Sizing Up Your Room for an Area Rug

If you?re thirsting for a new renovation project or your living room floor is in need of a makeover, an area rug is the perfect way to satiate your craving. No two rooms are the same, and when you opt to add an area rug to your space, measurements can have a huge impact on achieving your desired aesthetic.

The size and shape of the room ? from the layout to doorway placement to vents & floor inlays ? are all vital pieces of the equation. As far as sizing goes, bigger tends to be better. A couple of inches, for example, can mean the difference between bringing the room?s design appeal to life or having it look fragmented. ?

Measuring the Room

Using a measuring tape, you?ll want to measure the length and width of your room. Once you?ve compiled those measurements, subtract 24? from both measurements. Keep in mind that any furniture should be on the rug. The only exception to this rule is the back legs of a sofa or a large chair that can be positioned off of the carpet when placed at the edge of the room. ?

Your vision for the room?s layout will largely influence the size of the area rug you ultimately choose. Different floor plans call for different area rugs. If you have an open concept floor plan, a full-sized area rug is usually the best option ? it allows all furniture to be on the rug, which anchors the room and gives it definition.?

Area Rugs for Every Room

Living Room

Area rugs can be used to accent your space and make it appear bigger than it is. They are perfect for small spaces if you get the proportions correct. For smaller, closed layouts, you want to base the rug size on the interior dimensions of your seating area along with the furniture that you plan to have in the space. For instance, you may choose to have your area rug sit solely under a coffee table that serves as the centerpiece to your sitting area. This will fill negative space and give the illusion of openness in the room.

Dining Room

For dining room areas, we recommend sticking with an all legs on the rug approach. This means, the rug should extend 34? to 36? beyond all sides of the table, which will allow a safe amount of space for chairs whether they are pushed in or pulled out. When you?re measuring your table, remember to account for any removable leaves if you have them.


With bedrooms, your bed is the focal point of the room and should be the base for your rug placement as well. There are a few options here. You can go for the full coverage option where your entire bed is on the rug, but your other bedroom furniture is along walls and not on the carpet. You can choose to have runners along either side of the bed, or you can frame your bed which allows for 18? to 24? of room on the sides and at the foot of the bed. With this option, the head of the bed as well as any nightstands would not be on the rug. For a look that is symmetrical, typically an 8x10 rug is best for queen sized beds and 9x12 for king-sized beds.


You may not want to put rugs in your kitchen due to the possibilities of spills. However, incorporating a rug or two in your kitchen design is an effective way of adding character and color to the space. It can also make the room look more open. When deciding on accent rugs, start with choosing how much of the floor you want to cover. Runners are usually top choices for kitchens as they are ideal for narrow spaces, like between an island and nearby counters. Traditional runners come in 2.5 x 8 feet, 2.5 x 12, 23, 4x6 and 5x8. These options fit the majority of kitchen designs.

Rugs For?Hallways & Entry Ways

Runners are good options for hallways and entryways as it is best not to clutter narrow, heavily trafficked areas. The shape of the entry space will dictate the type of rug you use here. There are round and rectangular options. Use the width of your front door as a baseline for how wide the rug should be and don?t forget to check the height, so the door will adequately clear the rug when it?s opened.

Don?t Forget the Rug Pads!

When you?re buying area rugs for your home, it?s important to remember the padding. This will help keep your rug from sliding around. The best way to choose the right size pad is to leave 1? of rug overhanging on all sides of the pad. So ideally the rug pad will need to be 2? shorter and narrower than the rug itself. Rug pads can easily be cut to size, so if you can?t find one that measures perfectly, you can size up and trim it down to the dimensions you?re looking for.

Ask for Help!

Most people start shopping for rugs based on design and color. Only after choosing what is appeasing to the eye do they start to think about sizing and how the rug will enhance or compliment a room. This is where the experts at Kanter?s Carpet & Design Center come in. It can be a little overwhelming deciding which option will work best in your space ? even if you?ve read every tip there is out there.

With our knowledge and experience, we can help you choose the perfect area rug to achieve the desired effect. Whether you?re trying to define sections of space, or looking to make the room appear more open, we?ve got you covered. Contact us today to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members.