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  Thursday, October 2, 2014  
   
 

 
Area Rugs
spruce up your room

You need not go on a magic carpet ride to transport your floors from ordinary to extraordinary. Changing the look and feel of your room, under foot, can be as easy as putting in an area rug or smaller piece of floor covering. Adding or changing an area rug can be one of the simplest ways and most affordable ways to spruce up your room. If you are scared that your current flooring may not be conducive to adding an area rug, have no fear; there are pads available to make just about any area rug work on just about any floor. Area rugs can add softness to existing floor coverings.

Area rugs have been around for ages. Typically, they were seen in the form of Oriental rugs that were passed down from generation to generation. Somewhere around the 1970s, hand made oriental rugs began to be produced in larger quantities. The high costs of these hand made Oriental rugs made them somewhat of a luxury. Now, we are seeing area rugs in a variety of different colors, patterns, and costs.

In recent years, more and more homes are turning away from wall to wall carpeting and toward harder finishes like hardwood and ceramic. Even more recently, we have jumped to all sorts of fabulous floor finishes like limestone, bamboo, and marble. With all of the new, beautiful flooring options it is no longer desirable to cover the entire floor with carpet. In most cases area rugs are used to give the feel of carpet, while still showcasing the flooring below.

When choosing an area rug color, pattern, and texture should be taken into consideration. There is a wide range of options when selecting an area rug. The high costs of Oriental rugs from days gone by are no longer a concern for those looking to add an area rug to their living space. There are rug selections for just about every price range and the styles range from traditional to contemporary, unadorned to whimsical. There are even lines available to target certain themes for different rooms.

Within the last few years there has been a push to make the home more of a tranquil, relaxation zone. With this trend there has been an increase in the demand for textiles in calmer, muted tones. This has led to less busy carpet patterns. Carpet companies are also responding to this trend by using vegetable dyes and tea stains in their products. This creates a less vibrant, more relaxed hue. There are still many patterns being used in these rugs, but they are more subtle, helping to create a soothing and flowing indoor environment.

Area rugs can work as a beginning or an ending point when putting a room together. It is usually preferable to make your area rug your very first purchase when redesigning your living space. One of the reasons to make this your first purchase is that it can be the most expensive purchase and help you determine how much to spend on the rest of the room. Another good reason to select the area rug first is that it has an overarching ability to set the mood, or theme, of a room. Furniture, paint, and art selections will be much different with a jute rug than they will with a bright, geometrically patterned rug. Yet another reason it is easiest to choose your carpeting first is that it is considerably easy to make a paint selection based upon the carpet colors than to make a carpet selection based upon paint colors.

If you already have a finished room and want to make an area rug purchase to tie everything together this is still very doable and quite effective. One thing you may want to consider when making your carpet purchase is the pattern on the carpet and the pattern on your furniture. Combining two large print items will create too much competition among the pieces. It is okay to combine prints and patterns; just be sure that there is only one focal point.

Rug size and placement go a long way in bringing a room together. There are a few things to consider when deciding which size rug to purchase and where to place it. When determining the size rug you need the first thing you should take into consideration, if the space is already furnished, is how the furniture is currently arranged. From there you can figure out which size rug you will need for the space. Don’t be afraid to use multiple area rugs to fill a space. Several smaller area rugs can work just as well in a large space as one large area rug. This option is especially appealing to individuals with a smaller budget.

When you are not forced to work within the constraints of pre-existing furniture or arrangements there are a few more options available in picking out an area rug. If you would like to cover most of the floor with your area rug, one tip to keep in mind is that when possible it is best to have a proportional space of existing flooring left uncovered throughout the room. This is typically done in smaller rooms. In larger rooms this is harder to accomplish and conversation areas are typically created using multiple carpets.

With the increasing popularity of open floor plans, area rugs can go a long way in creating conversation areas or even defining separate sections of a room. For example, if you have a great room that flows into the kitchen and dining area, by scattering area rugs in those three sections you set them apart. Area rugs can create the illusion of stand alone rooms without needing to put up walls.

One of the other invaluable aspects of area rugs is that they are the only type of floor covering that can be picked up and moved with very little effort. One could even go so far as to change their area rug with the changing seasons. The options in area rugs are endless, there is something available to meet the needs of just about anyone.

Once you have selected the perfect area rug it is then necessary to know how to properly care for and maintain your area rug. There are procedures you can follow to preserve your area rug, but at times it may be necessary to hire professional help. There are four main areas in home area rug maintenance; rotation, vacuuming, padding, and spot cleaning.

Rotating your area rug is key to making sure that it is worn evenly. Depending on the traffic on the area rug, it should be rotated approximately once every year. If it is in a very high traffic area you may need to rotate it every six months. If it is in a very infrequently trafficked area, it may only be necessary to rotate the carpet once every two years. This simple step can add years to the life of your carpet.

A quick and simple way to restore life to your carpet is by simply vacuuming it. When dirt builds up on a carpet it can begin to look dingy, dull, and lifeless. By regularly vacuuming your carpet you remove the dirt from in between the fibers and restore life to the fibers. One thing to keep in mind when vacuuming an oriental rug is that the fringes should never be vacuumed with the beater bar of the vacuum. Vacuuming with the beater bar can cause the fringes to be pulled and can cause them to come detached from the carpet. Instead, try using the vacuum hose to remove dirt from the fringes.

Padding is also very important in how long an area rug will hold up and look great. A quality pad under your area rug will help protect your carpet against everything from dirt to wear to slipping. For some reason, by placing a pad under your area rug it makes it harder for dirt to nestle in to the fibers of the rug. The pad also creates a softer barrier between the area rug and the hard floor, minimizing the impact of wear. Finally, a pad will help keep an area rug from slipping by clinging to both the carpet backing and the flooring.

Timely spot cleaning goes a long way to enhance the beauty of an area rug. Whenever a spill occurs it is important that it be cleaned immediately, before the stain sets. To do this, first soak up excessive liquid from the rug. Make sure that you blot the area and not brush or scrub, as this may break the fibers of the rug. Then, using a mixture of mild detergent, white vinegar, and water, spot clean the area. Rinse away the detergent with a small amount of water and vinegar. All the while, make sure that you are not using so much liquid that the backing of the carpet gets wet. Blot dry until most of the liquid is absorbed and allow the remainder to air dry. These stain removal tips help in most instances, but when they do not, don’t be afraid to hire someone to get the job done.

One of the beauties of area rugs is that when they need to be cleaned professionally they can be picked up and taken to a cleaning company. Many carpet cleaning companies will pick up your area rug and take it to their facility, or allow for drop off service. When an area rug is first picked up, or dropped off, it will be inspected to determine the necessary treatment. Then a series of procedures will take place to optimally clean your carpet.
Once your carpet has reached the cleaning facility and is ready to be cleaned the first step is to remove dry soil. Many types of rugs are designed to actually hide dry soil, or dirt. A few years ago, a study was done that found that a 9’ X 12’ woven rug can hide up to 85 pounds of dirt. A variety of techniques are used to lift the pile and remove dirt from the front and the back of the carpet.

After the dry soil has been removed the area rug is then pre-conditioned. What this does is emulsify the soils in the rug. The area rug is then pre-treated where there are stains and, if the rug has fringes, the fringes are pre-treated for maximum soil removal.

The rug is then shampooed with specially formulated detergent that is designed to maximize cleaning while still protecting the natural fibers. After shampooing, depending on the type of rug, it will be rinsed with extraction equipment on both sides. Once the rug is cleaned, it is then dried flat in a controlled environment; this helps to avoid unnatural shrinkage. After the area rug has dried, it is then combed and finished with special equipment. Before the rug is released for delivery, or pick up, it receives one final inspection and is wrapped to further protect from soils until it can be laid in your home.

When selecting a carpet cleaning specialist there are several things you must question before your carpet is picked up or dropped off. First check to make sure that the facility is properly insured. You also want to make sure that the technicians doing the work are properly certified. All carpet cleaning firms that are certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification are listed at www.iicrc.org. Next, you need to be certain that the carpet is being treated in a sheltered building with concrete floors. As many rugs can be of great value, both monetarily or sentimentally, check to make sure that there is a security system in place for the facility that will house your rug.

After spending a considerable about of time, effort, and money on your new area rug it is important that you properly care for your area rug to keep it looking as great as the day you got it. These are just a few of the many tips on buying and caring for area rugs. For additional information on selecting and caring for your area rug please contact the businesses in our resource box.