Rugs in dining rooms tend to divide opinion. Some people swear by a rug under their dining table, offering practical benefits as well as aesthetic, whereas other homeowners think it’s a real no-no. But which is the right option for your home?
Rugs under dining tables - the pros and cons
There are two main things to consider when deciding whether or not a dining room rug is the right choice for you - practicality and aesthetics.
On the practical side, a rug under your dining table can easily become dirty or stained, particularly if you have children. You can overcome this issue by choosing a rug in a dark colour, or one with a pattern which distracts the eye. Clean and vacuum regularly and you can keep the rug in good condition.
Some people find that a rug under the dining table makes it difficult to move their chairs in and out - when sitting down and getting up from the table. Whether this will affect you very much depends on the rug you choose, but there is another side to consider. If you’re not a fan of the scraping noise that metal or wood dining chairs can make on wood or tile floors, a rug is the ideal solution.
It can also be very pleasant to have a thick or fluffy rug under your feet while you eat. This can make the dining table more usable for a wider range of activities, from lazy Sunday breakfasts to doing homework after school, dinner parties to board game evenings.
On the aesthetic side of things, a rug can add a huge amount of visual appeal to a room. It can create a frame or a border for the dining table, making a focal point within the room and a real feature of the dining room. Rugs are so important in large or open plan spaces, as they help to ‘zone off’ different areas (such as the dining area). You can use a large area rug, along with smart lighting choices, to create a space within a space. If you have a large room and you’re worried about it feeling cavernous or confused, a beautiful area rug can work wonders.
How to choose a dining room rug
If you’re ready to take the plunge and pick out a beautiful new rug for your dining table, bear the following in mind:
- Go larger than you think you need. When it comes to area rugs, bigger is usually better. A rug that exactly fits or is only just larger than an area rug can look a little odd, as the proportions will be out of balance. However, a generous rug that extends quite a way from the table looks luxurious and creates a dedicated dining space. It’s also practical, as it gives extra space for dining chairs to be pulled out (without the legs bumping onto the hard floor).
- Durability is key. The rug under your dining table will have to put up with a lot of use, so it needs to be up to the job. Chair legs will be constantly scraped back and forward, and the table legs themselves may start to leave dents in the floor - many fragile or very expensive rugs may not be able to withstand this kind of use. You might want to look at rugs that have been specially made for patios or outdoor areas, or at least ones that aren’t too delicate or at risk from fraying or damage.
- Choose a camouflaging pattern. You don’t want to be terrified of spills and stains on your pristine cream rug every time friends or family come over, so it’s best to choose a dark coloured patterned rug. This will camouflage any stains and spills nicely.
How to measure a rug for a dining room table
If you have your heart set on an area rug, it’s time to start measuring. It’s always a good idea to measure up before buying a rug, just so you can double-check that it fits properly and the finished look is what you imagined. As above, be generous with the amount of space you leave around your dining table. If you haven’t yet bought either dining table or rug, you could find that it helps to measure the room first, and then factor in the size of rug and table you have in mind.
If you’re having trouble picturing what your new rug will look like, why not mark it out on the floor? Use something temporary like chalk or tape, and mark the outlines of your rug with the dining table in the middle. You can move and adjust as you like, noting down measurements for a custom rug or double-checking that a rug you like will be perfect for the space.