What Are Runner Rugs?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2019
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Runner rugs are long, narrow rugs that are found in hallways, staircases, and other similar interior spaces. They are often rectangular in design, though some may be ovaloid, or in other creative shapes. These floor coverings are made from many different materials and designed in diverse ways.

Some manufacturers that produce runner rugs are focusing on the use of sustainable materials, and offer consumers new options that do not include synthetic products. A major material for these types of runner rugs is small pieces of bamboo, or a similar fiber. Bamboo strips can be woven together into a runner rug that can withstand wear over time and which still may be easily cleaned.

Other runner rug designs use synthetic materials that are made for their durability and ease of use. A common material for long rugs is olefin, a synthetic item with its own unique properties that produces a soft, handy result. A wide range of manufacturers produce synthetic runner rugs with long or short fibers for various presentations to customers.

Many different patterns may be seen on runner rugs. Single color runner rugs are not infrequent products, but other rugs use attractive multi-colored designs as part of their product appeal. A sunburst design is a common pattern for an entry or vestibule hallway rug. Another common pattern is a fan pattern, where the shape of a runner rug is complimented by a particular color pattern and palette.


In general, runner rugs provide a variety of benefits for interior spaces. They help to protect hardwood floors or other hard flooring that could otherwise be damaged by high traffic or excessive use. They provide comfort for visitors and inhabitants of a home or other building. These rugs also provide good traction when they are accompanied by proper safety materials that help limit slipping of the rug against the floor. Having the right piece of thin traction material under the rug is a primary safety tip for using these kinds of floor coverings.

Runner rugs are particularly useful in smaller areas where carpet may not be appropriate. For oddly shaped or sized areas of a building, fixed carpeting might not be a good option, or the homeowner or other building owner might see the carpeting as too permanent, or too costly and difficult to install. In these situations, a runner rug is a good solution for easily “carpeting” the area without the burden of permanent installation.


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