A recent online conversation among real estate professionals provided a stunning insight into the question of using a rug in a kitchen. After losing count over the yeas and the nays, it seemed most did not like the idea. They cited reasons such as “it will get dirty quickly”, “it is a stain magnet”, and “rugs are a trip hazard.” But the respondents in favor of an area rug in the kitchen overlooked these issues and expressed their desire for beauty, comfort, and warmth. Everyone stressed the need for a non-slip backing, something washable, and in a nice design. There was also a large camp of respondents who preferred their little rug in front of the sink over a larger rug.
Perhaps everyone needs a little education on the role of a rug in the kitchen. Maybe you’re on the fence over this idea as well. This guide will present the pros and cons of a rug in the kitchen.
Pros to a Rug in the Kitchen
Tile, stone, and wood floors can be cold. An area rug can solve that. A nice style and design can warm the atmosphere of the kitchen. An open floor plan, loft apartment, or dining space with vaulted ceilings can be noisy. An area rug in the kitchen can help with noise control. Tile floors, stone counters, steel appliances and windows can increase your noise while a rug can absorb it.
Renting a home with an “ugly” kitchen floor might be hard to live with. Since you cannot always change the floors, using a rug, or a long runner in a galley-style kitchen is a good decorative choice.
Cons to a Rug in the Kitchen
Some people don’t like a rug placed where food is prepped. For safety, though, you’ll find some rugs in commercial kitchens because food being prepped can fall to the floor. Even with Fido underfoot to eat what has fallen, his tongue can leave a wet spot to slip on. Household pets who like rugs can present a hazard to the family chef. Just by wanting to lie around on the rug in the kitchen, a lazing pet can cause a person to trip over them.
In a messy kitchen, rugs can be stain-magnets. The family chef and the kids still learning to pour drinks and make lunch can cause spills. So can a tired parent walking around with coffee. Wine and juice can also spill and stain a nice rug.
Purchasing a rug for the kitchen should be done carefully. Choose a quality rug and use a rug pad. Inexpensive rugs tend to curl on the edges and provide a tripping hazard. Be sure to use a rug pad properly and add rug tape under the edges to hold the rug down on tile floors where needed. Seniors should have limited hazards in their home. Rugs are often considered hazards for several reasons. One is that they can curl on the edges and can be tripped over. Another reason is that area rugs can hinder mobility for wheelchairs and walkers. But it really depends on the resident’s needs.
Rugs can make a hard floor more comfortable. A hard tile or wood floor can because slippery and hazardous as well. To choose a rug in a home with a senior resident, choose a low-pile rug with a non-slip coating underneath. For the other residents, a quality rug tends not to curl on the edges, keeping everyone safe from tripping.
Best Materials for a Kitchen Rug
A good kitchen rug should be easy to take care of. Assess your household’s needs. A home with heavy traffic will have different needs than a single person or small family with a less busy home life. Some kitchens need a rug that will need to handle spills while others will need something less needy. A washable rug comes in many different materials. There are some you can put into your washing machine. Some you can take outside and hose down. Others require spot cleaning and vacuuming.
There are three ways to keep stains to a minimum. First, choose a washable rug. The easiest rug materials to care for include synthetic fibers like nylon and polypropylene. Second, look for stain-resistant materials. Natural fibers like seagrass and jute are easy to care for because they’re naturally stain-resistant. Third, choose a design that offers variation in colors and pattern. Spills and stains are more noticeable on a solid color rug. If a small stain cannot be removed, chalk it up to Wabi-sabi styling for your kitchen and enjoy it.
Caring for a Kitchen Rug
Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning directions on the rug label. Clean your rug so you won’t damage the floor beneath. Steam cleaning a rug over a wood floor may not be a good idea. Spot clean immediately when you see a spill. This will add to the life of your rug if you aren’t using a material that’s stain resistant.
If you still have not decided whether an area rug in the kitchen is right for you, consider the smaller choices available. Try a patterned, mat-sized rug in front of the counter where you do most of your work. Choose a runner length rug by a long area of cabinets and counter space. Does your kitchen island have a seating area? Choose a rug for underneath the chairs to protect the floor. Experiment with small rugs and graduate to a larger one to fill your kitchen space.