#Home & Decor

How to Measure for an Area Rug

by My Design Secrets

How to Measure for an Area Rug

Because you’ll probably have to do it at some point, and you don’t want the rug to ruin the room’s vibe.


Area rugs are the crowning touch to wood and tile flooring. They add warmth, beauty, and color to your room, not to mention how good they feel underfoot. But there’s nothing worse than ordering a rug, laying it down, and then realizing it’s a little too big or too small. So before you start searching, it’s a good idea to figure out what size you need. It will help narrow down your choices and give you confidence in your purchase. Here are some room-by-room guidelines.


Dining Room
Measure the dining room table and then add 54” to the length and the width so chairs can be moved in and out without slipping off the rug.


Living Room and Family Room
Measure the perimeter of your entire furniture grouping and deduct 24” from the length and the width. This will allow the front legs of sofas and chairs to be on the rug and anchor the seating area. If one side faces a fireplace or TV, then measure from the perimeter to the end of the coffee table; no deduction needed on that measurement.


Measure the size of your hallway and subtract 12” from the length and width. This will allow for a 6” border of flooring to show all around.


Measure the bed, then add 24” to each side that is not against the wall. This way you have a rug to stand on while you put on your slippers.


A measuring example: 


Length: From the outside of one chair to the other is 12′. Subtract 24” and you have 10′ for the length.


Width: One side faces the fireplace so we measure from the back of the sofa to the edge of the coffee table, no subtraction needed. 8′ for the width.


Secret Buying Tips


  • Shipping costs for rugs are pretty hefty. Rugs often qualify as over-sized freight so be sure to take advantage of sales and free shipping offers
  • Along with figuring out the right size, it’s often worth the extra time to order the same pattern rug in the smallest size available to make sure the pattern works
  • Confirm that the return policy is liberal and ask them if they will credit the freight if you order the larger size
  • If you are ordering a custom sized rug, then use the exact measurements calculated above. If you are ordering standard sized rugs, then go up to the next size rug
  • If you have any recessed floor outlets, make sure they are covered if they are not underneath the furniture
  • Order the pad along with the rug. That way you have the exact size you need to roll it out as soon as you receive it


I hope you find the rug of your dreams that fits your room just right!