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Rugs 101: Selecting Rug Sizes for Every Room

the best area rug sizes for every room

One of the most important questions you need to ask yourself before you start your rug search is:

“What rug sizes do I need for each room?”

Whether you are buying the rug first and using it as inspiration for the room, or buying the rug last and using it to tie all the elements of the room together – getting the size right is critical. It is the only way to create a properly balanced room. Remember, your rug is the anchor and foundation to the space – so it needs to be in proportion.

Exactly how much flooring should show around your rug is up for debate, but I will share with you what I have found works best.

Sometimes measuring just doesn’t cut it because you don’t get the full effect of what the size will look like in your home. It is helpful to lay down a sheet that has been folded to the dimensions of the rug you are considering before you purchase it.

This will give you a good idea of how much floor is covered and if the room still feels in balance. In most situations, we do not want to carpet the room, nor do we want our rug to look like a deserted island floating in the middle of a grand sea of wood!

Keep in mind, rug sizes vary, depending on the manufacturer and quality. For example, say you are looking for an 8x10 rug. Many times, machine made rugs come close to 8x11; tufted rugs tend to come 7’6 x 9’6 and hand knotted rugs usually come close to 8x10, give or take a few inches. It’s best to have your maximum and minimum width and length before you start your hunt.

Below are suggestions that we have found to work well for our customers – but we will always encourage thinking outside of the box!

 

 

LIVING ROOM

To go under or just in front of the sofa – that is the million dollar question! You can really do either – you just want to make sure that the rugs length is covering the length of the couch. Take what you consider the center of your room and visualize framing that space. How big does your frame extend? Are you wanting to tie all the seating together?

In smaller spaces, you can get away with having the rug just in front of the sofa – I tend to like the rug to start 4 to 6 inches in front of the sofa to have a border of wood showing. In the living room, I usually allow a 2 to 3 foot border of hard wood to show. Remember we are accenting your floors – so we want them to shine at their maximum potential as well!

I find that in larger rooms - the space is anchored better when the rug goes under the sofa at least 6 inches and comes out on the sides. This really works well with L-shaped sectional sofas – being a larger furniture piece, you need to make sure the rug is big enough to ground it. Usually an 8x10 at minimum would suffice (not taking into account the room size).

Living Room Rug Sizes

In mansion sized living rooms – it’s best to go with a larger rug and have all your furniture sit on the rug. Make sure that there is enough rug extending out behind the furniture pieces so you can comfortably walk behind them (and you’re not walking one foot on the rug and one foot off!). This look creates cohesion and sense of grandeur. You would need a 10x14 up to 12x18 to allow this.

That being said, most people use between a 5x8 and a 9x12 in their living rooms. A 5x8 rug can go in front of your sofa with no furniture going on it, but then larger sized rugs are best practiced to have the front legs of your furniture on the rug. Of course, if your space allows it, you can always have multiple rugs in the living room – say a runner is running behind the sofa, or an additional rug is in front of the fireplace. This can help balance out the room if the current rug feels too small. It all depends on the layout of the room, the amount, the size of the furniture, and how much flooring you want to show.

 

DINING AREAS

Dining areas have stricter rules when selecting a proper rug size. We recommend an absolute minimum of 18” from the table to allow your chair to be pulled out and sit down. I prefer 24” if the amount of space allows it.

Try this:

  • Go to your table and pull out all of the chairs like you are going to sit down.
  • Leave them out.
  • Take a tape measure and measure just beyond where your chairs are.

This is the minimum size you would want.

In dining rooms, kitchens, and breakfast nooks, I believe that having the proper size rug trumps showing off the hardwood. That being said, I still like a 6” to 1’ border from the wall (and other furniture pieces) in these spaces.

I recommend buying a rug that fits the size the table is kept at normally – if you only use the leaves (extensions) twice a year, try to take that into consideration.

Why is it so important to have the proper rug size?

Having to fight the rug day in and day out when you go to sit down can be downright annoying. Sitting half on, half off a rug can be uncomfortable. And aesthetically, the rug looks silly when it is too close to the size of the table! It is important.

Now note: some people do not use their dining spaces and have them only for looks – if this is the case, maybe 6 - 9” from the table will suffice – but please – no less!

*Here is a rug sizes chart/cheat sheet – but just remember to add 18 to 24” to each side of your table to get a good estimate of the size you need – then measure your room and make sure you have at least some wood showing on all sides. Then you are ready to start shopping!

Round/Square Tables:

  • 36”  – min. 6’ round / square / octagon rug – My recommendation: at least 7’
  • 42”  – min. 6’6” round / square / octagon rug – My recommendation: at least 7’6”
  • 50”  – min. 7’2” round / square / octagon rug – My recommendation: at least 8’2”
  • 60”  – min. 8’ round / square / octagon rug My recommendation: at least 9’

Rectangle/Oval Tables:

  • 36 x 60”  – min. 6’ x 8’ rectangle/oval rug –  My recommendation: at least 7’ x 9’
  • 42 x 72” – min. 6’6” x 9’ rectangle/oval rug – My recommendation: at least 7’6” x 10’
  • 40 x 82”  min. 6’ 4” x 9’10” rectangle/oval rug – My recommendation: at least 7’ 4” x 10’10”
  • 42 x 118” – min. 6’6” x 12’10” rectangle/oval rug – My recommendation: at least 7’6” x 13’10”

To over simplify – usually these sizes will suffice:

  • 6 chair dining room tables need an 8x10
  • 8 chair dining room tables need a 9x12
  • 10 chair dining room tables need a 10x14
  • Most breakfast nook tables have a 7 to 8 foot round or octagon rug

With all of the dining table sizes in this day of age, it is best to measure your table and room to make sure you are getting the best size for your situation. We have a variety for every recommended size!

Dining Room Rug Sizes

BEDROOM

The bedroom offers many options for rug placement. I have found that the preferred and most popularly accepted way is to lay the rug perpendicular to the bed, and pulling it half way under – stopping before your side tables.

This maximizes the amount of useable rug – giving you a soft, plush goodness to stand on when getting out of bed. Giving you a nice anchoring frame to your bed while still accenting your floors.

For a queen size bed – 8x10 allows you to have 2’6” on each side of the bed and 3’6” at the end of the bed.

For a king size bed – 9x12 allows you to have 2’10” on each side of the bed and 4’ at the end of your bed. Of course, the amount of rug at the end of the bed depends on how close you bring the rug up to the side tables. Ideally, you just want to make sure that your feet land on it when you get out of bed.

Bedroom Rug Sizes

For smaller bedrooms – the use of accent rugs are popular as well. Be creative. Maybe, have a 4x6 next to the bed on just one side or 2x4’s on the sides of the bed with a coordinated 4x6 or 5x8 in front. You could even use a nice round accent rug to soften the room. The possibilities are endless with our wide variety of area rug sizes!

Just remember to have the size of the rug in proportion to the room so it doesn’t seem too overwhelming.

 

FOYER

The first rug your guests see will set the tone for your home.

Please, take this into consideration when buying this type of rug, and be sure that you give this space the attention it deserves.

Make sure the rug is in balance with the room - allowing 2 to 3 feet of wood to show on at least 2 sides of the rug.

If your foyer lends itself to the use of a round or octagon rug – they can add interest and a dramatic effect – especially when mirroring a chandelier or a fabulous fixture. Consider rugs with pattern and personality – often foyers can benefit from the anchoring effect of a rug that is both strong in presence & aesthetically pleasing.

Foyer Rug Sizes

HALLWAY

Your hallways are highly traveled routes that are yearning to be brought to life. Like foyers, hallways can be very simply decorated spaces, which allows the rug to be a focal point. Have fun with this space!

Runners come in many lengths and sizes – from 6’ to 14’+.  Try to make sure that your runner covers at least 75 % of the length of the hallway – and that wood is showing on both ends of the runner.

You do not want the runner to run into the wall. Make sure that you have some wood on the sides of the runner showing – offering a nice border.

The average hallway uses a runner of 2’3” x 8’. For extra-long hallways – sometimes people use multiple runners allowing about 6” between them. This is one of the few cases where I believe matching rugs are the way to go.

Hallway Rug Sizes

 

OFFICE

Your office cannot be complete without a rug that makes it your own. Whether it shows your traditional nature or your creative side – be sure you are setting the right tone for the room where big decisions are made.

If the room setup is traditional, maybe you have your desk and then two chairs directly in front of you – you have a couple options:

    1. You can go with a large rug that runs perpendicularly under your desk and the 2 chairs – say a 9x12 – this would be ideal for a larger office
    2. You could have a rug that runs parallel to your desk and just put the back legs on - allowing for 2 chairs to be on the rug, but your chair to be directly on the floor – say a 6x9

Office Rug Sizes

Also, based on the setup of your office, if you have a larger open space, you can place the rug in the center – giving the room a foundation and sense of purpose. Again, make sure that your rug is in proportion to the room and does not look like a postage stamp or island.

  

KITCHEN

A nice plush rug in the kitchen is a must have. As much time as we spend cooking and washing dishes we deserve a rug that provides us with comfort and makes us happy. Please remember, just because a rug is not “a kitchen rug” does not mean it wouldn’t be perfect in a kitchen. A rug can be both stylish and durable, and can even be a perfect addition to an outdoor kitchen or patio area!

Kitchen Rug Sizes

Smaller rugs seem to find their homes in the kitchen. In front of the sink – 2x4 can be perfect; in front of the stove – 2x3 usually is ideal. Runners may be the answer if you have long counters. An aesthetically pleasing and fun alternative can be having a round rug in the center of a large kitchen. Remember, the larger the space, the more you should cover to make sure the room feels balanced.

 

No matter what room you would like to accent, there is a rug that will complement it beautifully. If you need help deciding what will work best in your home? Contact our team of interior designers and get a professional's opinion.

Home Design Tips


17 comments

  • 1. Gande Freiz on

    Nice blog/site, I have visited your blog and I think this the best for the kitchen product blog. I needed some product for my friend, I think I will refer him this blog. Thanks for sharing. kitchen furniture for sale

  • 2. Marsha Susa on

    What size rug is used for a 36in round pub table ?

  • 3. Carrie on

    This was most helpful, thank you for taking the time to provide all the numbers and theory behind them.

  • 4. Zequek Estrada on

    My husband and I spend a month designing the interior of our living room. However, we both felt that something was missing. I’m beginning to think that I need a rug for my living room. Foundations are important. If it’s like you say that the rug is the foundation and anchor of the room, then maybe that’s what I’ve been missing. http://www.bijan.com.au

  • 5. ian febres on

    I used this as a source for a presentation in my public speaking class. Thank you.


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