By Jessica Harlan
Consumers shopping the area rug sections at big-box home improvement stores Lowe’s and Home Depot in Atlanta will find a good selection of in-stock options, plus even more availability in special-order pieces. In terms of variety of designs and materials, Home Depot has an edge.
At Lowe’s, the area rugs are displayed within the flooring department, in an aisle at the back of the store. Rugs hang on swinging display hangers, along with runners or other coordinating pieces, and the stock is rolled up beneath the display. On each rug, an information card provides pricing, photos showing the design of some of the most popular sizes and shapes, photos of additional colorways, and a pricing chart listing the available sizes and shapes.
Lowe’s selection is heavy on traditional designs in machine-made polypropylene or olefin. Machine-woven polypropylene rugs from Oriental Weavers and Natco Home Fashions are around $198 to $397 for 8-by-10-foot sizes, or $127 to $198 for 5-by-8-foot sizes.
Olefin rugs in traditional and transitional designs from Mohawk Home and Shaw Living were $294 to $356 for 8-by-11-foot sizes, and a jacquard woven rug with a traditional design made by Orian Rugs was $356 for an 8-by-11-foot size.
A heatset olefin contemporary shag rug made by Balta was $397 for a 8-by-11-foot size, and Mohawk offered a machine-tufted olefin rug in a contemporary tonal square design for $168 for an 8-by-10-foot size. A tropical design made by Milliken in 100 percent Nylon was $456 for an 8-by-10-foot size.
Lowe’s wool options were somewhat limited, and included a contemporary swirl design by Momeni made of power-loomed New Zealand wool with hand-serged edges for $397 for an 8-by-10-foot size and a traditional hand-tufted wool rug by Allen + Roth for $456 for an 8-by-10-foot rug. Allen + Roth also offered a jute rug edged in chenille for $294 for the 8-by-10-foot size and a jacquard-woven chenille Persian rug for $322 for the 8-by-10-foot size.
The area rug section at Lowe’s was rounded out by Milliken’s NFL team rug designs and a large selection of door mats and scatter rugs.
Atlanta-based Home Depot appears to have the home team advantage here; its area rug department, also in the flooring section, was better lit and had a larger, more varied selection than its competitor.
The rug display hangers were set out from the shelves so that they were easier to see, while in-stock rugs were rolled or folded on racks in the shelving fixtures. In-stock and special-order rugs were in separate sections. The information cards on each rug showed an in-room photo of the rug and listed sizes; material and manufacturing details; features; and special-order options, such as other available sizes and colors.
The in-stock options included mainly traditional and contemporary olefin options from Shaw and Mohawk.
Prices for 8-by-10-foot rugs ranged from $199 to $329 and included manufacturers such as Mohawk Home and Shaw Living.
The special-order rugs for which the company promises free delivery in 10 days or less included a number of more upscale rugs and more contemporary or unusual designs. Shag designs reminiscent of the 1970s were represented, as were rustic lodge looks and Southwestern designs.
A sculpted stone design by Direct Home Textiles was made of wool and priced at $549 for an 8-by-10-foot size. Other special-order rugs in or around 8-by-10-foot sizes included wool-viscose blends by Feizy for $599; a wool pile rug by Momeni for $549; an olefin pile by Balta for $399; a floral vine olefin design by Home Dynamix for $369; and a 100 percent cotton rug in a velvet-textured construction by Nourisan for $499. For game rooms or family rooms, Milliken offered themed area rugs with billiards, playing card and golf designs in Stainmaster Nylon for $729 for a 10-by-13-foot size. And for sunrooms and other casual spaces, Mohawk had available a sisal rug, while Trade Am’s seagrass and braided cornhusk rug was another option. Both were $239 for sizes near 8 by 10 feet.
The special order section was rounded out by options from Woolrich, Global Accents and Natco.