Large Dining Room Rug

Can a Dining Room Rug Be Too Big?

A rug is an interior decor element that can bring color and texture to a room. It acts functionally and adds a pleasant aesthetic feel when it’s the right size. However, if it’s too big, it won’t be practical and might hurt the room’s overall look.

A dining room rug can be too big if it covers up the entire floor space of the dining room and exceeds recommended dining rug measurements. You’ll know it’s too big if it extends away from the dining furniture and under other pieces in the room, such as sideboards, armchairs, and bar tables.

In this article, I’ll discuss situations in which a dining room rug can be too big and guide you through the process of determining the correct size.

When a Dining Room Rug Is Too Big

If you’re not in the interior decor space or you’re buying a dining room rug for the first time, it can be difficult to imagine such a rug being too big.

But a high-quality and durable rug can be costly, so you’ll want to ensure it’s the right size before you make any purchases.

With that in mind, let’s go over the most common situations in which a rug can be too big for a dining room.

When It Covers the Whole Room

In interior design, appearances can be just as important as functionality. So, when you put a rug in your dining room, you shouldn’t only be concerned with how it’ll help dampen noises and prevent furniture scrapes on the floor.

You should also be concerned about how it’ll look – not just the rug’s design and color but also the impression it gives.

For example, if the dining room rug is too small, it might seem like you’re trying to hide a spot. And if the rug is too big and covers the whole room, it might look like you’re trying to conceal the entire floor – probably because it’s hideous.

According to Anjie Cho, an expert on holistic spaces, having a rug covering the whole room can make it seem cramped and small. This is especially true if the carpet is has a loud or busy pattern.

Because we are dealing with interior decor, appearances are a valid concern. So, if your dining room rug covers the whole room, it might be time for a new one.

When It Exceeds Recommended Measurements

When you place a dining table and chairs on a rug, they should leave a margin of 24 inches (60.96 cm) around the edge.

The lowest recommended margin is 18 inches (45.72 cm), allowing guests enough room to push and pull their chairs back from the table.

If the margin around the table is too small, guests could damage the floor when they pull back their chairs. And when pulling them forward, the chairs could trip on the rug, probably resulting in disruption and embarrassment.

That said, if the margin on the rug exceeds the recommended measurements by far, then it’s probably too big.

In that case, you run the risk of you or your guests tripping when entering the room and moving to sit.

That is, unless you have particularly large dining chairs. Then, you’ll need to measure the area to account for the required additional space.

When It Extends Under Other Furniture

When installing a dining room rug, you should consider the position of other furniture apart from the dining table and chairs.

The rug should only cover the area under and around the dining table and chairs. If it extends so that it’s under other furniture, it’s probably too big.

You’ll see this if the edge of the rug sits under the front legs of a chair or side table. That piece of furniture will sit unevenly, which can be distracting visually.

Factors To Consider When Choosing the Size of a Rug

To choose a dining room rug that’s neither too big nor too small, you need to account for aesthetics, functionality, and the restrictions imposed by the room.

So, think about everything from the table’s dimensions and that of the chairs, as well as any other furniture you might have in the space.

The Table’s Dimensions

To get a sense of the size of the rug you need, first, arrange your dining room furniture as you’d wish it to be when the carpet is in place. The rug should be big enough to cover the area under the table and leave enough room for the chairs to be pulled back naturally.

Estimation won’t be enough, though. You’ll need to note down the dimensions through one of the two methods below:

  1. Use a tape measure to capture the table’s dimensions.
  2. Then, add 24 inches (60.96 cm) to all four sides of the table to get the measurements of your ideal rug.

Or, if you have unconventionally big dining chairs:

  1. Arrange the dining table and chairs as you would normally.
  2. Pull the chairs back as you would if you moved to sit.
  3. Use removable masking tape to mark out the area that the rug would occupy, ensuring you account for extra space behind the chairs.
  4. Use a tape measure to measure the area you’ve marked out.
The Size of the Dining Room

Once you’ve taken the dimensions of your table and added the allowance on all sides, you should be good to go. Those figures are the ideal dimensions of your rug.

However, you should also factor in the size of your dining room as a whole. For example, if a rug with the ideal dimensions will extend to the room’s walls, you should consider buying something smaller.

It’s advised to leave some space between the rug and the walls to allow the room to breathe.

Further, you may want to consider getting a smaller dining set that’s more size appropriate for the space.

On the other hand, consider increasing the allowance you leave on the rug for pulling back the chairs if your room is extensive.

Other Furniture in the Dining Room

Most dining rooms have cabinets, bars, and side tables, as well as the main table and chairs.

So, a good rule of thumb is to have the rug big enough for the table but not so big that it reaches the walls and other items of furniture.

If you don’t have a choice given the size of the furniture, you might need to consider removing a few pieces from the room.

For example, say the side table is so close when seated that it’s on the rug too. In that case, it’s likely too tight for guests to move around and sit comfortably.


A dining room rug can be too big, making the room appear cramped and inappropriate from an interior design point of view.

The right-sized dining room rug covers the area under the dining table and allows enough room for the chairs to be pulled back without scraping the floor. It also allows the room to breathe by leaving enough floor space at the edges.


Share this Post