Custom Area Rugs & Runners
One of the more common ways to use broadloom carpet is to make a custom rug or runner. Most area rugs you shop for come in standard sizes, 3×5, 5×7, 6×9, 8×10, 9×12 etc. The problem is that most homes aren’t standard. Choosing broadloom carpet for your area rug or runner will be not be restricted to cookie cutter sizes.
Our expert rug fabricators can finish your rug to the inch. If you need a 12’7”x10’9”, we can make it. If you want the rug to be shaped to fit around a fireplace, we can do it. There are little to no restrictions as to what we can do.
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Types of Area Rug Bindings and Edge Finishes
- Narrow Cotton Binding: This is our most popular and economical option for finishing the edges of your new rug and runner. This is a tape that is stitched onto the carpet with a special sewing machine. It shoes very minimally on the face of the rug and comes in a variety of colors.
- Serging Yarn: This is a two step process that combines the narrow binding to seal in the rug fibers and then covers that with a continuous yarn that wraps the edge to give it a more finished look. It also shows very minimally on the face of the rug and comes in a variety of colors.
- Self Edge or Hemmed Edge: Some of the flatter materials we sell can be finished by using the actual material. You do this by folding over the edges to make it look almost 3 dimensional. This gives the rug a clean, modern look and is a team favorite.
Wide Binding Options
- Wide Cotton: Just like the narrow version, this is a tape that is applied to the rug using a sewing machine. It just happens to show more fabric on the face giving the rug a border effect. It can be done as a top-stitch or a blind-stitch depending on the look you are trying to achieve. Some clients get really creative and add a second binding or nailheads to dress it up even more. It comes in a variety of colors and textures.
- Leather Binding: There are real leather options as well as faux leather. You can control how much material you show on the face and these can also be applied as a top-stitch or a blind-stitch depending on the look you are trying to achieve.
- Linen or Canvas Biding: Same as wide cotton binding but a more durable fabric.
Choosing the Right Size Area Rug for your Room
Your rug grounds your entire space. If your rug is too big or too small, your room might feel a little bit ‘off’ … this is more evident when your rug is too small (as opposed to too big) for the room. The best way to determine the size of rug you need is to consider your furniture size as well as the size of your room. Typical rug sizes for a living room include 6×9, 8×10, and 9×12 but should start and stop in areas that don’t fall in the middle of a doorway or walking path. Area rugs are meant to define a space so they should appropriately fill a room or simply cover a strategic portion. The benefit of choosing a broadloom carpet to be made into an area rug is that you are not restricted to the standard sizing you find one the shelves of your favorite home décor store.
Carpet Workroom Tip: Our favorite tricks to get an idea of how a rug size will look in your room is to use painter’s tape to ‘map’ out the rug. All you need is painter’s tape (because it will come off the floor easily) and a measuring tape. Measure out your rug dimensions and lay the painter’s tape on your floor to mimic the dimensions.
Living Room Area Rug Placement
- The best way to place your rug in your living room is to keep the two front legs of any large pieces of furniture (sofa, sectional, chairs) on the rug. Your smaller furniture (e.g. end tables) can be either completely on OR completely off the rug. What about the sides?! Your rug should hang out at least 6” on each side of the furniture. If you are having the rug made to fit the entire room, you typically want to show about 3” – 18” of the floor depending on the size of the space. As a rule of thumb, smaller rooms typically have tighter margins and larger rugs show more of the floor underneath.
Dining Room Area Rug Size Placement
- Dining room rugs are typically 8×10, 9×12, or 10 x 12 depending on the size of your room and table. Again, we say room size because it affects the scale (size) of your furniture. When placing a rug in your dining room, make sure all dining chairs are fully on the rug and that the rug extends at least 12″ behind the chairs (on all four sides) so you can comfortably pull out chairs. If you are determining the size of your area rug based on the size of your dining room table you should add 24” – 30” on all 4 sides. If your table is 3’ x 5’ then your rug should be at least 7’ x 9’ and more comfortably 8’ x 10’ if you have the space.
Area Rug Placement Under a Queen or King Size Bed
- The most common rug size under a king or queen bed is a minimum 8×10. However, some people choose a 10×12 to cover more of the hard surface underneath and to have more of the rug sticking out from the sides and foot of the bed. Ideally, your rug should extend at least 18” out from the sides and bottom (foot) of your bed but 24” is even better if you can fit it.
How do I measure my space to get a quote for an area rug?
- Please make sure to direct all pricing inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. When you submit your quote request, be sure to include a photo of the room so we have a visual understanding of the space. You can sketch out a very simple diagram with the room shape and furniture layout. The most important dimensions to include are longest length and widest width. If you want to indicate how the rug will lay out in the space, that’s even better!
The Different Types of Area Rugs and Carpets
Woven Carpets and Rugs
- Woven area rugs have been manufactured worldwide for over 200 years and may even date back well beyond that. Exceptionally robust, woven rugs can be made either by hand or a machine, but both processes typically use the same method. Yarn is woven around warps (vertical fibres) and locked to keep in place with horizontal strands. This is the same weaving process that has been done in New England since the time of the industrial revolution! Generally speaking, these types of rugs are either made from pure wool, or a blend of 80% wool and 20% nylon. This blending of the two fibers adds strength and durability to the rug, making it a fantastic natural carpet that is resistant to water-based stains, has little or no flammability, springs back into shape, and is easy to clean. Woven area rugs are usually made with different colored yarns to create patterns rather than just printing the pattern on top of the rug after it’s woven. This premium carpet choice comes in two different types; Axminsters and Wiltons which both have pile and backing yarn woven together for extra strength and stability. Both of these make excellent area rugs.
- Axminster carpets are known for their superb quality and durability, making an excellent carpet for your home and even commercial space or hospitality location. These types of materials are often found in luxury hotels and inns all over the world. Each piece of yarn is woven with the weft to create this machine woven carpet, with the most popular styles being the velvet look and a twisted yarn that creates a limited effect of shading.
- This high quality carpet can have up to five colors per pattern and is available in a wide range of patterns, with either a looped or cut pile. These types of materials are identifiable by the “needlepoint” look of the surface. Different yarn types can be used to create varying textures on the surface of the carpet. However, Wilton’s are not always as versatile as Axminster but there is no doubt that they are equally both excellent quality woven carpets.
Flat Woven Carpets and Rugs
- Flat-weaves do not have much of a pile because they are woven on a loom. Flat woven rugs are made by hand or machine by weaving vertical yarns (warps) through the horizontal yarns (wefts). Because they are not woven onto a backing, the rugs are sometimes reversible. These products do particularly well in high traffic areas because they won’t shed as much as other wool products and won’t show wear patterns as easily as their plush alternatives. Today, we find these types of carpets and runners best suited for stair projects.
Tufted Carpets and Rugs
- Tufted area rugs are created without knots. Instead, loops of yarn are pulled through the rug’s backing material using a machine or a hand-held tool. The loops are then sheared to create a smooth cut-pile surface. Since less work is involved than in the construction of a hand-knotted rug, even the highest-quality tufted rugs can be produced relatively quickly and inexpensively. One thing to note: Tufted rugs shed more than other rugs and may require more-frequent vacuuming.
The Different Area Rugs Materials
Wool Carpet and Rugs
- Every attempt at improving synthetic materials is meant to mimic wool, but there is no match to this natural wonder. Wool is organic, sustainable, and reusable. Environmental responsibility aside, it is also the longest lasting, softest, most resilient type of carpet you can put on your floor. The undyed wools are actually priced very similarly to nylons and provide a natural alternative for your home. Most manufacturers also save their most decorative designs and unique colors for their wool lines making these materials not only pleasing to the touch but also the eye.
Alternative Natural Fibers
- Beyond wool, there are a handful of other natural fibers that serve as great flooring in your home or office. Texture is a commodity in interior design and these materials bring it. Sisal, jute, tencel, abaca, and seagrass are some of the most commonly used so you may have heard of them. You also may have heard they are difficult to work with. However, that’s not a concern for our professional installers and fabricators. We hold chapters of trade secrets and have had nothing but success putting these materials into your home.
Nylon Carpet and Rugs
- When it comes to synthetics, nylon is king. It is softer, more durable, more recyclable, and holds color better than any poly. Used in most areas of your home or office, nylons are even rated higher in terms of fire resistance. Many manufacturers will treat their nylon products with Stainmaster to resist stains or Magic Fresh to reduce odor. However, with the rising cost of oil (nylon is petroleum based), nylon is now near the cost of wool. Manufacturers are almost pricing nylon out of a lot of homes.
Synthetic Poly Carpet and Rugs
- Polyester, P-E-T, and polypropylene (olefin) are the least expensive materials you can put on your floor. There are some positive and negative attributes to this choice. Synthetic materials do not collect mold or mildew. For this reason, many indoor/outdoor carpets and rugs are made from poly products. These are also the most economical products to use for basement carpets. Because of the rising cost of nylon, most manufacturers are finding ways to utilize these less expensive options in more decorative ways. Unfortunately, the negatives are that they are the shortest lasting, least resilient, and can emit an odor when first installed.
Types of Area Rug and Carpet Dyes
- This is the process of coloring white yarn, with each fiber dyed a single color before being tufted or woven into carpet and rugs. Yarn dyeing typically adds a single color to each fiber, but a process known as space dyeing can be used to add several colors down the length of the fiber. When these yarns are spun into a backing material, it creates horizontal ‘stripes’ of different colors.
- Solution dyeing is a process that dyes yarn as it’s extruded, coloring the fiber as it’s made. Carpet and rugs created this way can resist bleach solutions of up to 10% concentration – a property which other processes can only achieve with the application of a topical treatment.
- Continuous dyeing is a ‘post-dyeing’ process, meaning the dye is applied once the carpet fibers have been constructed. The fabric is passed through a dye ‘waterfall’, and by using multiple applicators and different dyes, it’s possible to create a huge range of different colors and shades of carpet or rugs.
Digital Dye Infusion
- This is the technical name for printed carpet. It uses the same dyes and fixing processes as yarn dyeing, but unlike yarn dyeing, the dye is injected after the textile has been constructed, with the dye penetrating directly into the carpet fibers. This makes it possible to create extremely accurate, high-definition patterns and color gradations, in very specific locations on the area rug.
Keeping an Area Rug in Place
- A high quality non slip rug pad is the best place to start when you’re looking to keep your rug in one place…even on top of carpet! If the rug still won’t stay in place, we can come out and tack it down using upholstery staples to keep it stationary. This does cause some minor damage to the floor but is very discreet. Sometimes just 1 or 2 staples does the trick! Rug pads vary in thickness and durability, and can be trimmed to fit any size rug. They also help to reduce noise and absorb pressure. Here’s a brief rundown of the different area rug pads that we carry:
- Felt Rug Pad: Comes in 32 oz and 40 oz density and is actually made from a synthetic jute. This is our most commonly used rug pad and can also be used as an underlayment for runners and wall to wall carpeting as well. This is a performance pad so it’s firm and built to extend the life of the rug or carpet rather than for a cushy cloud feeling.
- Rubber Rug Pad: Comes in a variety of weights and densities. These may not extend the life of your rug but they will give you a soft, cloud-like feel under foot.
- Non – Skid Rug Pad: Also comes in a variety of constructions based on the thickness you want. Some of these offer cushion on top of the non-skid quality meant to keep the rug or runner in place.
How long can I expect my rug to last?
Unfortunately this is a subjective question based on a lot of different factors; whether it’s what type of rug you purchase, where the rug is intended to go, and even who you live with! But the good news is, there are plenty of ways to increase your rug longevity.
- Traffic: Wearing shoes on your carpet will decrease the life of your carpet above anything else! In high traffic areas the lifespan of any floor covering will obviously be less than that of low traffic areas so anything you can do to ease that friction is helpful. Think about how many times you have walked to and from the kitchen in an average week. It all adds up, and results in the rug fibers becoming old and frayed on the common walking paths. Remove your shoes and double the life of your carpet or rug.
- Underlay: Using an anti-slip underlay with cushion is an often overlooked essential that has been proven to extend the life of any rug. This is because when you use an underlay or pad, the continual rubbing between the underside of the rug and the floor surface that it lays on is greatly reduced on account of greater friction between the two surfaces. The more friction there is, the harder it becomes for the two surfaces to rub and wear. So simple, yet so effective!
To answer the original question, the goal for a new rug or carpet is to make it last for 10 years. If you can make it a decade without it becoming and eye sore than you did alright.
Area Rug FAQs
Do you offer rug alteration services?
- Yes, we are a full service carpet workroom which means that we do offer repairs and alterations. However, we cannot guarantee speedy timelines as we do prioritize the materials that we sell. There are a few common instances that make this a very popular service request. 1.) If you find something you like online but the size is too big, we can purchase it for you and perform an alteration when it arrives. 2.) If you’ve moved to a new home and your rugs don’t fit, we can pick them up and alter them to the correct size to fit the new space. Simply send a quote request to info@carpetworkroom with links or photos to the product and a brief description of the work you wish to have done.
What is the difference between area rugs and carpet?
- In an effort to simplify this as much as possible, carpet is the raw material and an area rug is the finished product. Carpet is an unfinished fabric made on a loom. These materials are typically manufactured 12’, 13’2”, 15’, or 16’4” wide. From this material, a few products can be made. It can be installed wall to wall or can be made into area rugs or runners. The process simply requires a clean cut and a finished edge which we typically call “binding” or “edging”. The process of turning broadloom carpet into rugs and runners is called “fabrication”.
How do I “layer” my area rugs?
- This has become a very popular question lately. Layering rugs works best when they are different sizes. The bottom layer should be larger and more dominant while the top layer should be smaller and serve as an accent. Most of the time, the bottom layer is meant to cover up an unsightly floor or define a smaller space within a larger room. Oftentimes people will choose something with a nice texture like a sisal or jute for the bottom layer and use something brightly colored or patterned for the top. This approach helps to avoid overwhelming the space with a loud pattern or color by containing it to just a small accent area.
Does an area rug or pad cause any damage to a hardwood floor?
- Although some rugs have an abrasive backing, it’s rare that they will cause any damage to your hardwood floor. In fact, most people put down area rugs to protect them from damage. Some pads and rugs are backed with latex and can leave a residue on your floor. Most of the time, this residue can be cleaned with a mild dish soap or Goo Gone.
How many rugs can I put in a room?
- In a large room, there’s really no limit to the amount of rugs you can use to help define the different spaces. Most people, though, don’t live in this type of open concept or loft space. To avoid looking too cluttered or choppy, most smaller should have only 1 or 2 rugs.
What is an indoor/outdoor area rug?
- If there’s been major innovations in the rug world, it’s with indoor/outdoor materials. Formerly, products meant to be used outdoors have been very limited in terms of style and color. Lately, though, many manufacturers have been creating woven products that capture the look of indoor rugs but on outdoor materials. Outdoor rugs are made from sturdy synthetic materials such as polypropylene and nylon which are built to withstand the elements. A lot of these products are now UV stabilized to help resist fading and are finished with waterproof materials so that they are resistant to mold and mildew.
- Although they are built for the outdoors, they are actually starting to look nice enough to bring indoors. We are seeing a recent trend of clients that are using these products in high traffic/risk areas like kitchens, dining rooms, mudrooms, and stairs. If they get stained, you can literally bring them outside and hose them off without causing much damage.
Learn more about area rugs here: