What’s the Difference Between Floor Mats and Rugs?
People all over the world use floor coverings to control dirt and protect flooring in their homes. Depending on the room, you might have carpet, a floor mat, a rug, or even all three. If you’re thinking about redecorating your home or looking for ways to protect your floors, you need to know the difference between floor mats and rugs. Let’s take a look.
The History of Floor Coverings
As we mentioned briefly, people have been using floor coverings in their homes for a very long time. The Pazyryk rug, one of the oldest carpets in existence, is estimated to be over 2,500 years old. Its patterns show an ancestry connected with modern-day Turkish rugs. But why have humans been covering our floors for so long?
Why Do We Cover Our Floors?
Put simply, floor coverings help manage dirt accumulation within homes. Homes in some parts of the world still have dirt floors, and the practice of covering them with rugs has been the norm in many cultures dating back to ancient times. In fact, the idea of having wall-to-wall permanent carpeting in homes didn’t start until after World War II. It’s a fairly modern concept. Some of the reasons people use floor coverings in their homes include:
- To prevent the spread of dirt
- To protect hardwood and other types of flooring
- To soundproof an area
- To insulate rooms against temperature changes
- To make floors softer for bare feet
What is a Rug?
Rugs are the original carpets. Before modern times, it was uncommon to have permanent carpet in homes. Instead, people would cover their stone, tile, and wooden floors with rugs made from natural fibers. Today, people even stack rugs on top of carpet as decoration and to protect carpet from stains and spills.
What About Floor Mats?
The term “mat” usually indicates a floor covering with a more utilitarian purpose than a rug or a carpet. However, that’s not always the case, as in the example of Japanese tatami mats. These mats are certainly practical but they’re also beautiful and considered an essential part of traditional Japanese interior design. Nevertheless, in the modern sense, a floor mat is usually a non-permanent surface that’s easier to clean than a rug or a carpet. There are even indoor and outdoor mats available.
Choosing the Right Floor Covering
The difference between floor mats and rugs is usually the texture, as rugs are softer than mats. Mats are also much easier to clean. For that reason, floor mats are best in kitchens, craft rooms, and playrooms where you may need to wipe up spills. Use a rug wherever you need decoration and comfortable flooring, such as a bedroom.