A wide expanse of tile needs something to break up the line of sight, add color and provide cushioning for sound, especially if the ceilings are high. An area rug fulfills all those requirements, in addition to adding warmth to a room. Select your area rug based on its purpose. A smaller, decorative rug adds to the decor, while a larger, dominant rug anchors your room.
The Rug's Base
All area rugs need a pad underneath for stability. There was a time when Persian and Oriental carpets were laid over thick, fibrous padding that was as heavy as the rug. With the introduction of synthetic pads that are needle punched, a lighter, more flexible alternative was met. They are the choice for an allergy-inundated home and repel mold and mildew. However, the thinness of an inexpensive synthetic pad often reveals the grout lines in a ceramic tile floor, necessitating a better-quality padding. Whichever you choose, the pad keeps your rug in place and serves as a trap for loose dirt.
Too much padding allows the rug to flex, deteriorating its weave.
If the area rug is going into a room that hosts family, children and guests -- namely, the center of life in the home -- avoid choosing an area rug that's deeply piled or shag. They are difficult to clean and show stains more readily. Choose a flat-weave rug, a low-pile or a low-to-medium pile sculpted rug. They are easier to spot clean due to their construction, and all provide the needed warmth over the ceramic tile while adding color and dimension to the room.
Warming up the Bedroom
You need area rug coverage on both sides of a bed to keep away the shock of bare feet on a cold floor. Choose area rugs that are a minimum 3 feet in length and 2 feet wide. Longer is better. For a more unified look, choose runners that span the length of the bed, including under the nightstands. If you have a damaged large area rug that you don't want to do away with, consider putting it under the bed, hiding the damaged spot and letting the extra length provide bedside warmth.
Drama in the Dining Room
The coldness of ceramic tile gives a barren feeling to a dining room. Add to the room's decor by including a dining room area rug that complements the tile and your furnishings. The rug needs to be big enough for chairs to be pushed out at least 6 inches and still remain on the rug. A low pile or flat weave is recommended for easier maintenance.
A sunroom, conservatory, or tiled enclosed patio benefits from the look of an area rug. Sisal, Berber, jute, bamboo or any other flat-weave area rug contrasts with the hardness of ceramic tile and creates a welcoming environment. These area rugs all need padding, and the thin, synthetic pads work well here to secure them over the tile flooring. They are also easy to clean, generally inexpensive and won't deteriorate under sunlight.
A flat-weave rug can be spot cleaned by hand to remove footmarks and tracks.
Arranging furniture to accommodate an area rug can get tricky, which is why it's better to purchase the rug after you've chosen the furnishings. A formal room displays all the furnishings around the area rug. One side of the rug can be against the sofa wall, with the tiling revealed on the opposite side of the room. For a more casual appearance, furniture can be half-on, half-off the area rug. Just secure the padding underneath.
Rotate the rug frequently to eliminate furniture marks, especially if the rug has pile.