Fireplace safety shouldn't end with a fireplace rug, but it definitely should begin there. Fireplace doors and screens are your first line of defense against damage caused by wandering sparks. But when sparks get loose, fireplace rugs guard your carpet or wood flooring from damage while providing decorative interest to the area around your fireplace.
Fireplace Rug Facts
A fireplace provides ambience and warmth, but fire is always a force that needs to be monitored. Some people install protective tiles around their hearth, but sparks can drift and land within several feet of an active fire. Fireplace rugs are designed from flame-resistant materials, so you can have ambience without accidents.
Fireplace rugs are mostly built in half-moon or rectangular shapes. Patterns or prints are not as common with fireplace rugs as they are with accent or area rugs. From a decorative point of view, a simple rug is probably best, as you don't want your floor covering to distract from the imposing visual presence of your fireplace.
Fireplace Rug Materials
Synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester are used to make the most inexpensive fireplace rugs. These hearth rugs will guard your carpet or wood floor, but stray embers will produce small melt spots. Nylon is more resistant to melting than polyester.
Wool fireplace rugs provide superior fire protection while offering a rich visual texture. Wool is naturally fire-resistant and won't melt like synthetics. If charring occurs, your wool fireplace rug can be brushed clean and it should look as good as new.
Fiberglass fireplace rugs are the best hearth rugs available. Fiberglass won't burn, melt, or char, and fiberglass rugs are available in a variety of natural colors.