They look the same, can be made from similar material, and generally have the same purpose (albeit in different intensities) but you wouldn’t put a rug in front of your door or a mat in your living room. Why? What makes them different in that way? If they are basically the same thing, why not use them interchangeably?
Well their purposes are flipped – let me explain. A doormat has two main purposes for your home. It allows people to clean their shoes and keep excessive amounts of mud and dust from your home, while it also can serve as a decoration with messages. These messages are often humorous saying things like “Great, not you again” or my personal favorite, “Mat”. But the main purpose of a doormat is to be functional for cleaning.
When you have cabin area rugs, for instance, they are designed to tie a room together. The right rug in a living room area can really make a place feel like home. With different sizes, colors, and fabrics to choose from, you’ll be able to pick one that looks great. You might not intend for the rug to do this, but it also serves as a way to catch dirt, hair, and other items. Then they can be vacuumed up, which is easier than having to sweep up all those follicles on a regular hardwood floor.
A rug’s purpose is to look good first, and clean second, and that’s why the two can’t be effectively interchanged. You don’t want the secondary purpose on display when the primary has worked so well. Still, it is nice to know that rugs and mats are cousins, and that your guests will be able to clean their feet on the rug and chuckle at the doormat’s message.