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rug buying guide

Why Are Rugs So Expensive? A Guide to Buying Your Next Rug

rug buying guideIf 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.

Need help finding the perfect rug for your space? Start a Modsy design project and get expert design plans in an exact version of your room in 3D! Our designers will show you rugs that meet your style + budget and how they fit in your space. Already have a design project? Shop our 5 favorite rugs under $500!

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.

Wool:

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.

Silk:

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.

Nylon:

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.

Polyester:

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.

rug buying guide

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).

rug buying guide

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.

rug buying guideOther 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.

 

Need help finding a your perfect rug?

Modsy designers are standing by to help you find the perfect rug – or sofa, or bed frame – for your style and budget. They’ll show how different options look and fit in your exact space, so you can shop with confidence and skip the stress.

 

Skimp or Splurge: 4 Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Rug

Modsy 3d

If you are in the process of designing your home, you might have discovered the dirty word that is “budget.” Furniture is expensive, and the reality of designing a home (without spending a small fortune) often means making trade-offs. One of our stylists’ favorite tricks for designing quality spaces on a limited budget is to use a mix of budget-friendly and investment pieces.

In our new “Skimp or Splurge” series, we’ll tackle different items from sofas to storage, and show you how to decide where to spend and where to save your money.

This week we’re taking on the question of rugs. Available in an impossibly wide range of prices, it can be difficult to know how to choose an option that is right for you. We asked our stylists how they decide when to splurge and when to save on rugs.

1. What do you want from your rug?

The main difference between an 8’x10’ rug that costs $300 and one that costs a month’s mortgage payment is quality. High-quality rugs have a richness of color and a plush texture, and they can last you a decade or more if you care for them properly. Low-cost rugs, on the other hand, will fade and pill quickly and need to be replaced more frequently.

If you are working with a tight budget, but don’t want to completely skimp on quality, consider a flat-woven rather than a tufted rug. Flat-woven rugs tend to be available in larger sizes at lower price-points, and their tight weave renders them more durable.

Stylist Tip: With so many options on the market today, you don’t have to sacrifice style for budget. Our stylists can recommend budget-friendly rug options that work for your space and style.

2. What’s your timeline?

As with any big ticket furniture item, how long you plan to live somewhere is an important factor to consider before making a purchase.

If your living situation is temporary, you might consider skimping and going with a cheap option. If you’re settled down or plan to live in the same place long-term, investing in a quality rug makes more sense.

Also consider that rugs, unlike other pieces of bulky furniture, are relatively easy to move. They can be rolled up making them much easier to transport and store. Unlike other items, if you get tired of seeing your rug in the living room, it can be repurposed in another room.

3. What room will the rug be in?

Where you plan to place the rug is also an important factor to think about when considering whether to invest or save your money. Ask yourself if the room where you plan to use the rug will get a lot of foot traffic.

A place like your entryway might not make the most sense for an investment rug as it is more likely to get stomped on and worn down from heavy use. Conversely, your living room or bedroom might be a great place for an investment rug.

Stylist Tip: Also consider if you are a shoes-on household. Habits like these are difficult to break (especially if you live with other people) so consider how your lifestyle might affect the lifetime of your rug when deciding if it is better to skimp or splurge.

4. Do you have kids or pets?

Often people say they don’t want to invest in a rug because their kids and pets are prone to messes. One way to confront this conundrum is to go with a lower cost rug that you won’t miss when it gets destroyed. However, this approach might cost you more in the long run, as cheap rugs tend to fall apart quicker and are often made of materials that absorb stains easily.

Rather than replacing a $200 rug every six months, consider investing in a high-quality rug that can stand up to the messes and won’t get destroyed immediately by your children or furry friends. Natural fibers can be a great option, as they are sturdy and are easy to clean.

If you have young children, also consider that cheap rugs are often made of synthetic materials, which can be potentially toxic. If you have a little one who is an avid crawler, it might be worth investing in a high-quality rug that is free of toxic protectants and fire retarding chemicals.

 

Want to Try a Rug in Your 3D Home?

 

Design Dilemma: Choosing the right Rug Size and Style

Choosing the right rug

One of the most notorious design dilemmas our customers face is choosing the right rug for their space. Rugs are an amazing warm and fluffy way to add visual intrigue to any space. They are also expensive and large, and it’s easy to imagine yourself shelling out hundreds (if not thousands!) of dollars only to find you’ve purchased something that turns your room from “hot” to “not.”

A solution for this could be to go out and buy all the rugs you’ve got your eye on, bring them home, and try them out one-by-one in your living room. But if you’re like us and you don’t have endless amounts of money, a pickup truck, and all that time/muscle at your disposal, this isn’t a realistic option.

So here’s the good part. At Modsy we’ve created some amazing technology that lets you try on all the rugs you want, in your living room, without any of that hassle. Along with that, we’ve created this handy-dandy visual guide to help you learn how to pick the right rug for your space.

 

…The Blank Canvas

Choosing the right rug

 

Design Dilemma #1: Rug Style

Our eclectic minimal living room is looking a little bare without a rug underfoot. We picked three options that we love and they all seemed to match our style. Here’s what happened when we took them for a test drive:

Choosing the right rug

Moral of the story:

  • With a more eclectic styled living room, all that pattern from Rug #1 feels overwhelming and busy.
  • At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rug #2 didn’t have enough going on and it made the space feel sparse.
  • Rug #3 is our “Goldilocks” – that sweet spot in between that is simple enough not make the space feel overwhelming but also adds enough texture to spice up our living room.

 

Design Dilemma #2: Rug Size

Ok now that we know what rug we like, let’s try on some different sizes:

Choosing the right rug

Moral of the story:

  • A larger rug (we used a 9’x12’) bleeds out past the furniture and overwhelms the space. Having the sofa all the way on the rug, while the chairs dance on and off makes the space visually cluttered and confusing.
  • The small rug (we used a 3’x5’) gives us a tiny focal point in the middle of the room, and leaves the rest of the space feeling bare.
  • The middle size (for us, a 8’x10’) is just right. The front two legs of all the furniture are on the rug, creating an intimate “zoned” area in the middle of the room.

 

Of course, this guide doesn’t cover every possible rug dilemma out there. But don’t panic, Modsy is always here to help you move through your design paralysis and help you create a home you love.

Want to Try a Rug in Your 3D Home?