How Big Should A Porch Rug Be?

During lovely weather, you might enjoy sitting on your front porch and watching the neighbors stroll along the sidewalks. Whether it's for function or decoration, your porch might need a rug. But how do you decide on which one? We’ve done the research and found some great options for you.

For the porch area, rug size varied depending on the size of the porch and desired placement of the rug. Standard outdoor rug sizes range from 18” x 24” to 9’ x 12’. Typically, a porch rug should allow for at least 12-24” of the underlying porch to be visible from its edges. Also, a porch rug in a sitting area should sit beneath at least below the front portion of the furniture.

This might seem like many sizes and ranges, but they are important to consider for making your space appear inviting and stylish. Keep reading to learn more. 

A porch with pattern rug, coffee table and a chair, How Big Should A Porch Rug Be?

Where should outdoor rugs be placed?

Generally, outdoor rugs are placed in the entryway or beneath a sitting area. In front of a doorway, smaller-sized rugs are best suited. However, medium to large rugs are best suited for sitting areas.

Front Door with Front Porch Rug

Whether it is for the front porch or back porch, rug sizes 2’ x 3’ and 3’ x 5’ are often used for entryways. A rug (approximately 2’ x 3’) is centered perfectly in the middle of the entry in the image above. It may be small, but its message, Welcome, is easily seen.

Colorful and modern bohemian boho outdoor front porch decoration with seating and a plant

For sitting areas, rug sizes 4’ x 6’ and 5’ x 8” are generally used. Here is a beautiful sitting area with a porch swing, coffee table, and red rug. Notice how the rug rests below the porch swing, and it is greater than 12” of porch visible around the rug edges.

Here is another sitting area with a gorgeous diamond and circle-patterned rug in white and black. Of course, the front legs of the three chairs rest on the rug. It’s okay if one or both of the back legs are not resting on the rug. Check our article, "Should Furniture Be On The Rug? [A Complete Guide]", to learn more.

What is the best indoor/outdoor carpet for a porch?

Colorful front porch rug on display

Overall, indoor rugs are not intended to weather the natural elements. You wouldn’t want your hand-sewn rug to become worn and to grow mildew! Thus, it is best to use rugs that are indoor/outdoor safe.

Most people have heard of wool, cotton, and silk rugs. But these materials are not suited for the outdoors. They will quickly become unusable. Instead, opt for durable and easy to clean synthetic materials, such as polypropylene, polyester, and nylon. Plus, synthetic rugs tend to be more affordable.

However, be mindful that rugs composed of synthetic materials are usually not heat-resistant. This means that they will fade and tarnish faster when near heat sources. Just don’t use them directly beneath the grill, and you’ll be good. 

Polypropylene Rugs

As one of the most popular outdoor rugs, polypropylene rugs are made of plastic. Rest assured, they don’t look like a giant plastic board; they come in many different beautiful styles. These rugs are so incredible that they are durable, easy to clean, and resistant to stains, mold, and mildew.  

Here is an outdoor-friendly rug perfect for warm weather with its leafy turquoise design. It’s made of polypropylene and comes in multiple sizes, ranging from 5’ 3” x 7’6” and 8’6” x 12’2”, which are perfect sizes for a sitting area on the porch. Click here to see it on Amazon.

Polyester Rugs

Much like polypropylene rugs, polyester rugs are plastic, durable, stain-resistant, mold-resistant, and mildew-resistant. And they’re easy to clean. All these qualities make polyester rugs ideal for a porch.

Here is a light brown tribal rug that is made of polyester. It’s available in size 6’7” x 9’. Click here to see it on Amazon.

Here is another rug perfect for the porch. It’s made of polyester and has blue and white stripes. The 5’ x 8’ and 6’7” x 9’ sizes are great options for the front or back porch. Click here to see it on Amazon.

Nylon Rugs

Perhaps one of the most durable rugs, nylon outdoor rugs, are excellent for high traffic areas, like the front porch. Also, like the materials discussed above, they are easy to clean and resistant to mold and mildew.  

Unfortunately, nylon rugs are prone to shedding and less stain-resistant than the others. This might be why it is harder to find a rug made of 100% nylon. Often, rugs are mixed with nylon and 1 or 2 other synthetic materials. 

Mixture of Materials

Speaking of which, rugs sometimes have a mixture of synthetic materials. You might think that a lot of synthetic materials sound the same. Well, it’s true. They’re pretty similar. You can’t go wrong with which one you choose.

Some rugs consist of a mixture of synthetic materials. For instance, the entryway rug pictured above is made of 75% polypropylene and 25% polyester. These materials will withstand the weather on your porch.

Do I need a rug pad for an outdoor rug?

Empty street cafe in autumn

Yes, you should use a rug pad for an outdoor rug. For uncovered porches, the porch will likely become slippery from the rain at some point. Think safety first! A rug with a rug pad may help prevent the rug and you from slipping across the surface.

Ouch, don’t burn your feet! You need a rug equipped with a rug pad to help prevent the rug from retaining heat from the porch surface.

Typically, the rug pad should be one inch less than your rug size on all the sides. Sometimes you can trim the rug pad down to the desired size. In this case, purchase a rug size that is slightly larger than your porch rug. Then, carefully trim it smaller as desired.

Alternatively, you can purchase small square rug grippers. This eliminates the need to measure the rug. And they are useful if you’re not sure which rug to purchase yet. Click here to see them on Amazon.

Can you lay a carpet directly on concrete porch?

Yes, you can lay carpet directly on concrete. Concrete porches can look sophisticated and polished. A piece of carpet or rug may liven up the area, though.

Yet, you must secure the carpet to concrete appropriately. But it's not as challenging to install carpet on a concrete porch instead of the basement floor. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Sweep away dust and grime from the desired location. 
  2. Clean the concrete with concrete and driveway cleaner.
  3. Use tough adhesive tape as carpet grippers. 
  4. Press the carpet firmly onto the adhesive tape. 
  5. Repeat step 4 multiple times until the carpet lays flat. 

You might be wondering about adhesive tape for carpet or rugs. Like rug pads, the adhesive tape helps keep the carpet or rug in place. Click here to see it on Amazon. This one is safe to use outdoors. As a bonus, the rug won't fly away from the wind or a leaf blower if it's secured the right way. 

How do you attach an outdoor rug to a deck?

Pair of oriental stool seats and table on balcony of luxury wooden yacht

For a deck, you should also secure the rug appropriately to the floor. Sometimes, all you need is weight in the form of furniture, as shown above. Other times you need to put in a little more work.

Aside from placing down a rug pad, you can take other steps to secure the rug. The first couple of steps are similar to securing a rug to concrete.

  1. Sweep away dust and grime.
  2. Clean the deck with deck cleaner. 
  3. Secure washers to the rug edges (if desired). 
  4. Apply caulk along the rug edges.
  5. Allow the caulk to dry overnight. Repeat application as necessary.

Now, what are washers? Here we're not talking about a cleaner. Rug washers require drilling holes into the deck, inserting nails, and placing washers. This involves potential damage to the wood and rug, so it might be best to skip this step. 

For the caulk, we're talking about the typical caulk that you are used to. The key is to make sure you find caulk that is safe to apply to the wood, like 100% silicone caulk. Pictured above is silicone-based caulk that is safe for oak floors. Click here to see it on Amazon. 

Will an outdoor rug damage a composite deck?

Yes, it's possible for an outdoor rug to damage a composite deck. Generally, the backing of the rug is responsible for this. Certain backings might tarnish the deck by staining, scratching, or discoloring the wood surface. These backings include rubber and latex. 

To avoid this, you should choose an outdoor rug with wood-safe backing. Such rugs consist of woven polypropylene or recycled plastic mats with a soft backing. 

Final Thoughts

A porch with pattern rug, coffee table and a chair, How Big Should A Porch Rug Be?

In summary, you have a lot to consider when choosing a porch rug. Just keep in mind the rug size and location/placement, and the rest is up to you!

By the way, outdoor rugs tend to flatten over time. Check our article, "How Do You Make Carpet Or A Rug Fluffy Again?" to find out how to liven up your rug. 

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