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Living Space: How to choose an area rug

Petra Guglielmetti, BHG.com on

When dressing up a room, don’t look to the furniture or the walls — look to the floor! Sometimes a rug is all you need. A rug can be the defining feature of a room or it can blend in and serve a function. No matter your reason for wanting a rug, there are a lot of questions to consider before buying an area rug. Read our all-encompassing guide below to make sure you’re buying the best rug for your space.

What are the types of area rugs?

Knowing the lingo helps you shop smart. These terms refer to construction methods.

Tufted: Pieces of yarn are punched through a backing then cut to create a smooth surface (called pile). Tufted rugs shed more than others.

Hooked: Though similar to a tufted rug in that loops of yarn are pulled through a backing, the yarn isn’t cut, leaving a looped pile.

Knotted: Pieces of yarn are tied, often by hand, to warp fibers on a loom. It’s the most labor-intensive way to make a rug.


Braided: Lengths of fabric, yarn or natural fibers are braided then sewn to one another.

Flat-woven: Often called kilims or dhurries, these are woven on a loom, either by hand or machine. There’s no backing, so they are lighter and reversible.

Shag: Any tufted, woven or knotted rug with long, plush pile.

How big should my rug be?


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