How Big Should A Dining Room Rug Be? Use This Rule Of Thumb

Updated for 2023: Are you looking for a new rug to go under your dining room table? Or new a do you need a rug for under a table in your kitchen? If so, you need to get the right size. Too small is never a good thing. It’s better to go big or go bare on the floor under your table.

dining room rug

Why do I need rules for a dining room rug? You don’t HAVE to follow the rules. If you already own a rug that you love that doesn’t fit these guidelines, don’t throw it out. Think about other places you could use the rug you love. If you are in the market for a new rug, why not get one that is the right size. Proportion matters!

The right size rug is an anchor for your table. If your rug is too small your table feels too big. You and your guests can’t push your chairs back and forth easily without catching the rug. No one wants to constantly lift the chair over the rug every time you move.

How to Size A Dining Room Rug

Step 1: Any time you are buying a rug for the dining space, you need to measure your table. The right rug size really depends mostly on the table.

Step 2: Add a minimum of 18 to 24 inches on each side of the table. This is 18 to 24-inch space is the seating area around the table. It’s enough room that the legs of the chair sit comfortably on the rug, even when the chairs are pushed back.

Ideally, Let’s say you have a 4-foot x 6-foot rectangular table. Your rug should be at least 7 feet x 9 feet. Width 48 + 18 + 18. Length 60 + 18 + 18.

The rug you want might not come in that exact size. Thre are standard sizes for most rugs. Get the size that is at least as big as the formula suggests. Standard sizes for rugs are 8×10 or 6×9 or 10×12.

Does The Shape Of Your Table Impact the Size Rug?

You don’t need a round rug just because you have a round table, or a square rug because you have a square table. Rectangular rugs, which are the most common, will work for any shape table.

Here are some examples of how different shaped tables fit onto a standard rectangular rug.

dining room layouts

If you are worried the rug might be too large for your space, make sure that the edge of the rug is at least 12 inches from any dining room furniture that is up against a wall. If you have a small dining table that can’t go in the middle of the space, you can always go bare.

What Size Rug Do You Need For A Round Table?

You use the same rule of thumb for a round table or square table as you do for rectangular tables. It’s better if the rug extends beyond the short side. Be sure the rug is at least 3 feet (18″ wider than the table). You don’t need a square rug just because you have a square table, you just need to make sure the legs of the chairs have adequate space.

If you have wood floors or tile floors that you like you don’t have to put a rug in your dining area at all. In fact, it’s better to have no rug than to skimp and get one that is too small. That takes away the issue of sliding the dining room chairs around.

Interior designers know that a rug adds a cozy feeling to your dining room, but a small rug is worse than no rug. than no rug.

Best Kind of Rug For Dining Spaces

Now that the boring part is out of the way, you can move on to the fun part, finding the perfect rug.

Lucy on the dining room rug

If you have an unlimited bank account, wool rugs are the best. Did you know that wool actually resists dirt? The dirt sits on top of the fiber. How amazing is that? Unfortunately, wool rugs are pricey.

You need a larger rug under most tables. You can still get a beautiful rug for less than $400 but you will have to choose a less expensive material. For bargain rugs in spaces where spills happen regularly, I like natural fiber rugs (Jute, seagrass) or synthetic rugs.

Synthetic rugs don’t last as long as a wool rug, but they last several years. It’s like a boyfriend vs a husband. A synthetic rug is probably not your forever rug but they are affordable and easy to clean. Synthetic rugs do have a drawback; they are bad for high-traffic areas.

For years I had a seagrass rug under my table. It survived every spill with no problem but it wasn’t very soft.

Best Places to Find Budget-Friendly Rugs

My favorite places to find rugs on a budget are Overstock and Amazon. Overstock and Amazon have a great selection of synthetic rugs (and many times the same rugs on both sites) and natural fiber rugs.

No matter what type of rug you buy you need a good rug pad. I like the felted ones from Overstock. You might not believe this is an important thing, but a good rug pad can make an inexpensive rug feel like a more luxurious, expensive rug.

If you are looking for a forever rug, go with wool. Read more about the pros and cons of wool rugs here.

Here are some of my favorites in 2022, including the one I just bought. One thing they all have in common is pattern. It’s good to have a pattern when you use a rug in a spot where there are regular spills. Safavieh and NuLOOM are both high-quality manufacturers.

I choose every product I review. I may earn a small commission if you buy from one of the product links, at no extra cost to you. This income supports this site. See the full disclosure.

  • My dining room rug from Amazon,
  • Safavieh rug from Amazon – This rug comes in many different sizes and color combinations and it’s a bargain, even in an 8×10.
  • The muted rug also comes in many different sizes and color combinations.
  • This natural fiber rug is not as soft, but very durable and works with many different design styles.

If these aren’t your colors (blue), many of these rugs come in different patterns and colors.

I hope this helps you to find the right size rug for your dining room. If you buy one, send over a photo. I’d love to see it. If you liked this you might enjoy this mid-century dining room redo.

how to choose the right size rug for the dining room

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  1. Great tips! And thanks for championing wool rugs! I love them!

    Happy day friend!

    1. I’m so happy you stopped by! See you soon.


  2. I love that sweet puppy! I did not know that about wool rugs! There is always something new to learn!

  3. Kim Finnigan says:

    For open concept spaces should you have matching rugs for the dining and living room spaces?

    1. Kim,
      I wouldn’t get two matching rugs. I would get two rugs that complement each other with the same color palette and style (traditional, modern, etc) but not the same rug. This makes your open space more interesting visually. I would love to see a picture if you want to share.


  4. Linda Santerre says:

    Do you measure the table with or without the leaf? I use the leaf only if I need to when I have visitors.

    Thank you,


    1. Linda,

      If you have the table 80% of the time without the leaf, I would use that measurement and if you are choosing between two sizes err a little on the large side. Often large tables with a leaf the fixture is not nearly as long as the table with or without the leaf.

      I hope this helps.


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