Rugs are a great dorm room idea. A lot of dorm rooms have institutional carpeting and some have hard floors. In either case the floor is likely to be cold and hard underfoot. When it is institutional carpeting it is often stained with previous occupant’s spills of coffee, white-out, and possibly other less desirable things. A rug will make the footing warmer, and can hide those annoying stains you can’t get rid of.
Rugs come in a multitude of shapes and sizes. For most dorm rooms you have two main options. You can buy one large area rug that functions almost as a carpet and on top of which everything else except the bed goes, or you can get a small rug for a specific area.
Picking a Rug
What type of rug should you get? What type do you want? There are several things you should think of when picking the rug: size, price, colour and ability to stand up to wear and tear. Whatever you choose to get, you’ll need to put a non-skid backing on it if it’s going to be on a hard floor.
Rug Size/Large Rugs
These rugs are also often called area rugs. In your dorm room, an area rug is best used to cover most of the floor and act almost like a carpet. They will have people walking on them, and chairs moving across them, and all too likely things spilled on them. They need to be sturdy. If you want a large rug that will cover most of the area be sure to check that it is not bigger than the dorm room’s floor area. Otherwise you may have to take it back…
There are a couple of types of small rugs which may be useful in dormitories. Doormats are useful for preventing dirt and detritus from getting into your room. They should be placed just inside the door, and need to be made of something very hard-wearing. Sheepskins feel wonderful on tired feet and are very warm. This is wonderful if your dorm room is not heated as well as it should be in the winter. The best place to put them is usually beside the bed where you put your feet when you get out of bed in the morning.
Prices for Rugs
Most college students do not have a lot of spare money, so price is important. The cheapest rugs are usually made out of cotton or synthetic materials. Cotton rugs are not as hard wearing as wool or synthetic rugs, and many synthetic rugs and carpets have a fairly high environmental price. Silk rugs are usually expensive and are not recommended for dorm use.
Generally, the smaller the rug the lower the price. Cheap rugs can often be found for under $20.00, but these are most often small. A large wool rug with a complex pattern might cost several hundred dollars, and a large silk persian rug can cost thousands. You probably don’t want one of the latter for your dorm room…
Dorm rooms are often pretty bland in color and one of the reasons for getting a rug is to make the room feel like it belongs to you. Large rugs are very good for setting the color scheme of the room. Pick something you like! You are going to be looking at it a lot.
Ability to stand up to Wear and Tear
Dorm rugs tend to get walked on in shoes, slippers, and bare feet. They get chairs and other furniture moved across them, especially if they are large. They get things spilled on them. You really want something hard-wearing. Wool rugs and synthetic rugs are harder wearing than cotton ones, although some rugs are available in a cotton/wool blend which tends to be cheaper than a wool rug and sturdier than a cotton rug.
Dorm Rugs and Computers
Whatever rug you pick, don’t place a rug where your computer chair will constantly run over the edge of the rug. The wheels of computer chairs catch on this and it’s really distracting when you’re trying to work. If you use a large rug you may want to put a plastic rug protector over the part where the computer chair runs, to protect the rug, stop the chair catching, and reduce static electricity buildup which can damage your computer.