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Should You Put a Rug Under a Dining Room Table?

So, rugs under the dining room table? Or are dining rooms better off without a rug? Below you’ll find the pros and cons of rugs in your eating space, followed by some guidance on what kind of rug will go well under your dining room table and which size will fit your table, should you choose to go with one.

Advantages of Dining Room Rugs

There are many advantages to adding a rug:

1. A Dining Room Rug Can Pull a Room Together

Rugs have more ability to pull a room together than you might think. The splash of color they add to the room can complement a wall color or your dining room furniture and add an extra decor element. Patterned rugs, for example, can be used to complement the rest of your interior style. Done right, your rug look can tie the whole design scheme together and add an extra touch your room may otherwise have been missing.

2. A Rug Under Your Dining Room Will Make Your Room Cosier

If you have a large dining room, adding a rug can make the room feel less open and make guests feel more cozy and content. Speaking of cozy, it’s always nice to feel warmth and comfort under our feet, so why should it be any different while we’re eating a delicious dinner?

3. A Rug Can Help Differentiate Areas In Mixed-Use Rooms

Separate dining rooms are a real treat, especially if you love to entertain, but we’re not all that lucky. A dining area rug can clearly mark out the dining area, separating a dining space from a living room or kitchen area in your home.

4. A Dining Room Area Rug Can Protect Your Carpet

If your dining room is used regularly and you have a less durable carpet, a rug can protect your dining room floor from the wear and tear that table and chair legs can create as they get moved back and for over it.

Disadvantages of a Dining Room Rug

There are also a few downsides that may be enough to convince you to go without a rug:

1. You Need To Move Your Table To Clean Your Rug

If your dining table is very heavy, just getting the rug underneath it could be a pain. Having to make sure the rug is always in the right spot underneath the table could be tough, too. And as for moving the table out of the way to clean any stains… we hope your table isn’t too heavy.

2. Dining Room Rugs Will Need Cleaning More Often

A dining room area rug is one more thing that needs cleaning. Spills and stains are to be expected at dinner parties, and there’s no doubt that running a mop over a wood floor is so much easier than getting on your hands and knees and scrubbing gravy out of a fluffy pile. You may want to think twice if you have small children in your home!

3. A Poorly-Sized Rug Will Interfere With Your Chairs

If the rug is the wrong size, it can interfere with your dining chairs and cause an uneven sitting surface (front legs on, back legs off), which people will likely find uncomfortable.

Tips For Choosing a Rug For Your Dining Room

When choosing a rug, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind:

  • Style – go for a style that fits in with the rest of the room. Think about the overall effect the space has so that your rug compliments not just the background color scheme but the room shape, too.
  • Shape – It’s important to match rug shape with table shape, as otherwise the effect won’t be easy on the eye. Consider a round rug for a round table, and so on. It sounds simple, but shapes add texture to a room as much as any material or wallpaper design does.
  • Material – A rug in your dining room will get a lot of wear and tear. The weight of the table, movement of the chairs and other furniture, and the regular vacuuming it may need, mean it may need to be tougher than rugs in other areas of your home. Choose something hardy.
  • Low Pile – A shorter pile will help prevent tables and chairs from getting caught up on the rug.

What Size Rug Should Go Under a Rectangular Dining Table?

As a general rule, if you are placing a rectangular rug under a similarly-shaped dining room table, you will want a rug that is at least 45cm (18″) up to 60cm (24″) bigger on each side of the table. This extra room is necessary so that people can pull out their chair without it getting caught on your rug.

This rug size will also give enough room for someone to sit on the chair and have all four chair legs on the rug. This is important because if the two front legs of the chair are on the rug, but the back legs extend past the edge, the chair will be wobbly and uncomfortable. If in doubt, get a bigger rug.

Rectangular Table Size Suggested Minimum Rectangular Rug Size
30" x 42" 66" x 78"
30" x 60" 66" x 96"
36" x 72" 72" x 108"
42" x 96" 78" x 132"

What Size Rug Should Go Under a Round Dining Table?

As with a rectangular table, your best bet is to purchase a rug that allows at least 45cm (18″) of additional room around the table, and you may find you need at least 60cm (24″). This means the diameter of the rug needs to be between 90cm and 120cm (36″ and 48″) larger than the diameter of the table. For example, if you had a new table with a diameter of 60″, you’d need a rug with a diameter of at least 96″ to accommodate the seating arrangement.

Round Table Diameter Minimum Rug Diameter
30" 66"
36" 72"
48" 84"
60" 96"
72" 108"

What Type of Rug is Best for Under a Dining Table?

For a dining room rug, you’ll want to choose a short fiber rug with a flat weave rather than a fluffy rug. Thick shag rugs look great, but they are not practical for dining tables. They make it tough to pull the table and chairs out, and crumbs will accumulate in the fibers. The wrong rug will make it hard to move furniture and quickly become messy.

In terms of overall look of the rug, it’s going to come down to personal preference. Our choice would be to look at area rugs made from natural fibers with a color or pattern that complimented the decor of the eating area without overwhelming it.

Another great idea is to find matching carpet tiles that you can put together and even replace if you find spills or stains in some areas. Heavy tables can wear down the rug texture after a while, but that’s not a problem if you replace affected carpet tiles. They’re a popular choice in the kitchen for these very reasons.

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