Outdoor Rug Buying Guide

outdoor-rugsRugs can do for outdoors spaces what they’ve been doing for indoor spaces for years—define an area and add color, style and texture. Today’s outdoor rugs are so good-looking, durable and affordable that many of them look great as indoor rugs, too.

Here’s a handful of tips to keep in mind when buying or replacing an outdoor rug:

  • Some are more durable than others, but you can expect to replace an outdoor rug every couple of years if you leave it exposed to the elements year round. They will last longer if you put them in a covered area.
  • Sometimes a good shake and spot clean is all an outdoor rug needs. You can also vacuum it. But for a good cleaning, hang it up, hose it off, and let it dry completely before putting it back.
  • When buying, look for a label that says 100 percent polypropylene. The tag should also say that the rug is UV-stabilized to resist fading, mold and mildew.
  • Because outdoor rugs are made of synthetic, durable, all-weather materials, they’re a good option for indoors, too, especially in high-traffic areas and mudrooms.
  • If you are trying to decide between a hand-made or a machine-made rug, consider this: Machine-made rugs are lighter, they dry faster, and they are better for exposed areas. Handmade may have a higher pile and feel softer, but they hold water and will stay soggy longer.
  • Add a mesh pad under the rug if it’s slipping. A pad will also make it look thicker.
  • When picking an outdoor rug, determine the size. In a seating area, at least all front legs of furniture should be on the rug. In a dining area, all legs should be on the rug even when chairs are scooted out.
  • Current popular designs include bold colors and patterns, particularly florals, botanicals, and geometrics.