If you have a fireplace, you know how enjoyable and relaxing it is to spend an evening sitting by the fire. You also know that they can be messy and possibly even damaging, especially to the carpet or wood floor surrounding your fireplace. It only takes one errant ember to damage an expensive floor or, worse, start a fire. It is important to have something in place that can not only protect your floor but also your family from the potential hazards of a fireplace. Here are some of the things to consider when choosing a fireplace rug.
What is a Hearth Rug?
Simply put, a hearth rug is a fireproof rug that you lay in front of your fireplace to prevent embers from not only damaging your floor or carpet but also causing a fire. Most use heavy-duty, fire-resistant material, but it is not necessarily what makes up a hearth rug that matters. What is more important are the additives put into the rug’s construction that provide fireproof protection. As a result, hearth rugs are not just one option for a fireplace rug they are the only option.
What is a Hearth Rug Made Out Of?
Hearth rugs can be made from both natural and synthetic. Here are some of the most common ones:
When it comes to a good fireplace rug material, fiberglass is the safest option. because they are industrial grade, heavy-duty rugs.
Polyester hearth rugs are fire retardant and made from lightweight polymer fibers. These rugs look good, and they are easy to maintain, but they are not as durable against flying embers. While they won’t necessarily catch on fire, embers can singe the fibers. Because of this, polyester hearth rugs are used more for closed fireplaces.
Olefin is an extremely durable synthetic fabric made from polypropylene or polyethylene, and it is used in making anything from wallpaper to rugs to ropes. Unlike a fiberglass hearth rug, a hearth rug made from olefin can be aesthetically pleasing and comfortable on the feet. It is important to know that olefin itself is not fireproof, but instead, the flame-resistant hearth rugs have other materials added to them for fire protection. If purchasing a fireplace rug made of olefin, check the label and make sure it is a hearth rug and not just a standard rug.
Another synthetic material made from polymer fibers, nylon will melt when it comes in contact with hot embers, though it won’t catch fire. Nylon is highly fireproof, but because it does melt when in contact with heat, it is not very durable. If nylon comes in contact with an ember, there is a possibility that it could melt right through the rug and onto the floor. Because it doesn’t always offer 100% protection, it’s not the most popular choice for a hearth rug.
Wool is a very versatile material used to make just about anything, which most people are well aware of, but did you know that wool is naturally fire retardant? Not many people do. Because of wool’s versatility, a hearth rug made from it can match any decor and look nice while offering great protection. Wool is one of the most popular options for a fireplace rug.
Above all else, safety should be your number one priority when choosing a fireplace rug. Fires are constantly popping and cracking, and each time they do, they could be sending hot embers out onto the floor. A fireplace rug should do more than look nice. It should also stop those embers from doing any damage. Make sure that the fireplace rug you are considering has a guarantee that it is fireproof. If it doesn’t, then you may be doing nothing more than adding fuel to the fire so to speak.
Other Items to Keep You Safe
Don’t rely on your fireplace rug as your only form of safety, either. Instead, consider it just one tool among many that are helping to protect your home. Your safety should also rely on other things, like fireplace railings, gates, or screens.
How Long Will a Fireplace Rug Last?
Good fireplace rugs come with cleaning and maintenance instructions directly from the manufacturer, and it’s important to follow them to get the most out of your rug.
That said, you can expect a synthetic fireplace rug to last anywhere from three to five years with proper care. Fireplace rugs made from natural fibers have varying lifespans, depending on their composition, location, and exposure to wear and tear. Depending on these factors, natural fiber fireplace rugs can last anywhere from four to forty years.
Fireplace Rugs Can Be Stylish
A fireplace rug is an integral part of helping you stay safe while you enjoy a relaxing fire. But, don’t worry, just because these rugs are fully functional doesn’t mean they have to be an eyesore. Thanks to the abundance of materials you have to choose from, you can get the function without sacrificing style.
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