Soft and Hard. Warm and Cool. Rugs and Wood. Better Together


Over the last decade many homeowners have decided to remove carpet and replace it with hard surfaces like hardwood, laminate, ceramic, stone. They did so because they liked the look and felt it would be easier to maintain. What many found however, was that their new floor was not as easy to care for as first thought, and the feel underfoot was not as pleasant as when they had carpeting in the room. The solution many found was to add area rugs to their rooms.

Area Rugs can add a splash of colour, along with warmth, a soft feel, and a safer place for your kids and pets to play. But with so many types of area rugs available, how do you choose the rugs that are right for you?

Is your rug going to be placed in a high traffic area?

In high traffic areas like hallways and family rooms, choose rugs with busy patterns and colours that will easily hide dirt and soil. Select tightly woven or knotted rugs that will not show develop traffic patterns as quickly as thicker rugs would.

Is your rug in a room where you may spill food or drinks on it?

As I recommended in the higher traffic area, stay with a busier pattern. Make sure that a carpet protector is applied to avoid and permanent disasters. A tighter weave or knot helps as well, as spills tend to stay on the top of the carpet, rather than run deep into the fibres.

What about rugs in a bedroom?

Unless you like being woken up with a jolt on a cold winter morning, a plush, thick rug is the perfect choice beside your bed. Thick rugs provide excellent insulation from the cold. They also help to deaden sound, so you won’t disturb your partner when you leave for work early or arrive home late.

Synthetic or Wool?

Synthetic rugs will save you money in the short run, but wool is the better long term investment. It is rare for us to see a synthetic rug come into our shop that is more than ten years old, but we often have wool rugs brought to us that have been enjoyed for decades, some have been more than one hundred years old.  A well made wool rug will likely be passed down from generation to generation.

Special note of warning about long shag rugs

Long shag rugs (rugs with stands over one inch in length) have become very popular in recent years. They look and feel wonderful when you buy them, but you may want to consider these as “disposable” rugs. Because the strands on these rugs are so long, they are exceptionally difficult to maintain. Home vacuum cleaners are rarely powerful enough to suck the dirt from the base of the rugs. Tufts and fibres often pull out. Twisted strands often unravel, leaving a shadowy look that cannot be fixed. Some rugs actually have their colour applied as a coating (like a paint) that wears off over time or when cleaned.

Long shag rugs are the very difficult rug professionals to clean, so they will cost considerably more to have cleaned than other synthetic rugs, often more than wool or silk, so buy wisely.

Whether you are choosing your rug for its colour, design, warmth, longevity, or all of the above, you will find that the contrast of hard and soft surfaces will make your floors more beautiful and your home more enjoyable to live in.

Phil Shames is the Owner of Ecosuds Carpet and Upholstery Care. Serving the Greater Hamilton, Burlington, and Grimsby areas of Ontario. Ecosuds is a multiple award winning company specializing in environmentally friendly, low moisture fine rug, carpet, and upholstery cleaning. Phil can be reached at 905-667-5624 ext. 101 or

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