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ABOUT AREA RUGS

One of the fasted and easiest ways to dramatically impact the look of any room is to add an area rug. Fortunately, Rugs To My Door carries and enormous selection of just about every kind of area rug imaginable - machine made, handmade and hand knotted - all in a wide variety of shapes, a rainbow of colors, and the very latest, greatest styles and designs.

Another big advantage of area rugs is that many come with a small price tag. So while you'll be able to enjoy these rugs for years, they're affordable enough to change as often as you redecorate.

FINDING YOUR WAY AROUND AN AREA RUG

In general, area rugs differ by the technique in which they were made, the style and the material used. Here's a quick overview:

TECHNIQUES

Machine-made rugs are created on mechanical looms. Two examples of mechanical looms are the Administer and Wilton looms.

Handmade rugs are any rug that is entirely hand knotted, hand tufted, hand loomed, hooked, flat weaved or needle pointed. These rugs are usually made of wool, cotton or silk or a combination of these.

Hand-knotted rugs are made by tying a short length of yarn around two adjacent warp strands so the ends of the yarn protrude upward from the pile of the rug. This is referred to as knotting. Rugs can have as many as 625 knots per square inch. There are three kinds of knots used in weaving: Persian, Turkish and Tibetan knots.

Hand tufted rugs use a technique that involves inserting the yarn through a woven grid using a "tufting gun." The top loops are sheared to create a softer, velvety pile.

Flat weave rugs do not have a pile and the colored wefts are woven through the warps to create the pattern of the rug. There are many varieties of flat weaves: kilims, shurries, sumakhs and serapes.

Needlepoint rugs are a type of flat weave created by waving through a premade backing.

Savonneries or Aubussons are created by weaving thread through warp/weft backing. These rugs are usually floral.

HELPFUL HINTS

Use the right type of rug. Area rugs have two primary uses: rugs that are designed to be placed atop a carpet and rugs that are designed to be placed on a hard surface. Be sure to choose the right type for where you're planning to use it. If you are planning on placing a rug over a carpet, be sure to still use a pad underneath. Otherwise, the backing on your new rug could en up damaging the fibers on your carpeting. 

Always use a pad underneath. Sometimes called an underlay or rug cushion, putting a pad underneath your rug will increase its lifetime by dramatically reducing wear and tear. The proper pad will also make you rug feel more comfortable underfoot, reduce noise in the room and keep the rug from slipping, creeping and curling.

Make the rug fit its role. In general, the area you place it in will determine what kind of area rug you choose. High traffic areas, in addition to the presence of pets and children, will dictate a durable, higher density rug. If the rug is going to sit by a kitchen sink or a bathroom shower (where it can get wet), you should probably choose acrylic, cotton or polyproylene. If the rug is going to be situated in an eating area, it need to be able to stand up to stains. In this case, it would wise to opt for something highly stain-resistant like nylon.

Other ways to use an area rug. To break up large rectangular areas, a well-placed circular or octagonal rug can do the trick. Adding an area rug can add visual interest to any room, a striking accent piece or serve as a functional inside-the-door mat. Laid over a wood floor, they can add warmth and actually highlight the natural wood qualities. Light colors mak a room look more spacious; deeper colors tend to lend coziness to an area.

CARING FOR YOUR AREA RUGS

If you have invested a good amount of money into your areas rug (and even if you didn't) you'll still want it to look its best and last as long as possible. Here are three easy ways you can accomplish precisely that.

Vacuuming. Frequent vacuuming, using an upright vacuum with the beater bar at its highest level, is the key to maintaining a good-looking area rug. This is particularly important if the rug happens to be in a high traffic area. You'll want to vacuum early and often to keep dirt and grime from getting ground down into the rug. Mats placed at entrances can also minimize the amount of dirt that ends up getting tracked onto your rug.

Spills. Cleaning up spills immediately is another critical step to keeping your rug looking as good as possible In fact, the best chance you have of removing any stain is in the first 48 hours after the spill. The longer the stain sets in your rug, the smaller the chance is that you will be able to successfully remove it.

Annual Cleaning. The final step to ensure that your area rug stays clean and beautiful is to hav eit professionally cleaned once a year.

BUYING TIPS FOR AREA RUGS

The right area rug can be the finishing touch that pulls all the elements of a room together. On the other hand, the wrong size rug can actually detract from the design of your room. Here are some general guidelines about what dimensions typically work best in which rooms, and how some of your key furniture comes into play:

Dining Room. To keep the back legs of the dining room chairs from venturing off your new rug, you will need to add 2' on each side of the table. Since most dining room tables are at least 42" wide, for a comforatible fit you want to select a rug that is at least 7' wide. For length, simply measure the length of your table, then add 4'. 

Living Room. There are four different ways to plot out the size of an area rug for your living room.

1. The rug can be large enough to accommodate the sofa and all the interior furniture on top of it.

2. The rug can come right up to the very edge of the sofa and other furniture.

3. There can be a border of floor between the rug and the sofa and other furniture up to 18" wide

4. The front legs of the sofa and furniture can be on the rug and the back legs off.

Coffee Table. Your coffee table may dictate the size of rug you use in a room. IF the table is 42" wide or 42" square, you will need an 8'x10' rug. Otherwise, the rug will end up being insignificant looking. If you own a narrow coffee table, a rug that is 5'6"x8'6" will work fine.

Sofa. The length of your sofa can also determine the size of rug you choose. If your sofa is exceptionally  oversize, no matter how big your coffee table is an 8'x10' rug will be necessary for the room to look right.