Rugs keep our feet warm and prevent us from slipping on slick tiles. But some serve a more specific purpose such as protecting the flooring beneath, especially in high traffic areas or around your fireplace or wood stove.
Fireplace rugs are specifically designed rugs that help prevent fire and other damage to your flooring by protecting wood flooring or carpeting beneath them from fireplace embers.
But do not be fooled…you cannot throw just any old rug in front of your fireplace. When you are selecting a fireplace rug, make sure you look for the guarantee that the rug is fire resistant. While ceramic and stone flooring is not going to burn, carpeting and hardwood flooring may catch fire or be damaged if one of the popping embers land on it.
There are three main types of fireplace rugs: Wool, Fiberglass, and Synthetic. Let’s take a closer look at each type.
Wool Fireplace Rug
Wool fireplace rugs are natural fiber rugs that offer excellent protection for your flooring. Wool is not going to support a flame. Any embers that land on it are going to smolder and eventually self-extinguish.
Also, wool will not char which makes this fireplace rug an excellent choice. Even if it does get a char mark on it the mark can simply be brushed out.
Fiberglass Fireplace Rug
Fiberglass fireplace rugs offer the most protection that is available. The fiberglass surface will not burn. The 100% fiberglass face on these rugs will also not be damaged by small embers or sparks. Flying embers that land on the fiberglass rugs are simply going to burn out harmlessly.
The back of most of the fiberglass rugs also have a heavy vinyl backing that is going to help the rug lay flat and is non-staining as well as fire retardant. Most fiberglass fireplace rugs can be spot cleaned with a sponge and warm soapy water.
Another nice thing about the fiberglass rugs is you do not really have to worry about toxic chemicals or fire retardants. This is because fiberglass rugs are not treated with any chemicals as they are not necessary.
Synthetic Fiber of Polyester Fireplace Rug
There are also the synthetic fiber fireplace rugs such as nylon, olefin, and polyester. If you are looking for a more interesting patterned rug to spice up your décor, while protecting your flooring at the same time, you should consider a nylon fireplace rug. Nylon rugs will not burn but they will melt when struck by a hot ember.
Then there are fireplace rugs that are made from olefin which is another synthetic fiber. Olefin rugs are also going to char if a burning log rolls onto them, but it will not burn.
If a flying ember does land on them they are going to show melt marks or black marks on the rug that are not removable. However, these rugs are the most cost- effective and offer just as great of protection.
Nylon, Olefin, and Polyester rugs are going to be more economical than the more expensive wool or fiberglass fireplace rugs, but they are going to be the ones that you are going to have to replace more often.
Choose the Right Shape
Fireplace rugs come in three basic shapes: rectangular, half round, and oval.
Rectangular fireplace rugs are going to sit flat against the straight edge of your fireplace and are usually about 22 inches deep.
Half round rugs, which look like a half circle, will also allow you to sit them flush against the fireplace and are going to be about 26 inches deep at the center of the rug.
Finally, oval shaped fireplace rugs are most frequently going to be the braided style rug and will suit a country style décor very well.
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