Area Rugs for Home Theaters
Category : Interior Design
More and more people these days are setting up home theaters—dedicated rooms designed to look, feel, and sound like real cinemas. With the advent of high-definition video and surround sound, it’s become easier to incorporate professional audio and video into one’s home. But one thing that continues to bother home theater owners is the flooring. Home theater floors need to specific properties to enhance the sound within the room. If your floors don’t support carpeting, or if you’re not up to the maintenance it entails, a good alternative is to shop for rugs instead.
Area rugs make a great alternative to carpets, not just because they’re cheaper but because they’re a lot easier to deal with. For one thing, they don’t need any complex installation—you just roll them out, pat them down and you’re good to go. And since many rugs are made of the same materials are carpets, you won’t be missing out on the sound quality either. The varied designs also allow you to match them with your existing décor. Not sure which piece to buy? Here’s a quick buying guide to help you out.
Look for good insulation.
Sound and temperature insulation should be your top priority when it comes to home theater rugs. You need a rug material that can absorb the sound so it doesn’t echo or bounce out of the room. Wool area rugs are the best choice for this purpose. Soft and luxurious yet perfectly durable, wool has been setting the standard for quality since the earliest days of rug manufacturing. These days, they’ve also been developed for soundproofing specifically in home theater floors.
To maximize the rug’s capacity, look for large pieces, but not large enough to cover the entire room (otherwise you might as well have gone with carpeting). The general rule is that there should be at least a foot and a half of bare floor on all sides of the rug. This helps maintain a sense of balance without affecting the rug’s insulating properties. Place it a few feet from the speakers or right in front of the screen for maximum soundproofing.
Choose a soft fabric.
One thing you may notice about theaters is that the floors are thickly carpeted. This is partly for insulation purposes, as mentioned above, but also to keep it comfortable underfoot. You can get the same effect with your rug by choosing soft, comfortable materials. Again, wool is your best choice for this purpose, but there are less expensive materials that are just as good. For example, the Anji Mountain Bamboo Co Black Bamboo Shag Rug offers the same luxurious feel but uses renewable bamboo, making it much less expensive and more sustainable.
Bamboo is often mixed with other materials to give it that softness, so keep a good eye on the materials added. The rug above is actually 20% cotton, so it’s still completely natural. If you want something more durable, consider getting a polypropylene rug—it’s just as soft and comfy, but it’s made from synthetic fibers so it can stand up better to regular use. This can be a good choice if you plan on using your home theater a lot or having friends over from time to time.
Pick a neutral color.
Colors are more important in home theater design than you might think. Experts recommend using neutral colors so that they don’t distract you from the screen, and so they don’t reflect the wrong light colors. For your rug, the best choice would be something on the darker side of the spectrum. Brown area rugs usually work well because they’re dark enough to be inconspicuous, but still add a nice warm glow to the room.
Your rug color should also match the décor for the rest of the room. Many designers use rugs to tie several décor elements together and give the room a crisp, finished look. For example, if you have blue Auckland upholstery, a dark blue rug would match it perfectly. You can even choose one with a pattern to give it some visual interest, as long as it’s in balance with the rest of your space.
Keep an eye on quality.
Many new rug materials have been introduced over the years, but not all of them live up to the hype. If you want your rug to last more than a few months, take your time to get to know the brands and know which ones are worth your money. Stick to those that have been around for a few years and have a good following. Dynamic Rugs, established in 1994, offers a wide range of styles, designs, colors and patterns, all of them extremely sturdy for their price. If you’re not familiar with rug brands, look them up on decorating forums or read rug decorating blogs to get some firsthand tips.