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Area Rugs vs. Wall-to-Wall Carpeting: Pros and Cons

While area rugs and wall-to-wall carpet may seem like the same thing, there are vast differences between the two. Knowing the pros and cons of each option will let you choose the best floor covering for your home and family.

Area Rugs

Rows of Turkish rugs being sold at a local outlet in Istanbul, Turkey.

The options available for area rugs are seemingly endless. There are a wide array of styles, colors, designs, material, sizes, and so much more. There are other pros, as well as cons, that oriental rugs provide.

Pros of Area Rugs:

  • Defines space in a room.
  • Easier to wash than carpeting.
  • You can take the area rug with you if you move.
  • Available in various sizes so you can have a rug that covers the entire middle of the room, or one that covers just the floor under a couch or coffee table.

Cons of Area Rugs:

  • Area rugs are more likely to result in trips and slips than wall-to-wall carpeting.
  • Since they do not cover the entire floor, you may have to walk on the cold hard floor in the areas not covered by the rug.

Wall-to-Wall Carpeting


Carpeting is one of the most common options for floor covering. Since it covers the room from wall to wall, it provides padding over the entire hard floor. Just like area rugs, however, wall-to-wall carpeting has its own positive and negative aspects.

Pros of Carpeting

  • Carpeting covers the entire floor so you achieve a seamless look, which area rugs do not provide.
  • Since the carpeting is secured to the floor, you are less likely to slip or trip on it. This makes wall-to-wall carpeting the better option for those with limited mobility.
  • The floor is entirely covered with carpeting so you do not have areas of the floor exposed.

Cons of Carpeting

  • Carpeting can trap allergens in its fibers, such as dust and dust mites. It can also be a breeding ground for fleas (something for pet owners to keep in mind).
  • The cost of carpeting is typically higher than area rugs.
  • Installation is much more complex.
  • For renters, changing the carpet is not always an option.
  • Carpeting can become worn down in areas of high traffic.

Trying to decide between area rugs and wall-to-wall carpeting can be a hard choice. The good news is that if you give yourself time to weigh the pros and cons of each option, you are sure to make the perfect choice that you won’t regret in the future.