Kitchen rugs have come a long way. Not only can they be practical and functional—absorbing moisture and providing some cushion as you stand for long periods at the counter or sink—but they come in styles that are aesthetically pleasing. If you choose carefully, depending on your specific needs, an area rug can be a long-wearing and delightful feature in your kitchen.
In this guide, we help you discover that a rug can be a perfect fit for your kitchen: why you need one in the first place, the right type of rug to choose, correct sizing, and even styling choices, among others. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
7 Reasons Why You Need A Kitchen Rug
Kitchens are a hub of activity in the home; they’re where you cook all your meals, spend time with family, and much more. This makes kitchen rugs an absolute must-have, and here’s why:
- They protect your flooring from scratches, scuffs, and spills
- They provide extra cushion underfoot as you prep meals or wash dishes, and can even protect dropped dishes from smashing
- Rugs reduces noise in the kitchen
- Kitchen rugs are available in different styles, designs, shapes, and colors. They can complement your existing kitchen décor, adding color, design, and interest. For example, check out the beautiful, stylish Oriental rugs and earthy natural-fiber rugs pictured in this article for inspiration.
- For narrow or small kitchens, kitchen runner rugs across the space help elongate and widen the room
- These rugs can also help separate or define spaces in the kitchen, especially if you have an open-plan kitchen. For example, you can use different rugs to create clear differentiation between the working and dining areas
- They provide comfort and warmth underfoot when placed over tile and stone kitchen flooring. For safety purposes, add a rug pad to help keep your rug in place and to prevent slipping and injuries
Kitchen Rugs Placement
Finding just the right spot for a kitchen rug is key to making the whole room practical, functional, and beautiful. Generally, a kitchen rug should be placed where you spend the most time.
The most functional place for a kitchen rug is in front of the sink to provide a nice cushion for your feet as you stand for long periods.
If you have a large kitchen with an island, place a rug between the island and the wall but not underneath the island itself. You want to be able to pull it up easily for regular cleaning.
For long, narrow kitchen space (think galley style), consider kitchen runner rugs since they can help narrow spaces appear wider.
You’ll also need a rug underneath your dining table. Under-table rugs are also great at transforming large open-floor kitchens into individual spaces for a more intimate feel. Just make sure the rug is large enough for chairs to have room to pull away from the table and still rest on the rug.
What You Should Look For When Buying a New Kitchen Rug or Runner
With so many kitchen rugs and runners available, the selection process can be a bit daunting. Here are the key considerations to help you make the right choice:
Consider the Rug Material
Kitchen rugs live in a high-traffic area and are prone to a lot of dirt, spills, and wear and tear. Choose a rug that’s super-durable, stain- and water-resistant, and easy to clean. In that case, look no further than indoor/outdoor rugs.
Made from polypropylene or PET (recycled polyester), outdoor rugs make great non-flammable, water-resistant, ultra-durable, and washable kitchen rugs. Whether you scrub, bleach, or use other aggressive cleaning methods, your rugs will be fine. For further convenience, selecting a machine washable rug can take on all kitchen accidents and keep the scrubbing to your dishes. Washables by Rugs USA have a non-slip backing so you are not sacrificing safety and comfort.
Natural fibers can also be excellent material choices. Wool in particular is durable, has a stylish and luxurious feel, and is easy to clean. But other natural fibers such as jute and sisal don’t respond well to moisture and can shrink or warp, making it less than ideal for placing near the sink. Instead, jutes and sisals are a great choice for under the dining table; their neutral color goes with everything and their organic texture adds a touch of softness underfoot.
Understand the Type of Rug Weave
The type of weave of your rug is also an important factor to consider. Flatweave rugs are the ideal choice because with less pile, they’re more resistant to dirt, debris, and bacteria, making cleaning a breeze. They are also colorfast, which makes them beautiful and durable. Rugs with a thicker pile are ideal for adding instant warmth to cold floors. They also provide extra padding underfoot to add comfort and reduce noise.
In the Kitchen: Think Safety
When moving around your kitchen, it’s important for your rug to have a secure grip on the floor to help prevent slips and falls. This is particularly common if you have polished wood or tile flooring in your kitchen. The solution is simply choosing a rug with non-slip backing, as it provides the steady traction needed to keep the rug in place. Alternatively, you can place a rug pad underneath the rug to prevent it from slipping.
Know When Rug Size and Shape Really Matter
It’s essential to consider the available floor space in your kitchen and how you want a rug to add to that space. The kitchen’s layout also determines the best shape and size of the rug that will suit your space.
If you love your flooring or have a small kitchen, you may want something small in front of the sink or work area, measuring 2×3, 3×5, or 4×6.
A round rug can also be the perfect solution for a smaller kitchen, a nook with a round kitchen table, or even just inside your back-door entry into the kitchen from outside. Learn more about breaking out of the square-rug box by reading Is a Round Rug Perfect for Your Home?
Large rugs are ideal for covering the entire kitchen. Think 5×8, 6×9, and 8×10 sizes or up. Remember to leave 3-6 inches of uncovered space around the borders, so the room doesn’t look cramped.
For tricky spaces like a narrow kitchen or between a kitchen island and nearby counters, runners and throw rugs are your best friends. Standard runner rugs measure between 2 and 3 feet wide and 6-14 feet long. Be sure to leave a few inches of flooring visible on all sides of your runner.
Consider Your Existing Kitchen Décor
Think carefully about this part because colors, patterns, and textures have the power to change how a room looks. Kitchen rugs are available in different styles, designs, colors, and patterns. You want to coordinate your rug with the existing decor, style, and design to ensure neither overpowers the other.
A simple way to start is to look for patterns that feature one or two colors already present in the kitchen. Alternatively, you can build contrast. For example, if your kitchen decor includes bright colors, consider buying a neutral rug that won’t compete with the existing design. Or for a neutral kitchen, place a bold, multi-colored rug to brighten your space.