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All About Area Rugs

When your room needs some pizzazz, adding an area rug will do the trick. To help you put your best foot forward when choosing rugs for your home, let's go over a few rug basics. From rug construction and proper placement to decorating tips and other details, we've got you covered.

Area rugs add comfort and richness from room to room. They lend a soft warmth underfoot, help define spaces, and create an inviting atmosphere throughout your home. With their wide array of patterns, textures, colors, and shapes, area rugs are an easy way to add visual interest in your bedroom, entryway, bathrooms, living room, and other spaces. Whether your home has carpet, tile, hardwood, vinyl, laminate, or linoleum, rugs are a wonderful way to dress up your floors by adding a splash of color and personality.

Use area rugs to help define each space within your home. When placed in a dining room, for example, a large rug beneath the dining table pulls the whole seating arrangement together for a unified, intimate, and inviting atmosphere. Look for a rug that's large enough for your dining chairs to stay on, even when they're pushed back from the table. For other areas of your home, consider adding smaller accent rugs to infuse pops of color and texture here and there. They may be smaller, but they can make a big impact. Available in lots of designs and colors, accent rugs are perfect for your entryway, bathrooms, or in front of the fireplace.

It's helpful to understand a few basics about rug construction. Area rugs can be divided into two categories: handmade and machine-made. Also called power-loomed rugs, machine-made rugs are woven on power looms - which are operated by hand or machine - using wool, nylon, polypropylene, olefin, or other materials in various pile heights, densities, and finishes. These mass-produced rugs are durable, functional, and affordable, though they're generally considered lesser quality than their handmade counterparts.

Like their name implies, handmade rugs are woven or knotted by hand. They come in several different types, including hand-hooked, hand-knotted, and hand-tufted. Hand-tufted rugs are created with a tool called a tufting gun to punch strands of wool through a backing, which is imprinted with the overall rug design. Hand-hooked rugs resemble the look of needlepoint or embroidery. Rug makers create them with a special tool used to punch through the canvas, and then latex backing secures the fibers in place. To make hand-knotted rugs, artisans meticulously tie thousands of individual knots to create the design of the rug. These rugs are prized for their fine quality and craftsmanship.

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