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How to Choose a Dining Room Rug

Choose a Dining Room Rug to Complement Your Dining Furniture


Corsica Poeme is a hand-tufted wool rug from Jaipur

Corsica Poeme is a hand-tufted wool rug from Jaipur

Photo (c) Jaipur

Most often you choose a dining room rug to complement your furniture and to add more appeal to the area. A rug also helps muffle sounds and add warmth, both figuratively speaking and literally as it protects your feet from cold, bare floors.

Of course a rug does not have to sit only on bare floors. You can throw one over a carpet as well to accentuate or create more visual interest.

Usually people will gravitate towards choosing colors and patterns before anything else, but in a dining room you may want to consider other factors first.

Rug Size

While size is an important consideration when choosing any rug, it is extremely important to consider it when buying a dining room rug.

  • Ideally your dining room rug should be large enough to let you place your dining table and chairs on it. There should be enough room on it so that chairs when pulled away from the table still have their back legs on it.
  • When measuring for your rug, don't forget to take into account the length of your table fully extended. That means that you measure to account for any leaves that you use.
  • Measure the room to see how your rug fits in. It is best to leave equal amounts of space on the sides.
  • Take into account any sideboards or china cabinets in the dining room along with your table and chairs.
  • It is best to select a size where the rug doesn't go under the sideboard or cabinet, but ends before it reaches the front legs. Never rest just the front legs on the rug, because it affects the balance. If you must do this then remember to prop up the rear legs on rubber or wood shims.

Rug Shape

Choose a rug shape to complement your dining room furniture.

  • Most dining room rugs are rectangles, but any shape can work. Just remember to have it the right size.
  • A long narrow table would look best on a narrow rectangle.
  • A round rug will emphasize the shape of a round table.


A dining room rug will have heavy pieces of furniture sitting on it. Chairs will be pulled out and pushed in. Accidents with food may happen, and there will be crumbs even if there are never any major spills. Your budget may also play a part in selecting a material.

  • Keeping all the wear and tear that a dining room rug undergoes, select a rug material that cleans up easily and can stand up to heavy use. If you want use a natural material, stay away from silk or cotton rugs as they will not stand up to this kind of use. Wool is good, but it is also an expensive material.
  • Man-made fibers are easy to clean and maintain.
  • Look into indoor-outdoor rugs. They have come a long way, and have considerably improved in look and feel.

Read more about rug fibers here: Choosing Rug Fibers

Color and Pattern

Selecting a color or pattern is a very important part of selecting your dining room rug. Before anything the color and pattern is what you will notice first.

  • The color of your rug can be the starting point of your room's color scheme, or a way to tie in all the other colors. Decide on how you want the color of your dining room rug to function: to accent, create drama, bring warmth, support or to tone down.
  • Multicolor and patterned rugs have the advantage of disguising spills.
  • While medallion prints are often chosen for dining rooms, you may want to go with an all over pattern. The medallions get hidden under the table.
  • Stripes can be used to make the room look wider or longer.

Don't Forget the Rug Pad

While you will never see the rug pad once it's installed, You will feel it every time you step on to the rug or clean it.

The rug pad will help anchor the rug to the floor and keep it from wrinkling or slipping. That makes a rug safer as well as more aesthetically pleasing to look at. A dense rug pad will make the rug feel more plush and luxurious. It also makes it easier to clean.

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