Last updated: 13th October 2021
Buying a rug for your home or office can sometimes be a long and confusing process. With so many options to choose from, finding the one which is right for you can take some time - you will often finding yourself asking:
- What size should you get?
- What colour should it be?
- Should I get a plain rug or a patterned rug?
- What should it be made from?
The questions are endless, but the reward is great. Once you finally choose the perfect rug and lay it down on the floor, you will feel a great sense of achievement - and of course, your room will look fantastic.
When you have put a substantial amount of effort into finding your rug, it is only natural that you will want it to last. You may also want to increase the longevity of your rug to save yourself money in the long term and limit the impact you have on the environment.
In this article, we are going to offer you 5 of the very best ways to ensure that your rug stays looking stylish, unspoilt and gleaming for as long as possible.
1. Choosing the right material
When researching the rug you will be buying, you need to make sure that the fabric your rug is made from is fit for purpose. This largely depends on where the rug is going to be and what kind of trials it will be faced with.
If it’s going to be in a kitchen or conservatory it might be at high risk of spills and stains, if it’s going to be in a walkway it could mean it will be trampled regularly. A bit of research into different materials will help you choose the right one for the task.
For example, typically polypropylene rugs are stain-resistant and easy to care for. Other rugs may come with specialist protection such as Nouri-Guard, so even though their main material may not be especially hard-wearing, the extra layer of protection can help increase longevity.
2. Make use of an anti-slip underlay
an anti-slip underlay is an often overlooked essential that has been proven to extend the life of any rug.
When you have multiple people walking on a rug every day, not only does this create friction between their feet and the surface of the rug, but it also creates friction between the bottom layer of the rug and the surface it is lay on.
Using a good quality underlay can help reduce the movement of the rug and therefore reduce harmful friction from occurring. It can also add a protective layer that can stop the rug from having a negative impact on the floor, such as staining, as well as stopping the floor from having any negative on the rug such as the transfer of moisture.
3. Avoid direct sunlight
You may not know this, but rugs are a little like vampires - they hate sunlight!
Well, at least most rugs do. Especially rugs that are made from wool or wool blends.
Over time, the UV rays in sunlight can cause rugs to fade. One solution to this is to avoid direct sunlight completely, but this isn’t always possible - especially in modern homes with large windows, flooding the space with sunlight every day.
One alternative is to switch your rug around every so often so it doesn’t become patchy, or even swap with other rugs now and then just to keep on top of the UV damage. Generally speaking, synthetic rugs are less susceptible to UV and double-glazed windows also help reduce the risk and in turn make your rug last longer.
Occasionally, especially in the case of traditional Persian style rugs, a little sun damage can make your rug look more authentic and interesting - however, there is no guarantee that your rug will fade in the exact way that you want. So, it is a good idea to protect it from sunlight where possible.
4. Avoid shoes
If you have a ‘shoes off at the door’ policy in your home, then you are more likely to see your rugs looking newer for longer.
people walking on your rug in shoes, especially those which have dirt on them, is one of the best ways to prevent wear and tear. Although you don't strictly have to ask people to take their shoes off as soon as they enter your home, you may simply ask your family members and visitors to avoid walking on your rug if they are in shoes.
There are certain parts of the home where shoes are unavoidable. In these places choosing a more durable fabric and weave will help hugely. However, in spaces where shoes aren’t necessary try wearing slippers or socks instead.
5. Keep your rug clean, but avoid unnecessary harsh chemicals
The simple act of keeping your rug clean will have a huge impact on how long it lasts.
Immediately cleaning spills or mud will help prevent permanent stains. However, be cautious with harsh chemicals like bleaches or acid-based cleaners, especially if you have a rug made from organic materials such as wool - as this can lead to premature wear.
It is also worth keeping in mind that if you clean the floor under your rug, which can be a good idea to keep your rug in great condition, then you should ensure that it is fully dry before replacing your rug. Doing this will help prevent mould which can quickly damage your rug and cause it to smell.
Making Your Rug Last Longer
In this guide, we have provided you with 5 smart ways to make your home or office rug last longer. Regardless of what your rug is made from, if you understand the material and give it the proper care and attention it deserves, your rug is sure to look great for years to come.
If the idea of constantly maintaining your rug seems like a lot of effort, then try purchasing a rug made from a material that usually takes little to care for such as polypropylene or polyester.