With so many options of rugs available, whether it be runner rugs, area rugs, round rugs, or heck, even shag rugs, finding the perfect one can be a real challenge. After you find one and base all your décor on it, replacing it might not be something you want to do. But after years of traffic, regular cleaning, and normal wear, it comes a time when you have to consider replacing you living room’s old faithful.

As beautiful as it might be, a worn down rug is counterproductive to the style you want to create. Instead of highlighting the décor, it will drag the whole room down. There are a few signs that show you might need to start shopping for a new rug. Let’s see some of them.

A worn down look

It’s easy enough to spot when a rug is worn. It could have traces of stains or faded colors; it may have been cleaned with improper chemicals, or it could have more wear in some areas than others. 

Traffic is the primary factor that wears down a rug, so the location will play a big part in how long it lasts. An entry hall rug will see a lot more foot traffic than an area rug in a bedroom.

If not even a professional rug cleaner can remove stains from spills or traffic, it’s time to get a new one.

Bad smells and allergies

Humidity can also damage your area rug. Some fibers like polypropylene and polyester are more resistant to moisture, but all rugs may develop mold over time. While regular cleanings can eliminate musty odors, it may come a time when the damage is too severe, and the smell cannot be removed anymore.

If you have allergies and noticed your symptoms are getting worse or never going away, your old rug might have something to do with it. Traffic doesn’t only stain your carpet; it also transports dirt and allergens to your rug. If the symptoms don’t go away after having your rug cleaned, consider replacing it.

You’re moving

As groovy as it may be, the shag rug you bought for one room ten years ago might not work the same in a different house. For example, if you’re downsizing to a smaller house or an apartment, you might find yourself with a rug that’s too large, too dark or too elaborate, which might make the room look even smaller.

In this case, even if the area rug is still in good condition, you should consider getting a new one that is better suited for your space. The good thing is, if luck is on your side, you might be able re-use your old rugs in your new spaces.

An area rug may last for many years with proper care and regular vacuuming and cleaning. And that’s good, considering a rug is often important investment and the base of a room’s décor, which makes it difficult to replace. But in some cases, routine cleaning and proper care are no longer enough, and your rug has visible signs of wear. From unsightly stains to bad smells and new spaces, your rug might already need to be retired.

Among rugs, variety is not limited to colors and designs. Area rugs are available in a broad range of fibers that create different textures and sensibilities. From synthetic fibers such as acrylic, nylon, and polyester to natural materials such as wool, silk, cotton and leather, all worth exploring for the looks they can create. Materials will also determine where it’s best to use the rug, how long it’ll last and how to care for it. As a rule, natural fibers such as wool have better quality and last longer, but they can be more expensive than synthetic fibers. The latter, however, can be just as versatile and offer the same range of variety for a smaller price. If you’re wondering what materials you should choose, keep reading the following tips to determine the best fiber for your style.

Placement

An important detail to take into account when choosing a rug is where you’ll put it. The entry hall, the dining room and the corner of your bedroom have different amounts of foot traffic and are exposed to different potential hazards such as spills or stains. A delicate or antique rug might be better off hanging on a wall or placed in a quiet area with little traffic. Leave the entry and other heavy traffic areas to sturdier rugs made of durable materials such as bamboo.

Use

Another crucial aspect is why you’re using that rug in that place in particular. Are you covering up carpet wear in a heavy traffic area in your living room? Or do you want to use a rug to reduce noise and echo in your bedroom? Do you have children or pets at home? These factors should guide your choice of materials. Synthetic fibers such as polypropylene or nylon are better suited to rough treatment. Other synthetic materials like acrylic handle moisture better, which makes them a good option for humid weather, kitchens or bathrooms. On the other hand, wool rugs need to be placed in dry, low traffic areas.

Style

What style are you going for? Do you want to shake things up with a unique rug, or offer a more neutral background for a quieter, cozier room? In this case, natural and synthetic fibers provide different sensibilities and textures. Synthetic fibers like nylon can be versatile and give a lot of variety, but in some cases, they can even come close to some textures found in natural materials. For example, chenille can give a look and feel similar to silk, but it is more durable and suitable for more trafficked areas. Natural fibers are also quite versatile, from soft silks to soft wool and sturdy bamboo.

Quality

Are you looking to invest in a quality rug that you one day dream of giving to your children? Or would you prefer to keep expenses on the lower side so you can change rugs more frequently? Natural, quality materials such as silk or wool can maintain their value for many years if cared for properly, which could make them a long-term investment. Luckily, there are also less expensive natural fibers: sisal, jute, and cotton are just a couple of options in that category. Or you could turn to synthetic materials for more cost-effective variety.

If you keep in mind the four features above, choosing the perfect material of your area rug will be quicker and easier. Enjoy your new rug!