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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Nolan

All about Area Rugs...

Most newer homes today have less “wall-to-wall” (otherwise known as broadloom) carpet than years ago.   Today the trend is all wood, porcelain tile, laminate or stone tile flooring throughout the entire home.   That means a lot of hard flooring.   With tall ceilings and hard floors, sound tends to echo and not feel like a comfortable warm space. One way to solve that problem is to add soft floor covering material (area rugs). Area rugs help define different rooms, spaces & areas and also provide comfort and softness which also helps with sound absorption within a space.


Area rugs vary dramatically in price mostly because of the materials they are constructed from and how it is produced.   The most cost effective rugs to purchase are “machine-made” (obviously meaning) being produced on a machine and mostly in synthetic fibers such as olefin, polyester, nylon and viscose.  These typically have thicker rounded edges.


Natural fiber rugs are made from Wool (New Zealand Wool is the best), cotton, silk, sisal, jute, etc.   A silk rug will typically be your most expensive fiber.     These rugs can be hand knotted, hand woven and can be on the loom for up a year!

Sisal & Jutes will be the least expensive (although can be hard to the touch and may feel a bit scratchy to some people).     So depending on the fiber, complexity and size of your rug; prices can and will vary considerably.


If you have an older pet or young children a machine-made nylon or polyester rug may be the best choice.   It should be relatively inexpensive and cleanable.   Viscose is generally not cleanable so avoid this fiber in heavy traffic locations (and if you have young children, older pets and are worried about the possibility of staining).   It is a cellulose fiber (sometimes called Bamboo silk) which adds a lustrous look and soft sheen but again not very cleanable.   It is used because it has a  silk-like appearance and gives area rugs a beautiful feel and luster.


My favorite is a New Zealand Wool rug.   The wool is top notch, cleanable, durable and beautiful.   If you want that touch of sheen choose one with silk or viscose accents (again for homes without young children or aging pets).  


Don’t forget a good rug pad under your area rug.   We prefer a felted with natural rubber (latex) side especially when on top of natural or engineered wood floors. Chemicals within pads can damage a wood floor (so we always use a natural rubber latex). If you have a laminate or tile floor than you have a bit more leeway here.

Lastly, Area Rugs come in every different size, style, pattern, color and fiber. Think about durability, cleanability, color and materials before purchasing and Happy Rug Shopping!

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