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How to Choose an Area Rug for Your Home

How To Choose An Area Rug For Your Home

Area rugs are an essential flooring element that have been used as a functional part of home decor for years. While rugs do provide cushion, comfort, and protection to hardwood flooring they also offer an opportunity to add an eye-catching design element that can elevate the “cool factor” in any room. Some of the more notable rug trends include:

  • Layering rugs to combine textures and colors for a fresh look
  • Moroccan rugs with rich textures and bold patterns
  • Bold geometric prints in jewel tones
  • Animal prints and cowhides
  • Turkish kilim rugs in rich colors
  • Chevron or lattice prints

If you want to jazz up your hardwood floors with a new area rug, knowing some rules of the road when it comes to rug selection can help you decide which rug is right for your home. Feel free to adjust these guidelines to fit your own personal taste.

Coordinating a Rug with Your Existing Hardwood Flooring

The beauty of owning hardwood or laminate floors is the blank canvas they provide for your creative juices to make a statement. Here are some easy tips for choosing a rug that will compliment your hardwood flooring:

Dark Wood Flooring

The general rule is that dark wood is best paired with a lighter area rug. Choosing a lighter rug can keep the room from feeling cramped and dark.

If you have dark wood that is a cool tone (i.e., stained walnut), you can definitely bring in some color, but keep the colors light and soft. Light blues, teals, and greens compliment this shade of flooring.

For warmer dark wood floors (i.e., cherry) you want want to stick with colors like taupe or beige so that nothing is taken away from this beautiful shade of wood. Navy is also a great color choice that will compliment warmer wood tones.

Light Wood Flooring

With light wood flooring, you can let bold patterns sing, and the shade range for light wood floors is vast.

If your wood is a cool tone (i.e., light ash) make sure you choose a rug color that is compatible, we suggest trying a soft, light blue rug with an interesting pattern.

For light warmer toned woods (i.e., stained oak) you honestly can choose almost any color of rug, but keep patterns subtle. We would suggest avoiding browns, taupes, and tans unless you like a monochromatic look.

Incorporating Patterns

Patterns should not be busy and compliment other decor elements. If you do choose to go with a bold patterned rug, make sure that it is the focal point of the room and that all of the other decor elements are kept simple and clean.

Rug Size

Now you definitely do not want to completely cover those beautiful hardwood floors, but having a rug that is too small for a room can look awkward. Make sure to discuss appropriate rug sizing with your design consultant.

Other Important Considerations When Selecting a Rug

The look of the rug and how it fits in with the rest of your decor is obviously going to be at the forefront of your mind, but it is important to pay attention to a few other things when it comes to the daily functionality of your rug.


Will the rug shed? If the rug is intended for dark flooring, the shedding fibers will be visible. This could also be an issue for those of you who have small children that could potentially put the fibers in their mouth and ingest them.

Avoid Damaging Your Floors

You need to find out if the rug is colorfast-especially if you have lighter flooring. Liquid spills could result in dyes damaging or permanently staining underlying flooring.

You also want to avoid rugs that have a latex backing. This type of backing can trap moisture or gases that will potentially damage your floor.

Don’t Forget the Rug Pads

Get the right type of rug pad. Rubber or felt pads are best, and will not react with the finish of the floor.  Felt is the best material for large rugs. For smaller rugs, use rubber pads or an adhesive that will not damage your finish.

Feeling a little lost when it comes to picking out an area rug for your home redesign project? Windows Floors & Decor has a team of Kansas City design consultants that can help with all of your redecorating needs.

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