How Much Space Should You Have Around A Rug?

How Much Space Should You Have Around A Rug

Area rugs make a stunning addition to almost every room in your home, creating a visual element that makes a room truly stand out. But how much space should you have around a rug? This article will help you to buy the perfect-sized rug.

Having the same floor space on all sides of your rug is important. Having 8-24 inches of the exposed floor on all sides of the rug is enough space, but the size of the room determines it. Your primary concern should be ensuring the rug is centered in the room.

So, if you’re looking to purchase a new rug, are trying to figure out the right size to buy, or how you should place it in the room, this article will help you work out what’s best for your home.

How Much Space Does An Area Rug Need?

The most important thing to consider is whether your area rug is centered in the room. Some people might prefer one or multiple carpets in off-centered, but that is unsuitable for most rooms, and small area rugs can make your room look even smaller. 

However, to figure out the right size area rug and the space you should have around it, you have to address each room specifically.

Living Area Rugs

Living Area Rugs

If you’re putting a rug into a living area, you must first ensure that you don’t create the “floating island” effect with your area rug. Conventional wisdom says you should leave about 18 inches of the bare floor – although this doesn’t apply to open-planned living areas.

Try to find an area rug that matches the walls. It is important to accommodate furniture, so try to fit as many legs as possible on the rug. You can also get away with only putting the front two legs on the rug.

Related Article: How to Slide a Rug under a Sectional Sofa

Dining Room Rugs

Dining Room Rugs

In a dining room, your rug can match the shape of the table, but we recommend opting for round carpets if you have a round table. Your area rug should reach 18-24 inches beyond each end of the table. The back legs of the table’s chairs should remain on the carpet when pulled out before you sit. 

In smaller rooms, the area rug could go closer to the walls, but the chairs need to fit on the rug when pulled out as the minimum distance (or eight inches, whichever comes first).

Related Article: How to Slide a Rug Under a Dining Table

Bedroom Rugs

Bedroom Rugs

Rugs are an excellent alternative to carpeting, keeping the room cozy and warm while still having beautiful hardwood flooring. Bear in mind that the bed is the focal point of the room. You have three options: 

Place all legs of the bed and all the furniture surrounding it on the rug (18-24 inches around the furniture). Two, place the rug about two-thirds of the way up the bed, so the carpet ends just in front of the nightstands. You can have runners on either side of the bed, which is great for asymmetrical bedroom layouts.

All three options ensure that you always step out onto the rug when you get out of bed in the mornings.

Related Article: How to Slide a Rug Under a Heavy Bed

Foyer Rugs

Foyer Rugs

A foyer rug is a statement; it welcomes you home every day and creates the first impression of your home for your visitors. 

The area rug should be placed with 12-24 inches of space around it on each edge in a room with no or very little furniture. You can reduce that space to as little as eight inches in smaller areas. Sometimes, round or octagonal rugs fit better than square or rectangular ones.

Hallway Rugs

Hallway Rugs

Try to leave all furniture off the rugs in thoroughfares in your home because you don’t want to obstruct where people walk. Let the space dictate the size of your hallway rug. You want to fit both feet on the rug as you walk down the hallway.

If your hallways are long, you can use multiple runners with about six inches between them.

Kitchen Rugs

Kitchen Rugs

A rug has much to offer for more style and comfort in the kitchen. And it doesn’t even need to be a single rug. You can use a runner in front of the kitchen sink and another smaller rug in a different part of the kitchen.

Always leave at least six inches between the edge of the rug and the walls or counters.

Standard Rug Sizes

If buying a pre-made area rug, consider the standard sizes before measuring whether it will fit into the room with the spacing guidelines above. The following values are the standard sizes for area rugs – although they may vary slightly from one store/manufacturer to the next:

3 ft x 5 ft

4 ft x 6 ft

5 ft x 8 ft

8 ft x 10 ft

9 ft x 12 ft

How To Measure For An Area Rug

Measuring your area rug is a fairly complicated process. But ensuring enough space around the rug is critical to fit well with the room. So, measure the room dimensions in which you will put the rug. 

Once you’ve measured it, pick out the appropriate rug size from the standard size list (or from the carpet manufacturer if that information is available). Use painter’s tape, brown paper, or sheets to map out how big the rug will be.

 If the rug measurements fit to accommodate the space and furniture for the rooms we covered, then you’ve found the right rug size.


Now you’ve managed to work out how much space you should have around a rug, you have all the know-how for your area rug to fit the space perfectly. It will add a new element to the room, making it look more spacious and comfortable!


Hi there! I’m Alex, the one behind this website. I ran and operated a Local Furniture Store in Southern California. The store opened in 2010, during the “Great Recession,” It is still thriving today; however, I have dedicated my time to helping our online customer base. My primary focus is to help you with all your furniture & mattress questions.

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