Area Rugs vs. Wall to Wall Carpet: Which to Choose?

By Samuel N •  Updated: 02/20/23 • 

Should you buy an area rug or wall-to-wall carpeting? Adding any of these two types of floor coverings can transform a room. However, choosing between the two can take a lot of work to make. Area rugs and wall-to-wall carpets are soft and comfortable options to keep your home cozy. In this post, we’ll look at the differences and compare area rugs and wall-to-wall carpeting side-by-side. Enjoy.

What are Area Rugs?

An area rug is a carpet that does not cover the whole floor. Area rugs come in different sizes, weights, materials, construction, and cost. The advantage of area rugs over wall-to-wall carpeting is that they can be moved easily and washed and dried, which makes them a healthier choice, especially if allergies are an issue. Apart from that, they can easily be changed, which is great if you’re looking to update your current decor.


What is a Wall To Wall Carpet?

Wall-to-wall carpets, also known as broadloom or fitted carpets, are the type of carpets that cover a whole room in one or two pieces. They are installed by tacking, gluing, or cementing them to the subfloor with an underlayment. When properly installed, wall-to-wall carpets give a space a unified look because of their seamless finish. Because they are bound to the subfloor, wall-to-wall carpeting is slip and trip resistant, which makes them great for small children and the elderly.


Area Rugs vs. Wall To Wall Carpets


For area rugs, there are no installation costs. Just buy your preferred area rug design, lay it in your preferred location, and you’re ready. There are no installation hassles that come with area rugs. Aside from moving a few pieces of furniture, you’re good to go.


A wall-to-wall carpet is more challenging to install, which sometimes requires the need of a professional carpet installer. For the DIY enthusiast, some tools you’ll need to install a wall-to-wall carpet include a staple gun, carpet stretcher, carpet knife, tackless strips, and a hammer, among other tools. Before laying the wall-to-wall carpeting, install the underlayment and secure the seams. Once done, cut the carpet to fit around the room. When seaming two pieces, use a cushion-back cutter to trim the carpet edges.

Design Options

Wall-to-wall carpets usually come in one color, which can give your home a unified look. You have different color choices, which can help you easily match your decor. However, the downside to this, if you decide to change the decor or repaint your walls, you might have to replace the broadloom carpet or end up with odd decor. If you plan to move out, it will be impossible to bring a wall-to-wall carpet since it’s installed to fit the dimensions of the rooms it’s installed into.

A Plush Fluffy Area Rug

A Plush Fluffy Area Rug

Area rugs are great for giving an individual space style and character. Unlike wall-to-wall carpeting, area rugs can also be changed if you decide to switch the style or color scheme of a room. A better-positioned area rug can link disparate furnishings or introduce structure to an open floor plan. If you move houses, you can bring an area rug with you without a lot of hassle.


Stepping from an area rug onto tile flooring can be jarring. This is made worse if it’s wintertime on a cold morning. However, you don’t have to worry about cold feet with wall-to-wall carpets because they cover the entire floor. Wall-to-wall carpeting is also usually installed over a soft underlayment, increasing its softness and comfort.

Health and Safety

Area rugs are healthier because they are easier to clean and maintain. They also prevent the growth of mold and mildew by allowing air to flow under the rug fibers. For allergy sufferers, area rugs are the best option. They have a smaller surface, meaning less surface area for accumulating animal dander and other allergens. Rugs can also be thoroughly cleaned professionally instead of only surface-cleaned carpets.


Cleaning a wall-to-wall carpet is often difficult and can be an expensive affair. They can also trap dirt, dust, and other allergens and harbor moisture, which can aid the growth of mold and mildew. Wall-to-wall carpets also have high levels of off-gassing following installation, which can take time to disappear.

When it comes to safety, rugs are more likely to trip to slip people with their edges. This is primarily a concern for the elderly and children who may be severely injured by an accidental fall. Because a wall-to-wall carpet is secured to the subfloor, it is slip and trip resistant. This makes it an excellent choice for children’s playrooms or homes of the elderly.


Getting an area rug is the best investment for a home full of muddy paws or messy eaters. An area rug is easier to maintain, wash, and dry. Because they are not attached to the subfloor, cleaning them is also much simpler and faster. Keeping wall-to-wall carpets in good condition can be challenging and costly. Apart from that, they also get worn out in specific high-traffic spots.

Samuel N

Samuel N is the founder of Improve Floor and has been in the flooring industry since 2005. Since then, his mission has been to make flooring easier for everyone. He helps countless people with flooring installation, finishing, maintenance, and repairs each year.