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How to Choose a Rug to Match Your Flooring

2016-08-BlogGraphicsSelecting a rug is tricky; pick the right one and your room is perfectly finished, but pick the wrong one and your designs feel awkward and uncoordinated. But don’t stress. As flooring experts, we’ve mastered the art of choosing the perfect rug. And lucky for you, we’re sharing our list of criteria to help you narrow down your selection.

Follow along as we cover the features in our perfect rug criteria, including:
  • Hues
  • Texture
  • Location


A rug typically reads as one of the largest pieces of furniture in a room which is why color is the first—and maybe most important—aspect of selecting a rug. The color of your rug will be the first thing you notice while walking into your room, so it’s important to select a hue you feel confident in.

If you’re interested in a patterned rug with multiple hues throughout, we recommend choosing the rug first, then adding in the rest of your furniture and design elements later. This will make it easier to coordinate the entire room. On the other hand, if you’ve already decorated your room or if the room has a lot going on, it may be best to stick to a classic, neutral-colored rug.

When choosing the color of your rug, another element to consider is how it will look layered against your hardwood, tile, or carpet. When it comes to this aspect we suggest a few different variations, depending on what type of flooring your home has.

To coordinate your rug to your flooring we recommend either:
  • Matching your flooring
  • Contrasting your flooring

Matching your flooring

When matching the color of your rug to your flooring, we recommend sticking to neutral colors. A neutral colored rug will blend into your flooring and ensure that your other design elements steal the show. The focal point of the room will no longer be on the floor, but rather on your unique designs like your stone fireplace or marble-slab countertop.

Contrasting your flooring

On the other hand, using your rug to contrast your flooring brings the focus of the room downward, allowing your hardwood, tile, or carpet to take center stage. This is a great tactic if you’re looking to potentially distract from design elements in the room you don’t enjoy as much like small windows or popcorn textured ceilings.


Texture is another important criteria for selecting a rug for your space. It’s oftentimes an overlooked feature but really shouldn’t be, because, when implemented correctly, it makes a big statement.

When it comes time to choose an appropriate texture for your rug, you’re left with a lot of different options, including:
  • Level loop pile
  • Cut pile
  • Saxony
  • Frieze
  • Cut loop
  • Berber
  • Shag
But the right texture for you depends on the look and feel of the rest your room as we recommend aiming for contrast. For example, if your existing décor embodies a sleek ambiance, featuring a modern leather sofa, we recommend placing an over-the-top shag rug in that area. On the contrary, if your designs already include multiple textures like a velvet couch or fluffy pillows, it may be best to stick to a rug that features a low-level texture such as low-cut pile.


Location. Location. Location. You’re probably familiar with the significance of this phrase. For a variety of home elements, location matters—and your rug is no exception. Whether you choose to place it in your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, or hallway, there are several location characteristics you should consider.

Before selecting your rug, we recommend thinking through the following aspects:
  • Purpose
  • Size
  • Layout


The purpose of your room is an important element to consider before selecting a rug. Understanding your room’s purpose helps you define how your guests interact with the area on a daily basis, which ultimately helps you balance the aesthetics with the rug’s functionality.

To understand the purpose of your room, you should ask yourself the following questions:
  • Will your guests need to sit on the floor at any time?
  • Will children be within the area?
  • Is this going to be a high-traffic location?
  • Will food ever be eaten in the room?
  • Is there a likelihood of dirt collecting there?
If you answered yes to the majority of those questions, it may be best to stick to a low-maintenance rug. At Imperial Wholesale, we consider a low-maintenance rug to have low texture and colorful patterns so that it’s durable, resistant, and easy to hide messy stains with patterns.


The size of your rug should mirror the size of your room. A small rug in the corner of a large room won’t serve any purpose—your guests won’t even notice it. So when it comes to choosing the size, we suggest to err on the bigger side in order to make a statement.

Wayfair shares a similar opinion on this topic. They’ve even developed the following sizing guidelines to ensure that your rug makes an impact:
  • A room size of 4’ x 6’ to 5’ x 7’ works with 3’ x 5’ rug.
  • A room size of 6’ x 9’ to 7’ x 10’ works with 5’ x 8’ rug.
  • A room size of 9’ x 11’ to 10’ x 12’ works with 8’ x 10’ rug.
  • A room size of 10’ x 13’ to 11’ x 14’ works with 9’ x 12’ rug.
  • A room size of 11’ x 16’ to 12’ x 17’ works with 12’ x 14’ rug.


Finally comes the last element within our rug criteria—the layout. When it comes time to place your rug within your room, there are a lot of design questions that typically come to mind. Do you place all your furniture on top of the rug? What about just the front legs of your sofa? How many rugs in one room is acceptable? And do you even think about layering multiple rugs?

In fact, there are so many design questions about the layout of rugs, Houzz answered all of them with 11 layout guidelines, including:
  1. Front legs on the rug, back legs off
  2. Some front legs on
  3. All legs on the rug
  4. No legs on the rug
  5. 18 inches of bare floor around the rug
  6. Just a few inches of floor around the rug
  7. Extend the rug 12–18 inches around a bed
  8. Extend the rug 24 inches around a table
  9. Cover the walking area
  10. Combine rugs
  11. Bend the rules
Any one of these guidelines will ensure a cohesive flow in your room. We suggest picking the one that speaks to you most.

Still not sure what rug works for you?

If you’re still not certain what rug works for you, take our quiz to narrow down your selection or simply give us a call. We’re here to answer any and all of your home design questions.