Types of Rugs
Decorating your home can be an exciting and creative experience, allowing you to choose everything from furniture, wall décor, paint, and flooring. Coordinating the choices you make so that they look beautiful and fit your style is important to most people, but one area that needs careful consideration is the choice of rugs.
Rugs can be made from a wide variety of materials, some of which include:
Natural Rug Materials
- Wool (resilient, durable, resistant to fire, water, stains, dust mites)
- Cotton (durable, strong, but wears out sooner than wool)
- Sisal (anti-static, noise-proofing, fire resistant, long-wearing)
- Jute (stable, firm, course, susceptible to staining, often blended with synthetics)
- Bamboo (durable, long-wearing, lower price)
- Silk (shiny, luxurious, expensive, requires professional cleaning)
- Viscose (shiny, prone to matting unless blended, looks like silk)
Synthetic Rug Materials
- Rayon (manufactured from tree cellulose, not flame-retardant, similar to silk)
- Nylon (strong, resistant to dirt and stains, easy to clean, great for heavy traffic or under furniture)
- Acrylic (usually blended with other materials, looks like wool)
- Polypropylene (petro-based materials, strong, resistant to mildew, abrasion, soil, stains, lightweight, not the best for high traffic areas)
Not only do you need to choose rugs that will compliment your style, but you also need to take into consideration the material of the rugs, as many flooring materials are sensitive to, and even damaged by, various backings applied to rugs.
The backings that are applied to rugs are often chosen for particular qualities, such as anti-slip, water-resistance, and their ability to trap dirt and debris. So even if you find a rug that will look beautiful in your space, you need to be sure that the backing won’t cause damage to your flooring. Without a proper backing material, a rug may become damaged by mold, mildew and wear.
Choosing the proper backing will depend on the type of flooring you have in the room where you intend to lay the rug.
Types of Rug Backings:
No matter what the type of material the top of the rug is made of, the backing needs to be allowed to breathe, except in the case of rubber mats. Examples of the types of backings and their uses include:
- Rubber, foam and plastic trap moisture and tend to damage and discolor hardwood, cork, and other natural flooring materials
- Rubber is ideal for concrete and most industrial flooring, as it provides an anti-slip surface
- Vinyl non-slip backing is ideal for wood floors, does not damage and is breathable
- Latex is a bad choice for most area rugs, as it does not breathe and will damage most floors and even leave them stained yellow
Heat setting is an important quality to look for when choosing area rugs as the qualities infused into the backing help protect the floor, increase wear, and good aeration qualities.
Be sure that you choose your rug for two equally important properties – design and backing suitability for your flooring. Most people tend to only concern themselves with the design and beauty of the rug itself and are often disappointed when they discover the backing has caused permanent damage to their flooring. Do your homework and you’ll make a wise investment that will not only look, beautiful but will help protect your flooring.
Please remember the above is just a guide and you should seek professional advice.