Decorating & Design

Everything you need to know before buying a rug

Everything you need to know before buying a rug

Photography, Collov Home Design,

Decorating & Design

Everything you need to know before buying a rug

Buying a new rug may seem daunting—there are so many materials, patterns and sizes to choose from! Making the right pick is important because a rug can truly make or break how a room looks.

Luckily, we’re helping you out with this big purchase. Here's everything you need to know before you buy a rug.

Choosing your material

The look, texture and lifespan of carpets are largely determined by what they’re made of. "Most carpets contain a mixture of fibres, and the vast majority of models on the market are made from synthetic fibres," says Ronald Alepins, sales consultant at Lanctôt Couvre-Sol Design in Montreal.

Natural fibres


Wool is by far the most popular natural fibre. It’s soft to the touch, durable and naturally resistant to static electricity and stains. Normand Payer, manager at Tapis H. Lalonde, points out that wool is particularly rich in colour, especially New Zealand wool, which is renowned for its quality. "It's the material we try hardest to imitate in manufacturing most synthetic fibres because it's expensive." Wool carpets should be dry-cleaned, but stains can be rubbed out with soapy water and a spoonful of vinegar.


Silk carpets are softer and more durable than wool ones. As this luxurious fibre is particularly fine, patterns can be more precise and elaborate. However, because of its high cost, silk is often mixed with wool. It is similar to wool in terms of care.

Cotton and linen

Choose these materials if you want a rug with a natural look and feel. They are less expensive than other options on this list but are not recommended for use in high-traffic areas—they attract dust and need to be cleaned regularly (although some cotton and linen carpets can be machine-washed).

Other material

There are also carpets made from natural plant-based fibres such as sisal, sea rush, jute, bamboo and coir. While these carpets have a rustic texture and look, they’re  harder to maintain and can be damaged by water and light.



Photography, Sina Saadatmand,


Carpets made from synthetic fibres are increasingly popular when reproducing the feel and look of those made from natural fibres. They are easier to care for, stain-resistant and much more affordable.


Polyester rugs can look similar to wool. They’re soft and affordable but can quickly turn flat. For better resistance to flattening, Ronald Alepins recommends opting for a polyester fibre with a medium-high density.


This plastic derivative, also known as olefin, is particularly resistant to sun fading. Polypropylene carpets are also comfortable and don’t pill. Compared to wool carpets, they don't get their shape back after furniture has been placed on them and wear out more quickly when placed in high-traffic areas.


This material is slightly more expensive than other synthetic fibres. Nylon carpets are robust, suitable for high-traffic areas, and are great at concealing dirt and dust. Despite this, nylon is used less and less for residential carpets: "It is now used mainly in commercial carpet manufacturing," says Normand Payer.

How to choose the perfect placement

  • In general, a rug should be large enough to allow all the furniture around it to be placed at least partially on its surface. "This is great for beautiful visual harmony," explains Ronald Alepins.
  • Rugs can also be used to delineate areas in an open-concept plan. For example, in a living-dining room, you could place one rug under the dining table and another under the sofa and coffee table.
  • Don't hesitate to place rugs at a slight angle to a wall to create a dynamic effect.
  • If you’re more daring, feel free to superimpose rugs; this adds texture and depth to your decor.

Dining room

Make sure the carpet is well-centred under the dining table. Ideally, it should protrude about 2 feet on all sides, even when the chairs are pulled out to sit on it.

Living room

Choose a rug that is at least as wide as the main sofa, and place it entirely or partially underneath.


Arrange your rug so that it extends about 2 1/2 feet beyond both sides of the bed. Bedside tables can be placed on top of the rug for a seamless look.


The carpet should leave about 4 inches of space on each side.



Photography, Cadgas Demir,

If you have pets

  • Synthetic fibres, such as nylon, polyester and polypropylene, are the best choice for homes with pets—they’re easier to maintain.
  • A patterned carpet, such as a speckled one, will better conceal hair.
  • Beware of curly weaves: cats like to pick them.
  • Many pet owners swear by robot vacuums, which they set up for a quick daily sweep.

Popular trends

Wool and sisal

Wool rugs are a must this year. They are available in neutral tones such as grey, beige, cream or greige. Sisal (or its imitation) is also very popular.


Colour is trending in 2024: think abstract and geometric patterns and 1970s-inspired looks to liven up your space.

Oriental rugs

Normand Payer has noticed a renewed interest in traditional carpets, particularly gabbeh carpets from India. These carpets are characterized by their simple designs and their softness. Greens and pinks are growing in popularity, but classic shades (red, grey, navy, black and white) are always a safe bet.

Responsible choices

Consumers are increasingly concerned about making responsible, environmentally-friendly purchases. Ronald Alepins points out that there are many carpets on the market that are manufactured using clean energy sources, such as hydroelectricity, and whose fibres are mass-dyed, a process that considerably reduces water consumption.

Special thanks to Normand Payer, Manager at Tapis H. Lalonde and Ronald Alepins, Sales Consultant at Lanctôt Couvre-Sol Design, for their kind collaboration. 






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Decorating & Design

Everything you need to know before buying a rug