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What to Consider before Buying a Rug Online or Instore

Buying Rugs Online or From Rug Shops

When you are considering Buying Rugs Online or from Rug Shops, chances are that you are feeling a little overwhelmed by all the choices. There are many styles, colours and ways that Rugs Are made these days, and as such we have created a few different pages to help you know what you're buying. (How to Plan Before Buying a Floor Rug) or (What Type of Floor Rug Should I Buy)

When shopping for area rugs, select items that harmonise with your existing decor, furniture and fittings. If you want to make your room appear more spacious, opt for lighter-coloured rugs. Darker items, in contrast, help make your rooms cosier. Area rugs are a quick and easy way to bring character to your rooms. These stylish and versatile items can brighten up any space with splashes of colour and help make any room more inviting and livable. If your area rugs cover only a part of a floor in a room, that means their prime purpose is decorative. Often, they exist to provide a focal point for the space. Of course, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be comfortable to walk and lie on as well. They can help warm up chill floors and create a mood of cosiness and intimacy.

The Benefits of Area Rugs

  • They offer a speedy and simple way to transform a room into a personalised space with character.
  • They offer an ideal way to cover up serious stains or other defects in your floors.
  • They help protect young children by providing soft spaces for them to sit and play on.
  • They can help define various functional spaces in your rooms.
  • They add warmth and insulation to any room so helping reduce energy costs.
  • They’re versatile as you can move them around as needed to change the look and feel of a space.

Types of Rug Fibers

Did you know that there is a significant difference between the types of fibers rugs are made from? There are both natural and synthetic materials available, and they vary a lot in performance, colours and the sizes available. I will briefly explain the difference between these material types before you buy or make any decisions.

Natural Fiber Rugs

Natural fibers refers to a natural material, usually coming from plants or animals. Some common examples include cow hides, wool, hemp, sea-grass, bamboo, sisal/jute as pictured below, and art silk (viscose or rayon), to name a few.

 Scattermats Natural Fiber Round Sisal Jute Rugs Perth - Sisal/Jute Natural Fiber Round Floor Rug

Wool Rugs

Wool rugs are more expensive than their synthetic counter-parts but will last much longer and perform better apart from some minor moulting of the fibers. Wool is a lot warmer and has a quality classification that dictates the quality of each rug. The T3 classification is the cheapest woolen machine woven rug. T4 is better and T6 is the highest quality produced. There are also a lot of hand tufted woolen rugs on the market today which are generally thicker than the machine woven’s and are mostly modern type designs. One advantage of Wool Rugs is that they won't burn easily. Wool is considered the oldest natural fiber and has been used for centuries to make quality, long lasting rugs. Most Persian and Oriental rugs are made exclusively of wool.

Jute/ Hemp Rugs

Jute/Hemp rugs are Anti-static, durable, environmentally friendly,  tone in with many decors and are generally suitable for high traffic areas like hallways, entries and family rooms. In regards to cleaning however, you must be careful with spills as some of these rugs are not very easy to spot-clean. The use of Scattermats Rug Guard may be a good idea for peace of mind for these (Hand Spun Jute Rugs and Mats), as it will add some protection against such spills.

Silk Rugs

Silk of course is not as durable as other materials mentioned above and is best used in low traffic areas such as formal living rooms. They can also make excellent wall hangings. If you or a family member has allergies or chemical sensitivities, you may want to choose a natural fiber rug as opposed to synthetic fibers, as they are commonly made without synthetic dyes or chemicals. Natural area rugs are a good choice for those wanting an eco-friendly and greener lifestyle.

Synthetic Fiber Rugs

Area Rugs that use synthetic fibers do not come from plants or animals, and are instead man-made. These manufactured fibers usually use the following materials; nylon, polypropylene, acrylic and polyester. These fibers are strong and have a certain amount of water resistance, so they are made to last longer than some of their natural fiber counterparts. They can also be stain and fade resistant, depending on how they were made. They can generally have a bit more wear resistance, but only if they are of a good density. Ideally a rug around 800,000 - 1 million points of fibre per square meter or more would be considered to have good wear. See Scattermats guide to rug quality and density for more information on density.

Each type has its pros and cons; each comes in a vast array of sizes, colours and styles, so you are sure to find one that fits your own personal taste and your home's decor.

Don’t choose on cost alone, as usually you get what you pay for. A rug that is low in quality is not going to last you as long. You may pay less up front, but you’ll pay more when you have to buy another one in a relatively short period of time. Keep in mind what the rug will be used for and how much traffic it will be getting. In other words, don’t choose a cheap silk rug for your entry way or your family room. It’s a good idea to think of both the traffic areas where it must fit  and the type of fiber you would like to choose.

Standard Polypropylene Fiber Rugs

The cheapest quality synthetic rugs are the standard polypropylene rugs known as BCF, meaning continuous fibre. These are a good budget rug for a limited time, as the fibre tends to flatten easily, but are hard to vacuum and maintain. However, if used for wall hangings where no foot traffic is involved (for example Animal Skin and Picture Rugs) then they can last forever.

Heat-Set Polypropylene Fiber Rugs 

Heat-set polypropylene rugs compose of yarn that has been processed, had the oils removed and then has been set in place full of colour/design. Some are set twisted and then treated to stay twisted; this acts like a shock absorber to prevent it from flattening. Heat Set fibres are easy to vacuum as they are anti-static, so fluff and animal hairs don't adhere to them. There are many qualities of Heat-Set Polypropylene Rugs in the market, and the quality depends on the density of the weave and the thickness of the yarn. 

Fine Heat-Set Polypropylene Fiber Rugs | Scattermats Floor Rugs Online AU - Here is a picture of a Persian fine heat set polypropylene plush pile rug.

Generally, the thicker the yarn the lesser the quality. The finer the yarn is twisted and set, the more points or shots are required to cover the surface of the rug, therefore the rug has more density and is more stable, lasting longer. We do specify the densities of our rugs in our descriptions of our products, so as to help you find a quality that is right for you.

Polyester Fiber Rugs

Polyester fiber produces some of the most beautiful colourations available. It is extremely fade resistant and provides excellent resistance to stains. However, it does have poor resilient properties and thus is susceptible to crushing. Polyester is usually combined with other fibers during rug construction, providing the best of both characteristics. Due to this, generally try to avoid high pile heights with low-density construction, although many of the latest technology polyester fibers have come a long way in methods of improving durability. Also look for high twist levels rather than "blown" yarns. Loose twists (blown yarn) tend to untwist and the yarn tips tend to fuse together creating a matted appearance. Most consumers like to dig their fingers into the pile, and if it provides a luxurious feel they believe this is excellent quality. This is referred to as "perceived" quality. True quality exists when it is difficult to insert your fingers into the pile. This is a true test for all rug constructions

Acrylic Fiber Rugs

Acrylic rugs can also be of high quality, though they have a tendency to shed, and are available as modern rugs, Persian rugs, shaggy rugs and kids rugs designs. The acrylic yarn doesn't have the sheen that the polypropylene rugs produce. Acrylic rugs feel and look like wool but don't wear as well and are generally cheaper. But beware of some acrylic shaggy rugs as they can shed or molt. You can rub your fingers back and forth quickly through the pile to test for this. 

What Size Floor Rug do I Buy?

Floor Rugs

Floor Rugs come in many shapes and sizes, here are some things to consider when looking at buying a floor area rug. Floor rugs are available in many sizes, starting from a small entrance mat to the largest to suit an activity room or large family room. They are available in runners, fixed lengths or continuous rolls, round, oval, oblong and even square. Certain ranges may be available in all sizes and shapes while others limited to 1 or 2 sizes. The smallest floor area rug size is a 110 x 160cm which is suitable for near the sofa, under a coffee table or a small lounge room.

Hallway Runners

Hallway Runners are manufactured at finished lengths or continuous rolls. The finished or set lengths vary generally from 67cm-80cm wide and 230cm, 300cm, 330cm, 400cm and a few 500cm long. Continuous runner rugs by the meter come on a roll of up to 30 metres long and have a width from 67cm up to 80cm, with some 1meter wide. These carpet hall runners available on the roll can be cut to any length, overlocked or fringed and are available in many designs and colours, as well as available in rubber backed or woven. Some can also be matched with room size rugs, also see how to order hall runner step by step guide.

Calculating the Size of a Area Rug Needed  

The size of a floor rug for a specific area is a very important factor to keep in mind when shopping for rugs. It helps distinguish boundaries and allows designation of certain areas of your home for certain functions; for example, a dining room boundary can be easily defined by the size of the floor rug which is normally about 60cm/2ft larger than the table all the way around.This allows the chairs to remain on the rug when pulled back.

Not sure what size your floor area rug should be? Use this formula:

Function+ Space + preference = size you need!

The breakdown of the formula.

Function – is the purpose in what we need the rug to do in the room, such as add warmth, aesthetics, protect carpet/ wood floor etc.

Space - is the size of the room where the rug is to be used.

Preference – is the individual taste and personal style/design.

Let’s say for example you are looking for sisal rugs to put in your living area. Depending on the function in which the rug will serve (for example, keeping your feet warm), the first thing you need to do is measure your entire space in that room and decide how much of the floor space that needs to be covered. Choosing the quality of the rug becomes easier when you have worked out what properties you need the rug to be, whether it needs to be a Practical Rug for high traffic areas, or soft for the kids to lay on when watching TV, this will help when making your decision. Finally, the design and style of the floor rug according to your preference. Now the variety of rugs to choose from should be narrowed down, making it easier to buy the right floor rug for you.

Floor Rug Sizes

Floor Rugs come in a few different sizes. Here are the most common sizes (may vary slightly from manufacturer) and where they are used but not restricted to:

50x80cm (1ft8 x 2ft8) – They are usually called Scatter-mats and commonly used in bathrooms, kitchens and as door mats.

80x150cm (2ft 8 x 5ft)Larger than the scatter-mat and commonly used in larger entrances or kitchens, these are some mats we recommend (Evalast Mats).

120x170cm (4ft x 5ft 7) – Used in wide entrances and under small coffee tables or under computer chairs.

160x230cm (5ft 3 x 7ft 7) – The most popular size, used for family areas. This size is ideal to suit the setting of the family room with the seating around the rug; the rug can go right up to the couch but still show lots of floor. You will also find the greatest selection of designs and colours in this size.

190x290cm (6ft 3 x 9ft 8) – Very similar to size above just slightly larger and used in larger living rooms and under dining tables.

240x330cm (7ft 11 x 10ft 10) – This isn’t as common, however there is a limited amount around and styles and colours are few to choose from. This size is ideal for dining rooms and theatre rooms that are larger than normal living rooms.

300x400cm (10 x 13ft 2) – Very uncommon size and many don’t stock them due to price and space required to display such a big rug. These can be ordered in as per customer orders. It is used under dining table which allows the chairs to remain on the rug when pulled back, also used in living rooms and theatre rooms.

Round Rugs

 Round Rugs Are Also Available but Very Limited In The Following Sizes:

Round rugs sizes are generally, 60x60cm (2ft), 90x90cm (3ft), 120x120cm (3ft11),160x160 (5ft3), 200x200 (6ft7) and 240x240 (7ft 11). Rectangular rugs can be cut down into circles if requested.

Square Shape Rugs

Square rugs are even more limited sizes include;

200x200 (6ft 7), 240x240 (7ft 11), 340x340cm (11ft 2). Again, it's quite common to cut rectangular rugs into squares at customer’s request.

Another Perspective with Colour Choices of Floor Rugs can be found below

Colour Choices of Floor Rugs

People tend to overestimate their sensory perception of colours, when indeed matching colours aren't exactly alluring in a visual sense. Colours seem to blend creating a blend taste of style. Whereas the option of a striking or different colour rug gives a new take on the old, providing colour contrast and depth in the visual spectra. A fine example would be a room with furniture and curtains of a similar or like colour body, in which adding a Modern Rug of similar colour to the picture not only dulls the look but provides no contrast to the existing furniture. A colour contrasted rug would give a breath of new air technically, adding life to the existing palette of the room Audacious you might think but what's life without zest. 

Sometimes we are presented with a situation where let's say, we got a blue themed lounge with an earthen flooring. Adding a burgundy rug or one with a splash of blue coupled with burgundy cushions, provides a subtle contrast, while still maintaining the feel of the lounge. It adds character while not colliding with the present theme. This is a good example where picking the right colour not only creates a new dimension but still allows older themes to resonate with equal avocation. 

Rooms with dark overtones tend to be claustrophobic in nature. Adding a lighter coloured rug, picks up reflected light, livening up the room and adding space to it. It is a good example where, colour plays a simple but important role in re-vamping the entire look of a room, whilst still zest to appeal. These examples reflect how simple colour changes or additions could create a whole new atmosphere. 

Most people love the idea of a warm- coloured setting, to give a cosy and almost dug-out type look. In these cases, darker colours do the job perfectly. Chiefly colours like chocolate brown, burgundy excel in adding the touch of warmth. Ideally great for those cold winter days. You might ask what of lighter colours? Well that's as blue as it can be. They are great in creating a lively fresh jive look. Blue, greens, beige run adjacent to the darker colours bringing an opposite but equally great look to the environment. You could say, having darker coloured Traditional Design Rug for winter and lighter ones for summer are as peachy as ideas could come. Counter-arguments about finding the right colours would ensue but be assured there is definitely a colour that works with your furniture and home. Looking is the hardest part but be patient as every blend of colour creates a completely different look from another. It would be appropriate to say that being colour-wise is half the job done in acquiring a rug and probably the hardest part at that. Colours are as endless as combinations, creating a wide array of possibilities. 

The key point here is adhering to the existing backdrop but still adding a tint of freshness that might be missing. Be creative not planar. So. let colour guide the way to home - same old brand new.


Author: "Neville Barnes"