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Outdoor Rugs

Outdoor rugs add an aesthetically pleasing accent to your outdoor space while, at the same time, they work well to keep dirt, dust, and weather-related moisture on the right side of the door and off of your interior flooring. Whether you’re shopping for an outdoor area rug to spruce up your patio, or you’re simply looking for something that family members and incoming guests can wipe their feet on before entering your home, it’s important to look for rugs that offer both function and fashion to ensure the perfect combination of durability and aesthetic appeal. Outdoor rugs are made from polypropylene synthetic fibers to resist moisture, stains and fading. Polypropylene rugs are great for outdoor use and areas with high moisture or heavy traffic. Polypropylene rugs (also known as olefin rugs) have a natural-fiber appearance, but unlike most natural fibers, they are able to absorb water. With UV stabilizers, these poly rugs won’t fade from too much sunlight. Polypropylene rugs are inexpensive and may be purchased in many colors and designs. The material used to manufacture these rugs is synthetic, which makes them waterproof.

Polypropylene rugs may be used to protect an area with heavy traffic and may also be used to cover areas that would otherwise be slippery (e.g. near a pool). Many of the other types of outdoor carpets cannot be used in moist areas, such as near a pool. The rugs have a non-absorbent surface, which means that any spills can be cleaned easily. Polypropylene rugs are extremely durable and easy to maintain. Studies have shown that they tend to last longer than other types of rugs that are made of textiles or plastic materials. The color of these rugs rarely fades in time. However, when exposed to direct sunlight and chlorine (e.g. from pools or bleaching agents), the carpets may lose their original color.. Most indoor rugs are not designed to handle high-moisture areas, like the bathroom and basement, and will attract mold or mildew. Outdoor rugs, on the other hand, are made to withstand the elements outside, which means they can also handle moisture inside your home. Because it is hydrophobic, olefin is often used for outdoor carpet.

The fiber dries quickly when wet, and is not prone to mold or mildew as a result of the moisture. Additionally, being solution-dyed makes the fiber extremely fade-resistant, so exposure to sunlight and UV rays will not discolor the carpet. Jute, a flexible, renewable plant fiber, is woven into many materials such as rugs. While it adds a natural look to a room or porch, it does not hold up well to extremely wet conditions. Jute can be used outdoors, but typically it should be kept inside. Mold cannot grow on synthetic rugs but it can grow on the dirt within the rug fibers. fibers. This type of rug is made to last in wet, outdoor conditions and since it’s completely synthetic. They are easy to clean and resists mold.

If you go to the market, you’ll find a vast array of rugs and carpets of different materials to choose from. They are mostly made from wool, cotton, acrylic, nylon, or polyester. However, after nylon, olefin or polypropylene fiber is gaining popularity. It accounts for 16% of all the fibers that are manufactured and about 30% of the fibers used in the United States for making carpets. The fiber was first made for outdoor use and has been a popular choice for commercial applications since then. It is a synthetic fiber made of propylene,that is a by-product of petroleum.

How to choose a perfect Outdoor Rug

Consider materials

The innovative use of both natural and synthetic woven materials allow outdoor rugs to be durable enough to handle all weather conditions. (For these reasons, outdoor rugs are commonly used in high-traffic interior areas too, such as entryways or mud rooms.) Natural fibers such as sisal, hemp, jute, and seagrass are very strong, sound-absorbent, sustainable, and add lots of texture to your space. Synthetic coverings, such as polypropylene or plastic rugs, often come in a wider range of bright colors, can be easily hosed down and dry quickly. Additionally, they are light-weight so you can easily roll them up to move them around. Synthetic rugs are often less expensive than natural materials as well.

Choose a size and shape

Carefully measure the outdoor area you would like to cover with a rug before you shop. Fortunately, outdoor rugs are available in many dimensions and shapes. You may want to use different rugs to define spaces, such as a sitting area, or under a dining set. If you are placing the rug under furniture, it is suggested to have either all of the furniture legs on the rug, or just the front legs.

Pick a pattern

Gone are the days of muted brown outdoor rugs. These floor coverings are now available in brightly-colored solids, stripes, geometrics and more. To determine which is right for your space, consider what will compliment your existing furnishings and how much of the rug will be visible. A bold pattern may be fun peeking out from under a dining table, but too overwhelming standing alone.

Weaving Choices

Indoor/outdoor rugs are offered in a wide range of constructions, so it’s good to know the terminology before you begin shopping. The three labels you’ll see most often are hand-hooked, machine-made, and braided styles.

Hand-hooked rugs, which feature a short handmade pile, are the most expensive options due to the higher-quality materials and the additional time that goes into manufacturing these types of rugs. These come in the most color and design options and range from $200 to $1,000 for a 5-by-7-foot size.

Naturally, machine-made rugs are manufactured more quickly and efficiently via power looms that simultaneously weave several different colors. A variety of designs come out of this manufacturing process, costing between $40 and $750 for a 5-by-7-foot rug. To keep the price point affordable for consumers, these machine-made floor coverings tend to have less detailing and more basic materials than comparable hand-hooked rugs.

Flat weave rugs—including the familiar flat-braided, cable-braided, corded-and-stitched, and kilim style rugs—have no pile. Instead of tufting, these outdoor rugs are made by either knotting or weaving polypropylene yarns together into a textile with less cushion. Prices are similar to those of machine-made rugs.

Most outdoor rugs are constructed with a backing material of either polypropylene or another synthetic fiber; rugs backed in jute, a natural fiber, will not be as durable or mildew-resistant and will deteriorate over time. Flatweave rugs, though, typically have no backing and are therefore reversible.

Consider Weather-resistant Rugs

Weather-resistant rugs are ideal if you plan to keep your rug outside year-round or if you live in a climate that is prone to moisture. To avoid mildew and mold buildup, choose a moisture proof rug with a backing that prevents rainwater or melted snow from pooling. For warmer climates, rugs with UV-resistant coating work well to protect the material from fading when exposed to excessive sun and heat.

Look for Rugs with Gripping Power

Gripping power is essential when it comes to keeping outdoor dirt and dust away from your indoor carpet, linoleum, or tile. Woven outdoor rugs constructed with jute or sisal naturally cling to debris on shoes and boots, so you don’t have to worry about people tracking in the outdoors. Additionally, sisal and jute material rugs are extra-durable, which makes them perfect for placement in front of the door or in any other high-traffic area, such as the mudroom or back patio, where incoming guests or family members wipe their feet.

Benefits of Outdoor Rugs

Outdoors rugs can withstand high-traffic areas

On a typical Saturday afternoon, the kids are running around the living room while the pets chase after them. It’s important to have a rug that can withstand this heavy traffic. Outdoor rug fibers are extremely strong, preventing them from wearing out too quickly.

Outdoors rugs are resistant to mold and mildew

Most indoor rugs are not designed to handle high-moisture areas, like the bathroom and basement, and will attract mold or mildew. Outdoor rugs, on the other hand, are made to withstand the elements outside, which means they can also handle moisture inside your home.

Outdoor rugs come in many different styles

Just like indoor rugs, outdoor rugs come in many different designs, shapes, sizes, colors and textures to match your personal style. If you love the look of natural-fiber rugs, find outdoor options that are made from polypropylene but appear natural

Natural fibers such as sisal, hemp, jute, and seagrass are very strong, sound-absorbent, sustainable, and add lots of texture to your space. Synthetic coverings, such as polypropylene or plastic rugs, often come in a wider range of bright colors, can be easily hosed down and dry quickly.

Other Applications for Outdoor Rugs

Because it is hydrophobic, olefin is often used for outdoor and marine carpet. The fiber dries quickly when wet, and is not prone to mold or mildew as a result of the moisture. Additionally, being solution-dyed makes the fiber extremely fade-resistant, so exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet rays will not discolor the carpet.

Use in Basements

Many homeowners choose olefin for damp basements, because of its quick-drying and mold-resisting qualities noted above. In exceptionally moist basements where the threat of mold is high, an outdoor carpet made from olefin is the best option.

Cost of Olefin Outdoor Rugs

The cost to produce olefin is lower than the cost to produce many other fiber types. Overall, olefin carpet will be considerably less expensive than carpets made of nylon or even polyester.

Of course, an olefin carpet will generally not last as long as a nylon carpet (depending on the other factors that affect performance) so the immediate savings in the cost of olefin may not be true long-term savings. However, for renovations in which budget is the primary consideration, olefin can typically offer the lowest price point in residential carpet.

Olefin Outdoor Rugs Fiber Overall

In general, olefin is used in low- to mid-level qualities of residential carpet, and will not perform as well as, or for as long as, other fibers. As long as you realize this, and don’t have any unrealistic expectations about the carpet, then a heavy olefin Berber for a basement or kids’ playroom would be appropriate. But it isn’t ideal for high-traffic areas such as stairs, hallways, or your family’s main living space.

Outdoor Rug Care and Maintenance: Cleaning recommendations vary from manufacturer to manufacturer

In general, you can clean your outdoor rug with a hose, scrub brush, and diluted dish soap. Be sure to clean both sides. After cleaning, let your rug dry in the sun. Clean your rug as needed, monthly, and at the start and end of the season. In cold climates, it’s important to store your rug during snowy, icy months. When storing your rug, roll it up—never fold. If you don’t have space to store your rug in in a dry, indoor space, roll it up and cover in plastic under your deck or in the garage. Keep your rug looking new by removing moss and algae with diluted bleach or vinegar.

Lasting and Beautiful Outdoor Rug

Blot spills immediately with a white cloth. Only spot clean your rug. Avoid harsh chemicals, as they may fade your rug. Rinse thoroughly with a garden hose, and allow the carpet to dry completely before vacuuming. Vacuum regularly and/or shake to remove dust. Use rug protectors under heavy furniture. If needed, get your rug professionally cleaned. Try doing this at the end of every season at a minimum. If your rug is outside in rain or heavy dew, make sure to flip it so it can dry both front and back. When the outdoor entertaining season is through, make sure your rug is dry.

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