How To Determine The Right Size Of Area Rugs You Need

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So you want to order an area rug but aren’t sure how to choose the correct size. Find your tape measurer; it’s time to get busy. Measuring out a space for a rug is an inexact science, but with this guide, we’ll give you some tips and tricks for introducing just the right size of area rugs that you need.

So buckle up, brush off your addition and subtraction skills, and prepare to do a little math.

Choose a shape

Before you start stretching out the measuring tape across your living room, consider your ideal area rug shape. Often the most obvious choice is a rectangular shaped rug. However, rugs aren’t limited to that shape. There are circles, and octagons, squares, and postage-size stamp rugs for those unique spaces.

Once you know what shape you’re going for, you can begin to map out how it will fit in your room. 

Know The Most Common Sizes

Like many products, rectangular rugs (your likely first choice) come in standard sizes, and knowing those sizes can help you design the space you're working with. They include:

  1. 3x5
  2. 5x8
  3. 8x10
  4. 9x12
  5. 12x15

    Of course, this excludes runners which are typically 2 and 3 feet wide, and can range from 6 to 14 feet long.

    And the most common round rug dimensions are 4' 6' 8'. 

    Armed with this knowledge, it’s time to move onto the next step, finding a balance between the rug and room space.

    Give a Little Space

    Most designers agree that you need some space for a rug to look right in a room. But how much space?

    The classic guide is to leave at least 18 inches between the wall and the carpet, says blogger The Stated Home. While this is open to debate, putting space around a rug will help frame it, anchor your furniture, and make the room look more cohesive.

    Experts also generally agree that most of the furniture should touch a portion of the rug. The rug connects all the furnishings. That’s another reason to measure your space. Pick a rug too small, and it will appear to be floating in the center of the room.

    To get the look you want, find a vendor that sells the same pattern in various sizes. Luxe Weavers sells its popular Hampstead Collection 8027 Red Oriental Area Rug in four sizes, including the large 9x12. 

    The same unique idea goes for compact rooms. You don’t want an area rug curling up against a wall because it’s too large. Not only will that look messy, but it could also become a hazard for guests who might trip on the extra material. 

    Leg Laws

    Back to the rule mentioned above about having the furniture touch the rug. There are two suggested approaches to this. If you can, put all the legs of all of the pieces of furniture on the rug. This will give the appearance of a room within a room and can look very sophisticated. To achieve this look, you’ll need to measure your furnishings as they’ll exist within the rug space to make sure you have a large enough size.

    Or, if you want to stretch your furnishings further, follow the “all front legs” on the rug rule. This will still create a cohesive look and gives you more space to move about your furnishings.

    For example, you could outfit a room with this 5x7 Manhattan Patterned Shag Gray Modern Area Rug in a small reception room and only put the front legs on it and still make a beautifully classic space. 

    Circular Thinking

    And if you choose to go with a circular area rug, decor experts still suggest that furnishings rest on the rug, not around it. That said, if it’s a children’s room and you’re just accenting the space or using a circular rug as a playmat, the rules don’t necessarily apply. In children’s rooms, sometimes whimsy is your get out of jail free card. Have fun with it. 

    Math Time

    So if you have a room that’s 7x10, how big should your area rug be? If you need at least 18 inches, multiply 7 by 12, which gives you 84. Subtract 18 from 84, which equals 66 inches. Divide 66 by 12, and you have 5.5 feet. That tells you that your rug needs to be the next most common size — 5x8. 

    When in doubt, check out The Laurie Loo’s Rug calculator. Using this handy tool, you can type in any dimensions and get the answer to how big your rug should be. Measure, plugin, and take it from there. 

    Then, once you have your measurements all ready to go, head on over to Luxe Weavers to find the right area rug for you.