Carpets vs Rugs: Your Questions Answered

June 1, 2021

With both types of floor coverings having pros and cons, you may be wondering which flooring solution to choose for your particular application needs. We look at the differences, advantages and disadvantages of carpets vs rugs in terms of cost of installation, safety profiles, ease-of-maintenance, durability, fashion and comfort to make the decision easier.

Carpets vs Rugs: What Is the Difference?

In the most generalised definition, a rug is a piece of woven fabric for covering part of a floor, whereas a carpet covers a larger area – and both are floor coverings. Area rugs are made on rug looms, which are basically frames, whereas carpets are machine-made in specific widths. Area carpets, unlike fitted carpeting, can be moved and can be laid anywhere on the floor, just like rugs.

The Pros and Cons of Each

Knowing the basic differences between the two, let’s move on to the pros and cons of each. You may be wondering, which one is best? To answer your question, let’s consider the pros and cons of each side by side, helping you decide whether to install fitted carpeting or to lay rugs.

1. Which One Is Cheaper to Install?

Here’s a benefit you cannot ignore – you don’t need to install rugs. It cannot be more convenient and hassle-free than this. To place them, simply choose the area where you want the covering and place the rug. With wall-to-wall carpets you need professional help with the installation. The sub-surface must be prepared for placement. An underlay must also be fitted. Installation cost is something to keep in mind. Rugs can be moved to new locations without requiring professionals to uninstall the coverings. With more freedom in placement and not having to deal with installation costs, you save money with area rugs. Carpet tiles can be installed without professional help, though leaving it to professionals is recommended.

2. Which One Is Safer?

The doorbell rings, you have a coffee mug in hand, but before you take the final step towards the door, the rug moves and you are on the floor. Sounds familiar? Although a simple slip and fall doesn’t necessary pose a serious health risk, it stays a hazard. If it causes someone to hit a glass table with their body or perhaps hit the floor with their head first, then a trip to the emergency room is a given. Rugs placed on a smooth surface pose a slip-and-fall risk because these items can move when stepped upon.  It is also possible for a person to trip over the corner of the rug. If a person trips and falls they can hit their head or break a leg. Wall-to-wall carpets and properly installed carpet tiles don’t move around or have corners over which one can trip. The risk of injury because of the flooring is significantly reduced. However, with anti-slip mats underneath rugs, the risk of movement or corners folding over can be properly managed.

3. Which One Is Easier to Maintain?

Rugs can be removed with ease if you need to clean the floor or wash the rugs. A machine-washable rug is especially easy to maintain. Discover the many available types here. Wall-to-wall and tiled carpeting cannot be removed. For deep cleaning, it is best to get in professional help. That said, if you follow the stain removal guide from the supplier or manufacturer, you can keep the surface stain-free. Regular vacuum is recommended to remove dust and debris.

Rugs & Flooring

4. Which One Is More Durable?

Fitted carpeting doesn’t move around. This simple fact is also the reason for it being more durable than a rug. However, the material from which the surface is made plays a significant role in its durability. A nylon carpet may be cheaper than a wool type, but nylon is exceptionally durable. It is also now possible to get stain-safe wall-to-wall carpeting. The Forever Tweed is the perfect example – it is competitively priced, made from 100% PP stain-safe yarn, and is suited for heavy residential use.

5. Which One Is the Trendiest?

Rugs are well-suited for use with surfaces such as wood laminates and luxury vinyl tiles, both being trendy flooring options. Area rugs can easily be used as the focal points in rooms and can be replaced with new styles to fit the house interior design and décor as needed. It is easier to keep up with interior design trends with rugs. However, some types of carpeting styles stay in vogue. With the eco-friendly home design trend expected to continue over the next couple of years, we can expect to see more hypo-allergenic carpeting solutions such as the Healthier Living Installations.

One can place area rugs on fitted carpeting too to create a specific look and feel. Some types of rugs can be placed outdoors in line with the latest home décor trends. An example is the trendy Star Round that is UV stabilised and easy to clean.

6. Which One Is More Comfortable?

Both types add to the comfort level of a home or office. Fitted carpeting can provide a plush feeling throughout a room. This is in line with the latest home design trend focussed on a luxurious feel. To this end, the Berckley SDN provides the comfort and elegance one would expect in a luxury guest room. The deep and soft pile of this wall-to-wall carpeting solution gives it a plush and warm feeling for the utmost underfoot comfort.

What Is the Final Verdict on Carpets vs Rugs?

If you want floor covering that is easy to install, remove and clean then the rug is the answer. It is also perfectly suited for use with other popular flooring solutions, including fitted carpeting. Certain types of rugs can be placed outdoors while fitted carpeting solutions are best suited for indoor environments only. However, if you want a permanent, exceptionally resilient and safer flooring solution that can be adorned with a loose rug, then fitted carpeting is the answer. In terms of comfort, the pile depth and style determine the ultimate comfort level, although wall-to-wall carpeting certainly extends comfort throughout the room where installed.

Ultimately the choice is yours. If you’re looking for help in choosing a carpet that is best for your application, budget, and style needs, click the link below to help you make the right decision. 

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