If you’ve done any internet browsing for rugs, you might have stumbled across the fact rugs are, more often than not, really freaking expensive.
Even if we exclude the handmade oriental rugs, which can easily fetch upwards of several thousands of dollars, a standard 8’x10’ rug from a popular furniture retailer can still cost you a month’s rent.
To help shed some light on the subject, we’re taking a look at all the reasons why rugs are so expensive. We’re hashing out what factors make up a rug’s price so you can decide which are important for you.
What the rug is made of:
What a rug is made of matters. The material a rug is made of will determine the quality of the rug and effect how long it lasts. The main difference between materials often lies in their durability and clean-ability.
Rugs are most commonly made of either natural fibers – like wool or silk – or synthetic materials – like nylon or polyester. Here is a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of each material.
A sturdy natural fiber, wool rugs are generally a more expensive option. This is because wool rugs last for decades, are highly durable, and keep their color and pattern over time. As a material, a rug made of wool will have a more soft and plush texture than its synthetic counterparts.
Second to wool in its durability, silk rugs are coveted for their high-shine and luscious texture. Silk rugs tend to be extremely expensive and they require professional cleaning, making them not the best fit for homes with kids, pets, or heavy foot-traffic.
A less expensive, synthetic alternative, nylon is known for its durability. This makes it a good choice for high-traffic areas. Conversely, the material is highly absorbent, meaning a nylon rug can be easily ruined by spills.
Another inexpensive and synthetic option, polyester is a less absorbent material, rendering it is more stain-resistant. That said, polyester is a less durable material, and rugs made from it tend to fall apart more easily and quickly.
What the rug is dyed with:
Rugs are generally given their color with either natural, usually vegetable-based, dyes or chemical dyes.
Natural dyes tend to be more lightfast, meaning they will not fade over time. Rugs dyed with natural options take more labor to produce, making them more expensive.
Chemical dyes are a much cheaper alternative. Depending on the dye and method of the dying process, these options tend to fade much quicker (even after a few months of foot traffic).
How the rug is made:
The method by which a rug is made also is an important factor in determining its price.
The more expensive options tend to be loomed by hand and can take days of labor to complete. These rugs contain a high knot-count, which results in that amazing plush texture and their rich colors. They are more durable and can last decades if cared for properly.
The alternative to costly hand-made rugs, are machine made rugs. These options have a lower density of knots and a looser weave, causing them to be less durable in the long run.
Other things to consider:
The ethics behind rugs
Another component behind the cost of rugs is the ethics behind their production. Rugs made in factories with child labor are able to be sold at an extremely cheap price point. Before you purchase a rug, consider doing a bit of research on its production methods.
Value over time
While not so much a factor in the cost of a rug, another point to consider before you make a purchase is that rugs keep their value over time.
Like investing in a piece of art, quality rugs can be resold later and retain much of their original value. If cared for properly they can last decades and be passed down as a family heirloom.
So, why are rugs so expensive?
The materials, the dyes, method of production are the main points that make up a rug’s price.
Still unsure how much you should spend on a rug? These four questions will help you decide if you should splurge or skimp on your next rug.