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.)



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81 thoughts on “What Size Area Rug Do You Need?

  1. Cheryl says:

    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. Donna McBroom-Theriot says:

    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. 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!

  4. Holly says:

    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!

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  6. Kelie says:

    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!

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  8. Cathy says:

    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. pat says:

    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 says:

      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

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      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. Leslie says:

    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. Geeva says:

    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. Rebekah says:

    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. joanne says:

    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. Pingback: 12 Tips to Select Area Rugs for your Living Room | Best Living Room Designs

  16. Gail says:

    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!

  17. 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!?

  18. 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!

  19. Beth says:

    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!

  20. Ida says:

    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?

  21. Tana says:

    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.


  22. Amllie says:

    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.

  23. Farah says:

    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?

  24. Designer rugs says:

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    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…

  25. Carrie says:

    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?

  26. Raj says:

    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

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      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!

  27. stacie p says:

    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?

  28. Amanda says:

    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..

  29. Marion says:

    For under the dining table and chairs on hardwood floors, do the table and chairs completely go on the rug or do the back legs of the chairs “hang off” the rug? Is there a décor rule for this or is this a personal preference?

  30. Stephanie says:

    I am struggling on whether or not to place a rug under the dining room table. The dining room is a pass through to enter the living room. In order to give 24″ inches on each side and ends of the table the rug will fall in the path entering the living room. I don’t want people to trip. What’s your suggestion?

  31. Sharalynn says:

    Hi Kristie! I love the area rug in the first photo of this blog entry. Can you tell me where it is available for purchase? Thank you!!

  32. Adel says:

    Hi, thank you so much for all of your great information! I still have one question, though…we have a cottage with one large living space (about 14×22) that is naturally separated by a pathway between the front door and the kitchen. One side has the sofa and love seat in front of a wood stove and the other side we have a small round table,36″, for playing games, crafts, etc. and a bookcase. Would you recommend the same rug on each side of the room or could I use two different rugs? I’m considering a 6′ square under the round table and a 5×8 in front of the sofas, both in a natural fiber, but different colors. I think they’re jute, so similar style. Or, should both rugs be the same color and pattern? Thank you in advance for any advice you might have!! P.s. We will paint the floor you see in the picture…the current color is terrible!

  33. Ann says:

    Hello If I have a dining room that is only 8.5 x 11 and I have a rectangular table that is 42 ‘x 64″ not expanded ( which it will mainly be ) What size area rug should I use?

  34. Alicia says:

    My daughters rooms are 10x 11. One has a crib and one has a full bed. What size area rugs should I buy to go over our new wood floors?

  35. Susie says:

    We have a 48″ table with 4 chairs. A 6 ‘ rug would work with all the chairs sitting on it. When people are in the chairs, though, they would come off the rug. Could we pull this off or forget a rug? There is no room for a larger rug than 6’.

  36. Diane says:

    I am looking for a rug for our foyer which has a hardwood floor. It is 6.75′ x 13.75′. When you walk in through the front door you have a small living room and dining room on each side, which are carpeted. Just trying to get an idea of what rug size to use. Thanks!

  37. Lisa Cooper says:

    Could you address what to do if your dining table extends. I have a 7 foot table that extends to 11 feet. Do I really need a rug that is 15 feet long when most of the time the table is not used at 11 feet? Do you have a recommendation? Thank you.

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      No, Lisa. You have a choice – you can either get a 9×12 or larger rug for the room, or you can simply roll up the rug and stash it in the garage when you have big parties and extend the table to 11 feet. Easier to clean up spills and food under the table if you just remove your normal size rug when entertaining!

  38. savannah Ashby says:

    so the kitchen table that im buying is 4’8 inches long plus the chairs and the rug im really wanting is 5’2 by 8, is that going to be too small?

  39. Spencer Cole says:

    Hey Kristie, if I have a room that is 10 1/2 by 12 with a table and its chair pulled out that’s 7 by 6 1/2 (square/rectangular). What size rug should I get? I was thinking 8 by 8.

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Spencer, the rug should be similar but larger in shape to the table that tops it. 8×8 is not a standard rug size (unless it’s round), so do you mean that you have a round table? If so, that should work.

      • Spencer says:

        Well, no I’ve been researching square rugs actually. I’m not sure what to get. I made a mistake with the room size though it’s actually 9×10 1/2. What would you suggest for that table size (7×6 1/2) and that room size?

  40. Rebecca lazar says:


    Love your blog…..Thanks so much for this post! We just moved and in our previous home we had wall to wall carpet in the bedrooms; in the new place there is hardwood. We aren’t changing the furniture, so my son has a twin bed but his new bedroom is now 12×12 which is larger than his previous room. The placement of the window, door, bathroom door and closet made it difficult to place the bed anywhere other than against the wall lengthwise. He has a nightstand near it and a small desk at the foot of the bed (near the window) while his dresser and bookcase is on the opposite wall. This leaves a little over 6 feet of floor space between the dresser and the bed which looks like a vast, empty space. My question is, would it be appropriate to put a 5 x 8 rug in that space? (If we put a rug under the bed, he wouldn’t be able to move his desk chair which would be over it). We tried putting the desk on the wall near the nightstand but it looked weird and he really loved it near the window. Your advice is greatly appreciated!

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  42. Allishia says:

    Hi there, I’m looking for advice on what size area rug to get for my dining room. I have a 7’x3′ rectangular table that seats 8 and the room that it’s in is 13.5’x10′ with hardwood floors…. I wanted to put something light and airy looking in there to help separate the dark floors from the dark table, but also am concerned about putting a rug in that may seem overbearing.

  43. Lorraine says:

    I live in a really nice apartment. The fireplace is very modern. I’m trying to find a rug to put in front of the fireplace. Is there any rule or what looks better insofar as the shape for a rug in front of the fireplace? The last time I was in a condominium, I used an oblong in front of the fireplace. Now I’m really just guessing. I would appreciate your input.

  44. Elizabeth Krystyn says:

    Hi Kristie. I love your site! My question is what size rug do I need in front of double French doors which are visible from the entryway of my Georgian style home? Thanks for your help! Elizabeth

  45. Monica says:

    Hi Kristie,

    I am hoping you can help me. What size and shape rug would you suggest for my entryway. It measures 7’11” from left wall to the stairs and 11′ from the front door to right before the stairs. I have attached two photos for you

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  47. Linnea says:

    Hi Kristie,

    I was hoping you could recommend a carpet size for a room with a sectional sofa that can be pulled out to be a sofa bed. I do not think we will using the bed often. The sofa is 88.9″LX64.9″DX37.9″H It is an odd shaped room but the measurements are approximately 212″X168″. The sofa will be up against the wall. We are working on a $360.00 budget.

    I hope to hear from you!

  48. Lee-Anne says:

    Hi- I have an odd room due to the corner fireplace. The only seating is an ivory leather L shaped, although one side is longer, sectional. First I bought a 6×9 rug and tried to angle it like fireplace. It looked way off. Now I have a 5×8 but it’s not great. I’m honestly thinking of putting my dining room in here and making the living/dining all living. Oh- my floor is awful engineered wood that cracks and pops when you walk. There is a half wall (10 ft long) separating the big room from the fireplace room. My sofa is 117″ by 87″. What size would be best with just my sofa in mind? (the new room is 16′ by 13 but I’ll definitely use two rugs. ) is there any way to keep my 5×8 or do I have to embarrassingly return it and order a bigger one? West elm ends a good sale tonight so I do hope you can get back to me. Thank you.

  49. Lee-Anne says:

    Never mind. I ended up moving the sectional to the window so the room is now open and can use an 8×10! 🙂

  50. lawrence says:

    Hi we have a farm table 95 inch long by 39 wide….Not sure if we should do 8 by 11 or 8 by 12. Dont want 9 wide because the room is only 11 feet wide. Don’t want the chairs to come off the ends.

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