Unbiased Area Rug Buying Guide

Want to buy an area rug?

I’ve written unbiased guides to 8 types of flooring and rugs have the most variability of any floor. They range from cheap “mats” to walk over to luxurious works of art that cost as much as an exclusive painting.

Most people want something in-between: a rug that covers their hard floor to look nice but also gives some warmth or comfort.

Whatever your needs, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know before purchasing your new rug:

1. Should you make your own rug?

I’m starting out the guide with this article because maybe you didn’t even consider it. But many people make their own rugs, and it’s not that difficult.

It can both save you money and let you choose the exact design of your new rug.

Check out the simple guide on how to create a rug out of carpet remnants if you’re interested (and we’ll cover where to get remnants if you don’t already have a piece lying around).

2. How much should I pay for an area rug?

You decided to skip step 1, and don’t want to create your own rug.

So how much should you pay for a rug?

It’s important to have an idea because you’ll find anything from $5 to $5,000.  So what’s worth paying for, and when are you needlessly paying extra.

Our guide to rug prices will give you a confident idea of what you should pay.

3. Where should I place my rug?

I’m not an interior design expert, but I’ve been around the flooring industry long enough to know some of the secrets to rug placement. There are 3 rug placement tips you should always follow and some room-specific advice.

Check out our guide to rug placement for these tips and more.

4. What are the pros and cons of rug materials?

Make sure to check what your rug is made of. Like most flooring products, the material will determine a huge part of its performance.

Does it wear well? How do it feel? How’s it do with moisture? Does it stain the floor beneath? These are all questions that can be answered by knowing the material.

Check out the pros and cons of different rug materials here.

5. Do I need rug pad, and if so, what should I look for in rug pad?

You don’t see rug pad, but it makes a big difference in performance. It keeps the rug from sliding around, can extend the life of the rug, and change the softness and warmth underfoot.

Buying the right pad can be confusing: there’s thick and thin, at least 4 different materails, different sizes and thicknesses. In some cases, having the wrong rug pad is just annoying. In other cases, it may damage the rug or the floor beneath the rug.

The good thing is there’s usually a best pad depending on your rug. Our rug pad guide will cover what you need to know to pick the perfect pad.

Captain’s parting words!

You’re now a rug expert, or at least expert enough to make a smart rug purchase.

Anything else you want to know on area rugs? Let me know in the comments below.

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1 thought on “Unbiased Area Rug Buying Guide”

  1. I wish you’d end up with some less-unbiased links- I’m sooo tired of looking through hundreds of rugs. As you said, even the rugs that say they’re wool mostly have a combo. But you have to click and scroll every single one to see! The few I find are out of stock. Ugh. Textured off-whitish wool solid area rug. Search number 3,289. Thanks for all the great info even if you leave us link-less!

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