36 Types of Rugs for Your Home (Buying Guide)

Extensive rug buying guide explains the different types, patterns, materials, weave and more, each type offers a photo example.
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home office with an area rug

Until I met my wife I gave absolutely no thought to the different types of rugs available.  As far as I was concerned there were area rugs and that was it.

However, my wife uses rugs for many reasons including runner, kids’ play mats and rugs and sturdy, large yet decorative mats for the kitchen.

We’ve featured a good number of galleries of different rooms that have a rug such our living rooms with area rugs, home offices and bedrooms and so we thought it was high time we put together an extensive rug buying guide.

This buying guide steps you through the many categorizations of rugs.  Here’s an extensive table of contents which lays it out for you. Enjoy.

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A. Different Types Of Rugs

Rugs are available in a wide range of different types. Depending on the type of application you need a rug for, you’ll want to consider the different types of rugs that are available.

1. Area Rugs

Area rugs are one of the most popular rugs. They’re used everywhere and in any decor setting. They’re the most versatile, and they’re available in seemingly every possible size, shape, style and pattern. Different civilizations throughout the world have produced beautiful and ornate area rubs throughout the years. The oldest rug ever found was created in the 5th century BC, over 2,500 years ago.

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Source: Wayfair

2. Hallway Runners

As the name indicates, hallway runners are designed to fit the space located in a hallway. They’re available in different lengths, and they feature a very narrow width.

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Source: Overstock

3. Door Mats

Door Mats are available in many styles, and you usually find them at the front and rear doors. They allow entrants to clean their feet before entering.

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Source: Home Depot

4. Outdoor Rugs

Outdoor rugs are designed to be heavy-duty, and weather resistant. You’ll typically find these rugs on patios and decks.

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Source: Wayfair

5. Kids’ Rugs

These are the rugs you’d outfit a child’s room or play area with. They feature kid-centric colors and patterns. Often, the rug is interactive and encourages children to incorporate the rug into their play.

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Source: Pottery Barn Kids

6. Bath Rugs & Mats

These rugs are a popular addition to bathrooms, in front of the tub or shower. Bath mats provide sturdy footing, and an absorbent surface to step onto after a shower.

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Source: FrontGate

7. Stair Runners

Similar to hallway runners, these rugs are long and very narrow. They’re designed to provide sure footing when walking up or down stairs.

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Source: Carpet Runners USA

8. Kitchen Rugs

Kitchen rugs are a popular and functional decor item that you may find in kitchens throughout the world.

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Source: Overstock

B. Production Method

When it comes rugs, there are tons of different options as far as production is concerned. Most commonly, rugs are produced using large machines. Long before machine production was possible, rugs were still being produced. The craftsmen and women who created rugs used a number of different intricate techniques to create rugs before machine production was available. These methods of production are still used today by rug makers. This video will show you how to tell the different types of rug production apart.

1. Hand Woven

Long before recorded time, different cultures from around the world have created their own rugs by hand. This time-honored tradition continues today. Hand woven rugs are created by skilled craftsman and are truly a work of art. As you’d imagine, they are typically the most expensive style of rug.

2. Machine Woven

In modern times, machine production has become the most popular style of manufacturing. Commercial weaving machines or power looms create these rugs, and they can mimic all of the different styles of hand woven rugs. This production style is the most prevalent and affordable style of rug.

C. Construction Styles

1. Tufted

Fibers loop through a rug’s backing to create a tufted rug. Depending on the construction style, the fibers are either left looped, as in a shag rug or cut evenly across. They aren’t as durable or expensive as woven rugs. Typically, a tufted rug will last 5-7 years.

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Source: Overstock

2. Knotted

This style is typically associated with Persian rugs. You create a knotted rug by knotting the fiber of the rug together. Once the machine or rug maker creates each knot, it’s cut. By hand, a knotted rug can take a single person over an entire year to make.

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Source: Rug Vista

3. Flat Woven

Flat woven rugs are similar in construction to knotted rugs. However, instead of cutting each knot after it’s created, a flat woven rug continues with the initial thread to create more knots, without cutting. They are similar in style to knotted rugs, but rugmakers can produce them more quickly. This construction style is popular throughout the world and is often used in the kilim rugs of the Middle East, Africa, Turkey, and Asia. Flat weaves are also used to construct dhurrie rugs, which are popular in India.

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Source: West Elm

4. Hooked

With this style of rug, the backing of the rug features a checkerboard-like pattern. The fiber is then hooked through the holes in the backing to create the rug.

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Source: Dash and Albert

5. Braided

A classically American style, braided rugs are created by braiding long sections of cloth and sewing them together. You’ll usually find these rugs in round or oval shapes.

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Source: Wayfair

D. Rug Shape

Besides all of these types of rugs and different construction styles, rugs are also available in a variety of shapes. Depending on your needs and style, the shape of a rug may be an important consideration for you.

1. Rectangular

Rectangular rugs are among the most popular and versatile style of rug. These rugs are most commonly used in living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms.

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Source: Rugs Direct

2. Runners

Runners are a type of rectangular rug characterized by a narrow width. They are most commonly used in hallways, or down flights of stairs.

3. Square

Square rugs serve a similar function as rectangular rugs. Depending on the shape of the room you’re decorating, they may be the best option for you.

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Source: Target

4. Round

This shape is commonly seen in settings similar to rectangular and square rugs. You’ll also find round shapes as accent rugs in the center of a room.


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Source: Pier 1 Imports

5. Oval

Oval rugs are also versatile, and you’ll find them in many of the same settings a rectangular rug would be used. They vary in width to fit different applications such as hallways. Traditionally, they’re used in living or dining rooms.

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Source: Overstock

6. Octagonal

This style of rug is typically used as an accent piece, or under a table in a dining room or eat in kitchen.

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Source: E Sale Rugs

7. Slices

Rug slices are usually half moon shaped rugs. You’ll find rug slices in homes as doormats, bath mats or kitchen mats.

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Source: Wayfair

E. Style

For most consumers, a rugs style will be the most important consideration when buying a rug. Depending on the style of a rug, you’ll be able to find something that blends seamlessly with the other decor pieces in your home.

1. Modern

Modernism is a style that rose to popularity in the late 19th century, and it continues to be very popular today. Modernism rejects the ideas of more traditional styles, like Victorian or Neo Classical. Modern rugs are characterized by their simple styling which is designed to blend seamlessly with other modern pieces in the home.

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Source: Target

2. Traditional

Traditional rugs feature design motifs like vines, flowers or medallions. These rugs usually have beautiful and opulent construction, and they usually feature warm or neutral colors bordered in a richer pop color. These rugs are often used in dining or seating areas to define the seating area. These rugs first originated in Persia, and they are still popular today in applications where you desire a traditional and classic look.


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Source: Wayfair

3. World

The World style is an ever-popular style that’s defined by its focus on classic rug making techniques that are popular throughout the world. World rugs can refer to rugs made in the styles of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

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Source: Rugs USA

4. Bohemian

Bohemian rugs are styled similarly to Persian rugs and other world rug styles. Busy, intricate patterns define the Bohemian style. They are available in bright, muted or overdyed colors. Sometimes these rugs blend different colors and patterns together. Bohemian rugs are an excellent way to make a statement in a room.

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Source: Rugs USA

5. Coastal

Coastal rugs usually feature classic styling, but they can also blend other rug styles as well. These rugs can feature rich or muted colors and are characterized by the easy, beachy vibe that they capture. You’ll usually find these rugs in neutral sand tones, as well as different color blues, and other muted shades as well.

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Source: Rugs Direct

6. Country & Rustic

Primitive techniques and construction styles are a facet of country and rustic design styles. This style is typical of early Americana and shares much of its history with folk art and decor. These style of rugs are perfect for country homes, open spaces, or anywhere that you’d like to lend a bit of humble and classic design sensibility to.

The Rustic style is very similar to country but usually features a more worn, aged look.

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Source: Rugs Direct

7. French Country

French country rugs mix traditional sensibility with country styling. French country rugs give a nod to traditional styles of the past, especially Victorian. But, they are defined by many of the patterns and styles that permeate country design.

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Source: French Luxury

8. Industrial

Rugs that feature an industrial style are unpretentious, minimalistic, and durable. Originally, industrial rugs weren’t necessarily a style at all, and they were used primarily in utilitarian settings. However, people began to gravitate towards their simple design, and they found beauty in the simplicity of this style. These types of rugs are long-lasting, and they’re a perfect addition to rooms with minimal or industrial styling.

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Source: The Rug Seller

9. Mid-Century

Mid-century is a decor style that blends the modern and traditional styles. This style was prevalent in the United States after World War II. Mid-century rugs rely on contemporary patterns and natural materials. Over the last few decades, mid-century style rugs have been rising in popularity once again.

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Source: Wayfair

10. Tropical

The tropical style is similar to coastal style rugs. However, instead of putting an emphasis on creating a beach house type of vibe, tropical style pumps up the volume a bit. Bright colors and patterns characterize this design style. These rugs are popular in both indoor and outdoor settings. Think of the rug you’d expect to see in a cabana on a tropical island. That’s a tropical rug.

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Source: Rug Studio

11. Scandinavian

The Scandinavian style is clean and minimal. It makes use of light colors and isn’t heavily patterned or busy. Scandinavian interiors stand in contrast to the harsh exterior conditions that are typical of the area. Scandinavian countries are known for harsh winters with short days and longer periods of night. So, Scandinavian interiors bring contrast with their simple, light colored styling.

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Source: Serena and Lily

12. Lodge

The Lodge style has been made popular by the beautiful and expansive ski lodges of the United States. They’re characterized by lots of wood, leather, and other natural, rustic materials and textures. Lodge rugs are luxurious, warm and inviting. Rugmakers make this style of rug with natural materials like wool, cotton, and leather.

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Source: Rugs Direct

13. Mission Shaker

Mission Shaker styled furnishings and rugs blend two separate design styles: mission and shaker. This style borrows many elements from the traditional and country styles. Mission Shaker rugs and furnishings put an emphasis on quality construction, and they’re characterized by solid colors or subdued patterns.

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Source: Wayfair

F. Materials

The material a rug is crafted from can have a dramatic effect on the look, quality, durability and feel of a rug.

1. Wool

Wool is among the best, most popular materials to construct a rug from. Wool is a natural fiber that’s derived from sheep. It’s soft and durable. It’s also easy to clean, resists staining, and it feels cozy and luxurious. Usually, you’d use a wool rug in high traffic areas like living and dining rooms. It’s a strong choice for most applications. But, it’s not the best choice for damp applications or areas with very high humidity. Wool rugs are also subject to fading.

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Source: Pottery Barn

2. Cotton

Cotton is often used to create flat-weave rugs and world styles like kilims and dhurries. Cotton is cheaper than wool, but it’s also less durable and doesn’t feel quite as luxurious. Cotton rugs are best for casual areas and kitchens.

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Source: Overstock

3. Jute, Seagrass & Sisal

These natural materials are prized for their durability and versatility. Their durability makes them a popular choice for outdoor applications. These materials are also resistant to fading, making them a strong choice for areas with lots of sunlight. These materials are typically rough or coarse in texture, so they’re not exactly the most luxurious of rug materials, but they’re great for high traffic areas where durability is a concern.

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Source: Rugs USA

4. Silk

Silk rugs are luxurious and have a beautiful sheen. They aren’t the most durable of the natural materials, but they may be the most beautiful. With silk, the craftsman or machine can achieve an extremely fine level of detail. Silk rugs aren’t as durable as most other materials, and they’re best for low traffic areas.

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Source: Rugs Vista

5.Leather & Animal Skin

Rugs made from animal skins are beautiful, durable and inviting. Rugmakers create these rugs from entire animal hides, small sections of hide which have been stitched together or in the case of leather, woven strips. These rugs are unique and durable, and they’re a great way to make a statement with your space. Like wool, they absorb moisture very easily, so they aren’t an excellent choice for areas that are damp or humid.

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Source: Aha Life

6. Chenille

Chenille is a material that can be created from wool, cotton, silk or synthetic fibers. Chenille rose to popularity in 18th century France. The word chenille is French for “caterpillar, ” and chenille fabrics are designed to resemble the fur of that animal. Chenille is luxurious and lustrous. Depending on the material the chenille is crafted from, the fabric can be extremely durable.

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Source: West Elm

7. Synthetics

Synthetic fabrics are designed to mimic the look and feel of natural fibers such as wool, cotton or silk. These types of rugs are prized for being highly affordable while mimicking the look of more luxurious and expensive fabrics. Synthetic fabrics are usually very durable and can be used in high traffic settings, as well as outdoors. Unlike natural fibers which tend to perform poorly in humid environments, synthetics aren’t affected by moisture and can be used in damp or humid environments. Synthetic rugs are typically among the easiest to clean, as well.

There’s a broad range of different synthetic fabrics available including nylon, polyester, polypropylene and viscose. These synthetic fabrics are capable of mimicking the look and texture of the natural materials listed above.

Nylon is a synthetic polymer that can be melted together to form fibers which can be used to create rugs. Nylon is one of the most popular synthetic materials used in rug and carpet making and is resilient, durable and easy to clean.

Polyester is another popular synthetic fiber which is popular in rug production. It’s similar to wool, although it’s less durable. It’s available in a full range of different colors and can be used to create ornate and intricately patterned rugs. Polyester rugs are easy to clean, resistant to fading and they’re a great choice for damp or humid environments.

Polypropylene is also known as olefin, and it’s the fastest growing synthetic material used in carpet and rug production. Olefin fibers are cheap to produce and exceptionally resistant to stains. But, it’s only available in a small variety of different colors, and it’s not the best material for high traffic areas.

G. Patterns

The pattern is another important factor that will help to determine the rug that’s best for you. The pattern of a rug is a great way to express your personality, or further accent the style of a room. There’s an incredibly broad range of patterns available in different styles. Below, you can take a look at an example of the different types of popular rug patterns.

1. Geometric

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Source: Hayneedle

2. Oriental

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Source: Rug Vista

3. Floral

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Source: Rugs USA

4. Solid

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Source: Pottery Barn

5. Trellis

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Source: E Sale Rugs

6. Abstract

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Source: Rugs Direct

7. Striped

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Source: Pier 1 Imports

8. Color Bordered

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Source: Pottery Barn Teen

9. Ikat

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Source: Pottery Barn

10. Tibetan

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Source: Target

11. Chevron

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Source: Rugs Direct

12. Southwestern

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Source: Overstock

13. Animal Print

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Source: Dash and Albert

14. Plaid

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Source: Wayfair

15. Paisley

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Source: Bed Bath and Beyond

16. Polka Dot

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Source: Pottery Barn Teen

H. Features

The different features of a rug will be an important buying consideration for you depending on your needs and style. Once you’ve decided on the type, material, style and pattern of a rug, you’ll want to take a closer look at any additional special features the rug may have.

1. Non-Slip Backing

Non-slip backings are constructed from materials that create lots of friction with the surface underneath them. A non-slip backing is a popular feature in many different rugs, especially kitchen and bath rugs. This feature is helpful for other rugs as well because it can eliminate the need for a rug pad.

2. Floor-Heating Safe

If your home or apartment has radiant heating, this feature will be critical for you. Depending on the material a rug is created from, excessive heat from below the rug could pose serious problems or safety concerns. With a rug that’s floor-heating safe, you can use the rug in areas with radiant heat.

3. Eco-Friendly

The demand for this feature has increased dramatically in recent years. Eco-friendly production ensures that regardless of how the rug was constructed, it was done so in a manner that didn’t pose harm to the environment.

4. Reversible

Reversible rugs add an extra layer of versatility, and they can double your style options with a rug. This feature is great if you like to redecorate often or change your decor with the seasons.

II.Where To Buy Rugs

It’s easy to find a great rug through some different sales channels.

If you’re in the market for a handmade rug, you’ll be able to find one at specialty retailers or at auction. As our world becomes more connected, it’s also becoming easier to source rugs directly from the producer. Not only does this provide the customer with a lower price, but it also ensures that the money you’re spending is going directly to the craftsmen and women who are creating the rug.

In addition to those methods, you can purchase rugs at a specialty or department store in your area. There’s also plenty of options you can shop online right now. Here are some of the most popular online rug retailers.

III. More Details

We’re almost there! Now that we’ve covered almost all of the major considerations when buying a rug, there are just a few more considerations for you to make.

1.Price

To say that rugs vary wildly in price would be an understatement. Considering there are so many different factors involved with a rug and how it’s produced they can range in price from under $100 to thousands of dollars.

Depending on the size and specifications of the rug you need, you can expect to spend between $50 and $500. If you’re looking for a large, handmade rug, you can expect that number to extend well into the thousands of dollars.

2. Pile Height

The pile height of a rug refers to how high the fibers of the rug extend off their backing. Your needs will indicate which pile type is best for you.

Flat

Flat rugs have absolutely no pile. They are usually constructed from synthetic materials, and you’ll find them in commercial settings. These rugs are extremely easy to clean and maintain, but they may be lacking in the style department.

Low

Low-pile rugs have fibers which extend slightly from the surface of the backing of the rug. These rugs are also easy to clean and are a great option for high traffic areas like hallways and stairs.

Medium

This pile height is still relatively easy to clean, and it provides a luxurious feel and more cushioning than lower pile rugs.

High

High pile rugs have fibers that extend far off the surface of the rug. These rugs can be difficult to clean and maintain. A high pile is typically seen with decorative, accent or novelty rugs. These rugs probably aren’t the best choice for high traffic areas.







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