Rug Buying Tips and Recommendations


Rugs are available in all sizes starting from a small entrance mat to the largest, that can suit an activity room or large family room. They are available in runners, fixed lengths or continuous, round, oval, oblong and even square. Certain ranges may be available in all sizes and shapes while others are limited to 1 or 2 sizes.

The smallest rug size is a 120 x 170cm which is suitable for near the sofa, under a coffee table or a small lounge room.

The most popular size, used for the family area is a 160 x 230cm and this may vary slightly. This size is ideal to suit the setting of the family room with the seating around the rug. You will also find the greatest selection of designs and colors in this size.

For the dining room a suitable size is a 2m x 2.9m rug. The dining suite would seat 6 to 8 people. It allows the chairs to still be on the rug as they are dragged outwards to sit on. Of course it can also be used for the larger family rooms.

A full room size rug would be 240cm x 340cm. This is used for the larger family room, activity room or under an extended dining table. On some occasions a 3m x 4m might be available, but are limited to the more traditional colors and designs.


Runners are manufactured at finished lengths or continuous. The finished lengths are generally 67cm-80cm x 300cm. Continuous runners come on a roll of up to 30 meters long and have a width of 67cm up to 80cm. The runners available on the roll can be cut to any length, overlocked or fringed and are available in many designs and colors. They are also available as rubber backed or the woven. Some can also be matched with room size rugs.


The quality of the rugs will depend on the type of fiber used on the pile, and the process of construction.

Machine made rugs are made of wool and synthetics or as a combination of the two fibers. There are of course other natural fibers used like cotton, silk and jute, but are not as popular.

Synthetic fibers have come a long way in the recent years. At present most machine made rugs are made of Polypropylene, Acrylic and mixtures of man made fibers. The cheapest qualities are polypropylene rugs known as BCF, meaning continuous fiber, which are really good for a shorter time frame due to the depleting nature of the fiber which tends to flatten easily. Vacuuming and maintenance is also generally harder.

Heat Set Polypropylene Rugs-

Polypropylene rugs in a Heat Set Fiber means that the yarn is twisted and then treated with heat to stay twisted, acting like a shock absorber to prevent flattening. Heat Set fibers are easy to vacuum as they are anti static, meaning fluff and animal hairs do not adhere to them.

There are many qualities of Heat Set Polypropylene rugs in the market and the quality depends on the density of the weave and the thickness of the yarn. Generally, the thicker the yarn the less the quality. The finer the yarn is twisted and set, the more points or shots are required to cover the surface of the rug and there before the rug has more density and is more stable, making it longer lying.

Acrylic Rugs-

Acrylic rugs can also be of high quality. The acrylic yarn does not have the sheen that the polypropylene rugs produce. Acrylic rugs feel and look like wool but do not wear as well and are generally cheaper.

Woolen Rugs-

Woolen rugs are a lot warmer and have quality classification that dictates the quality. The T3 classification is the cheapest woolen machine woven rug. T4 is better and T6 is the highest quality produced. There are also a lot of hand tufted woolen rugs on the market today which are generally thicker than the machine wovens, and are mostly modern type designs. One advantage of woolen rugs is that they will not burn easily.

Hand Tufted Rugs-

Hand tufted rugs from India and China are easily recognizable and reliably inexpensively. Generally they use wool or acrylic fibers in this category, although now that shaggy rugs are back in fashion polypropylene and polyester are being introduced. You will always be able to distinguish the hand tufted by looking at the back of the rug where a plain color cloth covers the glue that keeps the yarn stuck on the base. Majority of these are heat sets but there are some cheaper brands available. If possible ask or feel the fiber and if it feels slightly sticky then it will have anti static problems.

Machine Made Flatweave Rugs-

Flatweave rugs are made with the fiber running horizontally rather than vertically and this has many advantages. Cleaning spills really easy and they do not have static problems, plus they are very hard wearing as there is no pile to flatten. The only disadvantages is that they are not soft to sit on and lack the plush look.

Shaggy Rugs-

Shaggy rugs are currently in fashion and the advantages of these is that they wear well and are great for sitting on and do not show fluff or dirt. The only disadvantage is that ever they will need to be hung up over something and hit to remove the debris / dirt.

Hand Knotted Rugs-

The back of the hand knotted rug reveals the design that is on the front. They are basic in design and are available in soft earthy tones.

Special requirement areas-

If you are searching for a rug for sound problems (echoing) I would recommend any thick type rug as they will absorb sound extremely well.

For a dining room table or games room a flatweave is a really cheap practical option, but remember they do not look plush.

If u want a mat / rug for near an open fire place, wool is the best option.