How to Choose the Right Area Rug for Your Floor

At Northern Colorado Carpets, we love all sorts of flooring! However, we also understand that pairing your floor with the right area rug can perfect a room and tie all of the different design elements together- that is, if you do it right.

Choosing the wrong area rug can create clashes and visual chaos that is off-putting, and a waste of time, money, and space.

We, your local flooring specialists, have some helpful advice to offer when considering the right area rug for your floor.


Assess Your Space

Regardless of flooring type that you’re working with, what is the size of the space you’re working with?

Here are a few dimension guidelines:

  • Leave 10 to 20 inches of floor between the edges of the rug and the wall
  • In smaller rooms, go as low as 8 inches of bare floor space
  • In larger rooms, go as high as 24 inches of bare space

While floors play an important part in the over all look and feel of a room, it is also noteworthy to assess colors that are going on. Are the tones of the room warm (such as in this contemporary kitchen/dining room), or cool (such as these modern designs)? Do your current decorations imply a certain color theme, and do you want your rug to directly add to that color theme, or simply compliment it?


A Rug and Your Floor

When it comes to complimenting your floors, it is important to assess the flooring that is currently in the room.


Hardwood and false woods, such as Laminate/Vinyl with a wood print:

Hardwood floors can convey different tones- light, blond woods, such as birch or maple, tend give an ambience of airiness, that is bright and open. Complimenting colors for these tones would be soft, such as a sage green, a pale orange.




However, if you’re looking to contrast the open sensation of the room, it might be wise choose something dark and warm, such as colors in the burgundy family, or burnt orange.


If you’re trying to select a rug for a dark wood floor, such as walnut or mahogany, you may prioritize a nice contrast that breaks up the darkness of the floor. To accomplish this, we recommend soft tones- such as pastels, beige, great.



If the color scheme of the rest of the room leans towards a specific bold color, that color can be a nice accent in a carpet and could tie your decorations and the floor together. However, if you want a seamless appearance between your floor and your carpet, you may want to pick a dark brown, black or grey rug.

The great thing about hardwood, laminate, and vinyl is that they go great with rugs of any sort of pile. Pile refers to the thickness or density of the rug. For these floors, you really can’t go wrong!

Of course, you can also add a rug to any other type of flooring, such as carpet, or tile!


Adding a drug to tile can add warmth to a floor that might otherwise be cold on bare feet, and add fun contrast to the pattern of the tile. They can also add traction for pets who might otherwise have a challenging time moving around on these slick floors.

While there are no hard and fast rules about the appropriate rug-pile on tile floors, it may be important to consider that tile floors are often high traffic areas, and therefore, a low pile rug may be a good option. Rugs with lower piles are easier to clean, and less likely to be tripped on.

When adding a rug to a tile floor, we suggest adding a rug pad to help prevent it from sliding.


Placing a rug on carpet is a great way to break up the monotony of the carpet pattern with fun, bold patterns and colors.

Unless you’re specifically trying to create a bold, statement look, we recommend selecting a rug that is a complimenting color for the carpet. For example, if your carpet is beige, select a patterned rug that has neutral tones for its primary color, and fun accent tones for its secondary colors.

(Psst! We also have a really fun-fact filled post about carpet right here.)



We hope this blog helps you make the best selection for your floor! Stay tuned for more helpful information on flooring, and its proper care.

Ready to start having a conversation about your flooring needs? Give us a call at (970) 226-6800 for assistance today.

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