Rug runners perfectly complement narrow areas of the home — and even in vehicles! Sam Presnell, owner of The Rug Gallery, discusses the typical rug runner sizes and styles. Listen or read more to find out about rug runners.
John Maher: Welcome to The Rug Gallery with Sam Presnell. The Rug Gallery is an oriental rug company and carpet store in Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm John Maher, and I'm here with the owner of the Rug Gallery, Sam Presnell. Hi, Sam.
Sam Presnell: Hi John.
John: Sam, today we're talking about rug runners. What is a runner?
Sam: A runner is a long, skinny rug. Basically, I think it's an interesting name that we give to a rug that especially covers a long narrow area. It could be a hallway, it could be stairs, it could be any long narrow skinny type situation. We have different names for it in the business, but that's the main name we use.
Rug Runner Sizes
John: What would be the typical size of a rug runner?
Sam: The typical size you find today — it's very limited to find runners anymore of any great lengths. Most time it's eight, this could be two and a half, usually two foot, two foot three, two foot six in width, is the normal width. I would say 90% of the production you'll find is in that size. Lengths are usually 8 ft, 10 ft, or 12 ft and rarely do you see them get beyond that. There are some 14, 16, 18, 20, 22s that a few people make, but it's getting more scarce to find those long narrow rugs.
John: Why do you think that that is? Do you think people — I know that people still have big homes but maybe because most of the modern homes they're more like open areas and less of those long hallways to get from place to place in a home?
Sam: I think maybe that plays into it too. I'm not quite sure exactly, but I think that's good logical thinking and that [in] those big open floor plans, you don't need long skinny rugs. You need bigger rugs to fill those spaces and define that space. I think that's a very good way to think about it. I think also we are able to fabricate a lot of those rugs out of carpeting and other rugs, those sizes that we need. We need a longer rug, if it's a machine-made rug, we just sew them together or put them together or we widen them. We can do all kinds of things with them today that we didn't do in the old days.
Best Spots in a Home for a Rug Runner
John: You mentioned a few different places that you can use a rug runner. Why don't we talk about each one of those a little bit. What about using a runner in a hallway, what would you recommend there?
Sam: That's the number one area probably that we sell runners for, is the hallway and it's usually between when you go into the bedrooms or something like that in the upstairs or in the main level where you have a long skinny space. That's the number one space. The other space is the staircase. We do a lot of stairs. We do a lot of things that we call roll runners which basically they're made by the foot. You buy them by the foot. You can order whatever how many inches you want. Most times, to do a straight staircase, you probably need about 22 ft something like that, as far as length, and you just cut it off. We can finish in different ways to make that happen as well.
John: Interesting. What about using a runner in the kitchen? If you have a narrow area, maybe you have an island in the kitchen where a big wide rug wouldn't work, but maybe you can fit a smallish runner between the island and the sink or something like that.
Sam: That's one of the great places to put them. We see a lot of use there. There are rugs that get a lot of abuse. A lot of people are very hesitant about putting a good rug there, but actually a good rug actually performs better and lasts a lot longer than a cheaper rug because they just look so bad after a while and even after cleaning, they don't have that nice new appearance after enough traffic. I would highly recommend the kitchen for a rug.
I have to say that's probably our number two or three space that we sell a runner for, is usually in the kitchen, but like I said, most people are a little hesitant because of the droppings, spills, grease, your cooking, staining. It's a tough area. It takes a lot of beating and to be honest with you, one of the great things about homes today is most of the kitchens are hard surfaces. They are either some kind of stone or some kind of hardwood or hardwood looks that are popular. It really helps to soften them up and if you're standing around on them it sure makes them feel a lot better too.
John: What about using runners in the bedroom? I know some people might use them on the sides of the bed, do you figure, just to put your feet on as you get out of bed. Is that a typical use as well?
Sam: I have to say that's probably either one or two as far as what we do in bedrooms. Either we're doing rugs in the bedroom, either we'll do, like I said, a runner on each side of the bed and then a bigger rug at the foot of the bed that's usually a little wider than a runner. That's a very common or classic way we do it. Another way would be just one big rug to fill the whole space like you would put carpeting or whatever. The biggest sizes we use, are the runners alongside the beds.
Unusual Places for a Rug Runner
John: Another interesting way that I found that you can use runners as well as in an RV, where an RV kind of, have a long narrow strip, where you might have seating on both sides, and then a long narrow area going in the back. People can use them there to maybe class up their RV a little bit, and make it feel more home-y or something like that. I don't know. Have you ever seen that before?
Sam: It definitely classes it up for sure. No, I have to say in all my years, you would think that I've sold an RV rug or two. I've sold a lot for cars, but I don't think I've sold one for an RV, but you know what? I can see it where they could definitely be a great, great choice. I don't sell [any in] trailers either, which I would think might be a great space, for putting a nice rug on top of that cheap carpeting that they have.
John: Right. You just mentioned cars. When do you use rugs in cars?
Sam: Yes. Actually you get little matches like two by twos. A lot of times we'll take small rugs and we make a sample. Sometimes in the past, we've actually made certain designs, and color-ways, or emblems of different brands of cars, and made them like a mat size for the fit of the car, in the driver's, passenger's, as well as the back seats. There's quite a few cars out there, you might be surprised actually have worn out the rugs on their floor. I mean that's not uncommon for us. We sell them every now and then.
John: All right, that's really fun. Alright, thanks again for speaking with me today about rug runner, Sam.
Sam: You're welcome John. My pleasure.
John: For more information about Sam, The Rug Gallery and oriental rugs and carpets visit ruggallerycincy.com. That's rug gallery C-I-N-C-Y.com, or call 513-793-9505. Make sure you catch the latest episodes by subscribing to this podcast on iTunes. If you could take the time to give us a review as well, would appreciate that. I'm John Maher. See you next time on The Rug Gallery.