Using Oriental Rugs in the Kitchen

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Oriental rugs, especially those made of wool, are perfect for high-traffic kitchen areas. Sam Presnell from The Rug Gallery discusses how to choose the best rug and rug pad for your kitchen. Listen or read more to find out if an Oriental rug is right for your kitchen.

John Maher: Welcome to The Rug Gallery with Sam Presnell. The Rug Gallery is an Oriental rug company and carpet store in Cincinnati, Ohio. I’m John Maher, and I’m here with the owner of The Rug Gallery, Sam Presnell. Hi, Sam.

Sam Presnell: Hi, John.

John: Sam, today we’re talking about kitchen rugs. Are Oriental rugs well-suited for kitchen use?

Sam: Yes, they are. I think that … a lot of time people don’t think about using a good Oriental rug in the kitchen. I think for many reasons. One, that they’re too expensive,  or two, they are going to get dropped grease on them, spilled on them. And that’s also very true, that does happen. But a good Oriental rug, especially a good wool Oriental rug, has a lot of pattern to it. So, it hides a lot of those drips and drops pretty amazingly … something plain would show everything that you spill on it. Also, if it’s wool, it’s very cleanable, so you’d be amazed how dirty and filthy and greasy that thing can get. And then, when it comes back it looks new like the original rug that you once had.

Oriental Rugs in a Large Kitchen

John: If a person has a particularly large kitchen or maybe a kitchen with a dining area, is that a good place to use an Oriental rug as well?

Sam: I think so. I think one thing — it helps define the space, gives a little color and design and makes it a nice, more of a cozy, inviting space to sit around. I’m [a] big believer in that, plus, I think, also chairs — depending on what kind — can scratch the floor, depending on what kind of floor you have. But scratching is a big thing in the kitchen especially where chairs are involved, moving them in and out. So I would definitely recommend a rug. Also, a rug is more sound absorbent, so a kitchen has a lot of hard surface usually and it gets a little loud and sound keeps bouncing. A rug will help soften the sound down as well. I think the big thing with [a] kitchen that I find is that it’s kind of tricky sometimes to find the right size. Because the space — you have wall dimensions that infringe on what you can do as far as size. And then the table’s a certain size. By the time you backed the chairs off of the table, it’s up against a wall and how do you make that rug work.

A lot of times, we do a lot of custom work, I would call it, or fabrication work, whatever you want to make of it. Basically, we’ll take a rug. Basically, you pick any rug of any size that’s bigger than the size you want and then we’ll cut it to fit. It has to be a certain type of design that you can adapt to cutting and we’ll actually make it to the size that fits best for that space. That’s a very popular thing to do. Not every rug store can do that, but I would say any good rug store can do that for you.

Protecting an Oriental Kitchen Rug from Water

John: You mentioned stains and things like that. What about just water issues? You’re in the kitchen, and maybe you’re doing the dishes, and you’re going to spill some water, and it might get on the rug. You’re pulling dishes out of the dishwasher, that kind of thing, is there a certain type of rug that works well with getting wet?

Sam: No. I think all the fibers that are out there today are good for getting wet, all people are really worried about wool because [they’re] more absorbent than say a synthetic nylon or polypropylene would be — which would be basically unstainable, won’t even absorb water. I’m a big fan of wool because it can take — I would say wool is like your hair in so many ways, it’s sheep’s wool or sheep’s hair. And so it has that same ability to accept moisture and clean up and look good time and time again. The big thing is that if you do have something that actually has colorant into it, like a real serious staining type of thing, definitely the synthetic fibers would be [a] better choice for that.

Prevent the Rug from Slipping

John: What about issues with slipping? You might have a tile floor or even a linoleum floor or something like that in your kitchen. Are there issues with the rugs slipping, or is it just a matter of getting the proper pad underneath it?

Sam: I think that’s a big, big problem and a dangerous problem you have to be leery of. We have an incredible pad that we use and recommend, and we’ve spent years finding –we’ve gone through, I can’t tell you how many, pads over the years, trying to find that perfect pad that holds the rug, doesn’t add any pile height to it and keeps it from moving and then stays that way. Most of the time, people who sell these pads are looking for price. You have a pad that’s really designed for price and really doesn’t perform well, and after time dirt builds up on it — especially in the kitchen with all the dirt and droppings, things like that happen. You’ll find that after a while that pad takes and starts getting that build-up from the dirt and stuff around the floor, and it loses its ability to hold the rug. Basically, I see a lot of people who are not changing those out or washing those pads, are going to have issues with that rug moving considerably.

John: All right. That’s really great information, Sam. Thanks again for speaking with me today.

Sam: You’re welcome, John. Thank you.

John: For information about Sam, The Rug Gallery, and Oriental Rugs and Carpets, visit That’s rug gallery, or call 513-793-9505. Make sure you catch the latest episodes by subscribing to this Podcast on iTunes. If you could take the time then to give us a review on iTunes, as well, we’d appreciate that, I’m John Maher. See you next time on The Rug Gallery.

Categories: Ask Sam, Rug

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