What’s the best material for an area rug?
For interior decorating, nothing is quite as important as the area rug. Through its magnificent appearance and tantalizing feel, an area rug can accomplish a great deal of design work that may otherwise be left undone. However, choosing the right kind of fabric for your new floor covering has become increasingly complicated over time; which colors go with what? What’s best: cotton or synthetic? All these questions and more challenge finding the right creation to complement your home and your lifestyle.
However, it may not come as a surprise to learn that there are two major types of material from which area rugs are generally created: natural fabrics and man-made fibers. While synthetic fibers tend to receive more disapproval than cotton because they lack charm or warmth, there are many benefits to using synthetic fibers.
For instance, these fabrics tend to be extremely durable and easy to clean; since they are less likely to stain or fade than materials like cotton, synthetic fibers allow you to keep your rugs for a longer period of time.
Additionally -and perhaps most importantly for those who care about the future of the planet – synthetics are more sustainable than their natural counterparts. Cotton is both an incredibly heavy user of water as well as is very chemically intensive in the processing stage.
Given that water shortages are likely to be one of the greatest problems facing society over the next couple of decades due to climate change, it makes sense not to focus on products thatthat require so much H2O to produce them. When it comes down to making sacrifices between looks and sustainability, my vote goes to the latter.
However, there are a few drawbacks to creating a synthetic fiber rug as well. Most importantly, they tend to be more expensive than cotton rugs even though both require the same number of resources to make them. As long as you prioritize your spending and buy an item that is well made and will last for years, then investing extra money into purchasing a synthetic area rug may be worth it for you.
In fact, many people argue that the only real downside to using these materials is that they do not hold up well against leaks or stains from pets; if this is going to be a problem in your home, you might want to consider buying a different rug altogether.
There are a variety of other factors which can go into choosing the right kind of floor covering for your particular house and lifestyle, but picking a material with which you will be comfortable is likely to carry more weight than anything else. If it feels good underfoot and looks great on top of that, then your area rug should serve you well for years to come.
Are cotton area rugs durable?
Although I mentioned I’m not a fan of the cotton rug as they tend to be more harmful on the planet than other choices, the true question is how long they last. Sure, other rugs are more sustainable,, but if you buy several of them instead of just one cotton rug, the maths starts to look a little less good.
The answer is that it really depends on how you take care of your area rug. A good way to see if the quality is there is to check for double-stitched edges and bound seams; these two features are very important as they make the cotton rugs 10x more durable than those without this additional stitching.
Do not vacuum any cotton rugs with a beater brush as they might fray at the ends; instead, use an upholstery attachment for best results. This really only applies if you have pets or young children who are prone to spilling things on the floor; otherwise, you should be okay using your regular vacuuming equipment.
Wool might not be as durable as cotton, but it cleans better, and it captures dirt and dust much better than synthetic fibers – which means less cleaning for you! So if you want something that is easy to maintain, all you have to do with a wool rug is shake it outside every once in a while and maybe vacuum it once or twice each year.
What is a good thickness for an area rug?
An area rug is meant to be walked on, so your rug should have a certain amount of thickness. If it’s not thick enough, you run the risk of developing permanent depressions in the floor where you usually step.
On the other end of the spectrum, walking over it will be difficult and not very comfortable if it’s too think. As a general rule, an area rug should be no less than 1/4 inch thick (6mm). For wall-to-wall carpeting, go with at least 3/8 inch (10 mm) but preferably 5/16 or ¼ inch (7mm – 8mm).
Your main goals are to keep your feet warm and soften any foot traffic. Choose a rug that has a similar thickness to your carpet for maximum comfort! Please note: The thickness of an area rug depends on many variables, so please do not use this as a definition. For example, you may have a plush carpet with a pile height of 3/4 inch, then using an area rug with a pile height of 1/2 inch will be just fine. Again, the key is to choose what works best for your needs and carpeting type.