A Simple Guide to Choosing the Right Rug Size for the Dining Room

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choosing the right rug size for the dining room

Rugs add color and texture to any room, which makes them a go-to when a room needs a warm, decorative touch. Aside from their decorative purpose, they can protect your floors from any damage.

If you have a dining room with wooden floors, you should consider getting a rug. The dining room is one of the busiest rooms in a house and with all the movements of the dining chairs, you need to protect your floor from all the shuffling feet and sliding chairs. Having a rug under the dining table will also soften the noise people make every time they take or get off their seats.

But what rug size should you get? If a rug is too large it would seem like you are trying to hide the entire floor – you might as well just get a carpet. But if the rug is too small, it would look like it is just there to hide a stain.

While you can get by with non-conventional rug sizes in other rooms, the dining room is different. It demands a bit more formality. So, it is best to follow the general rules of decorating when it comes to choosing the right rug size for your dining room.

Here, we share with you how to get the right rug size for your dining room. We also discuss other factors to consider when getting a new one.

Choosing the right rug size for your dining room

As a general rule, the size of your dining room table will dictate the size of the rug. Here’s how you can get the right rug size.

Ideally, the dining room rug must be about four feet longer and wider than your dining table. You would need about 18 to 24 inches on each side so that diners can slide their chairs out without going past the edge of the rug.

If your rug is too small, chairs will still be able to scratch the floor or get tangled in the edge of the rug, which can be embarrassing or a hassle for diners as they try to put the chair back in place.

When you measure your dining room table, simply add 36 to 48 inches to each measurement. If there are table leaves, make sure they are included in the measurement. The dining room rug must be able to accommodate the entire length of your dining table.

Here’s a rug size chart from Home Stratosphere for easy reference.

Dining Room Rug Size Illustration
Image from Home Stratosphere

Choosing the right rug shape for your dining room

The shape of the dining room rug can influence how great the room looks and feels. Matching the shape of the rug to the shape of the dining room table is the general expectation because it creates a good flowing and harmonious space.


dining room rug size and shape - rectangle

Rectangular rugs are the most common rugs being used in the dining room. This is because most homes have a long rectangular dining table.


dining room rug size and shape - oval
Image from Pinterest

An oval rug matches oval tables. It would also look well with a rectangular dining table as long as it follows the rule of thumb where the chairs are still on the rug when they are being pulled out.

Refrain from using an oval rug with a round dining table because the proportions will be unbalanced.


dining room rug size and shape - round
Image from Mix & Match Design

Round rugs only work well with a round dining table. But you also have to consider the shape of the room.

A round rug under a round table in a rectangular or square room will look very chic. But if the room is also round, it will look quite boring.


dining room rug size and shape - square
Image from Decoist

A square rug works best under a round table and in a small dining room. So, if you have a tiny home, a round table with a square rug will work best!

Choosing the right color and pattern for your dining room rug

The color and pattern of the dining room rug can greatly impact the appearance of the entire room. Here are some tips to keep in mind when deciding on the right color and patterns.

Go for dark-colored rugs.

dark rugs

Since the dining room is where people eat, spills and stains are inevitable. So, it is best to go for rugs with dark colors. This way, any stains can be disguised. The lighter the hue, the more visible stains will be.

Choose rugs with patterns.

rugs with patterns

Rugs with patterns are better for the dining room compared to plain-colored rugs. The presence of the pattern or print can help camouflage spots or spills. Busy patterns can easily hide stains when they happen, so you do not have to wash the rug right away over minor spills.

Consider the color palette of the room.

consider the color palette of the dining room

For a more cohesive look, consider the color palette of your dining room when choosing the rug. What is the color of your walls and furniture?

You can use the lightest color in the room as a background color for the rug and the accent colors of the room or furniture for the bolder colors of the print or pattern in the rug.

Start with the rug.

start with rug

If it happens that you are moving into a new home or redecorating your house, it helps to start with the rug first in the dining room and let it bind together the various decorative elements.

You will use your dining rug as the basis for the color scheme of the rest of the room. This is one of the easiest to pull off a uniform look.

What type of dining room rug to get

Shape, size, and color are not the only things you should think of when getting a dining room rug. The type of rug you get is just as important. Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing what type of rug to get.

Go for a low-pile rug.

High-pile rugs are not fitting for the dining room because they have the tendency to trap crumbs that can fall off the dining table. This makes it hard to cleave.

Instead, go for a low-pile rug that is around half an inch high or less, or better yet, go for a flat weave. This will also be an easier surface for your dining chairs to move around.

Choose rugs made out of easy-to-clean material.

easy to clean material

This is because the dining room rug is prone to stains and spills.

Wool is a great material that is easy to clean, soft, and durable. Wool is not as absorbent. When a spill happens, it will pool and sit on the surface first, giving you time to clean up.

Avoid pure silk and synthetic rug because it can’t withstand moisture and frequent foot traffic.

Consider an outdoor rug.

outdoor rug

If you have a lot of kids in the house that are still in their messy eating stage, consider getting an outdoor rug. Outdoor rugs are made to withstand elements and are very easy to clean.

These days, there are a lot of outdoor rugs that look as good as an indoor rug so you won’t have to worry about compromising style.

Invest in a rug pad.

Most people think a rug pad is not that necessary but it does a lot of good – especially in the dining room. With all the movement and sliding chairs going on, your dining room rug can slide, wrinkle, or buckle. This not only makes the rug look bad but it can be a tripping hazard in the room.

Having a rubber-backed rug pad will help keep the rug in place, which prevents all the problems mentioned earlier. The pad will also give extra cushion and allows airflow through the rug, so it remains smelling fresh and easy to clean.

Ready to get a rug for your dining room?

Your dining room must be a warm, welcoming space that encourages everyone to gather and share a meal. If the dining table is the dining room’s centerpiece, then think of the rug underneath it as the frame of that centerpiece. How it looks is just equally important!

The dining room is often the place where big moments and memorable conversations take place. It is where family and friends come together. Having a rug in your dining room can give an aura of comfort and even luxury to your dining space. You will be surprised how much a beautiful rug can warm up the room!

As with any kind of decor, your dining room should speak to you and show your style. We hope the tips and tricks we shared with you will help you find the best dining room rug for your needs.

Need more tips and ideas for your dining room? Check these out!

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What rug size should you get for your dining room? Here's a simple guide to help you - plus more tips on choosing the best rug!

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