Should I get an Area Rug or Wall to Wall Carpeting?

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  • Written By: S. Mithra
  • Edited By: Lindsay D.
  • Last Modified Date: 28 February 2020
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Choosing between an area rug and wall to wall carpeting may involve prioritizing the needs of your space, family, and activities. Taking the time to research your options means you will be satisfied with your decision. Aside from one floor covering's permanence and the other's exchangeability, you must consider the traffic patterns of your floor plan, seasonal compatibility, matching decor, and your budget. Each option, of course, has its advantages and disadvantages, so learning more about them can help you choose.

Wall to wall carpeting complements a wide variety of styles and color schemes because it comes in neutrals like grey, brown, or cream. It can withstand children running with juice or dogs tracking in mud, because it's treated with a stain resistant coating. For a cement or wood subfloor, wall to wall carpeting masks uneven or unattractive surfaces. This is a good choice if you desire a permanent flooring situation that will allow you to successfully resell your home.

On the other hand, wall to wall carpeting may not be the best choice if you or your family suffer from allergies. Carpeting can be vacuumed, and even chemically cleaned on occasion, but it generally harbors far more allergens. For example, pet dander and hair provide a thriving community for dust mites. Also, if carpeting does get stained, it may be harder to mask or "patch" the area. In high traffic areas, shag carpet will eventually compact.


If you envision bright swaths of color or intricate patterns, an area rug is for you. They are available in almost every imaginable design and color palette. To dress up a room, find a field of showy poppies or a traditional red Oriental weave. You can also create seasonal changes. For winter, you may spread a wool rug in reds and browns, but summer demands a light coir. Rugs can migrate from room to room as well, for an easy shift in mood.

An area rug is an ideal complement for beautiful permanent flooring, such as cork, hardwood, stained cement, or tile. While you may not want to cover finished planks or tiles, you still might prefer a softer addition to absorb sound and warm up the floor. Area rugs also work to delineate spaces. An oval of braided rug gives a heritage American feeling to your hearth. A square of tatami mat underneath the dining room table communicates a minimalist elegance.

As far as budget, there is no consistent difference between an area rug and carpeting. You should consider the life of the floor covering and the material. Area rugs could be incredibly expensive, like a large Kilim made from hand-dyed threads. There is also expensive wall to wall carpeting, such as wool Berber. On the other hand, there are no installation costs associated with unrolling an area rug, so that's another factor to take into account.

Another easy choice would be not to exclude either. You could get area rugs and wall to wall carpeting. An area rug would work as well over looped, not shag, carpeting, as hardwood or tile.


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Post 1

Are berber carpets still in style or are they on their way out. If they are on their way out what is their replacement. thanks

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