It's cold outside and getting into the warmth of the home is first on the list. Once in the door the next stop is in front of the fireplace where the rugs are at the hearth. These rugs keep our feet off the cold floor and protect our homes as a first line of defense from errant sparks and embers. Beauty and safety are possible with a rug in front of the hearth.
Safety: While it is important to keep our homes warm we want to be safe also. The primary line of defense for an open fireplace is a screen and hearth rugs that are fire resistant. This is important on so many levels. The fireplace screen will help to knock down the majority of flying embers and a fire resistant rug will reduce damage to the floor and possible fires. Hearth rugs of fiberglass are very easy to find and are one of the safest types to use. The rug actually melts and does not burn.
Fireplace Decor: Safety is first, but you can have a hearth fireplace rug that matches a present room decor or set the tone for a change. Hearth rugs do come in a couple different styles. Half circle hearth rugs for a close fit to the front of the hearth brick area or a braided oval shape. The oval has been a staple for decades. Often in older times they were made as a rag rug. However, unless made of wool, these are not fire resistant. Wool is another style of hearth rug. While considered fire resistant they protect by not breaking into flame. The wool will smother the ember. This will leave a char spot on the rug but it can be worked out and is still far better than a fire in the house.
Hearth rugs are a great addition to any home with a fireplace. Not only will they protect your home from being damaged but they can add elegance to your home as well.