The terms rug and carpet are often used interchangeably, however, rugs are generally smaller in size. Rugs are used to cover a floor and add warmth as well as color to a room. Rugs may also be used to pull a room together by unifying the d��cor or revitalizing a space. In addition, rugs can serve to absorb sound to reduce noise levels and protect hardwood or other types of floors from sand and grit that could ruin the finish.

Types of Rugs

Throw, hall, or area rugs, are typically perceived as being more decorative in nature. Other types of rugs include:

Oriental rugs are the gold standard of rugs and have been around for hundreds of years. They are often used in living rooms and dining areas where more formal furnishings are used, as opposed to more casual types of rugs such as throw rugs or hall runners, which are used in kitchens, bedrooms, or bathrooms.

Rug Materials

The type of fiber that a rug is made from determines how it will wear, as well as how it will look. Rugs are made from a variety of materials including:

  • Synthetic fibers - nylon, viscose (made from cellulose), polyester (made from recycled plastic soda bottles), acrylic, olefin
  • Natural fibers - silk, cotton, wool
  • Plant fibers - bamboo, seagrass, hemp.

Machine-made rugs are typically created with synthetic fibers, which are mildew resistant and usually treated with a stain resistant chemical. The dyes used to create the rainbow of colors available are not affected by exposure to sunlight. Olefin is perhaps the most stain resistant of the synthetic fibers, and is also the least expensive. Wool fibers are superior to most other fibers in that they take dyes well, are naturally stain and water resistant, easy to clean, and soft to the touch. Cotton rugs are less durable and stain easily. Plant-based fibers are also durable-some such as sisal are actually more durable, but the fibers eventually break down, especially during prolonged contact with sunlight and moisture.


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