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Outdoor Carpet

Transform Your Patio: A Guide to Choosing Outdoor Rugs

Identify the main theme or color scheme of the space for the rug. Pick out some accent colors or complimenting colors that would fit with what is trying to be accomplished. Take into consideration the color of your home, the color, and the style of your furniture.

Don’t forget to buy a rug pad as well. This will help extend the life of the rug by providing a buffer between the hard surface and the rug itself. This will also provide a solution to the question of, “how to keep outdoor rugs in place on concrete?”

Outdoor Rugs

Color isn’t the only important factor to start thinking about. Size and shape are equally important and be sure that the size will allow for all of the front legs of the furniture to be placed on it. Measure just to be sure.

Don’t try and bring an indoor rug outdoors; this will never end well. Indoor rugs are not waterproof rugs for patios.

Solid colors are good, but a pattern can be an even better choice, keep the design options open. Patterns have become extremely popular choices, and thanks to the different types of materials used in outdoor rugs, the options are just about endless.

Now that the creative juices have begun to flow, let’s dive deeper into some of the most common questions people ask about outdoor rugs.


Unfortunately, outdoor patio spaces are often neglected in terms of upkeep and new styling. With a little bit of creativity and an amateur eye for design, it can be super easy to give the patio a much-needed makeover prior to the peak of summer. Furniture is a given and a little harder choice to make, but a rug is something anyone can pick out with the right knowledge. Mostly for aesthetic purposes, a great patio rug can be a great focal point or accent piece to tie a design together.

When talking about an outdoor rug, the first image that comes to mind might be a welcome mat at a front door. This is not the type of rug that is going to be discussed in the following paragraphs because a patio rug is good for more than just wiping off shoes.

Indoor Outdoor Rugs

An outdoor patio rug brings together extreme function to withstand the elements and a pivotal design element in one piece. A lot of time can be spent picking out the right furniture for a patio, so it’s important to pick out the right accessories to complete the desired look. Picking a rug for the great outdoors can be a bit tricky and strikingly different from an indoor rug. For those in need or wanting to learn about how to make the best choice for an outdoor patio rug, here is a thorough, need-to-know buying guide to help.

Outdoor Mat

What is the Vision for Your Outdoor Space?

Designing an outdoor space is similar to an indoor space. Consider how you want the space to feel, and what the space is being used for. Is it a sitting area on your deck to relax and enjoy the day with friends and family? Is it an outdoor eating area for grilling out, or pool parties? Or is this area your front porch where you want to make anyone that steps foot on it feel welcomed?

Outdoor Patio Rug

What are Outdoor Rugs Made of?

The main difference between an indoor rug and an outdoor rug is the ability to hold up to the elements. Indoor rugs are poorly suited to withstand harsh weather (rain, sun, cold, etc.) and don’t survive long in high-traffic areas. Unlike cotton or cloth materials that indoor rugs are made from, outdoor rugs are typically going to be made from synthetic fibers or plant-based fibers that offer natural weather protection.

Common natural materials that you will find are hemp, jute, sisal, and seagrass, with jute being the least durable because it can easily be damaged by moisture and mold.

Synthetic materials such as polypropylene and polyester are the most common because of their versatility and durability. Polypropylene is perhaps the very best choice because it is 100% UV resistant, durable in all weather conditions, stain-resistant, and can literally be made in any color or pattern imaginable. A good example of a polypropylene rug is this Cane-Line Defined rug. 

Choosing The Correct Size Outdoor Rug

Selecting the right size for your outdoor rug is really based on the layout of your deck or patio. Outdoor rugs come in a plethora of sizes, ranging from 2x3’s to 11x14’s. When deciding on the size of rug that you need, consider your space and what you are trying to create in that space.  

Patio Rugs


A 2x3 rug can be great for a small space. If your entryway is larger, try using a 3x5 or 4x6 to give it a little more flare or umph! This gives a touch of color and serves the purpose of welcoming guests into your home.

Outdoor Area Rugs

Large porches, decks, or patios:

Select from a range of 5x8 to 9x12 depending on what look you are trying to achieve. You could make a small sitting area to anchor your rug with patio furniture such as chairs, benches, and tables. When placing your rug be sure to allow 12-24 inches from the rug’s edges to the perimeter of your patio space. 

Large Outdoor Rug

Outdoor Rug Sizing, Shape, and Placement

Just like indoor area rugs, outdoor rugs are both functional and stylish. Ideally, you’ll want your outdoor patio rug in a space where it can provide both. Place your rug beneath a dining table or seating area to highlight the space. It will also catch any crumbs! Another home for your outdoor patio rug is under a grouping of furniture – it will protect the surface of your deck from being scratched and will define the grouping as one uniform space. Or try a high-traffic area of your patio to make sure shoes don't carry dirt into the house.

Consider the space of your outdoor area when choosing the shape of your rug. If you choose a large outdoor rug, it should cover the majority of your deck or patio. If it will be sitting under a grouping of furniture, it should be big enough so the front legs of all major pieces of furniture are placed on the rug.

If it's placed under an outdoor dining table, you should be able to pull out all the chairs and have the legs remain on the rug. Generally, the rug should be at least 2' wider than the table on all sides. Round patio tables look nice over round rugs, while outdoor seating groupings can be nicely defined by a square or rectangular rug.

How to Care for An Outdoor Rug?

While outdoor rugs are considered to be low maintenance, if the rug is expected to last season after season, some care and maintenance are required. As mentioned above, a rug pad is highly recommended to help prolong the lifespan of the rug.

How to clean an outdoor rug is a pretty simple question to answer. Vacuuming is highly recommended to keep dirt and debris from building up, and if spills occur, spot cleaning with water and mild soap works, throwing it into the washing machine, or even rising with a hose are all options that can be utilized. 

Bringing your rug in for the winter months is simple, but if not done properly, the answer to do outdoor rugs get moldy will not be a desirable one. Prior to storing, rinsing, and drying the rug entirely is essential. Roll up to store with the bottom facing out.

Can outdoor rugs go inside? Of course — they can, but an indoor rug should not be used outside. A common question on the flip side is, can you turn an indoor rug into an outdoor rug? There are not many options available, and it is best to not take the chance of ruining a perfectly good indoor rug and just purchase the right outdoor rug.

Is the outdoor carpet an option? With advances in material technology, a waterproof outdoor carpet is a great option for those seeking a durable, stylish covering for any surface.

With this knowledge, purchasing an outdoor rug will be a much easier task. When the time comes to make the purchase, you will know exactly what to look for. Synthetic materials will last longer than plant-based or cloth ones. Choosing the right size for the space is just as important as the color and design. But, in the end, the choice that is made should complement the space well and tie into the design scheme.

To learn more about area rugs, you can read some of our blog posts such as; "How to Choose Dining Room Rugs"How to Choose the Best Materials for Rugs, and Guide for Buying Bathroom Rugs. 

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