Carpet Wisdom: The Answers to Your Carpet and Rug Questions

Floor treatments like carpets and rugs can be tricky to work with. For some time, they were deemed a little too retro to work into modern homes. Aside from that, a lot of cleanliness gurus antagonized carpets and rugs by branding them as dirt and bad odor magnets. However, with interior decorators’ creativity, carpets and rugs for the home have made a strong comeback.

Carpets and rugs have regained their status as essential home design elements for increasing appeal and functionality, and now a lot of homeowners want to use them in abundance in their houses. However, there seem to be a lot of rules to follow when it comes to carpets and rugs, and some folks wonder if they are doing carpets right at all.

To address such concerns, listed below are the most common questions about carpets and rugs and the answers to them.

1. Is it okay to layer carpets?

Yes, it is. According to Rebecca Robeson of Kinwoven, it’s absolutely fine to layer carpets to bring richness and added style to a room. For instance, if you have a large rectangular jute carpet, it’s no issue to place a big circular Persian carpet that spreads wider than its width on top of it.

But it doesn’t need to stop there. If you wish to achieve a unique look for your floor treatment, you can still add another layer to those two carpets. How about an irregularly shaped faux sheepskin rug?

Layering carpets is a fantastic yet simple way to add character and even improve the dimensions of a room.

2. How far should an area rug be from the wall?

Interior designers usually stick by the 12- to 18-inch rule for carpets and rugs. This gives enough space to beautifully show off the original flooring, as well as create some kind of a frame around the rug.

Also, with the 12- to 18-inch rule, your feet get enough space to walk on if you don’t feel like stepping on the carpet or rug.

3. Should all the legs of my furniture be on the rug?

For tables, it’s best to have all the legs on the rug, especially if the rug or carpet is thick. You don’t want a wobbly table. Meanwhile, for chairs, you can just place the two front legs on the rug, especially if there’s a small table on the rug as well.

As for big cabinets, interior decorators advise placing all of the legs on the carpet or rug. This is not so much for style, but rather for the safety and stability of the furniture. You never want big and heavy furniture to tilt more on one side.

4. How do I maintain the quality of my carpets and rugs for a long time?

For low pile carpets, vacuum these in different directions to maintain the cushiony, fluffy appearance of the fibers. Also, avoid walking on your decorative rugs and carpets with shoes on. After all, it’s not just dirt that’s found on the soles of shoes; at times, they have sticky residue that will not only stain rug fibers but also glue them together.

It would also help to prevent direct sunlight from falling on your carpets. UV rays from the sun can make colors fade. And, do switch your carpets and rugs frequently. Take them out for cleaning using a steam vacuum, or beat them down outside with a broom to get rid of dust.

With such tips, you can extend the functional lifespan of your carpets and rugs.

5. Is it okay to use area rugs if my house has wall-to-wall carpeting?

Yes. The idea here is similar to the first concern. There’s no issue with adding area rugs even if you have wall-to-wall carpeting. This is an easy way to make your floors more stylish and, at the same time, adding area rugs can indicate a new function for the space.

Aside from area rugs, you can also use pretty floor runners, especially down halls, the dining area, and kitchen.

6. When should I replace my wall-to-wall carpeting?

For most people, a replacement is necessary when the carpet doesn’t look good anymore, like when the style has become outdated, it has gotten funky-looking over time, or it shows visible wear and tear. Meanwhile, some opt to replace carpets because their personal style has changed.

All these reasons are valid. The moment you feel like a change is necessary is always a good time to get rid of your old wall-to-wall carpeting and replace it with a fresh design and material.

7. How do I make my rugs safer?

Two of the most common safety issues people have with rugs is how they easily shift around or curl on the ends, making people trip and slide.

There are different strategies and implements to prevent rug-related hazards at home. One is to refresh the rubber bottom of the rugs to provide traction. Another is by placing adhesive material on the bottom of the rug or floor to prevent it from moving around.

Now, for curling edges, you can also use a special tape to keep the edges down on the floor. The second solution is to retrain the material by tucking the edges down and inwards and using a steam iron.

8. Do carpets and rugs cause allergies?

Dirty carpets and rugs do, which is why regular cleaning is a must. But it’s worth pointing out that the same issue is attached to regular floors. While carpets can catch and trap allergens, smooth hardwood or polished concrete floors easily launch them into the air.

So, by themselves, carpets and rugs do not cause allergies. Keep them clean, and your family can only benefit from them.

With carpets and rugs, you get floors that are not merely created for you to walk on; you get to create a visually pleasing and safer home as well. As far as styles and materials go, the selection is endless. Therefore, if you are ready to give your abode a makeover, consider changing the look of your floors using carpets and rugs.


James Prathap is the General Manager at NGC Nafees, one of the leading distributors of wallpapers, floorings, and fabrics in the Middle East and South Asia. Formed three decades ago, the business also offers high-quality panoramics, coordinated fabrics, and creative stickers for residential and commercial projects.