What Size Area Rug Do You Need?

Clients and readers often ask me what size area rug do they need for their space.  Of course, that all depends. Here are some tips to help you determine what size rug is best for your situation.

what size area rug do you need?

via Pinterest


“What size area rug do I need for my living room?”  


If you are wanting to cover as much of the flooring as possible (maybe you have bad carpet), then choose a rug size large enough so all the legs of your sofa and the facing chairs in your main conversation area sit on the rug (maybe 9×12 rug size or larger).  

all legs on rug

via Pinterest


Otherwise, you may choose a rug size large enough that the front legs of the sofa and chairs sit on it, usually an 8×10 size rug. 

designer living room

via Pinterest


Or, you may choose a 5×8 rug size – in that case, the rug should sit in front of the sofa and chairs with just the front leg or legs of the chairs sitting on it (no legs of the sofa on it).

what size rug do i need for my living room


“What size area rug do I need for my dining room?”  

This is a place where you never want to use an undersized area rug – it’s better to go without an area rug in the dining room if the rug you have is too small.   Most dining room tables seat 6-10 people and have 6-8 chairs.  Not only does your area rug size need to be large enough for your table, but it also needs to extend far enough to where your chairs sit on it completely.  For most spaces, that means a 5×8 rug size is too small.  You will need an 8×10 or 9×12 rug size for under a typical dining room table.

rug under dining table

Andrea Brooks


What shape rug, you ask?  If you have a rectangular table, use a rectangular shaped rug.  If you have a round table, use a square or round shaped rug.  If you have a square table, use a square shaped rug. 

round dining table



There are times when I veer off these guidelines, so you don’t need to think of them as strict rules.  If the area rug you love is too small for the space, you can layer it over a larger natural-fiber rug.  Any questions?

(Since publishing this article, I’ve written another about what size rug to use in bedrooms.)




  1. If you want to make a small room look larger, do you use a larger rug and cover more of the floor or use a smaller rug so more of the floor is showing?  Thank you for this post.  It was practical and helpful!

  2. I'm glad to hear of so many options for the sofa/chair delimma. Helps so much as I am looking for a rug. We just purchased one for the dining room and glad to hear we nailed it. Thanks.

  3. Great Minds must think alike!!  I just did a recent VIDEO blog on Rug Placement!  http://youtu.be/xzm7gARIfDs

    What a relief, we didn't contradict one another!  Hat's off to my fellow Nashvillian!   

    Best to you,


  4. Elizabeth Ryskoski says:

    Hi, my dining room table is 48" round and extends to 66" oval with an 18" leaf.  What shape rug do you recommend – rectangular, oval or round?  I typically leave the table extended.  Thanks!

  5. Our small dining room table is round and we have an oval or oblong rug in it and it looks great – just another option to add to the mix.  Great tips Kristie!

  6. great tips… and love the images.  One if my rooms has a large bed I could not find one rug that I liked in the right size…so I just brought 2 of the same rugs and it looked great.

  7. I am so happy to see this post.  I have a sectional sofa that is 96×96.  I plan to have a chair in the area as well as a cocktail table.  I am not sure if an 8×10 or 9×12 would work with the sofa being identical on each side.  This is in the family room at my beach house.  Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

  8. I have a 48″ dining table and not sure if I should use a round or square rug. My house is more on the modern side and the room is very open to the family room and kitchen. I like very simple clean lines. Thanks for all ideas!

  9. I have a corner fireplace in my living room and hardwood floors, the room is 17.5″ long and 15″ wide. I wanted to use a round rug; what size do I need in feet? Thanks for your help. Pat

    • Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      I have a corner fireplace in my living room and hardwood floors, the room is 17.5″ long and 15″ wide. I wanted to use a round rug; what size do I need in feet? Thanks for your help. Pat

    • Pat,
      That all depends on the size of your main seating arrangement, not necessarily the size of the room. I don’t typically use round rugs in living rooms, unless they are under large round entry or small round dining table. A rectangular rug, maybe 8×10, centered beneath the seating area would likely work best.

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  11. Your post is so helpful, and the pictures are great. I hope you can help me! I’m using a dining room table as an office desk. It is 75Lx39.5Dx29.5H. There will be a credenza behind the desk that measures 79.5x29L.5Hx19.5DMy room is 14′ x 12.4′ What size rug do I need to “ground” the desk. There are hardwood floors in the room, and there are french doors into the room if that matters. Where does the rug get placed? In front of the desk, halfway under, all the way? Thank you so much for your advice!!

  12. Hi! Thanks for the information on rug placement. However, I still need to know if the dining room rug should be large enough that when the chairs are pulled out from the table (when the table is being used) they are still sitting on the rug.

  13. What size rug for a keeping room? The fireplace (with large tv over it) is not centered with the room and all rugs throw me off. I also had to cockeye the love seat so is the rug supposed to be centered with the fireplace or the couch? Blah

  14. Hi I have a lounge room that is not exactly square I have timber like flooring and would like to know the best size rug to use and maybe the style thankyou

  15. Also it is a combined lounge dinning area thankyou

  16. Great info! The rug in the first picture is beautiful; do you know the source?

  17. Hi. I am purchasing an area rug for our dining room. The table is 42 x 64 closed. There are two leaves 20 inches each. However, I am concerned that if I take the leaves into consideration, the rug will be too large when the table is closed. (Which is how it will generally be) I am considering a rug that is 7’9″ x 9’9″ It also comes 8’6″ x 11’6″ . We taped the floor for both sizes and the larger rug seems too big for the table when it is closed. The room is 10’11” wide. It is hard to figure the length because the dining room runs in the length with the living room. I don’t know if the larger rug will make the room look smaller or larger since the table and chairs are not massive. The set gives a small appearance. Thanks for your help!

  18. Simon Fathers says:

    Hi Kristie I tried to find the rug in the first image on this post, I love it. But I can’t track it down, any idea where I can find out!?

  19. Heather says:

    Hi, we have a small-medium sized living room with odd angles. The front wall has essentially a bay window design and we have a corner fire place on the opposite side of the room. Our seating area furniture is relatively small (70 inch couch, small round coffee table), and it sits against the two perpendicular walls. I have measured and a 5 x 8 rug would fit the front legs of the couch and chair and just frame the seating furniture. But then is are about 7 1/2 feet in front of the rug to the other wall, which has a large opening into the dining room in the middle. But if we got an 8 x 10 rug in an attempt to cover more floor, the rug would come right up against the corner fireplace, which I think would look funny. Is it okay to have a framed seating area with lots of bare wood in front of it? Also the seating is arranged in an L, so it doesn’t have the nice closed square look of a living room with couch and chairs across from each other (I think that is what is throwing me off). Thanks!

  20. Hello,
    I purchased the most beautiful Persian rug while in Dubai. It is a light cream shade with medium and light blue mixed it. Unfortunately, it is a little too small once we got it home and placed it underneath the dining room table. The chairs fit on top of the rug when they are pushed up to the table, but not when people are sitting at the table. We have cherry hardwood floors in the dining room. We do not use the dining room table that much…only for special occasions. Is there anything we can do? I absolutely love this rug! If I do put another rug underneath the Persian rug, which type would be best? Also, whick color would be best? Cream colored, light blue, etc? The walls are alabaster white and I will have blue accents in this room. Thank you so much!

  21. Hi
    I have beige marbled floors and a right L-shaped dark brown sofa with light coloured sofa cushions (length: 3m And the L shape with the ottoman at the end adds up to 1.8m). my coffee table and tv console are dark wood. What size and colour carpet should I consider? And should the carpet sit under the entire sofa?

  22. Hi, I was just hoping you could tell me what the name of the company is that makes the area rug in the first photo. The ivory one with the large gold or bronze pattern.


  23. Timeless and luxurious, a hand knotted rug is truly like a unique piece of art for your floor. Our high-skilled weavers are respected for their craftsmanship, tying each individual knot to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece every time. We offers a unique kind of beauty. Our design team has drawn inspiration from art, nature, contemporary fashion trends and traditional designs to create an expensive collection of rugs that features colors and styles to fit every taste. Offering timeless styling matched with lifetime durability, each Infabindia hand knot is sure to become a family heirloom. Our Highly skilled weavers are experienced at hand knotting traditional,contemporary and transitional patterns meticulously handcraft each hand knotted area rug. For these weavers, the tradition of hand knotting excellence has been passed down through many generations and is a true art form. We invites consumers to bring the products of generations of this finely tuned craft into their own homes with these rugs.

  24. Hello! I have a dinning room table with the dimensions of L 72 * W 48 (L 108 * W 48 with leaves) I am thinking of getting a rug with the leaves. What size area rug should be best?

  25. Any idea where that grey geometric looking rug is from???? I LOVE IT!

  26. They are similar once at west elm and wsyfair.

  27. Hello there,,
    Its amazing posting.. i like your way of writing.. you doing a very important task.. good job.. thanks for sharing this great one .. i am waiting for your next post.. i have read the above information like choosing size for living room, dining room etc..thanks a lot..i want to share with you a special thing like we have a great site like : http://www.unitexint.com…we giving many ideas for making a new rug.. you feel happy for getting a valuable info..because we always helping the users.. thanks a lot…

  28. Hi, I have. Round 48″ round breakfast table with 4 chairs that the width is 22″. It does come with a leaf that I may never use. My question is, can I get away with a round 6′ area rug or do I need to go with an 8′ to be sure all the chairs fit on the rug appropriately?

  29. Hello,
    We are very confused about the size of the area rug to buy, We have a sectional sofa which is six feet by six feet. We are having hard time if we nees to buy a square size area rug or rectangular. The family room is 16 feet by 20 Feet. Any suggestions or advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • Sectionals are tricky to work around! A square rug would be ideal, but good luck finding a ready-made in that shape. You probably need to think about getting a large rectangular rug, 9×12. Anchor the sofa’s front legs on the rug, and run the length of the rug with the length of the room. I hope that helps!

  30. I am wanting a rug in my office. Hardwoods. My desk is 5′ wide. Was thinking a 5×7. Is it wrong to have the desk the same length as the rug leaving no room on either side?

  31. Hi! How far should a rug be from a fireplace?

  32. If you’re having trouble finding the rug you like in the shape or size that you want for your home, visit Americarpet our showroom is located in Miami, Florida. We have a wide selection of area rugs that you can choose from and we also have custom rugs available, so you can choose the shape and size that’s right for you.
    Find the perfect size at http://www.stylishrugs.com http://www.americarpetfloors.com

  33. I am having a rug dilemma and could use some advise! Our living room is quite small and I am having a hard time finding a rug that would fit nicely in the space. There are a few problems:
    1. We have a beautiful wooden inlay at the front door and I don’t want to cover it up. 5×8 covers part of it, and it doesn’t allow for all the furniture to touch the rug.
    2. There is really only one way to organize the furniture due to the fireplace and stair case, and the couch and chairs (facing the couch) are slightly off center. It is noticeable with a square or rectangular rug.
    3. We have a square fireplace, so I feel like we need to have a square or rectangular rug with a square/rectangular table.

    All that said, I am having a really hard time finding a 7×7 square rug the compliments our dining room rug. I am thinking about using a 7×7 round rug so the asymmetry of the furniture is less noticeable and 7×7 is the right size to get part of all furniture touching the rug without covering the wooden inlay. I am nervous because the space is more square/rectangular and the small rectangular inlay would be right next to the round rug. Also, the fireplace is square. It is a faux pas to have a circular rug here? I wish I could post a picture..


  1. […] couch can be made more interesting when paired with a cute area rug and matching accent pillows. Here are some tips on choosing an area rug for your […]

  2. […] reading my post about choosing the proper rug size for the living room, many of you asked:  what size rug do I need for my bedroom? […]

  3. […] end. If you want to cover a large area in your living room, choose a rug that is large enough to accommodate all four legs of your couch and chairs that are facing the couch. A good size for this is a 9 x 12 foot […]

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