How to Choose a Rug for a High-traffic Area

Designer Rugs Melbourne

Whether at home or at work, your high-traffic areas like entryways or hallways can take a real beating. Day to day wear and tear can damage the floors while all that foot traffic can track in a lot of mess. Using a rug in these areas can help protect the flooring, while also concealing dirt and stains and even reduce foot noise. However, you need the right kind of rug for this job. Some designer rugs simply aren’t designed to handle heavy foot traffic and will quickly wear out. So, what makes a rug suitable for high-traffic areas?


Durability is essential for any rug in a high-traffic area. Certain rug materials will be more durable than others. Materials like wool, polyester, sisal, nylon and polypropylene are very hard wearing, making them suitable for use in busy spaces like entryways or living rooms.

Avoid delicate materials like silk, seagrass or viscose as these materials will quickly deteriorate if used in a busy area.

Among the good options for hard-wearing rugs you have a choice of various sustainable and natural rugs, as well as allergy-friendly options. While wool can be one of the more expensive options, it’s a sustainable choice that is also hypoallergenic. Alternatively, you can opt for a sisal rug. Sisal rugs tend to be low cost, are made from sustainable materials and are hypoallergenic.

Do your research to see which of these durable rug materials would best suit you and your family.

Design and Colour

Rugs placed in high-traffic areas will be more susceptible to staining because of the regular foot traffic. While you can make an effort to clean these daily, you’ll find it a great help if your chosen rug hides these problems.

The best way to achieve this is by choosing darker colours that dirt and stains can blend into. Additionally, intricate patterns can make it harder to see stains, dirt or damage.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you can avoid regularly cleaning your rug. It should be cleaned thoroughly at least once a week to keep on top of any dirt, as well as reduce the chance of bacteria or mould living in its fibres. But the right colour and design means if guests unexpectedly drop around, they won’t notice any stains or dirt on your rug.

When thinking about design and colour, you should also beware of colour fading. Some cheaper rugs will fade in the sunlight or with excessive foot traffic. Make sure your rug colour or design won’t easily fade or wear down.


For a high-traffic area, always choose a rug with a low pile. Low pile rugs show less wear because the fibres are pulled low and tight, making it less likely they will get caught on anything and torn. On the other hand, longer-pile rugs can easily catch on shoes and pet claws. Longer pile rugs will also get quickly crushed under regular foot traffic, meaning they will need regular steam cleaning to rejuvenate the fibres.

Similarly, low-pile rugs are easier to clean than mid- or high-pile rugs. As the fibres are short, it’s easier for a standard domestic vacuum to get to the root of them. This is where you’ll find dust and dirt collecting. Therefore, you can quickly clean your rug, regardless of how much traffic it has been exposed to.

While high-pile rugs can feel softer than low-pile rugs, there is an easy fix for this. Simply add a pad underneath the rug to make it feel softer. This is also a handy strategy to avoid your rug slipping on a hard floor.

Maintenance and cleaning needs

When choosing a rug for a high-traffic area, you need to consider what maintenance is required. This will mostly depend on the material you choose but can also be affected by the pile, colour and design.

Ideally you want a rug that is low maintenance. You should be able to get away with only cleaning it once a week. It should also be fairly stain resistant. Some rug materials are stain resistant, like wool and cotton, while others are not so hardy. You’ll need to act quickly if something is spilled on them.

To make cleaning easier, it can be a good idea to choose a rug that can be thrown into the washing machine. This can make for easier deep cleaning and save you time. Of course, this can depend on the material and the size of the rug. It’s also always best to check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions before putting your rug in the wash.

Use the tips above to ensure you pick the right rug for any high-traffic area in your home. Try and find a rug that’s highly durable and low maintenance, with a low pile and intricate patterns.