How to Compare Area Rugs: Know Quality When You See It

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Area rugs can be an extremely important part of your overall aesthetic in a room. It’s the area rug that tends to tie in all the colors in a room, provide a soft welcoming feeling, and soften sounds. If your rug is going to be central to your decor and the tone of your room, you should invest wisely. To do this, you’ll need to be able to successfully compare area rugs.

 

Rug Shape

When you compare area rugs, you’ll find quality differences show themselves in shape. Some square rugs are actually squares, while cheaper ones can be parallelograms or irregular rectangles. Some area rugs are round, and others are actually ovals that are trying really hard to be round. This in itself may only be a problem as much as it’s noticeable. But even if the imperfect shape is understated, it’s a sure sign of poor quality craftsmanship.

 

How it Lies

A high quality rug will lie flat. If it’s been rolled up a long time or up until recently, there may be some curl to it when you first see it, but this curl must be minimal and even. A rug that has irregular raised areas or wavy edges is not high quality. In fact, if it’s truly well-made, the rug seller wouldn’t store it rolled up for any length of time anyway. Always see a rug flat before buying it.

 

Compare Area Rugs Finishes

Rugs made with low quality fibers tend to be unnaturally shiny or bright, or unusually washed out for a new rug. When shopping, take note of the luster of high quality and high priced area rugs. Recognizing the natural finish and color saturation level of wool and other natural materials can help you determine what kind of fiber you’re looking at.

 

How the Area Rug is Made

There are many methods for making area rugs. Some are machine made and can last about 20 years, but there are hand tufted, hand knotted and flat woven rugs that can last much longer. Although handmade rugs are often less “perfect” they have character a machine made rug can never match.

 

Knots Per Inch

Comparing area rugs with designs in them, the ones with low knots per inch have more pixelated lines and designs. Higher knots per inch means the designs look smoother and the rug will also feel more dense. Not as course as a low knots-per-inch rug. You don’t usually have to ask about knots per inch because you can tell by observing density and the clarity of the pattern.

Knowing your rugs can help you find the right piece at the right price.

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