If you think carpet or ceramic tile offers a lot of flooring selection, welcome to the world of area rugs and a universe of virtually unlimited choices. It’s true. From braided to cotton, exciting Oriental to exquisite Persian, area rugs are plentiful and beautiful, affordable and expensive, classic and exotic.
Frankly, unless you know exactly what you want, shopping for area rugs can be challenging at best, overwhelming at worst. Our objective with this website, and in our store, is to share valuable information with you.
Below are some other great flooring types that might interest you!
- Hardwood Flooring
- Cork Flooring
- Vinyl Flooring
- Laminate Flooring
- Ceramic Flooring
- Stone Tile
- Natural Stone Flooring
- Agglomerate Flooring
- Stained Concrete
We want you to know.
We want you to know all about area rugs, to understand, learn and experience this incredibly versatile flooring product, so you can choose the best rug or rugs for your home decor and lifestyle.
In this section we’ll share with you the beauties and bonuses, the dynamics and dimensions, the care and construction – all the area rug basics to help make you a smarter shopper.
And believe us, there are area rugs for every style, need and budget. So there’s bound to be one, or several, that are the perfect answer to your decorating needs.
Like the “Magic Carpet” of myth.
A fabulous area rug can make a unique foundation or starting point around which your entire room’s décor can be coordinated. The rug becomes your design centerpiece. Or, the right area rug can deliver a colourful finishing touch; complete your room’s décor as a flooring punctuation point. An exclamation point!
You can also use area rugs to define a space.
For the now popular open floor plans, an area rug can create a conversation area, designate an eating space, welcome one into a foyer or usher your guests down a hallway.
Area rugs also offer you other unique capabilities.
They are the only flooring product that you can install, then pick up and move. Change them season to season or as your style changes. Area rugs offer you softness, warmth and sound absorption on hard flooring surfaces such as stone and wood. They add another layer of design, luxury and warmth when laid on top of wall-to-wall carpeting.
And the cost spectrum of area rugs is just as wide and varied as the rugs.
Area rugs can be very inexpensive (cotton and synthetic) or phenomenally expensive (ancient weaves) depending on the material used, how they were made and the degree of artistry or intricacy in their design. Handmade wool, 100% silk or wool and silk Oriental or Persian rugs have been known to last hundreds of years and just seem to increase in value.
Relatively new are the “machine made” rugs, made with sophisticated design patterns on computerized looms that can mimic more intricate and labor intense handmade rugs at greatly reduced costs.
Because they are made by machines it opens up these types of rugs to the mass market. And that’s good for everyone. Area rugs are generally made out of wool, silk, (or a blend of wool/silk), olefin (polypropylene), or nylon, with some applications, particularly bath mats, made of cotton. Wool and silk rugs dominate the high end of the market.
Heat-set olefin rugs look much like wool, are easy to clean, and are moderately priced in comparison to wool. They’re a great compromise. The bottom line is that there are braided rugs, cotton rugs, natural rugs, exquisite wool and silk Oriental rugs and magnificent Persian rugs.
They can be an investment that becomes your family heirloom and is passed down from one generation to the next, or they can be practical and fun design elements that move around to suit your mood. We want you to know as much as you need to about this popular and unique flooring category.
So we invite you to check out all our other areas on area rugs. See if you don’t agree that area rugs can be a simple, beautiful, fast and effective answer to many of your flooring needs.
The art of making rugs by hand spans time, geography and cultures. The process of manufacturing rugs, while recent, has revolutionized the area rug industry. To understand both methods requires knowledge, and for that you’ve come to the right place.
We know area rugs and we want you to know as much as needed to make a smart purchase decision. Below is a comparison between machine made and handmade rugs, the techniques used to create handmade rugs, and the dyes used to color them. All presented in an easy to read manner.
This information will help you understand the differences between rug types, why some wear and last longer, and help explain the wide range of prices. Plus, perhaps most important, understanding how area rugs are made can help you be a smarter shopper, help you better determine a rug’s value and keep you within the borders of your budget.
Human beings or humming machines.
The construction of area rugs is the story of man versus machine. Or, in many cases, woman versus machine. If area rugs are a floor covering possibility for your home, any rug you choose will be constructed by either human hands or factory machines. While modern technology enables us to mass produce area rugs in a wide spectrum of design, color and sizes, there are differences between machine made and handmade rugs.
Machine made rugs are less expensive and are not considered long term. With factory made rugs you’ll have flexibility and variety; you can find the same design, or one close to it, in different sizes and different colors from different manufacturers.
Woven rugs are created on automated weaving looms in which multiple colors of yarn are sewn into a backing material. The rugs’ elaborate designs are created by the placement of the different colors of yarn.
Handmade (also called hand knotted) rugs are custom made, one-of-a-kind designs that incorporate creative (often brilliant) uses of color. With handmade rugs, even if the overall same pattern is created, there will still be unique details and intricacies due to the village, city or country of the creator. Plus, handmade rugs are often created with natural dyes that provide longevity to the colors. These rugs offer you built-in lasting power.
The bottom line is the bottom line.
Handmade rugs are investments (often very valuable investments) that last a lifetime and then some. Many become precious, revered heirlooms, passed down with pride and honor from one generation to the next. For that reason we’ve devoted the remaining information in this section to the creation of handmade, hand knotted rugs.
Three elements tie any handmade rug together: weave, knot and dyes.
Weave refers to the techniqueused in making handmade rugs. There are three major techniques: pile weave, flat weave and hand-tufted.
Pile Weave: the art of knots.
Pile weave or knotted weave refers to the method of weaving used in most rugs. In this technique the rug is woven by a creation of knots. A short piece of yarn is tied around two neighboring warp strands creating a knot on the surface of the rug. After each row of knots is created, one or more strands of weft are passed through a complete set of warp strands. Then the knots and the weft strands are beaten with a comb securing the knots in place.
Even though all pile rugs are woven with knots, different weaving groups use different types of knots. The weaving process begins at the bottom of the loom and moves upward as the horizontal rows of knots and wefts are added. Every single knot is tied by hand. A rug can consist of 25 to over 1000 knots per square inch.
A skillful weaver is able to tie a knot in about ten seconds, meaning 6 knots per minute or 360 knots per hour. That means it would take a skillful weaver 6,480 hours to weave a 9×12-foot rug with a density of 150 knots per square inch. If we divide this number by 8-hour working days, it means it would take one weaver 810 days (approximately two and a half years) to weave such a rug.
However, a rug as large as a 9×12 is usually woven in a workshop or master workshop setting by two or three weavers, so the above time can be reduced by half or third. But can you imagine the time and labor if the knot density is even higher!
Handmade rugs are beautiful, functional and exceptional works of art created with great patience. And deep pride.
Flat Weave: beauty that’s knot-free.
Flat weave refers to a technique of weaving where no knots are used in the weave. The warp strands are used as the foundation and the weft stands are used as both part of the foundation and in creating the patterns. The weft strands are simply passed (woven) through the warp strands. These weavings are called flat weaves since no knots are used in the weaving process and the surface looks flat. These rugs have a special beauty, quality and personality all their own. Search for one that matches yours.
Hand Tufted: less time and less expensive.
A hand-tufted rug is created without tying knots into the foundation, but rather by pushing wool or acrylic yarn through a primary backing, creating a “tuft”. Then, using a latex glue to hold the tufts in place, a rug maker will apply a secondary foundation, or “scrim”, which is then covered by a third and final cloth backing to protect your floor.
The final step involves shearing the tops of the looped tufts to create the pile. The height of the pile is determined by how much yarn is cut off, and how far the initial loop was pushed up.
Hand-tufted rug makers use a tool called a “tufting gun” which holds the yarn to push through the primary backing that is stretched in place on a frame. This method of rug making is less time consuming than hand-tying each knot, but still requires a high level of craftsmanship to efficiently and accurately portray the intricate designs.
The design is determined by transferring a pattern onto the primary foundation, this acts as a template showing the craftsman where to push through each colored tuft. Hand-tufted rugs can be made faster than hand-knotted rugs, therefore they are generally less expensive than their hand-knotted counterparts.
The tufting method creates a highly durable and beautifully accurate handmade rug that will weather foot traffic for years to come. If traffic is a concern of yours, this may be your weave of choice.
Most handmade rugs are woven by tying knots on the warp strands. The type of knot used in weaving and the knot density are discussed next. The two predominant types of knots are asymmetrical and symmetrical.
Asymmetrical (Persian or Senneh) Knot: for a fine design.
The asymmetrical knot is used in Iran, India, Turkey, Egypt and China. To form this knot, yarn is wrapped around one warp strand and then passed under the neighboring warp strand and brought back to the surface. With this type of knot a finer weave is created.
Symmetrical (Turkish or Ghiorde) Knot: the style of symmetry.
The symmetrical knot is used in Turkey, the Caucasus and Iran by Turkish and Kurdish tribes. To form this knot, yarn is passed over two neighboring warp strands. Each end of the yarn is then wrapped behind one warp and brought back to the surface in the middle of the two warps, forming a beautiful symmetry. If your decorating style is equal, even and matched, this is your knot.
Knot Density: one way to indicate value.
Knot density refers to the number of knots per square inchor square decimeter in a handmade rug. Knot density is measured in the imperial system in square inches and in the metric system in square decimeters.
Every decimeter is equal to 10 centimeters and approximately 4 inches. Knot density is measured by counting the number of knots per linear inch or decimeter along the warp and weft (visible on the backside of the rug) and multiplying the two numbers.
Since the two numbers are usually the same, one number can simply be squared. KPSI, (knots per square inch), is sometimes used to indicate value. The higher the number of knots per square inch, the higher the quality, and thus the price, of the rug.
The process of changing the natural color of materials such as wool, silk and cotton is called dyeing.
There are two types of dyes: natural dyes and synthetic dyes.
Natural Dyes: the result of plants, animals and minerals.
Until the late nineteenth century only natural dyes were used for coloring weaving yarns. Natural dyes include plant dyes, animal dyes and mineral dyes.
Plant dyes come from roots, flowers, leaves, fruit, and the bark of plants.
Woad, a plant of the mustard family, and indigo, a bush from the pea family, are used for blue dye.
Yellow is produced from saffron, safflower, sumac, turmeric, onionskin, rhubarb, weld, and fustic.
Madder has been used since ancient times for reds. Redwood and Brazilwood are also used for reds.
Browns and blacks come from catechu dye, oak bark, oak galls, acorn husks, tea, and walnut husks.
Henna is used for orange.
For green, indigo, over-dyed with any of a variety of yellow dyes, is used.
Some animal sources of dyes include insects such as Cochineal, found on cacti in Mexico; Lac, a wild version of Cochineal, found in India and Iran; and Kermes, found on Oak trees near the Mediterranean.
All three produce a range of reds. Kermes was used in Europe, and Lac in Egypt and Persia until Cochineal, the cheapest of all three, gradually took their place.
Kermes, the most ancient of all three, has been used even before the 16th century.
Mineral dyes come from ocher (yellow, brown, red), limestone or lime (white), manganese (black), cinnabar and lead oxide (red), azurite and lapis lazuli (blue), and malachite (green).
Dyers are able to get a variety of colors and shades from the same source depending on the type of material used, the characteristic of local water, and the use of different mordants.
Today, natural dyes are still used in some traditional dye-houses and villages where natural sources are readily accessible.
Synthetic Dyes: the market demands, chemistry responds.
In the mid-nineteenth century, as the demand for handmade rugs increased in the West, their production increased in the East. The need for easy-to-use and less expensive dyes with a wider range of colors caused the development of synthetic dyes in Europe and especially in Germany.
Synthetic dyes were soon imported to Persia (Iran), Anatolia (Turkey) and other Eastern countries.
The first synthetic dye, Fuchsine (a magenta aniline), was developed in the 1850s. Shortly after, other synthetic aniline dyes followed. Synthetic aniline dyes made from coal tar were brilliant, inexpensive, and easy to use; however, they faded rapidly with exposure to light and water.
In 1903 Nasser-e-Din Shah, the Persian king of Qajar Dynasty, banned the use of aniline dyes in Persia (Iran). Persian weavers discontinued the use of synthetic dyes until the modern synthetic chrome dyes were developed in the years between the First and Second World Wars.
Chrome dyes are colorfast, they retain their intensity despite exposure to light and water, and are produced in an infinite variety of attractive colors and shades. Today, mostly chrome synthetic dyes are used for coloring weaving yarns.
Natural dyes are used in places where they are easily obtainable. But one thing is certain. If you buy an area rug made from natural or synthetic dyes, you can be confident that it will only improve with time. In fact, even rugs made with aniline dyes in the late 19th century are valuable today simply because of their age.
Handmade or machine made, area rugs are one area every smart shopper should know and understand. This floor covering product is flexible and colorful, a moveable feast for the eyes. It can coordinate or rejuvenate a room, and it can move through time, be passed on from one lucky generation to the next.
Somewhere out there, hopefully at our store, your perfect area rug or rugs awaits you. The challenge is finding it, or them, because the spectrum of area rug styles is wide, worldly and wonderful.
Styles range from Turkish, Oriental and Natural to more modern versions that are geometric, traditional, transitional, contemporary, country and Native American.
Patterns proliferate: florals, solids, stripes, plaids, even seasonal/holiday. From the simplest cotton throw rug to a majestic, intricately crafted Persian rug — your choices are virtually endless.
Which is exactly why our experts have put this section together. You need to know the basics about area rugs, the distinguishing characteristics of certain types, the typical colors that earmark the classics, and the material that makes one rug longer lasting than another.
Here we’ll educate you on the ancient and modern, the colorful and complex world of the area rug with the goal of making you a more knowledgeable flooring shopper.
To understand the universe of area rugs, draw an imaginary line.
On one side, area rugs can be antique or original rugs that are hand-knotted or hand-tufted, are high in value and price, and become collectables. Or, on the other side, area rugs can be modern, manufactured rugs that replicate some of the ancient patterns, designs and colors.
Some of these rugs are made with different materials other than wool and silk such as nylon, polyester and olefin. In this next section, we’ll explain to you the most important styles of rugs that have existed or still do exist in various parts of the world.
Many styles are made in their place of origin as well as in other countries or areas. Come walk with us through this style promenade.
Persian: variety abounds.
When you think of Persian rugs, you usually think of intricate curvilinear designs, however, Persian styles are the most diverse styles worldwide. There are over fifty different Persian styles woven in Iran and other countries such as India, Pakistan, China, and some European countries.
However, a true Persian Rug is one that is hand knotted in Iran, formerly called Persia, and features a border to emphasize the main pattern. Several other narrower borders may also be part of the design and this border motif is the signature of all Persian rugs. Don’t be fooled by borderless imitations.
Dating back to the fifth century BC, Persian rugs are considered an investment and keepsake sometimes passed down through generations. Perhaps your generation could begin this heritage.
Oriental: always traditional, never industrial.
Recognized for centuries for their warmth and intricate designs, Oriental area rugs are handmade rather than mass produced and are known to be extremely durable and long lasting.
They are often made from natural fibers such as wool, silk or cotton and become works of art you will cherish for years to come. You will not find antique oriental rugs made of synthetic blends. Each one is unique, and playful — the pattern changes direction without warning.
Your Oriental rug will come from India, Western China, Central Asia, Iran, the Caucasus or Turkey.
Chinese: nothing is lost in translation.
Unlike most oriental rugs, Chinese designs are very literal rather than decorative; most motifs have very exact meanings. Also, unlike most Oriental rugs, the motifs on Chinese rugs do not unite in order to create one design; they stand alone. And will standout in your home.
Traditional Chinese rugs and carpets are immediately recognizable by their simple, classic motifs and unusual colors. These rugs often feature a center, circular medallion, familiar objects seen in nature such as animals, flowers, and clouds, stylized Chinese ideographs and even entire scenes.
They’re usually framed with a simple, wide border and many display contrasting colors that meet to provide interest and texture to the simple patterns.
These rugs are usually of high quality and extremely durable.
Turkoman: all about flower power.
Turkoman rugs are produced by nomadic weavers of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and the province of Khorassan in northeast Iran.
Turkoman rugs are easily distinguished by their three characteristics of a dominant red to red-brown background color, geometric pattern, and a unique octagonal motif known as gul, which has several versions.
Gul is the Persian name for flower. If you love flowers this is your rug.
The layout is generally all-over and guls are repeated in rows with usually smaller guls of similar, but not exact, geometric designs (minor guls) in between the rows of major guls.
White, beige, black and blue are used to create color contrast in the motifs and the border of the rug.
Caucasian: for the geometric minded.
Caucasian rugs are woven by tribal weavers of the region south of Russia, near the Caucasus Mountains, between the Black and Caspian Seas. Caucasian rugs, even though made by different weaving groups, still have very common characteristics.
The patterns are very geometric. The perfect rug if you think spatially. The designs tend to be stripes, crosses, squares, diamonds, hexagons, triangles, botehs, ‘S‘ shapes (derived from old dragon designs), some very geometric animal figures, such as crab and tarantula, and sometimes even geometric human figures.
One common characteristic is the positioning of similar shapes in different sizes next to one another.
Another is their colorful and bright palette.
Colors of blue, red, purple, yellow, green, navy, black and beige can all be combined in one rug.
Tibetan: mountains of color, motif and background.
The distinguishing characteristics of Tibetan rugs are their vivid colors, huge and few motifs, and relatively plain and dominant backgrounds. The motifs are woven in red, orange, pink, yellow, beige, blue, green and white. The background colors are usually blue, black, red, orange, and less frequently, yellow or ivory.
Their designs are strongly influenced by Chinese and East Turkestan styles and can either be geometric or curvilinear. Take your choice.
The different types of Tibetan rugs include the medallions, the flower and rosettes, the mythological animal and birds, the geometrical designs, and the rugs used in monasteries for ceremonial purposes. Tibetan rugs are known for their wonderful depth and richness achieved through subtle variation of color and texture. These rugs are woven exclusively with Nepalese wool, which is characteristically flexible, strong, lustrous and springy. The bold eclectic patterns and coloration heightened by a rich texture reveal a primitive sophistication unique to these rugs.
Can you picture one of these rare beauties in your home?
Indian: big on floral, small on motif.
Indian designs were strongly influenced by those of Iran, mainly by the curvilinear styles. Popular designs of the 18th and 19th century, which Indo-mir is still a remaining example of, were mainly in the all-over layout with very small floral motifs such as plants, palmettes, rosettes and leaves. Often the same motif was repeated through the entire rug, and borders were very similar to the motifs in the field.
There was not much color contrast in these rugs; the colors were mostly well coordinated to suit the Western taste. Brownish red was the dominant color. In addition to this color, light and dark green and burnt orange were also popular.
Native American: Navajo is the chief example.
Native American weaving is mainly associated with Navajo wool blankets.
These blankets are mostly flat weaves and date back to the late 18th century. Today Navajo fabrics are woven on reservations in northern Arizona.
Original styles consisted of stripes and simple geometric shapes.
Navajo weaving could be divided into the four types: the Chief blankets, Serape blankets, Eye Dazzler weavings, and fabrics after 1890.
They all had horizontal stripes with wide stripes housing minor stripes at each end of the blanket and a similar wide strip in the center. These wide end and center stripes were colored in red and brown; sometimes blue was added.
White and brown stripes were woven between the wide center and end major stripes.
East Turkestan: hard to find, easy to love.
Prior to the Chinese occupation in 1878, the area in western China above Tibet was called East Turkestan. Even though the area itself is no longer called that, the rugs of this area are still labeled as East Turkestan rugs.
They may also be marketed under “Samarkand” because East Turkestan rugs used to be traded in Samarkand.
The main East Turkestan sub-styles include Kashgar, Yarkand and Khotan.
East Turkestan rugs have always been rare, and they are still being woven on a small scale. The layout of East Turkestan rugs can be either medallion or all-over. Their pattern is mainly geometric and tends to be long and narrow.
A very common design is the pomegranate and vase, which is a symbol of fertility.
The vase symbolizes Mother Earth and the pomegranate is the fruit growing from Mother Earth.
Kilims: one of a kind for many uses.
Kilim rugs are flatwoven textiles made by nomadic peoples in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Russia, China, Pakistan, India and Morocco.
Turkish Kilims feature Mediterranean colors of gold orange and turquoise.
Iranian Kilims are grounded in burgundy, rust, heavy blues, and heavy greens.
Kurdish Kilims are brighter and sometimes mixed with embroidery.
These textiles are used as rugs to cover doors and windows, for their dwellings, and as prayer rugs.
The Kilim is a major part of a bride’s dowry. The females weave each rug; each piece will contain symbols of the family traditions and tribal identity.
No two hand-woven Kilim rugs are exactly the same in color and size, which give the rugs a unique appeal. If you seek one-of-a-kind items for your home, a Kilims rug is made for you.Finally, 3 more categories of rugs that roll out beauty and character.
Practical and beautiful, these rugs are constructed traditionally from wool but can be made from nylon, chenille and olefin or polyesters.
Braided rugs can be crafted into any size or shape and are very durable, hard wearing and easy to care for. Features everyone appreciates.
These are rugs made from heavy strips of yarn or fabric that has been braided into thick ropes and are then sewn side-to-side in spirals, ovals, round and oblongs.
Often referred to as sheep skin rugs, this textile is made of 100% hand-woven New Zealand wool and originated in Greece 1500 years ago.
It’s a “shaggy” looking rug that is very inviting and cozy on your feet.
Flokati are contemporary rug styles with long pile and natural colors.
These are area rugs made from natural materials and include Sisal, Jute, Seagrass and Bamboo.
This is a strong and versatile natural material. Sisal rug fibers come from the leaves of the Agave Sisalana plant that is grown as a renewable resource. And who isn’t for that?
The useable leaves of the plant can produce approximately a thousand fibers.
These fibers range in color from straw yellow to a creamy white and are spun into yarn and then woven into carpet.
Although Sisal by itself can be a bit tough on the feet, it can be combined with wool or nylon for a softer feel.
Sisal area rugs are durable, provide sound absorption, are anti-static, naturally insulating and fire resistant.
They absorb moisture therefore they are not recommended for use outdoors or in areas of water inside the home such as your bathroom.
These rugs are woven with loop or flat construction, and have become popular for use throughout the home.
Jute fibers are stripped from their stalks and can be spun into yarn or rope and woven.
Jute yarns are strong and often used as warps in knotted rugs.
A product of the paddy fields of China and India, this is a popular choice among designers for its natural beauty and strength.
Seagrass area rugs are durable, stain resistant and come in warm beige tones with undertones of green.
Different patterns are available such as Herringbone and Basketweave making these rugs the perfect accent to any room in your home.
This is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet. They are plentiful in supply and make strong and beautiful area rugs.
Bamboo rugs are woven from natural bamboo fibers and feature natural variations in color.
Bamboo rugs offer texture and style to your room’s décor in a simple and understated way.
Somewhere in your home there’s an area made for an area rug.
Now that you know more about this classic and beautiful decorating element, let your imagination run free with a floor covering for that space. With so many area rug choices there’s bound to be one that’s perfect for your home.
Know these things before you purchase an area rug.
We want you to know. It’s as simple and important as that. Important because your goal here is to find and purchase products that will impact your home and home life.
We take that very seriously.
If we’ve met our goal of providing you with area rug knowledge, hopefully you’re becoming a lot wiser shopper with a clearer picture of this flooring category. But there remain a number of specific things you should know and understand about area rugs before you get into the buying phase.
So, before you buy, browse through this section for suggestions and considerations about area rugs before you enter the area of purchasing. Being aware of and understanding some of the ins and outs of rugs can only make you a more educated shopper, and increase your confidence in your final decision.
We’ll cover area rugs in general first, and then end on antique handmade rugs.
5 steps to laying down the ideal area rug.
There are five important elements to think about prior to purchasing an area rug.
1. Size and shape: elementary but essential information.
Area rugs are made in different sizes and in different shapes. The most common sizes are 2’x3’, 4’x6’, 5’x8’, 6’x9’, 8’x10’ and up. Shapes are rectangle, round, square, oval, octagon or runners. You should know that most handmade rugs are rectangular and have standard sizes. As a general rule, choosing the correct size area rug depends on the dimensions of the room or space you are trying to cover.
Follow these guidelines to determine what size rug will best suit your needs:
Measure the size of your room. (Measure twice to be sure.)Measure the space you want covered. (Follow advice in first bullet.)Now place a piece of paper where each of the corners will fall; adjust the “corners” as needed to make the space larger or smaller and then re-measure the area. Be patient and careful.If you want to cover the majority of the room, be sure to leave a 12”-15” border of flooring exposed to set off your area rug.If you are placing an area rug under your dining room table, select a rug that is large enough so that when seated at the table the back legs of the chairs are on the rug with enough space to push back and get up from the table.2. Color: whether muted or vibrant, it’s a key factor.
Color is one of the most vital elements of an area rug, whether its machine made or handmade. The right combination of colors, expressed through the right design, becomes more than an area rug, it becomes a work or art. Your art.
Select a rug with colors that will visually enhance your room’s décor. The colors don’t have to match the other colors in the room perfectly. Some of the best interior designs feature new and interesting combinations of colors that either contrast or compliment a room’s color scheme.
So feel free to express yourself – think outside the box (room).
Colors are also an important factor in determining the origin of many handmade rugs. Different rug producing areas use different combinations of colors and different types of dyes.
3. Pattern: it can help you form an opinion.
Pattern is one of the most helpful elements in narrowing down rug selection, especially after size and color. We define pattern as the way lines are used to form shapes on a rug.
In the rug industry, pattern is divided into three categories: curvilinear, geometric, and pictorial. The first two refer to rugs with conventional motifs that are woven with curving lines (curvilinear) or straight lines (geometric). The third (a much smaller group) refers to rugs that portray people and/or animals.
4. Style: the goal is to find one that matches yours.
Style can be defined as the way different motifs, colors and patterns give character to a rug. Styles range from floral to contemporary to traditional. They can also reflect a season, or a theme (nautical, birds, water). Roll out your favorite!
The most important styles of handmade rugs that have existed, or still do exist in various parts of the world, include: Persian, Chinese, Turkoman, Caucasian, European, Anatolian, Tibetan, Indian, Baluchi, North African, Native American, and East Turkestan.
In addition, many of these styles have sub-styles.
For example, Tabriz is a sub-style of the Persian style.
Many styles or sub-styles are made in their place of origin as well as in other countries or areas.
Consider that a Tabriz style rug may be made in Tabriz but it could also be made in India. If you must know, ask your retailer.
5. Design: yours will probably be one of three.
All rugs can be divided into three major designs:
• All-over, in which motifs are spread throughout the rug.
• Medallion, where a large centerpiece is the focal point of the design.
• One-sided, in which the design is woven in one direction.
Additionally, designs can be intricate or simple, solid, or feature borders.
Buying an antique handmade rug? This advice is ageless, unconditional.
If a Persian, Oriental or any other antique handmade rug is the solution for the way you live, consider these two attributes carefully.
1. Age: with antique rugs, time will tell.
The age attribute specifies how old a rug is.
There are three major timeline categories:
• Antique, over 60 years old.
• Semi-antique, between 25 and 60 years old.
• Contemporary, less than 25 years old.
2. Condition: what shape it’s in can shape your rug’s value.
Handmade rugs are classified according to these overall conditions:
• Fine, a rug in excellent shape with no stains, tears or holes, and no previous repair work.
• Average, a rug that may have undergone or may require some minor repair.
• Worn, a rug which may have discoloration, fading, insect or foundation damage.
Worn rugs should not be dismissed because, similar to fine and average rugs, they can still have a very good resale value.
Some are even considered valuable antiques. So shop carefully.
Finally, be calculating! Figure the total cost of rug ownership.
The price on the tag of the rug you’re buying is just one component of your cost.
To ensure there are no surprises, and the rug you select fits within your budget, be sure to ask your retailer to calculate the total cost of your floor covering project.
Here’s a list of potential additional expenses you may incur:
Product delivery. Delivering your rug and installation materials (padding) to your home may or may not be included in the price you’re quoted.Financing. Many retailers offer financing; financing is not an additional cost but rather an option of payment.Don’t forget to ask the retailer and consult the manufacturer’s warranty and care guide for directions on how frequently your rug should be cleaned and the cost to clean it.There’s a lot to know and consider before buying your new area rug but it’s well worth the effort.
Area rugs add beauty and style, charm and elegance, personality and pride to any home.
We hope this section adds more knowledge, understanding and practicality to your shopping experience.
Maintain this knowledge about area rug upkeep.
Most homeowners understand the need to care for carpeting, ceramic tile or hardwood flooring. But area rugs? Yes, they deserve the same attention and consistent maintenance as the major flooring products.
Because area rugs are another investment in your home and lifestyle.
That’s why we put this section together for you. It’s about the care, considerations and cautions of maintaining your area rugs. Plus, knowing what’s expected of you regarding area rug upkeep can be a determining factor in the type of rugs you purchase.
Our first advice, don’t pamper this product.
It’s important you understand that even though a handmade rug is a work of art, it’s made to be used and walked on. So are all machine made rugs. Avoiding walking on your new area rug is like keeping a new car locked up in the garage undriven.
With usage, as the top layers of pile break, (in most cases wool), the pile looks shinier and smoother, and with light exposure the colors look more harmonious. In fact, with proper use, handmade rugs generally become more valuable.
And what’s wrong with that?
Remember also that handmade rugs are not easily damaged, so enjoy your handmade rug without any worries.
Meanwhile, take the following few easy steps to make sure that your rug ages gracefully, naturally and beautifully. Groom your investment but watch out for split ends. You should vacuum or sweep your rug as you would wall-to-wall carpeting. But be careful that the fringes don’t get pulled or sucked in by the vacuum cleaner.
Turn, turn this knowledge into action.
Rotate your rug 180 degrees every few months, or every year, depending on traffic patterns. Rotation is necessary for two reasons. First, all parts of your rug should be exposed to light equally so that the colors fade evenly.
When colors are exposed to the sun evenly, they become harmonious and the rug ages nicely, but if different parts of the rug receive unequal amounts of sun exposure, over time, one side might look over faded and one side too bright.
Second, is traffic. All parts of the rug should be exposed to an equal amount of traffic so that the pile wears evenly.
Accidents happen. Here’s first aid.
A water spill should be dried immediately with a hairdryer set on a warm temperature. Try to dry both sides of your rug if possible. In case of a soft drink or alcohol spill, apply salt or baking soda to the spot for a few minutes to absorb the color of the drink. Then vacuum off the salt or baking soda. After vacuuming, use a wet towel to gently wipe the stain in the direction of the nap (the direction the pile faces). You can wet the towel with regular or carbonated water. Be gentle; do not scrub your rug.
For old stains, take the rug to a professional handmade rug retailer. Do not try to clean old stains yourself. Complete washing shouldn’t be completed by you. Have your rug washed by a professional every 2 to 5 years depending on the amount of traffic on the rug.
It is important to have it washed professionally because, as the rug is used, dust, dirt and broken fiber get into the foundation. Professionals dust the rug with special equipment to get all of these elements out of the foundation before washing the rug. Then, they usually wash the rug by hand using natural soap.
They will also make sure the rug is dried from the surface to the foundation before it is used again. Most handmade rug dealers and retailers offer appropriate cleaning products and or services.
Do not take your rug to general carpet-cleaning companies because the techniques and chemicals they use for wall-to-wall carpets may not be appropriate for handmade rugs.
We’re your undercover agent.
Consult with us about the proper padding to be placed under your rug.
Padding is an important element and will both stabilize and protect your rug.
Good padding also makes it safer to walk on your rug and will protect its value and appearance.
Store away this knowledge.
If the rug is to be stored for a long time in a place without exposure to light or air, first vacuum or broom it.
Then use mothballs (sometimes tobacco is also used) in order to protect it against insect damage.
It is best to put the mothballs in the middle of the rug and roll the rug reasonably tight against its nap (against the direction the pile faces) so that it looks like a cylinder.
Then store the rug in a dry location.
To repair or not, that is the question.
Repairing a handmade rug, similar to weaving, is very time consuming and labor intensive; as a result, repair can sometimes be costly. Therefore, when considering repairing a rug, factor in the cost of repair in comparison to the value of the rug.
Sometimes, it is better if collectible items remain in their original state and not be repaired because their value might actually decrease by any change, even if the change appears good.
Getting the opinion of a professional is always a good idea. Most reputable handmade rug retailers offer you repair services. Area rugs should also be covered in your flooring upkeep plans.
While they may play a minor role in your home’s décor they still deserve major attention and care. Keep your area rugs looking great and your home will continue looking as beautiful, stylish and inviting as ever.
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Any floor that is above the level of the surrounding ground on which the structure is built.
Acrylic monomers are injected into the cell structure of the wood to give increased hardness and then finished with a wear layer over the wood.
A slightly different chemical make up than Polyurethane with the same benefits.
Added to the urethane finish for increased abrasion resistance of the wear layer, which is becoming extremely popular on the better grade wood floors.
A cement slab poured below the level of the surrounding terrain.
A quality of oak. Better Oak has some small knots and very little dark graining.
These products have a very distinctive groove in them. Beveled edge planks lend themselves to an informal and country decor. With the urethane finishes applied at the factory today, the beveled edges are sealed completely, making dirt and grit easy to be swept or vacuumed out of the grooves.
In the summer months, when the humidity is higher, wood will expand and gaps will disappear. If there is too much moisture it may cause the wood planks to cup, or buckle.
Advanced technology that allows the use of space-age ceramics to increase the abrasion resistance of the wear layer.
A quality of oak. Clear Oak has no visual blemishes or knots and is extremely expensive.
Engineered wood plies that are stacked on top of each other but in the opposite direction is called cross-ply construction. This creates a wood floor that is dimensionally stable and less affected by moisture than a 3/4” solid wood floor. Cross-ply construction allows the plies to counteract each other which will stop the plank from growing or shrinking with the changes in humidity. The other advantage for you is versatility. You can install these floors over concrete slabs in your basement as well as anywhere else in your home.
A type of warping with a concave condition; the sides are higher than the center.
Each board is just slightly beveled. Some manufacturers add an eased edge to both the length of the planks as well as the end joints. Eased edges are used to help hide minor irregularities, such as uneven plank heights. Eased edge is also called micro-beveled edge.
One of the three common types of wood floors. (Others are Solid and Longstrip Plank.) Engineered wood floors are generally manufactured with 2,3, or 5 thin sheets or plies of wood that are laminated together to form one plank. Most engineered floors can be nailed down, stapled down, glued down, or floated over a wide variety of subfloors, including some types of existing flooring.
Finish in Place
Finish in Place, or unfinished hardwood, is installed in the home and then sanded. The stain and 2-3 coats of urethane finish are then applied. The urethane finish, brushed or mopped on, is known as a “floor finish” not a “furniture finish”. Finish in Place floors may be screened and recoated to rejuvenate the finish and revitalize the floor’s natural beauty.
Floating Floor Installation
With the floating installation method the floor is not mechanically fastened to any part of the subfloor. A thin pad is placed between the wood flooring and the subfloor. Then a recommended wood glue is applied in the tongue and groove of each plank to hold the planks together. The padding has its advantages: it protects against moisture, reduces noise transmission, is softer under foot, and provides for some additional “R” value. Some engineered floors and all Longstrip floors can be floated.
The recommended mastic or adhesive is spread on with the proper sized trowel to adhere the wood flooring to the subfloor. You should know that engineered wood floors and parquets can be glued down. Solid strip floors and plank floors can only be nailed or stapled.
Each wood species has its own unique graining and texture. The graining on the boards is determined by the way it has been cut. Natural variations in the color and grain are normal and to be expected.
Janka Hardness Test
This wood hardness rating test measures the force needed to embed a .444 inch steel ball to half its diameter in a piece of wood. The higher the number the harder the wood. Although this is one of the best methods to measure the ability of wood species to withstand indentations, it should be used as a general guide when comparing various species of wood flooring.
On a piece of wood, the round, harder, usually darker in color, cross section of where the branch joined the trunk of the tree.
Laminate is a manufactured product that simulates the look of hardwood, ceramic tile, natural stone and many other types of flooring.
Long Strip Plank
One of the three common types of wood floors. (Others are Engineered and Solid.) Long Strip Plank floors are similar to Engineered floors and have several wood plies that are glued together. The center core is generally a softer wood material and is used to make the tongue and groove. A hardwood finish layer is glued on top of the core. The top layer can be almost any hardwood species and is made up of many smaller individual pieces that are laid in three rows. This gives the effect of installing a board that is 3 rows wide and several planks long. Long Strip floors come in a wide variety of domestic and exotic hardwood species and when damaged they are easy to replace.
Moisture Cured Urethane
A similar chemical make up as solvent-based urethanes, but this finish needs the humidity (moisture) in the air to cure.
Are used to cover expansion joints and to enhance the performance and appearance of the hardwood floor. In many cases, moldings and baseboards need to be removed for hardwood installation.
This method is typically used with the 3/4″ solid products, however there are adapters available for thinner flooring sizes as well. 2″ nailing cleats are used with a wood flooring nailer and mallet to attach the flooring to the subfloor.
Number 1 Common
A quality of oak. Number 1 Common Oak has more knots and more dark graining.
Number 2 Common
A quality of oak. Number 2 Common Oak has more knots and more dark graining.
A cement slab that exists on the same plane as the surrounding terrain.
When shopping for a hardwood floor you will see boards in various sizes. The narrower board widths are referred to as “strips” and the wider units as “planks.” When we think of solid wood floors we generally are talking about a 3/4″ thick plank that is 2 1/4″ wide. This is the classic strip wood floor, although it is possible to find a narrower width or a slightly thinner gage. The strips are generally in random lengths from 12″ – 84″.
A clear, tough and durable finish that is applied as a wear layer.
Pre-Finished Wood Floor
Pre-finished hardwood flooring comes ready for installation in your home. The hardwood boards have already been sanded, stained and finished at the manufacturing plant. In many cases this can provide a harder, better- protected surface. Several coats of urethane are sprayed on the boards and then they are UV dried for a very durable finish. Pre-finished floors offer a wider variety of wood species and save hours of labor and cleanup. They also may be screened and recoated to rejuvenate the finish and revitalize the floor’s natural beauty.
Each species has its own unique graining and texture. The graining on the boards is determined by the way it has been cut. Rotary Cut is a cutting process that displays a larger and bolder graining pattern.
A quality of oak. Select Oak has some small knots and very little dark graining.
Each species has its own unique graining and texture. The graining on the boards is determined by the way it has been cut. Sliced Cut is a cutting process that shows a more uniform pattern.
One of the three common types of wood floors. (Others are Engineered and Longstrip Plank.) Solid wood floors are one solid piece of wood that have tongue and groove sides. When we talk about solid wood floors, we tend to think of floors that are unfinished, but it’s important to know that there are also many pre-finished 3/4” solid wood floors. Solid wood floors are sensitive to moisture and because so they are used in nail down installations and are not recommended for installation below ground level, or directly over a concrete slab.
Oil is used as part of the chemical make up of the polyurethane finish.
The edges of all boards meet squarely creating a uniform, smooth surface that blends the floor together from board to board.
With this method 1-1/2 to 2 inch staples are used versus nailing cleats to attach the wood flooring to the subfloor. A pneumatic gun is used to drive the staple into the wood flooring and subfloor.
When shopping for a hardwood floor you will see boards in various sizes. The narrower board widths are referred to as “strips” and the wider units as “planks.” When we think of solid wood floors we generally are talking about a 3/4″ thick plank that is 2 1/4″ wide. This is the classic strip wood floor, although it is possible to find a narrower width or a slightly thinner gage. The strips are generally in random lengths from 12″ – 84″. The most common wood species used for solid strip floors are red oak, white oak, maple, cherry, white ash, hickory or pecan.
Tongue and Groove
The joining of two boards, one board having a tongue on its edge that fits into a groove in the edge of the other.
Un-Finished Wood Floor
An Un-Finished wood floor allows you to have a custom job – you choose the wood species and it’s sanded and the stain is applied on site. With Un-Finished you also have the chance to level the surface of the entire floor after it has been installed.
Factory wood finishes that are cured with Ultra Violet lights versus heat.
Water is used as part of the chemical make up of the polyurethane finish.