An area rug can enhance the look of a beautiful wood floor or hide stains and wear and tear on the lowliest flooring. But unless homeowners know the ins and outs of choosing the right size rug for a particular space, the impact could be lost.
If homeowners have the benefit of radiant floor heating installed beneath the surface, area rugs are a great choice because they leave enough floor showing around the rim for the heating system to do its job.
Arranging the Rug
Before a rug is chosen, interior designer Susan Welch Heeney advises arranging the furniture to determine the best size area rug for a certain section of a large room, or to cover most of a small room.
To make a room look more pulled together, it's best for all of the legs of the furniture to rest on a room-sized area rug, Heeney tells DecoratingStudio.com. With a very small cover, all the legs should be off the rug. Her rule of thumb is to always have all legs on or all legs off.
The Border Line
Generally speaking, leaving an 18-inch border of flooring around an area rug looks best. Since most stains or scuff marks don't appear at the edge of a room, that's usually not a problem.
One exception is the placement of a dining room table. It's easier to move chairs when there is at least 24 inches beyond the edge of the table on all sides. That allows the back legs to stay on the rug when someone is sitting in the chair.
Don't Leave Out the Bathroom
Instead of a traditional shaggy throw rug, today's moisture-resistant bathroom rugs have more in common with floor coverings found in other parts of the house. Function is still important because of the humidity and water spills that occur in a bathroom, but not at the expense of good style, according to IdeasForHomeDecorating.com.
Having warm floors rather than cold tile to step onto in a bathroom is a comfort that many homeowners appreciate. Infloor heating provides this benefit, regardless of what the weather is like outside.
The size of the bathroom should determine the rug choice. A water-resistant mat is necessary next to the tub, outside a shower stall or at the foot of a sink vanity. But if there is another area where water can't reach, a stylish area rug can be an ideal and comfortable companion to a chair or dressing area.