What Size Rug For Living Room With Sectional?

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey

A new couch is a big and often room-altering purchase. If you upgrade from a standard sofa to a sectional you may notice a transformative change in the living room. The sectional is likely roomy and comfortable, and leaving you in want of nothing. That is until you look down and realize your old rug doesn’t seem to fit with your new sectional at all.

When you select a rug for your living room that has a sectional you need to consider several factors, including the size of the room and the sectional itself. In general, 5’x7’ and 6’x9’ rugs work well for smaller sectionals and 8×10’ work well for average-sized sectionals. For larger living rooms with bigger couches, 9×12’ or 10×14’ rugs are your best options.

Your rug should always be wider than your couch, but the big question is – how much wider? When you are looking for a new rug, you can rely on your instinct to a degree. There are, however, several general design rules and concepts that can help you a great deal. Understanding the basic rules of balance for rugs underneath sectionals will help you a great deal on your search.

Common Rug Sizes And How They Pair With Sectionals

When you begin the hunt for the perfect rug to slide underneath your sectional, you will quickly notice there are a few common rug sizes. The four most popular rug sizes you will find in stores are the 6’x9’, 8’x10’, 9’x12’ and 10’x14’. Before you select one of these sizes, consider some of the general rules and practices of rug selection.

  • Always leave a minimum of 6 inches or more between the wall and the rug. While you may want to cover up most of your floor, allow some of it to peek out, allowing the eye to see the outline of the rug.
  • Aim for your rug to be 8 inches wider than your sectional on both sides. This means your rug should measure at least 16 inches longer than your couch.
  • All major furniture should have at least two of its four legs planted on the rug. None of your core furniture should be “floating” in the room, without being at least partially underneath the rug. 

Following these rules will help prevent you from buying a rug that is too small, and also one that is too large. While these are some of the basic rules, there are several more key considerations to ponder before you land on the perfect rug size for your living room.

Five Factors To Consider When Matching A Rug With Your Sectional

1. The Size Of The Sectional

Perhaps the biggest factor you need to consider when you are rug shopping is how big your sectional is. The larger the sectional, the larger the rug. Your rug should be at least 8 inches (or more) longer on both sides of your sectional. This means you should only look at rugs that are at least 16 inches longer than your couch.

Remember at least two of the four legs of the four legs of all your furniture should rest on the rug. This is important to remember for those who purchased long L-shaped couches. It forces you to consider both the length and width of the rug.

2. What Type Of Floor’s You Have

The type of floors you have can greatly impact the size of rug you should purchase. If you have beautiful finished hardwood floors then you likely want a rug to help protect and tie the room together, but don’t want to cover them up entirely. This means you will want to allow more than the standard 6 inches between rug and wall. This will allow you to show off the great floors while also enjoying the style and protection of the rug.

If you have tile or laminate floors, or flooring that is less inviting and stylish, you may want to consider a larger rug. In order to brighten up a room that has depressing flooring, larger earth or warm toned rugs can bring life into a room without creating a bold distraction that a patterned or bright color rug would bring.

3. How Big Is The Room?

Your room size plays a huge role in how large of a rug you can and should purchase. If you are putting your sectional in a fairly small room, you should purchase a rug that covers most of the room. Try leaving only 6 to 8 inches of space between the wall and the rug on all sides. In small rooms, this often means going with a smaller rug, like a 6’c 9’ or even a 5’x7’.

When you have a larger room, you have many options. You can still go for a smaller rug, but be sure the majority (or ideally all) of the couch is underneath the rug. As a rule, make sure at least two of the four legs of each couch piece are placed on the rug.

4. What Other Furniture Is In The Room

The amount of furniture you have in your living room can also play a role in what size rug you get for your living room with a sectional. If your room is rather bare other than the couch and maybe a coffee table or TV stand, you have the flexibility to go large, or a bit smaller. The key is to make sure the rug is large enough to be at least one foot to 18” wider on either side of the couch.

If you have a lot of furniture in the living room, it is best to get a rug that covers up the bulk of the space. Remember to leave at least a 6 inch gap on all sides of the wall. Otherwise, you should consider covering most of the floor. This allows the bulk of the furniture to rest on the rug. No furniture should have all four legs on the hard floor when you have a rug in the room.

5. Colors And Textures

The color and textures of your rug also play a part in how large a rug you should purchase. A very busy ors shaggy rug, while bold and exciting to the eye, is best in a smaller size paired with more neutral tones. In other words, if you go with a bold rug, be sure to allow ample space between the rug and the wall, and make sure your other furniture has more neutral tones.

If you select an earthy tone or warm toned rug with simple texture, you can get away with a larger rug (while still following the basic rules). These rugs act more as a canvas to the floor. They also help bring warmth to the room without being distracting to the eye. You can even consider putting a small busy rug over the larger neutral rug. This will allow you the best of both worlds, while not breaking any of the rules.

Concluding Thoughts On Rugs Sizes For Sectionals

Rugs are known to tie rooms together. Selecting a great rug for your living room that has a sectional can bring a new life to an otherwise plain space. For rooms with smaller sectionals, it is often best to go with a smaller, but still substantial rug (often a 5’x7’ or 6’x9’ rug works great in smaller spaces). For larger rooms with bigger sectionals, an 8×10’ all the way up to a 10×14’ or larger should work best.

Remember to always allow some space between the rug and your wall, at least 6 inches. Your rug should also be wider than your couch by at least 8 inches on either side. Make sure all your main furniture has at least two legs on the rug. These are all basic rules to help prevent you from getting a rug too big or too small for your space.

Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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