How to Properly Place a Rug Under a Sectional Sofa

Last Updated on May 15, 2023 by Kimberly Crawford

Creating a comfortable and stylish living room can sometimes be a challenge, especially when it comes to finding the perfect rug to complement your sectional sofa.

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of rug size, types of rugs, and ideal placement to help you create a harmonious and inviting space in your home.

The Importance of Rug Size and Role of the Sectional Sofa

The size and shape of the rug is an important factor to consider when styling a living room around a sectional sofa. The sectional will determine how large or small of a rug you should purchase, as well as what type of design complements it best.

For example, if your sectional takes up most of the floor space in the room, a large rug will be needed to anchor the look and create a sense of balance. Conversely, if your sectional takes up only part of the room, you may opt for a smaller rug with an intricate pattern or design to add visual interest.

The shape of the rug is also important when selecting a design that best complements your sectional sofa. Rectangular or square rugs tend to be the most popular, as they offer a larger area for furniture placement and can fit any surrounding aesthetic.

Circular and oval-shaped rugs are also good choices if you want to add an extra layer of dimension to your living space. Additionally, these shapes can help create a sense of coziness in a large room with a sectional sofa.

Finally, it’s worth considering the material of the rug when selecting one for your living space. Natural fiber rugs are timeless and provide a touch of warmth to any area. However, if you have allergies or pets, consider synthetic materials like nylon or polyester as they are easier to clean and maintain.

Ideal Placement for a Rug Under a Sectional Sofa

sofa under sectional sofa

When it comes to placing a rug in a room with a sectional sofa, it’s important to ensure there is enough of the rug visible around the couch.

The goal is to create balance by having one-third of the rug exposed and two-thirds covered by the furniture. This ratio allows for enough of the rug to be seen without overwhelming the space.

Additionally, there should be enough room between the sofa and rug for easy movement around the furniture.

A good rule of thumb is to leave at least 18 inches of distance between them. This allows enough room for people to move around without having to step over either item.

Finally, it’s important to ensure the rug is centered in the room. This helps create a symmetrical look that is both visually pleasing and allows for easy access from all sides of the furniture.

Types of Rugs and Their Ideal Locations

1. Area Rugs

Area rugs are ideal for defining a specific area within your living room. They work well in open floor plans or large rooms with multiple seating areas, and can be used to create visual separation between a sectional sofa and other furniture pieces.

When selecting an area rug for your living space, it’s important to make sure the rug is large enough to accommodate all of the furniture in the space and still have some of it visible around the edges. The goal is to leave one-third of the rug exposed, with two-thirds covered by furniture.

2. Runner Rugs

Runner rugs are perfect for narrow spaces or to add a touch of color and texture tight areas. They tend to be long but not very wide, measuring anywhere from 2-14 feet in length.

When selecting a runner rug for your living space, make sure the size is proportional to the furniture it will be placed under or next to.

Additionally, leave enough room between the runner rug and furniture so people can easily move around without having to step over either item.

3. Accent Rugs

Accent rugs are smaller rugs that can be used to add a pop of color, pattern, or texture to a specific area in your living room. They tend to be small and are usually between 1-4 feet in size.

Accent rugs can be placed in various locations such as under a coffee table or in front of the sofa for added visual interest.

When selecting an accent rug, pay attention to size, color, and texture so that it complements the furniture and other pieces in the living room.

Additionally, make sure there is enough space between the furniture and rug to allow for easy movement.

Measuring the Space and Ensuring the Rug is Large Enough

When selecting a rug for your living space, it’s important to measure the area you plan on placing the rug and make sure it is large enough. This will ensure that there is enough of the rug visible around the furniture without overwhelming the room.

To get an accurate measurement, use a measuring tape to determine the width and length of the space. Then, use these measurements to determine the ideal size of rug you’ll need.

It’s important to also factor in how much of the rug should be covered by furniture and how much needs to be exposed around it.

A good rule of thumb is to have one-third of the rug visible and two-thirds covered by the furniture. This will ensure that the rug and furniture pieces complement each other without overwhelming the space.

To help figure out what size rug you’ll need, here are some example measurements based on different sectional sofa layouts:

  • For an L-Shaped Sectional Sofa 6×6 feet: An 8×10 foot rug should work
  • For a U-Shaped Sectional Sofa 12×8 feet: A 10×14 foot rug should work
  • For an Oversized Sectional Sofa 14×10 feet: A 10×14 or larger rug should work

Positioning the Rug for Balance and Harmony

When positioning the rug in relation to your sectional sofa, it’s important to create a sense of balance and harmony between the two pieces.

To do this, make sure that the rug is properly aligned and centered in relation to your sofa. Avoid pushing the furniture too far away from the rug or having it take up more than two-thirds of the rug.

When placing furniture on or around the rug, make sure to consider how it will look in relation to other pieces in the room.

If you have several large furniture pieces, group them together on one corner of the rug and leave the rest exposed. This will help create a more cohesive and balanced look.

Additionally, consider using smaller furniture pieces to create separate seating areas on the rug, this will also help add visual interest and texture to your living space.

Safety Considerations

When placing a rug in your living room, it’s important to consider safety first. Rugs can easily slip, especially on hardwood or tile floors, and cause accidents.

To prevent this from happening, use non-slip rug pads underneath your rugs for added stability and cushioning. This will help keep the rug in place and reduce the chances of slips, trips, or falls.

Additionally, when selecting a rug material for your living room, consider how it will hold up against wear and tear as well as how suitable it is for children and pets.

Materials such as wool are durable and easy to clean while jute rugs are soft but may not be ideal if you have pets.

Maintenance and Care of Your Rug

When selecting a rug for your living room, it’s important to consider how you plan on maintaining and caring for it over time.

Different types of rugs require different cleaning and care techniques, so make sure to research the best ways to preserve its quality and longevity. Here are some general tips for keeping your rug looking fresh:

  • Vacuum the rug regularly with a low-to medium suction setting to remove dust and debris.
  • Spot clean spills and stains immediately using a damp cloth or sponge. For stubborn stains, use rug cleaning solutions made specifically for your rug material.
  • Rotate and reposition your rug every few months to ensure even wear and tear.
  • Use rug pads underneath your rug to help protect it from slipping or buckling.
  • For pet accidents, use a pet stain remover designed for carpets and follow the instructions carefully.

Additional Design Tips to Elevate Your Space

When selecting a rug pattern and color to complement your sectional sofa and room decor, it’s important to find something that adds visual interest without being too loud or overwhelming.

Solid-colored rugs are timeless and can easily match any decor style. Patterned rugs, on the other hand, can bring some fun and texture into the room.

Choose something that coordinates with your sofa and other furniture pieces in the room, or opt for a rug that helps anchor the entire space.

Layering rugs is a great way to add depth and dimension to your living space. Start by choosing two separate rugs – one for the center of the room and another for an area rug.

Make sure to measure the space first and select rugs that are complementary in size and color. You can also experiment with different textures, such as a soft shag rug paired with a distressed jute or sisal rug, for an interesting visual effect.

Incorporating other design elements such as throw pillows, artwork, and lighting can help create a cohesive living space.

Choose to throw pillows with complementary colors or textures that match the rug design. To add some visual interest to your wall, hang a statement piece of art above the sofa or place a few smaller pieces on a console table.

For mood lighting, consider adding standing lamps in the corners of the room to draw attention to key elements. With a few creative touches, you can turn your living room into a warm and inviting space.

What is the rule for a rug under a sofa?

A: The rule for placing a rug under a sofa is to make sure the front two legs of the sofa are on the rug. This will ensure that the rest of the furniture in the room has enough space and won’t look cramped or cluttered.

Additionally, it is important to make sure there is at least 12-24 inches of extra rug on either side of the sofa so it looks balanced with the room.

It is also important to choose a rug that complements the style of your furniture and decor, as well as one that is easy to keep clean.

Finally, you should make sure there is enough space between the pieces of furniture in your room so they don’t look too crowded.

Does the rug go all the way under the couch?

The rug should go as far under the couch as possible, but depending on its size it may not be able to fit all the way underneath. You can also consider folding or pleating the rug if you need extra length to make sure it fits completely under your couch.

In addition, there are specialty furniture gripper pads that can help keep your rug in place and make sure it doesn’t slip or slide around.

You can also use double-sided tape to adhere the edges of the rug to the floor if necessary. It’s important to make sure that you have a safe, secure fit between your furniture and your rug so that nobody gets tripped up or injured.

Should a couch be centered with a rug?

It depends on the size of the room and the furniture placement. Generally, it’s best to center a rug with the couch if there is enough space the room for both pieces to be centered together If not, it may be better to place the rug off-center or in front of the couch to create a more balanced look.


How far should an area rug extend beyond the edges of a sectional sofa?

Typically, a rug should extend at least 6 to 8 inches past the edges of the sofa to create a sense of balance and proportion in the room.

Can I mix and match different types of rugs in one room?

Mixing different types of rugs can add visual interest and texture to your space. To keep things cohesive, look for rugs with similar color palettes or patterns that complement each other.

How often should I clean my rug?

The frequency of rug cleaning depends on factors such as foot traffic, pets, and whether it is placed in a high-traffic area. In general, vacuuming your rug at least once or twice a week is recommended to keep it looking clean and fresh. For deeper cleaning, use a professional cleaning service at least once every 1-2 years.

Where do you put the rug under an L shaped couch?

Generally, you should place the rug so that it extends beyond the edges of the couch and is centered in front of the seating area. This will help create a sense of balance and proportion in the room. If your L shaped couch is placed against a wall, you can also place the rug just underneath one side to define a cozy seating area.

Where should a rug be placed in a living room with a sectional?

When placing a rug in a living room with a sectional, it should be large enough to extend at least 6-8 inches past the edges of the sofa. This will help define the seating area and create balance in the space. Make sure that all furniture pieces such as coffee tables, side chairs, and ottomans are placed on top of the rug to help bring cohesion to your living room design.