How to Choose an
Area Rug

Rugs are a big part of any interior intentions and can even dictate your entire design scheme! But how do you begin choosing the perfect one? We’ve got a few helpful tips to set you off in the right direction—and of course, our designers and 3D Room Planner technology are always great go-tos for guidance.

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How should an area rug be placed?

Choosing a rug begins with imagining how you’ll arrange your furniture relative to your new rug. Once you’ve planned your room’s layout, you’ll be ready to narrow down your rug-buying options.

Living Room


Dining Room


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What size and color should I choose?

Now that you’ve planned your layout to include your new rug, it’s time to get down to the particulars.


Find your rug size

Lay painter’s tape on your floor to outline the size of the rug you think you will need. Once your painter’s tape is in place, measure the length and width. Most standard rug sizes (6' x 9', 8' x 10', 9' x 12') come in a variety of designs and materials. It’s often easiest to choose the standard size that’s closest to your ideal size. Custom rugs sizes are also an option; they’re available in Ethan Allen Design Centers.

Keep in mind: Rugs will appear larger on display in the Design Center than they will in your home. Defer to your measurement rather than eyeballing it.

rug in living room

Pick patterns & colors

Now for the most exciting (and challenging) part! Starting with a blank slate? Replacing a rug? What colors do you love? What patterns speak to your heart? Now’s a great opportunity to refresh your whole style—who knew just one new rug could do that!

a variety of rug patterns

Consider materials

Your need for durability, pet-friendliness, design and color—or all—will determine the best material for your rug. Will your rug reside in a rarely used room reserved for holidays, or in a high-traffic hallway?

child playing on rug
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What about a rug pad?

Rug pads keep your rugs safely in place, prevent bunching (and slips and falls!), and protect your flooring from scratches and dents. They also prolong the life of your rug by keeping it from coming into contact with the floor; the rug pad's density preserves the pile of your rug by helping it spring back more easily. Here are three options that we offer:

luxury rug pad
Luxury Rug Pad

Can be used on any surface, including hard floors and wall‑to‑wall carpet

Extra thick for those who like a cushioned feel underfoot

suprema rug pad
Suprema Rug Pad

Can be used on any surface, including hard floors and wall‑to‑wall carpet

Best under thin or flatweave rugs; also great beneath dining tables

extreme rug pad
Extreme Rug Pad

Best for hard surfaces; because of its cushioning, we don't recommend it for wall‑to‑wall carpet

Adds exceptional softness and cushion beneath the rug

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How do I care for my rug?

Wine spillage, or just a normal fuzzy or two—every rug needs a little bit of love. Below are general tips for caring for rugs, but always refer to your rug’s specific care instructions, and remember that having the “just in case” coverage of our Protection Plan is very helpful!

Rotate rug every three months for even wear.

Vacuum regularly in one direction (not back and forth); no beater bar.

Professional rug cleaning is recommended for deeper, larger stains.

Use one of our rug pads to help keep your rug safely in place, to extend its beauty, and to protect your floor.

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