Revitalize your patio, porch, balcony or other outdoor space with attractive and durable outdoor rugs. Most outdoor rugs can also be used indoors, and there are specific rug collections of versatile indoor/outdoor area rugs.
How you use your patio or other outdoor space will determine the size, shape, and design of your rug, as well as the material from which the rug is crafted. If you serve meals or entertain outdoors, you’ll need area rugs to complement dining tables or sofas.
Homeowners who just want to cover up imperfections or add a splash of color to their porch can choose just about any style or size rug, provided it holds up well in any weather.
Weather and Outdoor Rugs
Natural fibers like wool and silk are fine for indoor use but will fade or be irreparably damaged when exposed to constant sunlight, rain, and other weather conditions. Rugs placed under gazebos or covered porches may still fall victim to moisture and errant raindrops. Water and excessive sunlight can damage the fibers in natural fabric, or cause mildew or mold.
Outdoor rugs are usually made from synthetic fibers that won’t absorb water and are easy to clean. You won’t need to do anything to dry out your synthetic rug after a summer drizzle. However, you should flip your rug after a rain shower to let the bottom dry after the front of the rug has dried. Since synthetic fibers don’t absorb water, outdoor rugs dry quickly. Check to make sure water isn’t trapped under the rug. Mold may form on a wooden deck if you don’t dry synthetic rugs after a heavy rain.
Outdoor rugs do more than make your patio or porch more attractive. They protect tile, wood decks and stonework from scratches and damage. Use a rug pad with outdoor rugs to prevent slippage and deterioration. Place the rug pad with the tacky side up to prevent staining on wooden decks.
If you discover mold or fungus on an outdoor rug, spot clean the area with a mixture of vinegar and water. You can also use bleach to remove mildew, but check the rug cleaning instructions to make sure bleach won’t harm the rug’s color. Spot clean a small area on the rug first to check for possible discoloration. Always clean rugs on a driveway to avoid sending run-off to grass or gardens.
Best Shapes and Materials for Outdoor Rugs
Most outdoor rugs are made with polypropylene or other synthetic materials. Synthetic materials are weather and water resistant, inexpensive, and easy to maintain. Outdoor acrylic or polypropylene rugs can usually be cleaned with a mild detergent and small brush. Olefin is another stain-resistant and pet-friendly synthetic fiber.
Terrace or patio rugs and welcome mats are out in the sun all day, and synthetic material can bear the brunt of UV rays without colors bleeding or fading. Affordable synthetic rugs are available in a plethora of shapes and sizes.
Outdoor rugs may be small 2’x3′ throw rugs placed by the door to 11’x14′ area rugs suitable for a dining or party space. Leave 30″ from the edge of the rug to the edge of a dining table to allow guests to easily pull chairs in and out from under the table.
Use a runner to add comfort and visual interest to a balcony. Spruce up bland walkways with runners. An outdoor rug adds flair to a walkway that links two parts of your patio. If you like lounging on your balcony during the summer, a rug keeps bare or sandaled feet cozy.
Cover your entire patio with an area rug to enhance bland outdoor space, but be sure to 12″-24″ from the patio perimeter to the rug edges. This gives guests enough space to walk around the furniture.
Allow a border of 18″ for medium-sized spaces. This highlights your rug while it gives people enough room to move freely. You can allow 8″ of space for a border in smaller spaces.
If you have a conversation or socializing area, make sure the rug edges are placed under the front legs of the table or other furniture in the space. You can also place chairs or other furniture around a rug to form a conversation space.
More Sizing Tips
A rug that has two front legs on it expands the space while tying it together. Placing all four legs of a table on an area rug helps create a social space and also creates a focal point for your patio/outdoor space.
Place the front legs of love seats or sectionals on an area rug. You can place all four legs on the rug if it looks right. If you have a large space and can use several rugs, vary the furniture placement for an asymmetrical, eclectic look. Put two table legs on some area rugs and all four legs on other rugs
Do you have a large deck or patio? Don’t be afraid to use a large rug similar to the ones you’d use in your living room and turn your backyard into a comfortable space for meals and entertaining.
Colors and Patterns
Many outdoor rugs come in neutral or pastel colors, but bold patterns are also available. If you have a plain wood or concrete porch or patio, a colorful rug will add visual flair to a boring space.
Even bland welcome mats of the past have been replaced by a variety of colorful and often eccentric front porch rugs. Remember to coordinate your rug designs and materials with the colors and texture of your patio furniture.