

We define pattern as the way lines are used to form shapes on a rug.

In the rug industry, pattern is divided into three categories: curvilinear, geometric, and pictorial.

The first two refer to rugs with conventional motifs that are woven with curving lines (curvilinear) or straight lines (geometric).

The third (a much smaller group) refers to rugs that portray people and/or animals.

4. Style: shop for rugs that reflect yours.

Style can be defined as the way different motifs, colors and patterns give character to a rug.

Styles range from floral to contemporary to traditional. They can also reflect a season, or a theme (nautical, birds, water). Roll out your favorite!

The most important styles of handmade rugs that have existed, or still do exist in various parts of the world, include: Persian, Chinese, Turkoman, Caucasian, European, Anatolian, Tibetan, Indian, Baluchi, North African, Native American, and East Turkestan.

In addition, many of these styles have different designs.

For example, Tabriz is a sub-style of the Persian style.

Many styles or sub-styles are made in their place of origin as well as in other countries or areas.

Consider that a Tabriz style rug may be made in Tabriz but it could also be made in India. If you want to know, please ask us.

5. Design: choose from this trinity.

All rugs can be divided into three major designs:

  • All-over, in which motifs are spread throughout the rug.
  • Medallion, where a large centerpiece is the focal point of the design.
  • One-sided, in which the design is woven in one direction.

Additionally, designs can be intricate or simple, solid, or feature borders.

For antique handmade rugs, this advice is timeless and unconditional.

If a Persian, Oriental or any other antique handmade rug is a possibility for your home, consider these two attributes carefully.

1. Age: with antique rugs, time is of the essence.

The age attribute specifies how old a rug is.

There are three major timeline categories:

  • Antique, over 60 years old.
  • Semi-Antique, between 25 and 60 years old.
  • Contemporary, less than 25 years old.

2. Condition: wear and tear influences a rug’s value.

The age attribute specifies how old a rug is.

  • Fine, a rug in excellent shape with no stains, tears or holes, and no previous repair work.
  • Average, a rug that may have undergone or may require some minor repair.
  • Worn, a rug that may have discoloration, fading, insect or foundation damage.

Worn rugs should not be dismissed because, similar to fine and average rugs, they can still have a very good resale value.

Some are even considered valuable antiques. So shop carefully.

Get on top of the bottom line. Know the entire cost of ownership.

The price on the tag of the rug you’re buying is just one component of your cost.

To ensure there are no surprises, and the rug you select fits within your budget, be sure to ask us to calculate the total cost of your area rug project.

Here are two potential additional expenses you may incur:

1) Product delivery. Delivering your rug and underlayment materials (padding) are not included in the price you’re quoted.

2) Don’t forget to ask us and consult the manufacturer’s care and cleaning recommendations for directions on how frequently your rug should be cleaned and the cost to clean it.

There’s much to consider before buying area rugs.

We hope this section has answered some of your questions and underlined the fact that you really can’t learn enough before buying floor coverings for your home.