An area rug is a decorative floor covering used to define a specific area within a room or to give a space warmth and texture. You can purchase area rugs in various shapes, materials, styles, and sizes. So, how big are they?
The standard sizes of an area rug are small (5 feet), medium (between 5 and 8 feet 6 inches), and large (between 8 feet 6 inches and 12 feet). However, you can get area rugs in custom sizes to fit any room you want.
This guide will discuss what area rugs are, what sizes they come in, and how to measure a room for the right area rug size.
What Is an Area Rug?
Area rugs are decorative floor coverings used to highlight a specific section of a room or to soften the overall look of the flooring. They are versatile and can update a room’s aesthetic with new color, pattern, or texture with minimal effort.
For example, putting an area rug under a piece of furniture like a dining table or in front of a fireplace helps to anchor the furniture and give the room a sense of cohesion and style.
If you’re wondering how area rugs differ from carpets, a carpet is used to cover a larger area, often an entire room. Carpeting is stretched over the entire floor and is typically made of a thicker, more resilient material. They are commonly used to make a space cozier and quieter. Carpets are also available in many designs, colors, and patterns, but they are less adaptable and less simple to swap out than rugs.
To put it another way, area rugs are used to cover an area of a room’s floors, whereas carpets are typically used to cover the entire flooring in a room or a floor.
How Big Is an Area Rug?
As mentioned earlier, area rugs come in a wide variety of sizes. The most common sizes are:
- Small (up to 5 feet long)
- Medium (between 5 and 8-1/2 feet long)
- Large (over 8-1/2 feet long)
Here’s a breakdown of common area rug dimensions and where they’re commonly used:
|3 × 5||36 × 60||Bathrooms and entryways|
|4 × 6||48 × 72||Bedrooms and living rooms|
|5 × 8||60 × 96||Dining rooms and living rooms|
|6 × 9||72 × 108||Master bedrooms and living rooms|
|8 × 10||96 × 120||Medium-sized living rooms and master bedrooms|
|9 × 12||108 × 144||Large living rooms and large dining rooms|
|10 × 14||120 × 168||Large living rooms|
Of course, you can place any area rug size in any room you want. However, if your goal is to improve the aesthetics of your home’s interior, you should consider getting a specific area rug size for a specific room size.
Tips for Choosing an Area Rug Size
One common problem homeowners face when purchasing a new area rug for their living room, dining room, or bedroom is choosing an area rug that doesn’t fit the room’s size. Everyone has different tastes, and you’re more than free to choose whatever size you want (there’s no such thing as too small or too large, subjectively). Still, if you want to do what the “home décor gurus” do, here are a few tips you can follow.
1. Choose an area rug size in proportion to the room size
In bedrooms, dining rooms, and living rooms, you can enhance the look and feel by leaving a bit of the flooring visible. Here’s a chart that demonstrates the ideal area rug size based on the overall size of a room.
|Room Size||Area Rug Size||Estimated Coverage|
|5 × 7 feet||3 × 5 feet||43%|
|7 × 10 feet||5 × 8 feet||57%|
|10 × 12 feet||9 × 12 feet||90%|
|14 × 17 feet||12 × 15 feet||76%|
As you can see, there’s no rhyme or reason when determining how much of the flooring you should leave visible after laying your area rug flat. So, you can always go by feel and by eye to get the “best” look possible.
2. Leave at least 18 inches of visible flooring on all sides of the area rug
When placing a rug in a room, it is recommended to leave at least 18 inches of uncarpeted floor around its perimeter to help define the space and serve as a frame for the rug. This will make the room feel more balanced and unified by serving as a focal point and defining the space.
A bare floor strip around the rug’s perimeter also helps the room feel more spacious. It also frees you from the hassle of moving the rug along with the furniture whenever you rearrange your room’s layout. Keeping at least 18 inches of space between the rug and the floor will facilitate the cleaning and upkeep of the rug and the flooring.
3. The area rug should be at least 6 inches past the furniture on all sides
It’s recommended that the area rug extends at least 6 inches beyond the edges of the furniture. Doing so will keep the furniture from sliding around on the rug and give the room a sense of harmony and equilibrium.
In this way, the area rug can serve as a decorative border around the furniture, drawing the eye to the center of the room. Area rugs under tables and beds should be centered to create a balanced aesthetic and a sense of purpose.
4. Match the dining table shape
Dining room rugs should be chosen with the dining table’s shape in mind. The room’s aesthetic will be unified and well-balanced as a result. Consider a round rug for your dining room if you have a round table. A rectangular rug is the better option for a rectangular dining table.
It’s not only aesthetically pleasing but also practical if the shape of the rug closely matches the shape of the dining table. This makes it easier to pull out chairs and sit comfortably, without having to worry about the chairs getting caught on the edges of the rug.