Fireplace Rug Overview

A fireplace rug doesn't go in the fireplace but in front of it on the floor. The fireplace has a hearth that can protect your living area from sparks and flaming ash. But except for very large fireplaces, this may not provide adequate protection.

When you're just getting the fire started is the most dangerous time. The glass doors and the metal curtain are fully open. You've got highly flammable material such as newspaper that you're setting on fire. It's easy for a bit of that paper to send off some flaming ash that can be wafted out beyond the hearth into your living area. Even if it doesn't catch your carpet on fire, the ash can get ground in and become difficult to clean.

Later on, when you open the doors to add a log, the already burning wood can shoot out a spark that buries itself in your carpet. Worse, you may try to shift one of the logs with poker only to have it come rolling off the heap and out onto the floor.

A fireplace rug is usually rectangular or semi-circular. They can be had in various sizes but are typically about 4 feet long on their wide side and extend 2 feet or more from the hearth into the room. It sits on the floor at the edge of the hearth, extending your area of protection from all these events. A good one can cost from $30 to $200, well worth it for the benefit of keeping your home from catching fire or your carpet or wood flooring from becoming dingy with ash.

Naturally, any fireplace rug should be rated as fireproof or there isn't any point to purchasing one. They often come in plain colors, but you can also purchase them in designs. A nice Persian rug look may be just the thing you need to not only extend your protection from sparks and ash, but to round out the decor of the room.

Fireplace rugs come in various materials that have their strengths and weakness.

Wool

If you want your fireplace rug made of natural fibers, wool is the way to go.

  • Will not melt like synthetic fibers, though sometimes they can char.
  • Natural fibers will often brush clean.
  • Other than fiberglass, wool offers the highest level of protection.

Fiberglass

  • Can come with a heavy vinyl back that makes sure the rug lies flat.
  • Provides the highest level of protection.

Nylon

  • Has the highest melting point of any synthetic fiber
  • Hot embers may still produce a small melt spot but will not burn.

Other Synthetics - Polyester, Olefin, or Polypropylene

  • Slightly lower melting point than nylon
  • Hot embers may still produce a small melt spot but will not burn