What Are the Different Types of Indoor/Outdoor Rugs?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 March 2019
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Indoor/outdoor rugs are rugs that can be used in either location because they are rugged, durable, attractive, and most importantly, resistant to water damage. Most indoor/outdoor rugs are made from synthetic materials to allow quick drying as well as resistance to water damage, though some natural fibers can also be used to accomplish the same goals. These all-weather rugs are usually fairly attractive so they can be used to complement a particular aesthetic rather than detract from it, and they will come in different shapes and sizes to accommodate different living spaces.

Many indoor/outdoor rugs are also UV treated to resist damage from direct sunlight. Rugs that are not treated will fade quickly in direct sunlight, leading to an unattractive floor covering that looks old and worn before its time. UV treatment may not be necessary for some materials, though most materials will require some sort of treatment or protection. Synthetic materials such as polypropylene are often used in such rugs for the UV and water resistant qualities. These rugs can often simply be hosed off when dirty, or even machine washed in some cases.


Natural materials such as bamboo can also be used to make indoor/outdoor rugs. Bamboo is generally resistant to moisture damage, though mold and mildew can grow on it if it is not cleaned occasionally. Bamboo can be sewn together to ensure the rug is able to be rolled up for storage or movement, and thinner slats of bamboo sewn together make for a more comfortable rug. This material is naturally attractive, though it can be more expensive than other synthetic materials. Bamboo is more environmentally friendly than plastic-based indoor/outdoor rugs, so an environmentally conscious consumer may want to consider such a rug.

Rugs are now commonly made from recyclable materials as well. Some rugs, for example, may be made from recycled plastic bottles to cut down on waste during the production process. These rugs are usually fairly attractive, and in many cases it is impossible to tell the difference between a recycled rug and a rug made from new materials.

The designs and colors of indoor/outdoor rugs will vary significantly, though many rugs do tend to be made with more subdued colors, since fading of bright colors can be an issue. Patterns are common, and the best patterns for such rugs is largely a matter of the consumer's preferences. There is no right or wrong pattern for a rug, only a rug that works best for the consumer's aesthetic preferences.



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