Many times, all it takes to redecorate a room is to place an area rug in the room. An area rug is a large rug or edged carpet of varying colors, patterns and materials that helps protect your flooring and cushion your feet, while adding fresh style and color to the room. All types of flooring can benefit from having an area rug in places where heavy traffic occurs, to protect it from undue wear and tear. It is even an advantage to have an area rug over hardwood or stone. One reason for this would be extra cushioning and warmth while you walk over it, and another is it helps significantly to reduce echo in rooms made primarily of hard surfaces.
There are many types of area rugs, in both rectangular and round versions. Popular choices include hand knotted rugs, made by hand and each one unique. These are the hardest to make, take the longest, and usually most expensive. The easiest to manufacture are the highly affordable tufted rugs, made with cut pile yarns of varying materials. These rugs may require more vacuuming than other rug styles, as their fibers can shed easier. Hooked yarn rugs are the same as tufted rugs, except their yarns have not been cut into cut pile, and are left looped, or hooked, creating a knobby carpeting look. Last but not least, the ever popular braided rugs do not have a pile and are usually reversible. Braided rugs, made of a rope of braided fibers sewn together in a circular pattern, are a very durable area rug choice.
All these types of rugs can be made in various synthetic and natural fibers. Wool, always a popular choice because of its durability and attractive appearance, is a natural fiber. It is warm, soft, easy to clean, and has the characteristic of improving in appearance over time much like a hardwood floor. Another popular choice for its attractive appearance and softness is silk blended with other fibers, which makes for a soft, strong rug with a beautiful light refracting sheen. Silk is a more expensive area rug fiber choice. Other area rug fiber choices include cotton, grass, and synthetic plastic fibers.
Each type of area rug and fiber variant requires special and varying levels of maintenance and care. The easiest to care for and clean are cotton, wool, and most synthetic fibers area rugs. These usually need only regular vacuuming and occasional hot water extraction cleaning if they become soiled or stained. Always follow the area rug manufacturers care instructions for best results.