What Size Rug Do I Need?

Closely related: What size hallway runner do I need?

One of the most common questions we get is "if my room is 11' x 13', what size area rug do I need?" But we need to know more than room size to answer the question, unless you want to cover most of the floor. Here's a guide to rug sizes.

If you want a room size rug, then people have commonly left a one foot border around their room. This will typically place the rug under the furniture. For a room that's 11' x 13', we subtract 2 feet from each dimension (to leave a one foot border on each side). The rug would then be 9' x 11'. Decorative rugs will not come in that exact size, so use the size that's closest. Common decorative rug sizes are 8' x 10', 8' x 11', and 9' x 12'. One of these will work just fine.

Otherwise, a good question to ask is: What is the size of the floor that's left over once my furniture is in the room? The floor that's left over is the area we want to accent with an area rug. This will vary depending on the type of room you have.

Some Common Area Rug Sizes

Living Room Rugs

What size rug?  This area rug accents a seating area.
This area rug accents the seating area.
Most living rooms are set up as a seating area. A sofa with a couple chairs is the most common living room arrangement. Ideally, the rug should come just before the sofa so the front legs are off the rug. Because some rugs come in only certain sizes, that can not always be accomplished.

In the picture, you can see that the area rug is significantly smaller than the room. In fact, it is just 5' x 8', yet it fits this room perfectly.

The furniture reduces the usable space.

Bedroom Rugs

Bedroom with a room size rug.
A bedroom with a room size rug.
A bedroom can use a rug to fill the room, as the example shows. This is an 8' x 10' rug.

The advantage to one large rug is you don't have smaller loose rugs. The rug is more stable and less likely to move.
Scatter rugs accent this bedroom.
Scatter rugs accent this bedroom.
However, the floor that shows in the bedroom is much smaller. Some people don't like having a rug under a bed (although there's nothing wrong with it). This next example shows how to enhance your bedroom with scatter sized rugs.

The scatter rugs are 2' x 5' and 4' x 6'.

Dining Room Rugs

A properly sized dining room rug.
8' x 10' is the most common dining room rug size.
Finally, the dining room. Most dining rooms need an 8'x 10' rug. Again, some decorative rugs won't come exactly this size, so use the size that's closest.

8' x 10' gives you enough width so when you pull out your chairs, you are comfortable on the rug.

To know the exact size you need, measure your table. A rug that is 3' to 4' larger than the table in both directions will be ideal.
This dining room rug is too small.  The chairs come off the rug.
Too small. The chairs come off this rug.
This 5' x 8' rug is too small for the dining room table because the chairs come off the rug. A larger size is preferable.

However, if your room is small, then you may have no choice but to use a smaller size. Don't fret. Just get the largest size that will fit.

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