Area Rugs vs. Carpets

Area rugs and carpets are two pieces of room décor that often get mistaken for one another. While they share identical traits and purposes, certain aspects make each item unique. Learn the difference between the two and their respective benefits and drawbacks.

Area Rugs vs. Carpets: What’s the Difference?

Area rugs and carpets are floor coverings. However, some key differences set them apart. An area rug is a small, flat piece of cloth on the floor. It is not affixed to your flooring, making it easier to roll up and move to another area.

Meanwhile, a carpet is a covering installed on your floor, stretching from wall to wall. Usually made from fibers, carpet is much larger than rugs and boasts a second heavy-duty layer of fabric that makes it bulkier.

Pros and Cons: Area Rugs vs. Carpets

It’s time to discuss each one’s strengths and weaknesses. Here are some pros and cons of choosing area rugs over carpets and vice versa.

Pros of area rugs:

  • Easy to clean

Since you don’t have area rugs nailed down on your flooring, they’re much easier to clean than a carpet. You have many options, like dry cleaning, vacuuming, or even putting it into a washing machine if the material can handle it. Also, there’s a variety of area rug sizes that are much smaller than carpets making it easier to maintain and clean.

  • Heating capabilities

A rug adds insulation to floors during colder seasons like winter and helps keep warm air inside. When placed on top of tile or hardwood floors, area rugs let in drafts through cracks in the seams between boards.

Cons of area rugs:

  • Lack of friction

The main reason for the lack of traction on area rugs is their material. Area rugs commonly comprise synthetic fibers like polypropylene or nylon, which provide very little friction between the floor and the rug. This lack of friction makes slipping on an area rug easy if you walk quickly or wear shoes with slippery soles.

  • Ruin from humidity

A significant drawback of area rugs is you cannot place them in places susceptible to moisture. Humidity can ruin your area rug. Water and other liquids can damage the rugs and cause them to become moldy and mildewed, especially if you have one made from natural fibers such as wool or cotton.

Pros of carpets:

  • Backing

Carpets typically have a backing, like plastic, so they’re easier to clean and maintain. Backings, or the underside of a carpet, is an extra layer of padding that secures the tufts and provides the décor added strength and dimensional stability.

  • Sound insulation

Carpets are effective at muffling noise from outside or above ground level and keeping the ideal sound levels inside your home. This floor covering is especially useful in homes with lots of activity, such as young children or pets running upstairs or downstairs.

Cons of carpets:

  • Costly cleaning and maintenance

Regular cleaning will help prolong the life of your carpets by removing dirt that might cause damage over time if left unchecked.

Unfortunately, carpet cleaning can be time-consuming and costly, depending on the type of material used in creating your carpeting. It also requires a lot of maintenance because it is harder to keep up with than area rugs due to their larger size.

  • Difficult to replace

Carpets can be more challenging to replace than area rugs. When you return an area rug, you lift and remove it. As for carpets, installing them requires specialized adhesives and staples. So, if you want to remove them, you may need to hire a professional to do it for you.

Area Rug or Carpet: What’s Your Choice?

Area rugs and carpets are fine pieces to spruce up and add character to your space. However, they differ in many ways.

If you want something you can quickly move, replace, or mix and match with your furniture and accessories, the area rug is a fine choice. On the other hand, different types of carpets are perfect if you want a floor covering that is more permanent and unifies the look of your area.

Your choice between the two will ultimately depend on your room, design vision, and goals for your space.

By Anurag Rathod

Anurag Rathod, as a blogger he used to spread all about app-based business, startup solution, on-demand business tips and ideas and so on.