Most kitchens are large expanses of flooring and cabinetry that — be they gorgeous or hideous — are silently crying out for character, identity or (in the hideous case) distraction. A kitchen mat or rug can be the perfect place to start. Not only will a rug bring personality to your space, it will also add comfort and warmth to an area full of hard surfaces.
That said, there are several things to think about when buying a rug for the kitchen:
• Traffic - Kitchens are notoriously high traffic areas. You will need a rug that is safe, durable and easy to clean.
• Size & Shape - The size and shape of the rug you buy will depend upon the size and shape of your kitchen, and where you intend to use it within the space. If you're looking for a mat to go in front of the sink only, a 2' x 3' rug works nicely. If you have a galley kitchen, a runner is a good bet. If you have an eat-in kitchen, something like a 4' x 6' or 5' x 8' under the table might be best.
• Color – You can choose a rug that will blend with the floor and cabinetry in your kitchen or one that will contrast or distract from these features. The choice is up to you. But keep in mind, this is high traffic area. Dark colors will hide dirt and stains more than light colors. Therefore, if you choose to go with a light colored rug, make sure that it's very easy to clean. Lastly, be careful about choosing a rag rug with red in it for the kitchen. The red dye can run when it gets wet and stain light colored flooring.
• Fabric – Ideally, you'll want to buy a rug that's as durable, moisture-resistant, stain-resistant and as easy to clean as possible. Wool and nylon are stain-resistant and soft under foot, while polypropylene, vinyl and cotton are usually easiest to clean. Decide what's most important to you and work to strike the appropriate balance between care and aesthetics.
• Care – The ease of care for your rug will depend on the material of which it's made. Wool and nylon usually require professional or spot cleaning. Cotton can often be hand or machine washed. Vinyl and polypropylene can usualy be rinsed in the sink or hosed down.
• Safety – Because the kitchen is a high traffic area, rugs used in it should be held securely in place. Choose a rug that comes with an attached non-slip backing or use a separate rug pad underneath to prevent accidents.
Kitchen Mats and Rugs
1. Tailor Made Rug Set - Medium (3.5' x 7'), Flor $84.99. This rug set is made up of several individual nylon carpet tiles that can be rinsed off in the sink or replaced as needed.
2. Chandra Daisa - DAI-14 (Multi), Plush Rugs. 2.6" x 7.6" Runner $257. Dark and richly patterned, this 100% wool rug is naturally durable and stain-resistant. Professionally cleaning recommended.
3. Chandra Bense Garza - BEN-3000 (Black, Multi), Plush Rugs. 2' x 3' $81. 100% wool, this modern rug is naturally durable and stain-resistant. Professionally cleaning recommended.
4. Chilewich Kitchen Mats - Basketweave, Hello World. 2'2 x 3' $120. An extremely modern and easy to care for option, Chilewich floor mats can be washed with soap and water, and come with a non-slip backing.
5. ANDRUP, IKEA. 13" x 32" Runner $29.99. As colorful and as it is inexpensive, this wool/nylon/cotton blend rug is super easy to clean. Simply hand wash and hang to dry.
6. Diamond Black/Ivory Indoor/Outdoor Rug, Dash & Albert. 2' x 3' $38. An indoor/outdoor rug made of polypropylene, this graphic rug is scrubbable, bleachable and hoseable.
7. Cayden Rug, Crate & Barrel. 2.5' x 6' Runner $49.95. This dashing striped rug is 100% cotton and has a cotton/latex backing. Professional cleaning is recommended.
8. Nolan Magenta 2'x6' Runner, Crate & Barrel $39.95. Available in a variety of solid colors, this rug has a subtle ribbed texture under foot. 100% cotton, machine washable.
9. Kitchen Sink Indoor/Outdoor Rug, Dash & Albert. 2' x 3' $38. Like #6, this colorful striped indoor/outdoor rug is made of polypropylene, and is scrubbable, bleachable and hoseable.
10. Dalyn Monterey - MR103 (Black), Plush Rugs. 1'7" x 2'9" $20. This ombre shadowed rug is made of 100% nylon, and is extremely durable and soil/mildew resistant. Professional cleaning recommended.
Images: as linked above.