Rethinking Area Rugs For Dining Rooms

Do you have a dining room with hardwood floors? If so, do you use an area rug in your dining room?

Way back when I first started working on my dining room, I was looking at black and white striped rugs, but I couldn’t find one that worked. (That was before I settled on black and white striped draperies.) I finally decided to go with a simple jute rug, which is probably my favorite kind of rug. I bought this one from Overstock. It’s actually not that dark in person. In fact, you can see a glimpse of it here.

DIY Fluid acrylic abstract painting with easy-to-make modern frame - 4

It’s very neutral, and serves the purpose that I like for area rugs to serve by defining the area.

But after spending a week making one wingback dining chair, and now starting on the second one, I’m starting to think through the practicality (or impracticality) of having an area rug in the dining room in the first place.

The wingback chairs, while not super heavy, are definitely bigger and heavier than a regular dining chair, like a side chair. And I’m concerned that sliding those chairs in and out from the table on a rug will just get really old after a while, and will probably end up ruining the rug and possibly even weakening the legs on the chairs (all of the chairs, actually) just from the added extra force required to push a chair back over carpet.

So when I was standing there in Home Depot, looking at the adhesive and nail-on feet glide options, I made a spur-of-the-moment decision. I went with the nail-on felt pads made for hardwood floors (I got these) instead of the slick plastic glides made for use on carpet.

I brought those home, attached them to the feet of the one finished wingback chair, and tested it out. It slid across the floor so easily! I mean, with pretty much no effort at all. Just for the sake of practicality and ease of use, I think I have to do away with the area rug. But of course, from a decorating point of view, that kind of disappoints me. In my mind, a finished dining room that has hardwood floors needs an area rug.

So I headed to Houzz to see if I could find examples of dining rooms with hardwood floors and no area rugs. I expected them to be in the minority, but as it turns out, that wasn’t the case at all! I searched “dining room with hardwood floor” and at least half of the rooms that came up on that search didn’t use rugs! I guess others have found that area rugs with dining chairs are impractical as well.






Those are just a few of the examples I found, and I don’t think those rooms look like they’re lacking because they don’t have an are rug. Do you?

Anyway, I readily admit that more times than not, I’m a form over function kind of person, and I make no apologies for it. But in this case — this rare case — I’m going to opt for practicality. When my house is nearer to completion, I really do want this dining room to be used…often. I want it filled with people, good conversation, and loads of laughter. And the last thing I want is to be concerned whether or not my guests are able to easily and comfortably get up from the dining table.

So I’m curious. For those of you who have hardwood floors in your dining room, do you use an area rug? Have you found it to cause difficulty with pushing the chairs in and out from the table? And what, if anything, have you done or used to make it easier?



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  1. We have hardwood floors and the living room is open to the dining room. We have a large area rug in the living room and no rug under the dining room table in the dining room. I really like it that way and feel like it simplifies the space and makes it look a little bigger. It’s definitely easier to clean, just lift the chairs up and sweep. And it’s easy to scoot chairs in and out and around the table when more chairs are needed for more people.

  2. I have always had a rug in my dinning room. I like the look and the feel of it. I think it makes it more finished and cozy. Just my opinion though. I have used the glider protectors on the bottom of my chairs and they move in and out very easily.

  3. We have a dining area instead of a dining room (we converted our little-used dining room to a more comfortable breakfast/study area for every day use). We have hardwood floors. Since our table is used daily (if not three times a day), a rug seemed impracticable, and I appreciate the ability to keep the floor clean.

    A designer friend recommended an oilcloth rug. I have considered it, because I don’t like the “wood table on top of the wood floor” look — but they are expensive and I haven’t found one that I like.

    You, on the other hand, could make your own oilcloth rug in whatever design you wished. Just a thought if you still want a rug.

  4. I do not have a rug in my dining room . . . I admit that it’s mainly because I haven’t found the “right” one yet. Honestly, it hasn’t really bothered me not having a rug there! And now that I’ve seen your post, I believe you’ve just saved me $$$ 🙂 Thanks!

  5. I have had it both ways in my dining room. First I didn’t have a rug because like you I was thinking of practicality and didn’t want to struggle moving the chairs in and out. But, I always thought that the dining room table was kinda floating. So when I came across some nice glides that I could put on my chairs. I brought them and added a rug. I like the room much better now and my chair glides work great! Love everything that you are doing and look so forward to your posts. Either way your dining room is going to be fabulous !!

  6. Yes, I have a beautiful, expensive, antique rug in my dining room. And I wish I’d not bought it. While it looks just the way I wanted it to look, it does make moving the chairs difficult. I worry about the wear on the rug and the strain on the chair legs every time we have guests, which is really the only time we sit there, although the room is a walk through to the kitchen. If we used the table a lot, I’d probably move the rug.

  7. I used to feel the same way – that a dining room just wasn’t “finished” without a rug under the table. But then I got tired of always having to spot clean because someone accidentally dropped food. And I don’t just mean kids, either. Adults have accidents too. Eventually I decided it was much easier to clean the hardwood than the rug, so the rug went bye-bye. Besides, I think you’ve got such great visual interest going on in your entryway and dining room that you really don’t need a rug too. 🙂

  8. We don’t even have a home right now ( building ), but I won’t have a rug when the house is done. #1 – as you say, it’s tough to move the chairs in and out, #2 – I have messy grandkids, and #3 – don’t like cleaning rugs around a table, it’s a pain. Long time ago, in the dark ages, we had wall to wall carpet in the dining room, and after many meals and years, there was a distinct “halo” around the table from spills and traffic flow. I vowed then that never again would I have anything but hard surfaces near dining!
    Hope you have better luck with the nail in glides – mine eventually kept falling out if you lifted the chairs. I even tried to glue them in, but the glue soon popped off. Wish the nail part was grooved or threaded on those things! I ended up nailing new ones into a new spot, several holes finally in the bottom of the legs. :-/

  9. We have a rug in our dining room and I am getting rid of it. I am finding as I age, I am a function over form girl. With a child who has Down syndrome and poorly developed fine motor skills, it just isn’t worth it to constantly clean the mess from below her seat. It is also a pet hair collector. I Swiffer each day, but hate having to move the chairs to vacuum the rug every day. I would rather enjoy my children and four pets than worry about cleaning. For me, it is about simplifying my life rather than creating a home that would be magazine worthy. Who knows, maybe I can do both? 🙂

    1. I totally agree. I have 5 grand children and want them to be able to come to Grams house without fear of a spill at the table. Life is too short to be cleaning constantly, but it’s also to short to be living in a pig stye – hence harwood – or any solid surface floors in my entire house is the goal. My only exception is an area rug I got for my family room – hard wood is hard on the little one’s when they fall – which is alot since they are so little… But even with that, I’m annoyed at the amount of vacumming and spot cleaning that has to be done. So when the last one is fully walking (about a year from now), I’ll probably take that one up as well.

  10. We have always gone without a rug under our dining room table. It is 110″ long and made of 1/2 inch beveled glass on top of cast stone Corinthian column tops, so we do not have the “wood table on a wood floor” problem. We did not make our chairs (lol) so we have always used adhesive felt pads which eventually slide off and have to be replaced. The adhesive edge also attracts dust bunnies. Your nail-on felt pads sound so much better!

    1. We recently got new laminate flooring on the main floor of our house. I love it. It is almost espresso but there is some lighter graining that gives it some movement.
      We also did the felt sticky pads. They were way less expensive and I had some glides on a chair that had somehow worn away and the nail head was what slid on the previous carpet. I did not want to mess up the new floors so I’m a little hesitant to put anything with “hard spots” like nail on/screw on pads. But I do hate the dust and dog hair magnet of the edge of the sticky pads!

    2. Try putting powder just on the edge of the sticky pads – where you don’t want them to be sticky. Nothing will stick to them again. It might stick to the felt, but but not to the sticky. This is an old scrapbooking trick I learned to make stickers not sticky!

  11. May I just say that I have never enjoyed any other blog as much as yours! You are truly amazing. A one woman show ! Truly incredible! I think I run over to my husband every night and show him your work ! I hear myself every night saying…” You gotta see this ….you gotta see this…look what she can do” ! He is simply amazed as wel! And he is one handy guy and myself as well! We’ve renovated 21 houses in the past 30 years and moved 18 times all in the same town! We wish you lived in ny and gave some classes ! Just wanted to let you know how wonderful we think you are! Love love your blog! And I gave had half houseswith rug and half without…..depends on house …..I have found that if you gave a huge room and lots of chairs and don’t use the dining room as much then a rug is warranted for simply being classy and texture and rich looking! Right now we just renovated a tiny 1400 square foot ranch and left the rug out since it was too much in the small floors spaces. I find myself sweeping a lot… under the table……since done rugs. Hide dust. Crumbs etc……but whatever fits the spots! Thanks again for some great tips, and beautiful crafty techniques! You are so talented!

  12. We raised four children, and I learned early on that, not only did a rug under the dining room table make it difficult to push the chairs in and out, but that the rug was a catch-all for crumbs, drinks, and food particles. Not only was is hard to clean, it was actually unsanitary! I opted for sanitation over appearance and put my decorative focus elsewhere in accessories and artwork. Now, even with my children grown, I still prefer no rug under the dining room table. Since you have already decided that a simple rug would make more sense with your colorful chairs, why not go one step further and eliminate it altogether and let the focus be on the furniture?

  13. How do area rugs work in your home with a wheelchair? I tried one in my living room and it was always bunched up or askew from my husband turning in circles. So I gave up the idea of a rug.

    1. One reason I like jute rugs is that they’re substantial and heavy enough to stay put when Matt wheels over them, but they’re also thin (compared to a cut pile carpet type of rug) so that he can wheel over the edge with relatively little trouble.

  14. We had wall-to-wall carpet in our dining room and I HATED it. It was hard to move the chairs and hard to clean. Now we have hardwood flooring and it is so much better! I would never put in an area rug in the dining room.

  15. Hardwood throughout the house, even on the second floor, is one of the reasons we–well, I–bought our current house. The set up is open and the big dining table is what we use every day, not just twice a year, so no rug, no table cloth, no place mats. It just makes everything easier. We conjoined the formal dining room and living room into one big room and then turned it into a library–because my husband is an incorrigible book lover and crazy reader–and the 5,000 books had to go somewhere! The rest of the house does have area rugs here and there but none under either dining table! Yeah, it’s not for everyone; but I hate cleaning so anything making that process easier is a welcome change for me 🙂

  16. Unfortunately, the builder of this house used “rough” tiles and they are horrid. But, after losing 10 bids on houses we opted for this one. If I had my way I would replace them all with hardwood but that is not gonna’ happen ..not in this world or next. So I opted for an area rug because it was nicer looking, quieter but I have to admit it is not the most practical. Same thing in the kitchen area where we eat most of our meals. Area rug…did I say i ‘hate’ this floor…area rugs work here just because that is life in this house.

  17. Never have had a rug under the dining room table, either hardwood floors or tile. I don’t like the look. I prefer a clean look. With the bold statements in your room already, I would think plain hardwood would be stunning.

  18. I have had it both ways. My wood floors are dark and showed every speck of dust, so I went back to a rug. My dining room chairs are from the 30’s and not that heavy, so moving them has not been a problem. I think the type of rug makes a difference too. This time I went with a flat weave wool rug rather than something plusher or more textured. So far it’s been my favorite.

  19. Initially when we moved into our new rental home (military), I pictured a rug in the dining room. In my mind, a rug just seemed to finish it off. However, after a couple of weeks of no rug and having finally put felt sliders on the legs of the chairs, I just don’t think it’s necessary.
    There are so many pluses. It’s easier to clean under (dog hair and food). It’s a nice clean look since I have painted my chairs and the bottom of my table (top I stained the wood).
    My goal is to either replace my china cabinet (movers damaged it) or try and repair and paint it, along with the sideboard/dresser I have in the room as well.
    I think once that is done, the room will be complete with out a rug.

  20. I tend to think about function vs look… I never understood having a rug in a dining room. Mostly because guest + chair is hard to move, plus shows wear if it is used regularly, then wory about spills on the rug. Friends of mine gather to play games often. We all chipped in time to help replace their floor with a floating laminate, they had older flooring that showed wear easily and didn’t have much life left. Since the project sticky felt pads seem to have difficulty to stay and stick. Within a month half the pads come off. We are on product #3 now (upgraded to “heavy duty” products). Do know, this home is the tough case because their dining area is main table gathering place in this home, they got critters and very accident-prone residents.

  21. I have hardwood in my dining room and do have an area rug. I currently have a floral print wool blend that is getting old and will be replaced soon with a woven seagrass one mainly because I want to add some texture to the room and also to hide a dark spot in the wood from a water stain from a previous owner that didn’t come all the way out when we had them refinished. I also have hardwood in my living room and don’t use an area rug in there because I want more of the floor exposed.

    You can go either way. Not having one in the dining room is more practical due to the chairs having to more and not having to clean food spills from the carpet (especially if children dine in the room). Even without food spills, the plain hardwood floor is much easier to clean without the carpet.

  22. If you feel the need to “define” the space, you could always paint a rug on the floor…that way you can customize it with the exact size, color and design you want.

  23. We used to have wall to wall in the dining room (like most homes used to have) and finallyput in hardwood about 8 years ago. We purposely don’t have an area rug because we use our dining room everyday and we are messy eaters! My kids and husband will often be munching on food as they are walking to the table, LOL! I think that a rug under a table that gets a lot of use is either going to be a lot of work to keep clean or unsanitary.
    The drawback is that there isn’t a rug to absorb sound, but since I recently hung curtains, I found that noise isn’t that much of an issue anymore. (We only really noticed it was a bit noisier right after we took out the wall to wall carpeting.)
    I live in southern Maryland–a bit colder than your Texas I’m sure, and the floor doesn’t feel chilly in the winter, either. Maybe someone living in a colder climate would really need a rug in the winter to remove the chill from the floor?
    I’d say forget the rug in the dining room and use that pretty rug in your family room or music room, or wherever. Just my 2 cents worth, since you asked.

  24. I love the rugs. I cant ditch my love for the rugs. To me the dining spaces with out them do look sparse and lacking BUT, I think the examples you give are of spaces that go for a very different esthetic. With your space I think you will have to see it before you can know for sure and with everything you do I know it will be amazing and 100% the right choice when you are all said and done.

  25. I have never used a rug in my dining room. I love the ease of the sliding with felt pads. The only down side is when you have fur babies you have to pick a bit of fur off the pad occasionally.

  26. I had a thick Persian rug style carpet and it worked because of the thickness. I’ve since moved, and went from a round table to a square one – the rug no longer fits, and that’s ok too. Every room takes on its own personality and you just need to go with it 🙂

  27. Why don’t you look into an indoor/outdoor area rug like you would use on a patio. They are super flat and durable and I think the chairs would glide easily over the rug. They have them in a natural jute look with some color on the border and tons of other designs and colors.

    1. This is a great idea! We have one in our living room and love it. It helps define the space and we don’t have worry about allergies. We already took it out once to power wash and it looked as good as new. 🙂

  28. I have a tile floor in my dining room, and no area rug. Over the years, I have found them to be awkward, primarily because they need to extend at least two feet beyond the chairs, if one is to have adequate room to get up and down, without sliding off of the rug. Also, they should have a short pile, so they don’t harbor crumbs from the table, and they need to be firm enough to not wrinkle up, under scooting chairs. I have simply changed my mind about what I think looks best. By the way, I bought the same nail-on felt pads that you did, and I love them. The adhesive ones were forever slipping and coming off, whereas the nail on pads stay put until they wear out.

  29. I think I may have mentioned this in a past comment, but our home is all hardwoods (oak) and I make it a point to remove the nylon or metal feet from almost every piece of furniture that comes into our home and replace them with stick-on felt pads. That way, I don’t have to worry about scratches, stuff slides incredibly easily, and even larger pieces (couches, dressers, etc.) are easy to move to clean underneath. I’ve even moved an entire hutch completely full with the fine china on felt pads. It had to be moved slowly, but it slid with no problem.

    That said, our dining room is not without functional problems. First of all, the felt on the bottoms of the chairs tends to attract fuzz and little bits of sand or grit. You have to be careful a piece of sand doesn’t end-up on the felt, or sitting in the chair and pushing back abruptly can cause a big scrape on the floor (I’ve done this…a couple of times). I’ve found that every so often, I have to turn the chairs over on their sides and use the vacuum to suck all the fuzz and grit off the felt pads. Not too bad, but just something to be aware of.

    I should also mention that my wife has always wanted a braided rug, so when we ran across one, we jumped on it and it does sit below the table. Functionally, I don’t love it because it makes the chairs hard to slide (I haven’t put the nylon feet back on), even though I love how it looks. I’d go back to bare floor under the table in a heartbeat.

    Now, I’m going to stir the pot a bit here…and I hate to do it after you just finished your floors for the final time. 🙂 If you like how a rug defines the space but don’t want it for functional reasons, have you considered a faux inlay? Our oak floors are all white oak but there’s a single-board cherry inlay square around where the table would be. You could get a similar effect by either painting the stripe (or a simple scroll design) on top of the finished floor or by, dare I suggest it, sanding down and staining the stripe on the bare wood, then re-waterloxing again.

    1. I actually love the idea of an inlay. That might actually be a serious consideration, but I think I’ll save projects like that for after I “finish” the house and then come back through and want to make modifications.

    2. After reading all of the comments and suggestions, I think Justin has the best idea by far! Skip the rug ( and the headaches) and come back to this later. I’m sure it would be absolutely beautiful!

  30. I have never had a rug in the dining area, but it’s mostly because little kids spill food all the time, and it’s easier to clean hardwood

  31. Love that you have put it out there for us to listen to each other. :0)
    We have a nice dining room and it steps down to the living room- and the whole 1st floor is wood. I’m on the hunt for the right area rug for the living room, but not the dining room. For all the reasons already mentioned ( harder to clean, moving the chairs, wear on the rug, children, spills, dog hair, etc) but also I like the clean look without it. Usually I think more is more and I like more-but I also like a bit of a colonial look and that means no rug under the dining table. And I want the eye to to go the drapes and the runner on the table and the table decorations- not the rug.
    We did have a wooden mat under our kitchen table for quite a while (the same one miss mustard seed used under her dining room table) but we were always tripping on it and used the space constantly so it did not stand up to the wear. So now there are no rugs under my tables.

  32. No rug and after trying every type of attachable glide and they all failed, I now use the sock type of protector and love them. No one noticed them at all and I had to point them out! Our dining table seats 10 and the long table has two pedestals (I inherited it), so there’s a lot going on under there. My living room and dining area are all one large space so it doesn’t look like it’s missing anything. I love the ease of cleaning after having all the kids and grandkids and just the daily dust bunnies that can happen so quickly here.
    Live without a rug for awhile, I don’t think you will miss it at all when you have the room full of people!

  33. I have always use my nicest rug for the formal dining room. I stopped using a rug in the breakfast room of my last house. We had beautiful brick floors and it worked wonderfully – easy to clean! In our current home we have scored concrete. I am using rugs under both tables, mainly because I do not like the look of the bare concrete. That said, I think your dining room will be gorgeous without the rug. And I like the idea of an inlay as suggested in a comment. 🙂

  34. In our previous house, we had a formal DR with very dark hardwood floors and very little natural light. So I added a flat-weave sisal rug mainly to brighten up the space. It was inexpensive; about 200.00, so I wasn’t worried about grandchildren spilling on it. If it had been just a little larger, it would have made life a little easier; the back legs of the end chairs got caught on it sometimes.
    But doesn’t Matt have trouble getting over the edge of a rug? I would think that would be a deciding factor, if nothing else.

  35. I didn’t read all of the previous comments, but I’ve never had a rug under my table with my hardwood floors. Strictly for practicality purposes. When raising kids I didn’t want to drag out the vacuum cleaner after every meal. So much simpler to just sweep. Now that it’s just me and my husband, I’m finding out maybe it wasn’t just the kids after all…LOL. I’ve used both types of gliders and it seems the plastic ones last longer for us. I’ve also used the felt ones, but they seem to wear out sooner. I think it depends on how much use the chairs get, whether it’s multiple times a day or just occasionally. By the way, your chairs are just so lovely. I’m really loving the style direction you have taken. I can’t wait to see the finished room.

  36. No rug in my dining room and don’t miss the cleaning aspect of what that would entail. However, have you considered painting a rug? You did such an outstanding job on those insets why not do something different, but coordinating, on the floor?

  37. We also have replaced most of our wall to wall carpeting with hardwood. Allergies and cleanliness were our main considerations. (Sometimes function over form is the only way to go!)

    The “breakfast area,” where we eat most of the time, used to have a rug over hardwood. Although it looked nice, I was always cleaning up spills, crumbs, etc. I am so happy not to have that rug any more! I was going to replace it but hadn’t found anything, and then realized that I just didn’t want to go back to serious clean-up duty. Yes, we had to put sliders on the chairs and also make sure they didn’t scratch, but that was a very small deal compared to the angst that occurred when someone spilled meat juice on the rug, and we had to get out major cleaning supplies.

    The dining room/front room carpeting is the last to go, because I keep thinking about tile, although all my friends say tile is too cold–we should just do hardwood. I have to decide soon–I don’t want to go through one more large family meal, like Thanksgiving or Christmas–with the carpeting! Not having to worry about the floor/spills/smears/crumbs/red wine, especially– will be a relief.

  38. Right now, we do not have a rug in the dining room and I am loving it. But…I feel like I will miss the coziness a rug provides come winter time when there is snow on the ground and the temps plummet. We shall see. For now, I am happy to be able to move the chairs easily and cleanup is a cinch!

    1. Theresa, I use a rug in the winter and none in the summer. I live in Iowa where it’s really, really cold in winter and really, really hot in summer.

  39. No rug for us anywhere on our hardwood floors. Too difficult for OH to negotiate in his wheelchair and it’s easier to clean without. It looks fine as well – uncluttered clean lines and most definitely practical – lol!

  40. I have hardwoods and an area rug. No one has ever had an issue with moving their chair in and out. I have always either used a shorter pile rug or a tightly woven oriental. I’ve never had a problem with the grandkids and masses of food on the floor. I just pick up any pieces and then vacuum, we haven’t had any major spills. Currently my area rug is a piece of carpeting that I had bound and made into a rug so if there was a major spill I’d roll the rug out on the driveway and hose it down with some Dawn or something. I guess that’s more trouble than no rug but I prefer the look of a rug. Personally I find hardwoods by themselves a little cold and sterile.

  41. There was a dhurrie rug under the dining room table at our previous house and it turned out to be a nuisance for reasons already mentioned. When our Maltese/poodle mix left a surprise on the white background, it had to go (the rug, not the dog). In our current house, there’s no rug under the table. Adhesive-backed felt pads on the chairs protect the oak floor. The dining room opens to the living room. In between I put a 5×7-ish Persian rug, so it’s like having a rug in the dining room, but it’s not under the table. I also have a small Turkish kilim on the dining room wall. So, if you’re intent on a rug, it doesn’t have to go on the floor. It can go on the wall instead.

  42. I have hardwood here. Although I love the look of an area rug under the dining table, I would never have one, for two reasons: one, like you said, it’s difficult to scoot in and out; and two, I have 6 kids- an area rug would get so dirty!

    However, I somehow never heard of those nail-on felt deals. I have to get them! I tried the stick-on felt, but of course they fell off within the week. What a revelation!

  43. In my opinion, a rug under a table WHERE YOU EAT FOOD REGULARLY makes zero sense. That is the absolute last place (well except maybe in front of the stove) where I’d ever want one.

    Although I understand the design aesthetics. While I was reading your post, I was sure you’d end by saying you’d decided to paint an area rug/design onto your floor. It’d be a feature point, anchor the table, be easy to clean, easy for Matt’s wheelchair, and easy to slide chairs over. A win all the way around! 🙂

  44. Like so many other comments, I don’t have a rug under the dining table {which we use every day} because of three little kids. I also upholstered my chairs in a very cool silk- looking vinyl for easy wiping. I didn’t like that the table was the same wood tone as the floor, so to ground the room and have a focal point, I painted the table top in a very muted harlequin pattern. It’s really pretty and has held up pretty well. Now the room has personality but is still practical.

  45. On the topic of felt pads I hate them! I cant buy the nail on ones so I cant speak for them but the stick on ones make me lose my sanity! lol. I have big scratches on our laminate floor under our table because the pads fall off or stuff gets stuck to the pad and scratches. I’ve bought many different brands and haven’t found any that work great. Does anyone have any recommendations? I’m considering getting a rug because of the scratches that are there. I haven’t tried the nail on type because our chairs have a plastic pad stapled in the bottom of the chairs. I guess perhaps I could try to pry it off.

    1. I buy chair leg sock protectors on Amazon. Yes they show, but they are great, no more sticky residue on the floor and when they get dusty, have hair stuck to them, etched. I throw them in the washer. In black they are not very noticeable. And no more scratches on the floor.

      1. Thanks for the tip CECE!! I ordered some of those socks on Amazon and I think they might actually work out for us! And they don’t look as horrible as I imagined them to be, haha. Thanks again! And if these don’t work then I’m gonna pry those plastic things off the bottom! Thanks for replying Kristi!

  46. Hi Kristi,
    Your dining room, although we haven’t seen a finished area, has lots of interesting features like your fireplace, artwork, drapes, beautiful large windows and now your beautiful hand-crafted chairs. Let that all shine and let your floors be floors, bare naked.It will keep your home looking larger and spacious and with no challenges in place for Matt. I love all that you do and have given me inspiration as a decorator.
    I also like the way you do your research, problem solving and asking us for opinions, although, I do appreciate you make the ultimate choice.If it’s wrong, you find a solution.
    looking forward to your room coming to are almost there.

  47. We’re another family with a dining table and no rug. We just have the one eating space and a rug just doesn’t make sense for us. Initially after we had the hardfloors put in I wanted a rug sooooo bad, but with a toddler at the time it just didn’t make sense. And now I don’t think I’d ever put a rug down in a regularly used dining space. It’s just so nice to clean up and slide the chairs around.

  48. I recently had hardwoods installed and chose NOT to use the area rug and am so glad I did! The ease of use and cleaning has been great! Can’t wait to see your finished dining room!

  49. Have had hardwoods in my last four houses and never had an area rug for a lot of the reasons mentioned above. Plus I love the look of hardwood floors, why cover them? Kristi, you have so many beautiful fabrics and other details in your dining room and foyer, why add one more layer and take away the focus on the other beautiful items in the room.

    The one reason I do like to see a rug on hardwood floors is when the table and chairs match the floor and there is no contrast. Not a problem with your beautiful dining room table and upholstered chairs.

  50. I wanted to go with the “no-rug” look in my dining room after recently redecorating. However, the hardwood floors were faded in a perfectly obvious rectangle from the previous rug! 🙁 So, with all of your windows I would recommend not using a rug! I think it will look beautiful, especially considering all the great colors and fabrics that are already in there.

  51. I would never put a rug under my dining table, but that definitely has more to do with my four monstrously messy kids than anything else. I had never really thought that much about it from any other angle, but now that you mention it, I can’t remember anyone else having a rug under their table other than my parents. And their rugs have always been low pile, and their chair legs are round and rounded at the bottom, so sliding the chairs across the rug has never been an issue.

  52. I’ve had it both ways, and finally went with no rug. I put the felt-tip gliders on; but, I added one little thing this last time. Don’t laugh – I used decoupage (just the clear liquid) around the edges of the felt pads. You can’t tell, and it has helped eliminate the doggie fuzz and dust that naturally gathers from building up on those edges.

    1. I’m trying to envision what you’re saying (which is hard for a visual learner like me 🙂 ). You put the decoupage medium on the edges of the actual felt? Were you just really careful to not get it close to the bottom edges that would touch the floor? I think I’d be afraid that it would dry and get scratchy, and then somehow scratch the floor. That wasn’t an issue?

      1. Kristi, you could put powder on the edges where you don’t want stickyness. Nothing will stick to the edges then. Learned this in a scrapbooking class where we made stickers not sticky so we could use them in other ways.

  53. I had the same experience with felt pads when I bought new counter height chairs for the kitchen island. They were surprisingly heavy and difficult to push in and out on our laminate floors. I already had felt pads on the chairs around the kitchen table to protect the floors, but since they are very lightweight I hadn’t realized what a difference the pads can make for the ease of moving the chairs. When I put the felt pads on the new chairs it was almost laughable how easily they glided. As others have noted, the pads aren’t maintenance free. They do attract dust, hair, and debris, you do have to make sure you keep your floors swept so that they don’t trap debris that will scratch up the floors, and they do get dirty and squashed and need to be replaced. But it’s easy and inexpensive to replace them and it’s worth it.

    I have no rug in my kitchen eating area and never will. I finally put a low pile one under my formal dining table for color and stylistic purposes, but that room was already carpeted. We rarely use it and I quite dislike how difficult it is to get in and out of the chairs compared to our kitchen table.

    1. I have. If I do something like that, it’ll probably be much later. As in, after I “finish” the house, and want to go back through and make some changes. Because…you know…a house is never truly done. 🙂

  54. I hate rugs under my dining room table for all the very reasons stated here. Food droppings, spills, kids, etc. I used to have wall to wall in my previous house, and would never have them again. I love the look of all the bare floors in the pics you posted (and in mine as well). But…… is your house, after all. 🙂

  55. We have hardwood floors all over in a color I don’t love. Because of that, I have a rug in the dining room – trying to break up that color. My rug is very similar in color and texture to yours. I love the color and I can easily sweep off what falls on it. We’ve had it for more than 5 years and it’s been ok. We use our dining room almost daily and for large groups often on weekends. Yes, the chairs don’t easily slide in an out, but we don’t mind. When this one needs to be replaced, it will probably be for an indoor/outdoor rug. I just need my rug. 🙂

  56. I have a rug in my dining room on hardwood floors. I just like the way it looks. I use the gliders on the bottom of my chairs and it work fine. Besides….it’s a formal dining room so how much do I really use it anyway?!!!!

  57. I love the idea of a dining room without a rug. If you find a felt pad that stays tell us the trick. A friend of ours we frequent and we helped install their laminate. They are on the between the 2nd/3rd different type of felt pad. I believe it may be because the legs may not have been consistently preped well, (just wet wipes, or new tacks), nor trimmed to fit (too big), nor waited long to make sure the pad gets a chance to stick well before using the chairs. We initally had a mixture of tacks or no tack feet that we adhered the regular duty pads to, then as they came loose upgraded to a heavy duty variety (but near the end a few were too big), those overlapes got gunked up and came off eventually. I’m not sure if they trimmed the leftover heavy duty pads to fit on the next application. We just know we are asked to be on the lookout when visiting for missing pads (they got cats who love new toys) as they are a regular occurance.

  58. Like you, my husband and I have no children so having the indoor/outdoor rug under our table hasn’t been a messy issue for us. The rug is easy to clean and gives the contrast from the table/chairs to the laminate flooring. We have occasional family get-togethers and friends who gather around the table looking out towards the lake. Being a flat weave rug it is easy to move the chairs. Joss & Main have a ton of wonderful indoor/outdoor rugs that could fit the bill for you as I’m sure other sites do as well. My rug has a pattern to it so even small amounts of “whatever’s” don’t show up ie: cat fur. For your lifestyle, I wouldn’t be too concerned about continual messes under your table. Each situation is different so whatever works for you and ends up looking like the vision you have is what you should do.

  59. A rug is just a catch all for food crumbs, spills & stains. Now at the risk of throwing you into another direction. Have you considered a “painted rug”? I know you have the ability to do this. It could be either in stain or in paint, but you could paint a design on your floor & it wouldn’t interfere with the movement of the chairs at all. Just a thought.

  60. In my old house, it was an old Victorian Farm house. It had the plank floors that we had refinished, they were beautiful. In the winter we put down area rugs in the livingroom and diningroom. Once May came they came up and stayed up until November. It was so much easier to clean. But liked the look and the warmth of the area rugs for the winter. So, I guess I’m no help at all because I liked both ways.

  61. I think your rug is sort of casual in comparison with the fancy upholstered chairs. I also think that in all the example photos of rooms with hardwood floors, none of them look naked. They do not look like there is something missing, they look complete. As far as practicality, it will be far easier to clean spilled food off a hardwood floor. Boo would probably like to eat some spilled casserole off the wood floor rather than have to lick it off the carpet. Pets make such good janitors. As long as you have found good “sliders” for your chairs, and they obviously do not show or detract from the look, I think you have a good thing going. I’d stick with the naked floor! Show it off!

  62. If you don’t use a rug to add texture, pattern, color or softness, it means you can have fabulous tablecloths, table runners, or centerpieces.

    I like rugs in the winter and no rugs in the summer myself.

  63. We have a large open living/dining area with solid floors. We have used a rug in the living area with the living room furniture and it really helps to define the living area. We have gone without a rug in the dining area and I think our dining area looks more spacious without a rug whilst our living area looks cozy and inviting with a rug.

  64. I personally like the look of a dining room w/ just wood floors. And I’m sure yours will look amazing when you are done, even to the folks who prefer a rug!

    And I wanted to encourage you not to wait to have folks over! I know the feeling of wanting to have everything super presentable… but really, as long as you have a functional bathroom (and yours is functional AND beautiful), go for it. Even if you don’t have a sitting area set up, I have found that my friends and I tend to hang out around the table even after the meal is over (it is easy to see everyone and continue chatting, maybe play a board game, etc). Anyway, just wanted to make the suggestion; I say there is no need to wait to have fun and I’m sure at least some of your friends/family would love to see whatever project you are working on at the time 🙂

    1. Yes, I agree – start enjoying and using your home now. If you want a sitting area in the interim you could put some of your living room furniture in the music room as a temporary space. As for the rug question – we have a rug in the living area and no rug in the dining (they’re one space). Besides the issue of the chair legs catching on the rug, the dilemma for me is deciding how much bigger than the table it should be. I feel it should be wide enough that the chairs don’t reach the floor when the chairs are pushed out but that might look too wide when the chairs are fully pushed in.

  65. I don’t have time to read all the comments before me tonight, as I usually enjoy doing, so apologies if this has already been mentioned. What a great opportunity for you to paint your own floorcloth, Kristi. A skillfully done floorcloth not only provides easy gliding for chairs but can be a conversation piece.

  66. Once when between jobs I cleaned houses. One particular house was amazing in many ways, but my favorite was the painted oriental stair runner between 1st and 2nd floor and the upper landing. Done so well it looked like a real rug. Obviously protected well by a great clearcoat. Never saw a scratch or chip. Seems to me best of both worlds … color and easily cleanable. Worth a thought or two!

  67. My dining room has hardwood floors, and while I thought an area rug made it warm and cozy, truth was it was a complete hassle. I will never put another area rug under my dining room table!

  68. No rug for sure. The floors are too beautiful to cover. I used the sticky pads under my chairs and they worked very well – easy to slide the chairs and no damage to the floor. I didn’t love the dust bunnies on the edges of the pads – but it wasn’t hard to clean.

  69. Sadly I never thought of putting a rug in my dining room. However, my dining room is small and I feel like the rug would basically have to cover the entire floor or would look awkward. Plus my daughter’s small dog will have accidents if we have rugs on the floor so I’d rather not give her an option.

  70. I totally agree with you. The rugs are a nuisance! I’ve been thinking about getting rid of mine for years and now you have given me permission. Goodbye Dining Room rug … it’s not you … it’s me!

  71. Ah, I thought I was the only one who thought about this. We have a cottage with an open concept living and dining area. The living area is anchored with a rug and dining area has no rug. At first I was concerned that dining area would look unfinished but turns out it was unfounded. And not having a rug under the table is much more practical and hassle free.

  72. Hope this will continue the conversation! I have just moved to a lovely new condo. However, the hardwood floor is not my favourite shade and a bit on gray side so it does not look good with my dining set at all. My living/dining area is one big rectangular room so want to put area rug in living room area and feel because of colour of floor, that a rug would look good under dining set also. Would I use 2 identical rugs or would Imhave to use 2,different colour/shapes?? Thanks so much.

    1. I would use rugs that complement each other, but not ones that match. To me, matching rugs gives the impression that they’re cheap, or you found a “buy 1 get 1 free” deal. Different but complementary rugs allows them to look unique without competing with each other for attention.

  73. Nobody has commented on the echo problem once the rug is removed!! It is terrible……wondering if just a running under table would take care of it? Any suggestions?

    1. I removed mine and don’t have an echo problem at all. Do you not have any other fabric in your dining room? I have draperies on my windows, upholstered dining chairs, upholstered benches, throw pillows. As far as an echo (or lack thereof) goes, I can’t tell a bit of difference with a rug and without a rug. I don’t have an echo either way.

  74. Presently I have no other fabric in dining area. Have sliding doors to balcony but haven’t decided what to do yet. Was thinking of runner on dining table to pull in colours from living room as its so close. Also have to decide on chandelier or ceiling fan for dining area. Any ideas?