Rugs 101

Learn everything you need to know about rugs! Rugs Done Right will help you learn all the major terms and facets of rugs helping you make the most informed buying decision.


Area Rug Care

Cleaning Your Rugs

Area Rug Construction

Decorating Help





Area Rug Materials & Dyes

Measuring Stair Runners

Area Rug Care

Household Tips for Area Rugs

Whether it's a hand-made fine oriental rug or a fun, inexpensive shag, here's where you'll find answers to a variety of area rug care questions and great household tips for area rugs. Here's where we've collected basic advice on everything from storing rugs to hanging rugs. So if you have a problem vacuuming oriental rugs or can't decide about selecting your rug padding, take a look below. If you don't find your answer, please let us know and we'll be happy to do find it for you.

Area Rug Care Questions

Cleaning Rugs

Cleaning rugs, Oriental rugs specifically, is always a challenge. Here offers you a ready reference for stain removal for all types of carpet stains - everything from chewing gum to grease removal. Print this page and use it as a handy reference so you may properly care for your investment.

  1. Water Based Stains.
  2. Oil Based Stains.
  3. General Tips for Cleaning Oriental Rugs.
  4. Stain Removal Procedures.
  5. Stain Removal Supplies.
  6. Removing - Candle wax.
  7. Removing Chewing Gum.
  8. Removing Glue.
  9. Removing Ink from Ball Point Pen.

Oriental Rugs - Cleaning Rugs
Cleaning Oriental Rugs is vital to their long lasting beauty and life. Lack of maintenance will contribute to loss in the potential investment.

Cleaning Rugs - Stain Removal
There are two general categories of stains, and both are treated very differently.


Before the rug can be woven, the weavers must refer to a full-scale graph paper drawing of the rug, called the cartoon. This is basically a chart in which each tiny square represents one knot. The design is drawn and colored so the weavers know when to change yarns. Next the loom must be strung. The warp is tied vertically to the loom, and then the weft is woven through it in a basket weave fashion. This is considered the foundation of the rug; and it is made from cotton, wool, or silk. In between the layers of weft threads, the weavers tie knots onto the warp in a horizontal row, which creates the pile.

Most weavers tie an average of 5000 to 6000 knots per day. Generally speaking, the finer the weave (smaller the knot), the more detailed the design may be. Handmade rugs are often judged in part by the knots per square inch. A coarse weave is typically less than 40 knots, medium is between 40-90, fine is between 90-180, and very fine is 180 and up.

Most importantly, the weave should fit the design. The finished rug needs to have good clarity in the design, so it doesn't look fuzzy or blocky. A fine weave becomes more important if you want a very detailed pattern, and less important if you desire a simplistic design. Contrary to popular belief, the average rug weaver is a 25 year old male who comes from a family that has probably been weaving rugs for many generations.

Once the rug has been woven to its finished size it is cut off the loom and goes through a series of steps in order to be completed. The ends are usually finished by weaving the weft threads through the warp to create the selvage. This is a tight flat-weaving process often used to protect the knots; as well as to add a decorative or finished look.

The remains of the warp strands actually become the fringe. Then the sides of the rug are overcasted in the same material the rug is woven in. Next the carpet is hand sheared, washed, and is then ready for inspection. This completes a typical hand knotted rug weaving process.

Decorating Help

I've decided to redecorate. Now what?

Interior Designer Susan Young reveals the one step that can simplify your entire decorating project.

It's only natural to feel slightly overwhelmed when you start a home redecorating project. After all, the choices ahead of you are virtually limitless. It doesn't have to make you crazy. In fact, Interior Designer Susan Young of Chattanooga, Tennessee, offers a first step that can simplify every decision that follows.

Her advice? Start with the rug just inside your front door.

Considering the importance of first impressions, you may know to give extra thought to your foyer. What you may not know is that the decisions you make there can simplify everything else. Here's how.

Start by selecting a rug that has rich color, pattern, and intricate design. You'll realize two major benefits.

  • First, you conceal the soil, sand, mud, and rain that people inevitably track in.
  • Second, and most importantly for the task at hand, your rug helps you make all-important color decisions.

You probably already have an idea of the main color you'll use in your home.

Find a rug that's predominantly that color. The rug you choose, the one you're drawn to, will practically make the decision of your two accent colors for you because most rug designs will consist of three main colors. With one purchase, you know three colors that you can now mix and match to create a striking, stylish continuity from room to room.

On a recent decorating project, Designer Susan Young started with a base of natural, earthy brown. Susan actually knew before she started that her two accent colors would be off-white and celedon green, but non-designers among us don't often have that foresight. The rug she chose, however--Carden Park from Shaw's Jack Nicklaus Collection-- could have made the decision for her.

Repetition of patterns, colors, and designs creates flow in adjoining rooms, says Susan. The three colors from the rug--brown, celedon, and white--became the basis for all the decisions that followed.

For the sitting room, for example, she painted the walls a bright celedon green. It brought a brilliant splash of color to the home. Rich in tone, the effect is ultimately soothing, welcoming, and warm. The base color remained equally important in the sitting room, with the natural brown continuing from the foyer rug to the carpet and as accents in the drapes and sofa fabric.

The colors in your paints and fabrics and floorcoverings won't be exact matches, but they will be from the same family, which creates depth of color, visual interest, and design flow.

"Repeat, repeat, repeat" is one of Susan's primary decorating tips. "Repeating patterns, and colors, and designs over and over again helps tie many various elements together."

So, to create distinctive rooms that flow together beautifully,

  • find a rug you love for just inside the front door
  • determing the rug's three main colors
  • then, repeat, repeat, repeat.

* Courtesy of


A major concern for most people is how long they can expect their rug to last. For all types of rugs it thoroughly depends on the quality of materials and workmanship to determine how it will wear. The following categories are designed to give you a general estimate on how many years your rug may last.

First you need to decide which type of rug you are interested in buying, and what room its going into (ie: machinemade for diningroom). Next you need to decide what the traffic condition will be in that room. Then find the rug type below and follow the row across to find the letter that best represents your traffic condition (e.g. "M" represents medium traffic). Finally, look at the range of years it is expected to last, found at the top of the column. For example, a machinemade rug for the diningroom (of a good quality) will last for over twenty-one (21 & over) years.




The art of Oriental Rug weaving is a craft that dates back 2500 years. The oldest hand-knotted pile rug was found in the Pazyryk Valley in Siberia. It had been preserved in solid ice since the 5th century BC, until it was discovered in the late 1940's. It measures approximately 6 feet square, and can be viewed in the Hermitage Museum in Leningrad. Presently, true Oriental Rugs are made in areas that include the Near East, Middle East, Far East, the Balkans, and Northern Africa. They are hand-woven with natural fibers consisting of a wool or silk pile.

Materials & Dyes

How To Measure And Calculate The Right Stair Runner Dimensions For My Stairs

Buying a stair runner online is less complicated than it seems. At Rugs Done Right, we have over 20 years experience in selling and installing stair runners, also known as cut roll runners. Stair runners come in many widths varying from 20" to 48" wide. The most common width is 27" for a standard staircase.

How to Measure The Right Roll Runner Length For Your Stairs

Selecting the right length is also important. To measure straight stairs make sure to:

  • Measure both the tread (horizontal step) and the riser (vertical part of step). This should add up to about 18".
  • Then count the number of steps. Be sure to include the last riser, which leads to the upper landing.
  • Multiply the number of steps by the total inches per stair.
  • Then divide by 12 to get the total linear feet necessary for your straight stairs. We recommend adding one extra foot of runner length to your total, just to be safe.

If you have a staircase that takes a 90 degree turn, but has a flat landing, you will need to decide how to lay the runner. Most often people use two runners on these types of staircases. One runner goes up the first part of the stairs and over the flat landing, ending just before the wall. The second runner starts at the base of the second set of steps and continues to just under the nose of the upstairs landing. Another option is to have the runner mitered on the landing. This created a unified look, but the runner needs to be seamed on the landing by a professional installer, and the seam may show after some time due to the stress.

If you have a curved staircase, you will need to have the runner installed by a professional stair runner installer. They should be able to provide a free estimate and tell you how many linear feet you will need.

If you are installing the stair runner yourself, or having it installed professionally, we at Rugs Done Right are happy to help you every step of the way!

Please note:

To order, simply add the number of linear feet you will need to the cart. The total can be adjusted when you access the shopping cart page.

How To Measure for Stair Runners

How To Measure for Stair Runners
Stairs consist of two parts: Risers (vertical part) and Treads (horizontal part)
Most risers are about 8" and treads are approximately 10", therefore we suggest you figure about 19" per stair. All stairs have one more riser than tread, which leads to the top landing. If your stairs take a 90 degree turn, with a landing in the middle, you will add two additional risers- one leading up to each landing. For example 5 steps, then a landing, then another 6 steps,

How to Calculate Runner Linear Feet:

1. How to Calculate Runner Linear Feet:

Take the total number of complete steps (riser + tread) and multiply by 19". Divide that number by 12 to convert into feet, then add 8" for each additional riser.

How to Calculate Stair Runner Linear Feet:

2. What Size Stair Runner Do I Need?

For standard straight stairs, a 21' cut roll runner will usually suffice. The runner is installed starting at the base of the first riser, and continues up the stairs to end just under the nose of the landing on the second floor.

    How to Measure Stair Runners With 90 Degree Turns
    How to measure stair runners with 90 Degree Turns

    1. Flat Landings:

    If you have a 90 degree turn with a flat landing, you will need to decide how you want the runner to look.
    One option is to have the runner mitered. This means the runner is seemed together as one continuous piece, like the corner of a picture frame. Although this is a very attractive look, keep in mind that the pressure on the seam from foot traffic will cause the runner to become worn or even pull apart over time.
    Another more popular and practical choice would be to run the runner up and over the landing, and then start a new runner on the first riser of the second part of the stairs. Most of these runners are bound on the landing about 3" in from the wall, which should line up with the edge of the runner going up the second part of the staircase.

    pie shaped stair runners

    2. Pie Shaped Stairs:

    If you have a 90 degree turn with three or more pie shaped stairs, you will need to add additional footage for each step. This is based on if you are cutting the runner or mitering the runner on the tread itself. It is best to contact a local installer for an accurate estimate.

    end capping stair runner

    3. Endcapping:

    Some people choose to endcap the runner so the border pattern continues around the entire rug, instead of just on the sides. You will need to measure very carefully for this type of finishing treatment, as the stair runner needs to end exactly under the nose of the landing. You also need to order the same amount of extra material as the width of the rug (27" width runner needs 3' extra material for a runner endcapped on both ends).

    cut roll runner

    4. What Are Cut Roll Runners?

    Cut roll runners are runners where a custom size can be ordered to be cut off of a roll of continuous product. This means that the runner will not have end borders, and is not finished on the ends. Most of these runners are finished on the sides. A finishing treatment needs to be specified for the ends if you are using the piece in a hallway. Options are fringing, endcapping, and serging.

    How to order cut roll runners

    5. How to Order Cut Roll Runners:

    Cut roll runners are priced per linear foot. Simply add one foot to the cart. Once in the cart, increase the quantity to the total length you need. Be sure to round up to the nearest foot. In the comments section upon checkout specify the finishing treatment you prefer. If ordering the end capping, be sure to read all the notes on the product, as there may be additional footage required.