Should You Put A Rug Under A Dining Table?

Should You Put A Rug Under A Dining Table?

2nd Jun 2021

Posted by Alice Ewens on 2nd Jun 2021

To rug, or not to rug? Whether you should put a rug under a dining table is an age-old question with experts weighing in on all sides of the debate, but what’s the honest low-down on this? We take a look at the pros and cons.

We think it’s fairly safe to say we love furniture here at Furniturebox UK! And we love people being able to create the homes they deserve. It’s why we do what we do. And a home is an extension of your personality, right? Which makes the ‘Rugs Under Dining Tables’ debate is as wide and varied as people’s personalities. So let’s break it down into positives and negatives.

Sizing for A Rug Under A Dining Table

Tip: Try to keep at least 24"/ 60cm of bare floor around the edges of your rug so that your space isn’t swallowed by the rug.

illustrative aerial diagram of a round 4 seater dining table and chairs on a cream rug.

Mirror and match the size of your room. If you've got the space, area rugs (XXL or larger) will fit all your dining furniture on. A larger rug will also make a room look bigger.

If you can, aim to use a rug that’s big enough to fit all chairs on when pulled back from table to sit at. Or, if you’re working with a small space, a lower pile rug could work better to ensure a balanced and un-wobbly dinner time!

Round rugs are also an option that look great with a round dining table.

Let’s Get The Potential Negatives Out Of The Way First

People in the “No Rugs Under Tables” camp will say that rugs can get damaged by the constant wear and tear of chairs dragging in and out over them, that a rug can even make it hard to pull your seat in at the table (the awkward bum-chair-hop-dance, are we right?!). Getting the vacuum cleaner under the table and around all the legs can be a pain, too. Not to mention the dinner-related mess that might make it down there.

BUT – we’re here to tell you there are a lot more pros to having a rug under your dining table, and that all those negatives above can be addressed by choosing the right rug!

The Positives To Putting A Rug Under A Dining Table

Adding a rug under your dining set can pull a room together. It can complement the dining set's colours and styles, and the surrounding décor, making the room more dynamic. You can also pair a rug with other accessories to really make a room its own.

The right rug can ‘ground’ the dining set – make it really feel like it belongs in the room, not floating in it. Sometimes you can look at a room, and feel like it’s… missing something? It’s a little soulless, maybe? Especially in a separate dining room where the only function is to eat in it, a dining room can sometimes feel a bit bland. A rug under a dining table can help.

image of a bright dining area, with a patterned rug under a dining table and chairs. The rug matches the neutral tones of the room.
image: Unsplash

A rug under a dining table can define the dining area in a more open-plan living space. The rug can designate a specific use and mark it separate from the surrounding space, while still being in keeping with the general style and décor of a bigger room.

image shows a rug under a dining table within a larger open plan living area - a sofa and a kitchen area can also be seen.
image: Pexels

Plus, a rug under the table feels lovely and comforting underfoot, adding to the relaxation and comfort of being home. Your home is your castle after all, why shouldn’t it feel as lovely as it looks?

Take a Traditional idea and make it modern. A rug under a dining table is quite a traditional look. In days gone by, it really marked a dining area as a special and important area – well-to-do homes wouldn’t put rugs just anywhere! Think walnut dining tables and hanging chandeliers. You can take that idea and make it modern, with a funky modern abstract rug, or keep that traditional vibe with a vintage-style print.

image shows a modern take on a traditional dining area, with a dining table and chairs on a dark rug, with a modern chandelier hanging above. Patterned luxe wallpaper and gold accents make this room look opulent.
image credit: Pexels

Keep the design and materials of your dining set in mind when choosing a rug to go with it, so you can make sure it will all go well together. And if you’re still deciding on the right dining set, we’ve got you covered:

Colours and Shades for Rugs Under Dining Tables

image shows a round glass dining table with wooden legs, and 4 dining chairs, sit on a dark vintage style rug. the floor and rug have warm tones and the wall and other decor are white.
image: Unsplash

Light coloured rugs make rooms feel lighter and bigger. A light rug under a dining table might not be the most practical choice for spills, though, so bear that in mind.

Dark rugs can add depth and warmth as well as contrast to a mostly-lighter décor.

modern dining table and chair set - all white with black legs - sit on top a black and white patterned rug.
image: pexels
a simple wooden trestle table with 6 bucket seats, all placed on a pale grey rug. the walls are dark grey, with a colourful abstract art print on the wall and modern hanging crystal effect light fixing.
image: Unsplash

Patterned rugs can add movement and energise a space, giving it personality. Vintage, shabby-chic and/or artsy rugs look great with rustic trestle table styles and also work well with industrial steel/chrome looks.

Plain rugs can calm a space, and be a blank canvas to make your furniture really pop, while still tying it all together.

Be mindful of the materials you’re already using in the space – if you’ve already got a bold mix of metals, woods, colours and patterns, a plain rug might be best to bring it all together.

detail shot of a bowl of cereal and fruit on top of a round clear glass dining table. A thick, fluffy shaggy rug can be seen beneath, through the glass tabletop.
image: Unsplash
Mismatched table and collection of wooden dining chairs on a thin low pile colourful stripey rug.
image: Pexels

Thick shaggy rugs can feel lovely underfoot and really add an opulent luxury to your dining space. Sitting at your lovely table, drinking that first cup of coffee, in the sunshine, digging your toes into a deep snuggly fluffy rug? Bliss!

Lower pile (thinner) rugs can be better for high-traffic areas, and are a breeze to vacuum, especially if you’re concerned about crumbs, or the potential difficulty in shuffling chairs in and out.

All our rugs here at Furniturebox UK are made of synthetic fibres. Polyester, Acrylic, Nylon & Polypropylene rugs are the easy-care option. They’re particularly durable without compromising on softness, so you can brush or vacuum the surface as necessary. Shop our full rugs range

Real-life inspiration

How some of our customers have placed and styled their rugs under dining sets.

customer photo showing glass and chrome dining table with 4 Pesaro dining chairs on the Toscana rug - trellis pattern in cream and grey.
customer photo showing round glass and gold metal dining table with 4 Milan dining chairs with gold legs on the Toscana rug - trellis pattern in cream and grey.
Mark P (customer review)
customer photo showing white gloss dining table with chrome legs and 4 Pesaro dining chairs with black legs, all on the Toscana rug - trellis pattern in cream and grey.

Visit our Instagram Page and our Pinterest boards for more inspiration and styling ideas for rugs and dining sets.

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