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How to Choose an Area Rug

How to Choose an Area Rug

Are you looking to purchase a new area rug for your Columbus, Ohio, home soon? Adding an area rug is a great way to provide comfort, warmth and aesthetic appeal to any room in your house. Buying an area rug seems like a simple task, but there are a lot of things to consider. How big do you need it to be? What material do you want the fibers to be made of? Which pile and texture is best? America’s Floor Source is here with your guide on how to choose an area rug:


An area rug’s size can make or break its appeal. If it’s too big, it will overwhelm your space and make your room seem smaller. If it’s too small, it can make your room seem uninviting.

Always measure the dimensions of your room before you buy an area rug. If you estimate the measurements and it doesn’t end up fitting, it’ll be a hassle to return. You can use tape to outline a rug’s dimensions on your floor before you buy it to see how it will look. You should always leave at least a couple feet in-between your area rug and each wall of the room.

If you have your heart set on an area rug but it’s the wrong size, check the manufacturer’s website. Manufacturers typically offer area rugs in 3 or 4 standard sizes. You can also get a custom-made area rug if you need a size that isn’t standard.


Area rug materials vary in durability, comfort and ease of cleaning. Area rug fibers can be split into two categories: natural and synthetic.


Natural fibers are used in handmade area rugs. They're usually more durable and higher-quality than synthetic area rugs. A few popular natural materials are wool, cotton, jute and silk.


Synthetic fiber rugs are machine-made and woven on a power loom. One of the biggest advantages of synthetic fiber rugs is that they’re highly customizable. Manufacturers just enter the details into a computer, and it can be formed however you like. A few popular synthetic materials are nylon, olefin and polyester.


Pile refers to the length and density of an area rug’s fibers. You might think thicker rugs are of higher quality, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Many high-quality rugs are thin.

Short and thick pile rugs are ideal for high traffic areas of your home because they're durable and easier to clean. Long and thin pile rugs feel softer and more luxurious, so they're better for bedrooms and family rooms.

Furniture is another consideration when selecting an area rug’s pile. Are you planning on putting your new area rug under a heavy couch or loveseat? Long pile rugs are more susceptible to crushing and marking, so avoid putting furniture on them. Consider getting a shorter, thicker pile rug if you’ll be placing furniture on it.


Texture is all about how an area rug feels. Do you want an area rug that feels soft and luxurious? If so, try a silk rug with long, thin pile. Do you want a more robust rug that feels thick and solid underfoot? Try a nylon rug with short, thick pile.

An area rug’s weave also influences its texture. Saxony, shag, loop, berber and frieze all have slightly different feels underfoot.

  • Saxony: smooth, luxurious
  • Shag: long, relaxed loop
  • Loop/Berber: thick, short, curly
  • Frieze: plush, comfortable

Visit one of America’s Floor Source’s showrooms to feel different weaves and find out which one you like best.

Color & Pattern

Finally, you’ll need to pick a color and pattern. Do you want a solid color rug or a patterned rug with multiple colors? There are so many styles to choose from. A few popular styles include oriental, striped, distressed, trellis and abstract. Area rugs present a great opportunity to compliment your furniture or wall colors. You could pick an area rug color/style to match your furniture or pick a complimentary color/style to achieve a nice contrast. The possibilities are endless.

As you can tell by now, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to area rugs. Always consider the size, material, pile and texture of an area rug before you buy it. You’re sure to find the perfect rug to compliment your space if you keep these things in mind. Need help finding an area rug? America’s Floor Source has a huge selection for all your living spaces. We can help you find the perfect area rug whether your style is funky or functional. Visit one of America’s Floor Source’s locations or schedule a Mobile Floor Source appointment today.

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