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What Type of Rug is Best for a Kitchen?

Rugs in the kitchen? Sounds a little crazy, right? Kitchens are one of the best rooms for rugs , both in terms of style and practicality. But (obviously), not any rug will do. In this post, we’ll discuss what types of rugs are best for a kitchen and how to choose the right one for yours. 


Why Put Rugs in the Kitchen?

Have you ever made your way to the kitchen for a midnight snack, only to have the sudden transition from carpet to hard surface freeze your feet? That’s probably the best reason to have rugs in the kitchen.

But it certainly isn’t the only one. Kitchens have become more stylish and social in recent years. They have taken on a life of their own. As with all other rooms, the best kitchen rugs will help add more organization, style, and comfort. 


Also, consider your kitchen’s flooring. Is it sheet vinyl? Laminate? If so, you may want to use rugs to protect high-traffic areas. It’s generally much easier and more affordable to replace rugs than flooring. Even if your floors are more durable and resilient, it never hurts to have an extra layer of protection against expensive replacements. 

If your kitchen is anything like...well, any other kitchen, it probably has hard surface flooring. Rugs naturally improve sound installation. This makes them a great choice for apartments with downstairs neighbors. However, it can also mean quieter footsteps in any home.

Another challenge with hard surface flooring: is lower R-values. A room’s r-value is a measurement of its insulation. The lower this number, the less energy efficient that room is. Rugs are naturally warmer than tile, LVT, and laminate, and can help improve your kitchen’s r-value. 


Placing Rugs in the Kitchen

Kitchen rugs are typically better placed in transitional areas. Place them near the entrance from other rooms, whether there is a door there or not. 

We also recommend placing larger area rugs under the kitchen table. This helps set the dining area apart from the rest of the kitchen. It also just looks great. Remember to consider the movement of chairs when placing a rug under the kitchen table. 

If you have a galley-style kitchen, runners are pretty much a must. That long, the narrow walkway is ripe for extra styling and comfort. It’s also more comfortable to walk along during those cold winter nights. 

If your kitchen has a nook tucked away, set it apart with a rug. Typically, round kitchen rugs and tables add the perfect touch to a breakfast nook. You can even use tones and colors that deviate from your kitchen’s decor to better define it as a subspace.

If you have an average kitchen and just want to accent its style with a rug, we recommend placing it in the middle. This offers more cohesion and keeps it away from splashes and spills. 


When and Where Should I Place a Kitchen Floor Runner?

Kitchen runners have been a surprising trend recently, but it’s easy to see why. Placing runners in the kitchen adds warmth - both to the style and the overall comfort. They are also a great way to help ease back pain over time. 

Kitchen runners can be placed along with the areas where you tend to spend the most time - near counters, sinks, and ovens. You can also place runners just far enough away from the edge so they aren’t affected by spills and splashes, yet still within arm’s reach. When placing kitchen floor runners , that space should be around 1 foot. This offers the most utility and sets a holistic aesthetic. 

You can also use them to connect spaced elements in your kitchens, such as islands and cabinets. If you have a mobile island, consider placing a rug underneath. 

Kitchen Runner Rugs

Matching Your Kitchen's Style

Our kitchen’s style is a reflection of who we are, and in recent years, it’s begun to earn its place as a focal point of our home. The best kitchen rugs are the ones that will not only improve their comfort, but also style. 

The best rug for your kitchen will include the designs , colors, sizes, and shapes that will best complement your existing style. If finding the right combination of each seems like a daunting task, don’t worry! We’ll help you make that decision here. 


Farmhouse Kitchen Rugs

The farmhouse style has been trending lately for its unique ability to blend a rustic appeal with a modern flair. It has proven to be an especially popular style choice in kitchens. 

Farmhouse rugs still come in a variety of styles and colors. They all still feature rustic appeal, but you’ve got some flexibility in choosing the best rug for your kitchen. 

However, it’s important to remember that colors don’t necessarily have to match. They often don’t in farmhouse decor. Rather, colors should complement each other. Remember to keep the rustic theme in mind, which is often accented by earth tones. 

Also, consider rugs with floral patterns . The farmhouse aesthetic takes us back to a time when people were a little closer to nature. Floral patterns bring the beauty of nature indoors, which helps to complete the look. 

Ultimately, the purpose of a farmhouse approach is to provide a welcoming area for friends and family to meet. That’s why earth tones match it so well. This also allows you to be a little playful with your designs. Don’t shy away from rugs with bold contrasting colors. 


Boho Kitchen Rugs

The bohemian (boho) style has also proven popular in kitchens and is similar to the farmhouse style. It also makes use of rustic aesthetics and earth tone colors , but typically adds a more exotic flair. 

Boho styles draw inspiration from a variety of cultures and focus on bold designs and colors. As for the best rugs for boho kitchens, look for designs that seem a little less conventional. Keep in mind, that boho styles are about breaking the rules a little - or redefining them entirely. 

Ultimately, boho styles are so flexible because they celebrate a free spirit and personal expression. So for boho kitchens, rugs should help reflect this bold lifestyle with unique, catchy designs. 


Tribal Rugs in the Kitchen

Tribal area rugs feature-rich designs and bold colors. These designs reflect the origin stories and traditions of the tribes and nomads that gave rise to the aesthetic. These people were versatile, and so were their designs. 

Tribal kitchen rugs offer designs that can fit a variety of styles. The designs are pretty much guaranteed to work; it’s more important to consider color cohesion. Tribal rugs should blend with the existing color elements in your kitchen, rather than trying to contrast with them. Also, consider the regional origins of each rug if you’re intentionally designing your kitchen with a specific cultural flair. 


Modern Kitchen Rugs

If you prefer a more sleek, refined design, don’t rule out kitchen rugs. Yes, most rugs feature rustic designs reflecting ancient cultures. And yes, they’ve often considered a more traditional form of decor. But many rugs are offering contemporary styles as well. So, rugs remain a great choice for kitchens that are “in the now.” 

For modern kitchens, you may want to consider the growing industrial trend. These rugs and decor accent contemporary designs well with a hint of a classic rugged aesthetic. Industrial themes are especially compatible with earth tones. 

You may also consider a minimalist rug. What was once a trend has turned into a movement as minimalism continues to influence a variety of styles and trends. It also offers a modern flair without distracting visitors. 


Classic Styles: Persian and Oriental Kitchen Rugs

Persian and oriental rugs feature timeless designs that are functional in any space - including kitchens. These designs were typical choices for kitchens in their respective cultures and traditions. 

Today, their designs remain versatile and allow them to fit a variety of styles. They’re also timeless and have always been trendy choices. 


Should I Match Kitchen Rug Styles?

As we discussed earlier, the boho style is flexible and typically blends well with other styles. However, we still recommend only using accents from other styles.

Otherwise, it’s better to stick with a cohesive style. If you don’t, your kitchen’s overall theme will likely appear chaotic and messy (even if your kitchen is spotless).

One exception to this rule is if you distinctly want to set apart a specific element of your kitchen. For example, we discussed breakfast nooks earlier; these are great subspaces that can beautifully boast their styles. If you’ve designated a greenspace for plants in your kitchen, you may also want to use a floral rug to set it apart. 

Muted Collection Handmade Rugs

Should Kitchen Rugs Match the Floors?

Kitchen rugs should complement the overall style. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to match perfectly. 

Sometimes, colorful rugs can be paired with earth-tone floors to help make them pop. This is an especially popular choice in boho kitchens, but it also fits many contemporary designs. Tribal rugs do this well. We don’t recommend it as much for farmhouse kitchens. 

However, it also makes sense to choose kitchen rugs that feature similar colors to the flooring. This can help complement the overall style while breaking up the design a little. Using similar tones helps provide a sense of calm. 


Finding the Right Size Rug for Your Kitchen

Kitchens don’t always have a lot of room for moving around. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your rug should be small. It’s all about placement. For example, rugs are often used to accent kitchen tables. It takes a much larger rug to fit under the table and chairs.

Here’s a quick guide to sizing rugs for your dining room table:

We also offer a complete guide to sizing rugs for your dining room table & how to choose the right rug for your dining room space

If you have plant stands or small utility tables, you can choose a smaller rug to accent these areas. Or, if they’re placed more closely together, use a medium-sized rug to combine your stands and tables into one element. 

Of course, these are typically the only pieces of floating furniture in the kitchen. Generally, though, you’ll still stick with small and medium-size rugs. After all, you’ll want to avoid placing them in moisture-prone areas like the sink or dishwasher. It’s also a good idea to keep them away from trash cans. So, unless you have an unusually large kitchen, stick with these dimensions:

We recommend avoiding the larger end of medium rugs for average-sized kitchens. Remember, the size you choose should complement your existing furniture and decor, not overwhelm it. This is why small kitchen rugs are usually (but not always) the most suitable. 

If you do have a larger kitchen and prefer a bigger rug, placement becomes important. If you just lay the rug in the middle of the floor with no functional purpose, it’ll appear awkward. You’ll also likely have trouble keeping it in the same place. Most rugs with traditional backing tend to slide on tile flooring.

Earlier, we mentioned plant stands and utility tables as kitchen accents. If your larger-sized kitchen doesn’t already have these, consider adding more as design elements. There’s a pretty good chance that your kitchen has the flexibility for it. China cabinets and antiques make great additions to kitchen decor and can be easily accented by a kitchen rug. 


What Rug Shapes are Best for Kitchens?

Circular and oval-shaped rugs are popular choices for kitchens. They easily conform to limited spaces and offer a bold aesthetic in homes that tend to feature box-like designs. 

Of course, this isn’t to say that square and rectangular rugs don’t have a place in the kitchen. As we mentioned earlier, large, rectangular rugs are a great choice for dining room tables. Smaller rectangular rugs and mats are also a popular choice if your kitchen has a door leading outside. But if you’re working with limited space and just want rugs that will segment or accent your kitchen’s style, round kitchen rugs are great choices. 

If you’re planning a subspace in your kitchen (such as the aforementioned breakfast nooks and green spaces), square and circular rugs work best. Generally, subspaces need even measurements for better cohesion. Of course, you can make an exception when combining elements, as we described earlier. Also, try not to have more than two subspaces in your kitchen, even if it’s larger than most. 


Using a Rug Pad for your Kitchen Rug

Hard surface floors are a necessity for kitchens. However, they’re less comfortable to stand on - and it’s usually the room where you do the most standing. So while you’re standing there cooking meals and washing dishes, it’s worth considering a rug pad to provide a little more comfort . Over time, this (like kitchen rugs) can also help ease back pain. 

Try to find a kitchen rug pad that’s slip-resistant . Most kitchens have tile floors, which can be a little slippery. Ideally, you’ll be able to keep your rug centered in a single space. 

Rubber rug pads are probably the best choice for kitchens. They offer more comfort and do a better job of staying in place. They are also moisture resistant and easier to clean.

Just like with carpet, rug pads can also help extend the life of your rugs. The added support means less wear and tear on your rug, allowing it to last longer. 

Rug pads will also help improve sound insulation. They are quieter than rugs alone and make footsteps virtually silent. Again, your downstairs neighbors will thank you. 


Durable Kitchen Rugs

Kitchens get a lot of foot traffic, and that puts pressure between constant steps and hard floors. Durability is important when considering kitchen rugs . Here are a few quick things to look for in the most durable rugs:

  • Is it handmade? Even with all of the innovations of recent decades, traditional handmade rugs consistently prove more valuable than their machine-made counterparts.
  • Knot count: More knots mean more durability
  • Durable materials: Wool, bamboo, and seagrass are some of the most durable (and sustainable) rug materials. Wool typically outranks the others. 


Finding the Best Kitchen Rugs

We’ve covered a lot of ground here. There are many considerations when buying kitchen rugs and runners. These include: 

  • Why do rugs belong in the kitchen, to begin with
  • How to place rugs in the kitchen
  • Kitchen rug styles
  • Finding the right size rug for your kitchen
  • Kitchen rug shapes
  • Kitchen rug pads
  • Durable kitchen rugs

Thankfully, we’ve made the process easy! Our website offers a large selection of rugs that have been hand-picked for kitchen designs and use. Our selection features a variety of styles and price points.