A Guide to Positioning Your Rug
Updated: Sep 6
A rug is an important accessory to any room. It brings warmth and personality to a room and createsa specific feeling for specific areas.
Rugs have to ‘embrace’ the space. A small rug in the center of a large living room would look uncoordinated and out of place, while a big one embracing all your furniture will create an inviting area.
If you are positioning a rug under your dining table, make sure to center the rug with the table. The chairs should be inside the rug area (making sure they are easy to pull/push when you are using it.)
The same principle applies to couches, if your couch is touching the wall on the back, you can place your rug under the couch, making sure the edges are equal on both sides.
Furniture has to be placed on top of the rug, not outside of the rug area to avoid scratches that can permanently damage your floors.
As for bedrooms, it is common to have a portion of the rug coming from under the bed which is fine. You can also place two smaller rugs on both sides of the bed.
Once you have proper placement secured, you next have to focus on the direction your rug is laying.
There are different ways to lay an area rug, but you must figure out how the nap should run. First, we need to understand the difference between pile and nap as used in this article. In short, 'pile' refers to the visible tufts of yarn on a rugs surface. Consider the 'pile' the face of the rug. “Nap” refers to the direction that the pile leans. SEE OUR VIDEO ON PILE DIRECTION
One aspect of pile rugs that often gets overlooked but has a big impact on their appearance is the direction of the nap. When you run your hand back and forth across the surface of a rug you’ll notice that in one direction the rug feels smooth, while in the other direction it feels rough. This is because the pile of a rug doesn’t stand straight up but slants toward one end of the rug. This slant has a noticeable impact on the colors of a rug because of how the pile reflects light. See for yourself. Stand at one end of a rug and look in the smooth direction, the colors will appear lighter, now if you look from the opposite direction, the colors will appear darker.
Depending on the colors of your rug the lighting in your room and other factors you may have a preference for which way your rug pile is facing in your room. When a rug is new, the pile usually all slants in the same direction giving the pile and colors a uniform and even look. Best practice for laying a rug is with the side that looks lightest facing you as you walk into the room. If you stand at the threshold of the room where you would most often enter, bend down and rub your hand across the nap away from you. If this motion lays the nap down and makes the rug look lighter than when you rub your hand over the nap toward you, then this is the proper direction that the rug should be placed.
Placing a rug in the room this way will ensure that your carpet is running in the direction of foot traffic which will make a difference in how they wear over time. However, this is not to say that rotating a rug is not also recommended over time.
A NOTE ON CARING FOR YOUR RUG
Care for your rug should include vacuuming your rugs regularly to remove as much loose soil as possible. See our video on how to properly vacuum and area rug. Also, rotating your rug 180 degrees periodically so that foot traffic is being spread more evenly across the entire rug rather than wearing the same few places. Finally, getting your rug professionally cleaned regularly will help by removing as much soils as possible and grooming the pile. A proper area rug or Oriental rug cleaning should include dusting and final grooming after it is washed. See our wash process video.