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Understanding The Differences Between Area Rugs & Carpets

By Abbie Osborne-Wilson

Carpets and area rugs are two most well sought home decorations, but do you really know the difference between these two? Read on to find out.

Area rugs and carpets differ primarily in size. The former can be small or large pieces but still considerably slighter than carpets. Carpets cover the entire floor, that’s why there is the term “wall-to-wall carpeting.” Area rugs on the other hand, only cover a certain space. Area rugs are not secured firmly on the floor while carpets are held in place with carpet nails. You can break dance on a carpet all you want and it won’t budge a bit. Let us weigh some more differences between these two floor coverings.

If you are looking for a floor covering with more choices and varieties, then an area rug is what you are looking for. Area rugs come in several different sizes, thousands of different color, texture, design, and pattern combinations, and different levels of thickness. Area rugs are easy to transport from room to room in the event that you decide to change your decor. They are also simple enough to clean- just send them out to a specialized cleaning service.

You might be surprised to know that there are more expensive area rugs than carpets despite their difference in size. Looking at authentic Persian and Oriental rugs and you might as well be paying for several carpets. Why the higher price? Rugs have more benefits in functionality and aesthetics. The choices are more diverse and their usage wider than those of carpets. The artistic factor is also more evident in rugs.

Texture – area rugs differ in texture as they differ in materials. Cotton and wool fabrics are softer. Carpets’ too vary. Some are more luxurious than others are while some may have fine textile but can be a bit coarse to the touch. We know however, that we can step barefoot on both coverings and our feet will be cushioned well enough.

Practicality – bigger and more elaborate area rugs are as meticulous to clean as carpets. But carpets can also be vacuumed and brushed just like with area rugs. Both will benefit much from a professional cleaning service. The disadvantage of cleaning carpets is that it’s only in the surface, unless you pull them off in order to clean the floor underneath them. The weight is not as lift-friendly as area rugs. Cleaning time can also be longer than their smaller counterparts. Meanwhile, area rugs, especially the thinner and smaller ones can be easily thrown in the laundry and dries just as quickly. Some don’t even require washing, just a good dose of old-fashioned shaking and thumping to beat off the dust. Area rugs are also lighter to roll and carry, as well as very easy to change for an instant room makeover. Carpets require more work in removing and installing. However, carpets are safer in a way because they are securely fastened on the floor no matter how much you move or how waxed the floor is. Area rugs, without a safeguard pad can be hazardous, especially for kids playing around as they can cause slipping accidents.

Now that you know the pros and cons of area rugs and carpet, you can make an educated decision about which one will fit your home and your lifestyle.

This Interior Design article was brought to you by Abigail Foster from – your online floor rug shop for flokati area rugs.

categories: area rugs,rugs,flooring,floors,home decor,home decorating,interior design

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Osborne-Wilson, Abbie "Understanding The Differences Between Area Rugs & Carpets." Understanding The Differences Between Area Rugs & Carpets. 26 Mar. 2009. 7 Dec 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Osborne-Wilson, A (2009, March 26). Understanding The Differences Between Area Rugs & Carpets. Retrieved December 7, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Osborne-Wilson, Abbie "Understanding The Differences Between Area Rugs & Carpets"

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