Do You Need to Buy a Rug Runner?

The Complete Rug Runner Guide for Your New Home

Whether you are moving into a new home or redecorating your family’s living space, it may be the right time to buy rug runners. Whereas most rugs have similar dimensions on each side, the standard size for runners is about three feet wide and eight feet long, though they are available in varying lengths to suit your needs. These versatile rugs work very well in hallways but are also creative options for many other rooms.

Rug Runner Options

Selecting the best rug runners for your space is simple with some basic knowledge about rugs. Picking an appropriate material is probably the most important factor. Floor runners come in many fibers ranging from utilitarian cotton and jute to elegant silk or wool. Each of these materials offers different qualities, so you need to consider how you will use the rug to ensure you choose the right composition. For example, silk or wool rugs are not the best rug runners for homes with young, messy children or pets. However, cotton rugs are durable and easy to clean, making them ideal options for households with lots of activity.

After you buy a rug runner, you need to select the correct backing. You can put thick padding underneath the rug to make it more comfortable to walk over. Additionally, the padding will absorb impact and prolong the life of your rug. Depending on where in your home you place the runner, you may elect to get waterproof, non-slip or extra-thick padding.

As with any home decor, floor runners are available in many different styles. Modern rug runners feature bright colors and lots of lines, while traditional rug runners have highly detailed patterns and more muted hues. A formal room would be an appropriate location for a fringed, hand-loomed rug made from wool. Cotton or other natural fibers are machine woven to make rugs that naturally fit into a children’s play area or casual family room setting.

Rug Runner Locations

With their long, slender dimensions, rug runners are traditionally used in hallways, but they're extremely versatile and are suitable for nearly any area of the home.

There are several ways to use these popular rugs in bedrooms. For example, captain's beds are practical because of the storage space under the mattress, but rugs don’t work well with these blocky bed frames. Using a rug runner along the side of the bed is a simple alternative. You can also use a rug runner in a large bedroom as a visual partition for a seating area or nursery.

The primary purposes for rugs on bathroom floors are to prevent injury and to keep the floor dry. An attractive cotton runner can serve as both a bathmat and a colorful centerpiece for the room. Many machine washable fabrics are available. You can even add a whimsical touch by using a waterproof indoor/outdoor rug in the bathroom.

Have you considered putting a cotton or synthetic rug runner in your kitchen? Enjoy comfort while you work by standing on a thick rug with anti-fatigue padding, while also giving a plain kitchen a personal touch. A modern rug runner can make a utilitarian galley-style kitchen seem homier.

Rug Runner Benefits

Well-made rugs are a smart investment for your home, with the most obvious benefit being the beautification your space. A rug with multiple colors, combined with the other elements in the room, can create a polished, cohesive look.

Over the course of years, hardwood floors will show signs of wear. Putting quality rugs with padding over the wood will absorb much of the impact. This limits much of the wear and tear, especially in high-traffic areas. Spilled liquids are also damaging, which is another thing rugs will offer protection against.

Rug runners placed over already damaged floors to create a nicer appearance. When used on top of damaged wood floors, they help prevent splinters. Rug runners also reduce sound that's transmitted to the space below the floor. They're so effective, some apartment complexes require rug runners in all halls to minimize noise complaints.

Some other benefits are even more tangible. Putting area rugs, including runners, in your home can save you money: During cold weather, thick rugs keep bare feet from getting chilled, allowing you to turn down the thermostat to save money on heating costs.

Which Rug Runner Is Best For You?

Routine maintenance is important to keep a rug runner in top condition. The required care depends on the type of fiber from which it's made. Choosing the best rug runners for your home requires you knowing what kinds of messes the rug will be exposed to and how much traffic it will see.

Here are a few of the qualities of the more common fibers used in rug making:

FiberCharacteristics
Wool
  • Naturally stain resistant
  • Durable enough to use in high-traffic areas
  • Comfortable for bare feet
  • Appropriate for formal setting
Natural Fiber
  • Great choice for casual decor
  • Very absorbent
  • Eco-friendly option
Cotton
  • Machine washable
  • Lower price point makes it affordable to change styles more frequently
  • Commonly used in modern rug runners
Synthetic
  • Can resemble wool, natural fiber, or other material
  • Durable and colorfast
  • Can be used as either indoor or outdoor rug

Buy a rug runner as an investment rather than merely decoration. It can block the transmission of sounds through the floor, make walking barefoot comfortable, and add to the ambiance of your home.