Rug placement describes the actual positioning of a flooring textile within any room. Of all the letters I receive, questions about how and where to position rugs always rank in the top 10. Therefore, I have decided to write a dedicated article on the topic to assist my beloved readers.
Placement of rugs can be challenging to inexperienced decorators and home stagers, with many common mistakes being made. Furthermore, incorrect placement of rugs can actually be a liability, as they might create trip-and-fall hazards throughout the home. However, rugs can be great additions to any room, so it is worth learning how to overcome these challenges in order to provide maximum impact to any design plan.
The scope of this tutorial is to provide guidance on the aesthetic and safe positioning of rugs on any flooring surface of the home. I will cover common applications for rugs and advise of the best practices within the home staging sector.
Rug Placement Guidelines for Aesthetics
Rugs can add charm, color and texture to any interior space. They can balance the design of any room and provide noise control and creature comforts that are unrivaled. The following represent some best practices when placing rugs for optimal aesthetic appeal:
Rugs should not be placed on other carpeted surfaces in virtually every case. In select circumstances, this practice might be acceptable, but usually is a terrible solution to flooring issues and causes suspicion to potential buyers immediately upon observation.
When placed under a seating group, such as a couch and loveseat, a rug should be placed under the front legs of all furniture items to connect the area aesthetically. It is optional to have the entire furniture items sitting on the rug, with all legs on the rug surface. Floating a rug that is too small in between seating furniture, such as under a coffee table, usually speaks loudly of inexperience and poor design sense.
Rugs in foyers should be able to handle lots of traffic and must be secured carefully with rug pads in order to prevent immediate tripping hazards upon entry. Do not forget that prospective buyers might enter the home without good visibility, as their eyes adjust to new lighting conditions, and will be unfamiliar with the terrain. Do not place anything under foot that might injure a possible buyer or their real estate agent.
Bathroom rugs are great outside of the shower and in front of the sink. Never place a rug on the toilet seat or in front of the toilet. These are unsanitary and utterly disgusting applications that are discouraged.
Runners in hallways, and especially on stairs, must be well adhered to the flooring with pads or rug tape. Never allow runners to remain if they move about, slide or have edges that turn upwards and might create a tripping danger.
Rugs in the kitchen are usually not advised, although an anti-fatigue mat is a nice touch.
It is absolutely crucial to be sure that each and every rug used in the design will remain in place and not move, despite a variety of conditions, including multiple people walking on it, being wet or having children playing on it.
Rugs should be very carefully analyzed for placement and should be avoided in many potentially hazardous areas, such as on stairs, at the tops or bottom of stairs, on slippery surfaces, on uneven surfaces, near level changes in the floorplan and on some types of front porch or front steps.
There are many products that can secure rugs to any surface, including various pads, tapes, friction materials and other containment devices. Be sure to utilize the best product for each location. Never scrimp to save a few dollars on rug accessories and expose yourself to the potential for serious civil litigation due to injury that could easily have been avoided.
Rug Placement Tricks
Here are some of my favorite tricks for beautifully and safely placing rugs in any environment:
Rugs can be purchased from many overlooked sources for deep discounts. Be sure to check closeouts, clearance sections and sales at major home stores. Walmart and Amazon have ridiculously huge selections of rugs to suit every possible need, often at truly bargain basement process.
Rugs can be used to camouflage certain flooring concerns, as long as the use will not be suspicious. I have utilized rugs to hide nail marks, uneven floor board placement and even stains on wood flooring, as well as tile or slab issues in other types of nonporous flooring. These cases must be considered on an individual basis, since no one wants to dishonestly portray a home, but we all know that some properties are sold “as is” and could require all the help that they can get.
Rugs can be used to create focal points in rooms or to anchor vignettes of any size or purpose. Rugs are fantastic visual connectors and can be just as impactful as art or furniture in any space.
Rugs can effectively be used to silence squeaky floors, especially in multi-floor dwellings where people walking above can easily be heard by others below. Likewise, rugs can help absorb noise in any space, helping to create a calming and tranquil environment for potential buyers to enjoy.
Finally, I always advise considering using patterned rugs as artistic wall hangings. These can make perfect large art installations, can minimize through-the-wall noise in apartments and can be incredibly budget-friendly.