If you kick off your shoes the minute you get home, you’re not alone. According to a YouGov survey, 87% of Americans walk around their homes barefoot, at least now and then.
In fact, 31% of those surveyed said they “always” take off their shoes, 26% said they remove their shoes “most of the time” and 18% of people “sometimes” go barefoot.
How often people go shoeless is influenced by age, geographic region and culture.
Still, that’s a lot of bare feet. And, if you enjoy time on your deck, pool, porch or patio, that means a lot of feet are exposed to hot, cold, slippery, splintered or rough surfaces when they step outside.
The barefoot lifestyle likely is one reason outdoor area rugs have become so popular. However, it is far from the only reason.
Let’s look into the benefits and uses of outdoor rugs.
Why Use an Outdoor Area Rug?
1. Outdoor Rugs are Practical
There are four very practical reasons people use outdoor patio rugs: comfort, safety, protection and cleanliness.
When the summer sun is shining, surfaces like concrete, wood and tile can become uncomfortably hot. That’s no fun! Placing your patio furniture on an outdoor area rug eliminates hot feet (and chilly toes while enjoying your morning coffee).
Especially near a swimming pool, your patio tile, wood-alternative decking or stamped concrete patio can be slippery when wet. And if you have an older wood deck, you’re probably wary of stepping on a splinter. An outdoor rug provides a safer, non-slip surface outdoors.
However, your feet aren’t all you’re protecting when you use an outdoor carpet. Patio chairs and dining seating that are moved often can scratch and gouge many types of outdoor surfaces. Patio rugs protect your decking, concrete, tile and other surfaces from marks and scratches. What you spend on your patio rug is probably a fraction of what you would have to pay to repair the damage.
Conversely, an outdoor patio rug can help cover up whatever scratches and cracks have already marred your patio or deck.
You don’t want grass and dirt tracked in from the yard to the house. An outdoor rug helps keep debris out of your home. Because who wants to vacuum and sweep when you could be outside?
Outdoor rugs aren’t just practical - they’re pretty and stylish, too! When you’re designing an open-air space for conversation or dining, an indoor outdoor rug helps create a welcoming atmosphere.
Take a closer look at outdoor carpets and you’ll discover just how many sizes, styles and fabrications are available!
Your patio carpet can add color and visual interest to your outdoor space. Use your rug to define an area within a larger space, as you do indoors. An outdoor rug can even help update and elevate the look of your patio.
3. Outdoor Rugs are Durable
While patio rugs are beautiful and varied in style, don’t choose a rug based on looks alone. Most are pretty durable, but you’ll want to consider how well it wears, what it is made of and how easy it is to clean.
Outdoor rugs can be made from many different materials. Among the most common:
Polypropylene - One of the most common and durable materials for patio area rugs. Polypropylene is water, stain, fade and mildew resistant, making it one of the most practical materials for outdoor carpeting.
Polyester - Bright and colorful polyester outdoor rugs are fade resistant, but may mat or pill.
Nylon - Patio rugs made of nylon are easy to clean and resist fading. While they feel soft underfoot, they also can get hot in the sun.
Bamboo, sisal, seagrass and other natural materials - Outdoor rugs made of natural materials lend themselves to outdoor decor. However, since these materials fade and absorb water, they may not be practical in all areas.
Wear & Exposure
Will your patio rug be completely exposed to the elements, or partially covered by an awning or porch? Is it in a low or high traffic area?
Consider the conditions your outdoor carpet will need to withstand as you begin exploring your options.
Care & Cleaning
Check the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations. Most outdoor carpets can be vacuumed. Many can be hosed or pressure washed and some are even machine washable. However, you’ll want to know how much care is required before you make an investment.
Placing a carpet pad beneath your outdoor area rug, or securing it with double-sided tape, can help make it steadier underfoot. Securing your rug also reduces the likelihood that the carpet back will rub and scratch the surface beneath - an important consideration if your first goal in buying a patio rug is to protect that surface.
Start Summer Off on the Right Foot
Outdoor rugs are ideal for defining a conversation or dining area and adding color and style to an outdoor space. They help keep bare feet comfortable, prevent slips, and hide or reduce damage to expensive surfaces like tile and decking. When placed near your home’s entrance, they can also limit the amount of debris tracked in on the soles of your feet.
If any of those considerations are important to you, it stands to reason that an outdoor area rug might just be the next best outdoor accessory to add to your patio decor.
Start summer off on the right foot with the increased comfort, protection and style provided by an outdoor rug.