Some people think that area rugs and carpet are the same.  Others say that area rugs and carpet are different.  So which is it? At the most basic level, a rug is just a woven fabric that is used to cover an area on the floor. A rug differs from carpet in that “carpet” is generally referring to carpeting that extends wall to wall or is affixed to the floor.

Many people use the words “carpet” and “rug” to mean the same thing.  However, they are very different.  Both a rug and a carpet are used to refer to a woven piece of thick cloth.  These can be woven with many types of fibers.  There are wool area rugs, cotton area rugs, jute area rugs, silk area rugs, and more.  Area rugs and carpets can also be made out of synthetic materials.  Both carpets and area rugs are used to decorate homes and offices all over the world. 

A picture of a living room with an area rug on top of carpet.

Rug vs. Carpet – A Language Lesson

The word “carpet” has a long history. It can be traced back to an old French word “carpite.” Carpite means a highly decorated cloth.  That was derived from an old Italian word, “carpita.” Carpita describes a thick cloth made of wool.  The word “carpet” was first used in English in the late 1200’s. Then it was used to describe a coarse cloth.  By the 1300’s, carpet was also used to describe a tablecloth or bedspread. Floor coverings did not come into widespread use in Europe until the 1400’s and 1500’s.  At that time, the word carpet began being used as the word to define floor coverings.

English speakers first started using the word “rug” to mean coarse fabric in the mid-15th century.  Origins of the word “rug” can be traced to the old Norse word “rogg.” Rogg is defined as a shaggy tuft.  Origins of “rug” are also traced back to an old German word “rawwa.”  By the early 19th century, the word “rug” was being used to mean floor mat.

A living room with an oriental area rug over carpet

Modern Language

Most modern people use the word carpet to mean running from wall to wall in a room.  This type of carpet refers to the machine-made carpeting that can be quickly made and installed to cover an entire room of any size.  Both area rugs and area carpets can be laid anywhere on a floor and can be easily moved to a different location. While wall to wall carpeting is typically permanently attached to the floor.

Cleaning Area Rugs and Carpets

Both your area rugs and your carpets need regularly scheduled professional deep cleanings.  Let the professionals at Rug Cleaning of Tulsa take care of all your area rug cleaning needs.  And if you have carpets that need cleaned, give a call to our friends at Master Clean Carpet and Tile Cleaning of Tulsa or Solid Ground Carpet Cleaning