SIZE AND FITTING GUIDE
An area rug in the correct size can complement a whole room by adding warmth, create a style or mood, accent the furnishings and overall, bring life into a particular space. It’s important to choose a rug in the right size or the room may look poorly decorated or unfinished. The first thing to do before shopping for a rug is to size the room and make some placement decisions. Our area rug size and fitting guide will help you select the correct size rug for any room and how to place it.
Things to Consider Before Buying A Rug
What is the Goal of the Area Rug?
There are many ways to use a rug in a room. First determine the main focal point in the room. Is it the rug itself, a specific piece of furniture or a decorative item? Maybe it’s a location in the room such as the center or the area around a large window. Now decide what is the goal of the area rug? Is it to unify the look of the room and its furnishings? In this case, a large rug that fits the entire space of the room would work best. To create independent spaces in a room, it’s better to use several small area rugs to define distinct spaces within a room.
Shape of the Rug
Keep in mind the shape of your room and the large furniture items when choosing the shape of a rug. Although most rooms look best with a square or rectangular rug, there are some exceptions such as a round dining table which is best accented by a round rug.
Not every rug needs to be placed in the middle of the room since it’s best to place a rug in a way that is best utilized in the room. For example, in a bedroom, a rug could be placed at the foot or at the side of the bed or in the middle of twin beds.
Measuring for a Rug
First, accurately measure the total width and length of your room. Then measure the big pieces in the room like the dining table, bed or sofa. Think about where you are going to place your furniture. When measuring for furniture, it's best to leave an even space on each side of the rug. To prevent looking off-center, leave an equal amount of bare flooring between your furniture and the rug’s edges. For hallways, runner rugs should be a few inches shorter than the length and width of the hallway.
To help you visualize how a rug would fit in a room, use masking tape to create a border on the floor where you want the rug to lie. Leave an approximate 2-inch margin of error. Once you have the tape in place, measure the length and the width of the border to determine the measurement for the size rug you'll need. Take a picture of the room and masking tape border with you when you shop to help you further visualize your rug options.
Choose a Rug Size by Room Size
Use this as a general guide for the size of your rug based on the size of your room.
Recommended Rug Size
4' x 6' to 5' x 7'
3' x 5'
6' x 9' to 7' x 10'
5' x 8'
9' x 11' to 10' x 12'
8' x 10'
10' x 13' to 11' x 14'
9' x 12'
11' x 16' to 12' x 17'
10' x 15'
Choose a Rug Size by Room Layout
One way of choosing the perfect size for a rug in a room is to consider your furniture layout. Depending on your aesthetic, budget and design style, there are various ways furniture placement can determine what size rug you get.
1-All Furniture On the Rug
The most popular type of furniture placement is to place all the legs of the furniture entirely on the rug. Generally you will need a large sized rug for this look, and the size of the rug should be determined by the size of the room and furniture. This choice is perfect to pull together the look of a room and give it a cohesive feel.
On the Rug
With this option, you will also need a large rug big enough to cover the floor so that the front legs of all the big pieces of furniture grouped in a conversational configuration can be put on top of the rug. You can vary the furniture placement with your couch legs on the rug while your chairs are completely placed on the rug or vice versa. You can do the same with side tables and other accent furniture. This approach also helps pull together the look of a room since the eye is drawn to the center of the room when the legs of major furniture pieces sit on top of the rug.
3-All Furniture Off the Rug
This look is best for small spaces and requires that all the furniture in a room sit off of a small area rug placed in the middle of the furniture arrangement. A coffee table be put on top of the rug but all other furniture is placed around it. With this approach, the rug should be the same length or slightly longer than the couch so the rug is proportional to the room. All the furniture should also be placed close to the rug so it doesn’t look disconnected and help anchor the entire look of the room.
There are a few rug layout rules to consider for various rooms in your home:
1-Living Room/Family Room
Area rugs are work well in the living room or a family room because they add warmth, accent any room’s décor and absorb noise which is helpful in a high-traffic room. They also help define living areas within a space and help make them feel cozy. You can create a gathering area by laying down a rug in the midst of a sofa, chairs and a coffee table. A reading area can then be created in another part of the room by arranging smaller rug next to an armchair and ottoman with a side table and lamp. When using two or more rugs in one room, choose rugs that are different sizes and have complimentary colors and design. The rugs don’t have to be matching but they should be of similar color tones and material.
An area rug in the dining room can add a bit of luxury and personality to all kinds of dining spaces. Your rug should be proportional to your dining table, therefore the shape and size of your table will determine the shape and size of the rug. For example, a 8x10 rug works well with a dining room table with 6 chairs while a 8’ round rug is best for a round table with a 3-foot diameter and 4 chairs. A 9x12 or slightly bigger rug matches well for an 8 chair table while 10x14 rug works best for a table that seats 10 people.
Your dining table and chairs should sit completely on the rug and the rug should be a minimum of 2 to 3 feet wider than the table on all sides. Guests should be able to slide their chairs all the way out without catching the edge of the rug. If you choose a rug with a pattern, remember that your table and chairs will cover the center of the rug so if you wish the pattern to be visible, chose a rug that with a pattern or texture that is visible at the outside edges.
To create the illusion of a larger dining room, expose 3 to 4 feet of the floor around the rug’s perimeter. The exposed floor will act as a border to the rug, similar to a mat in a framed piece of artwork. Any other dining room furniture such as a buffet or china cabinet should sit on the floor and not on the rug.
A rug is a great way to complete any space in a bedroom because they warm up a space and feel good when you get up in the morning and put your feet on the floor. Generally, an 8 x10 rug is a good size for an adult bedroom. In a kid’s room, consider using small, durable rugs in whimsical shapes, patterns and colors to liven up the space. When it comes to using rugs in a bedroom, there are a few layout options to consider.
a) All Furniture On the Rug
With this option, your area rug needs to be large enough that all your bedroom furniture’s legs sit on the rug. Your feet should land on the rug when you get out of bed so make sure the rug extends out about 2 to 3 feet on both sides of the bed.
b) Rug is Partially Under the Bed
In this layout, the area rug does not go all the way to the wall behind the bed and is seen most prominently at the foot of the bed. Any nightstands will not sit on the rug and ideally, the rug extends 12 to 18 inches out past the bottom of the bed. For a queen or king-size bed, a 12x15 or 12x18 rug would work best.
c) Rug Placed on the Sides
This option gives you the benefit of a rug’s cushion on your feet getting out of bed, but allows you to use smaller area rugs or a runner. Many times, these rugs are used as decorative accents to pull together the look of the room and can be placed on either side of the bed or in the middle if there are two beds in the room
4-Entrances, Hallways and Stairways
Area rugs in hallways, entrances and on stairways make for lovely accent pieces. Not only do they work as a clear path to the next room, they help welcome guests and act as an opportunity to show off the style of your home. Since rugs in these places are often the first thing your guests will see when they enter, choose area rugs that enhance the décor of your home. Round or oval area rugs work well for entrances whereas runners work best in hallways and on stairways.
When choosing a runner for your hallway, the size you need is based on the length and width of the hall. Hallways generally are anywhere from 3 feet wide to 6 feet wide. Most runners are 2 ½ to 3 feet wide so it’s recommended that whatever size hallway you have, you choose a runner that is a few inches less than the width of the hallway. Lengthwise, the rug should fill up the entire area minus a few inches at the top and bottom. If you can’t find a runner that is long enough for your hall, you can combine two rugs of together with carpet tape. In order to hide the center seam, make sure your rugs have the same or similar design.
Any furniture in a hallway traditionally doesn’t sit the rug so if you have furniture on both sides of a hallway or entrance, use an area rug that fits in the middle. If there is furniture on one side of the space, use a rug that fills the negative space the best. Runners can also be installed on stairs using stair rods to keep the rug in place. It’s recommended to always hire professionals to install a rug on a staircase in order to ensure it’s done properly and safely.
5-Kitchen, The best rug options for kitchens are generally mats and scatter rugs which are typically placed in the area in front of the sink or a door. If your kitchen has a table, choose a rug to place underneath it using the rules of rug placement in a dining room. Runners are often used if you have a long narrow kitchen or to protect the walk-through area. Most runners are two and a half to three feet wide so if there is enough space, allow six inches to one foot of flooring on either side of the runner.