Tips for Put an Area Rug on Carpet(No Sliding, No Bunching)

There are many times in our lives where we find ourselves asking challenging questions. For example, is it dumb to put a rug on the carpet? 

Some people may scream that there are zero times when you should use a rug over the top of a carpet. But we’re here to say there are plenty of reasons why you would! Common instances where you may want to add a rug over carpet include when you can’t replace the carpet, when there are permanent stains, or to create a unique aesthetic.  

Join us on our journey to explore why we say, no, it’s not dumb to use a rug when you’ve already got carpet on your floor. 

Why Use Rugs with Carpet?

At this point, you may still be on the fence on why you would want to get a rug, which is a small carpet, when you already have wall-to-wall carpeting. 

When you rent an apartment, condo, or home, there are usually strict rules that prevent you from making any changes or upgrades to the current design. You may want to use a rug to hide the existing carpet if you dislike the color or if there are signs of wear and tear. 

Rugs are also helpful for hiding carpets that have significant staining. When you’re on a budget and can’t currently afford to replace the entire flooring, a rug on top of carpet can help hide the majority of flaws. 

If you’ve decided that you want to try jazzing up a room by placing a rug over broadloom (a whole carpet), try these tips to ensure your design looks classy instead of tacky.

Get Textured

When you’re using rug on top of carpet, you’ll want to use alternating textures. Instead of piling a thick, luxurious rug on top of a plush carpet, go opposite.

With looped or short-pile carpets, shag rugs can add elegance and class to an otherwise bland, thin floor covering. If you have thick, soft carpet, opt for a low-profile style rug, such as woven or Berber. 

What you can’t do with rugs and carpets is place a rug over new-style “soft” carpets or long-pile styles like a frieze. These textures will not provide enough support to keep the rug from bunching up, which leads us to our next tip on how to lay rugs on carpet.

Prevent Wrinkles

Many people have concerns about placing rugs on top of the carpet because there’s no friction to keep the rug in place as there would be on a wood surface. Area rugs over carpet tend to shift around instead of staying still.

How much movement an area rug will make depends on the type of carpet. The backing of the area rug will also affect the piece’s grip. 

If you don’t anchor your area rug, it will wrinkle – ripple – causing a significant tripping hazard. When an area rug lays over a broadloom, the fabric will bunch up in the areas where a person walks. 

The other side of the rug catches resistance from the carpet below, which keeps the whole rug from sliding. This movement is a ripple or wave. To prevent rippling, follow these safety tips.

Anchor It

The best way to keep an area rug on carpet from rippling is to anchor it to the floor. Strategically placing heavy furniture along the perimeter, such as in a sitting area, is a great way to keep an area rug in place. Couches and chairs do well for holding down the edges of rugs.

If possible, you want heavy furniture on all four sides. But if you use heavy enough items, you might be able to get by with only anchoring two opposite sides. 

No-Slip Pads

Non-slip pads – typically referred to as carpet-to-carpet pads – have the sole purpose of keeping area rugs secure when placed over broadloom. 

These pads also protect your carpet from damage. The friction caused by an area rug’s rough surface constantly rubbing against the carpet fibers can cause premature and uneven wearing down.

The results do vary by individual case on how well these pads keep area rugs in place. Factors like the type of carpet, fiber, thickness, and the backing of the rug can all affect how well these pads work. If possible, it’s also best to use furniture to anchor some parts of your carpet, in addition to using non-stick pads. 

You can also use non-stick pads to anchor sides where you can’t place any furniture. These pads are your best option for securing rugs in broadloom foyers or hallways. 

Size Does Matter

There are times where many people say it’s not the size that counts. Well, those people certainly weren’t talking about using rugs on top of the carpet. Because in this case, size is crucial. 

For an area rug to look right when placed over wall-to-wall carpeting, the carpet must be scale to the room’s size. The best way to figure out the appropriate size is to measure the area where you want to lay your rug and buy a corresponding size carpet.

You also want to use furniture to keep the rug from appearing like it’s floating in space. The layout of your furniture can affect the size rug you choose. The best look comes from having the front legs overlapping the carpet. 

For tight intimate sitting areas, a rug that’s 5’x8; or 6’x9′ would suffice. When you have furniture spaced out, a larger rug will work better, such as an 8’x10′ or 9’x12′. 

In dining rooms, the rug should accommodate the table and chairs. Measure the table, then add two feet to accommodate chairs. You can also sit in a chair and measure the space from the table to the chair’s back.

Painter’s tape is a helpful way to visualize how an area would look with a rug. Place your tape around the perimeter where the carpet will go and arrange your furniture around it. Then measure the space and purchase a carpet close to that size. If the tape doesn’t look right, reposition it closer together or further apart.  

Color Choice

When choosing the color or different colors for an area rug that will go on top of a fully carpeted floor, you’ll want to select shades that complement the carpet color. Rugs look best when there are two or more accent colors from your design palette. 

As tempting as it may be to lay down a large rug that’s completely different in style than your existing carpet when trying to hide the original design, be wary. Too much contrast will cause a stark clashing of colors that will destroy any decorative harmony you hope to achieve with a rug. 

Bringing along a throw pillow, color swatch, or photos when shopping for rugs allows you to compare how the colors react together.

Patterned rugs are great for adding contrast to solid-colored furniture. When matching rug colors, the secondary color of the carpet should match the couch. For the third pattern color, match drapes, the walls, pillows, or other decorative accents.

For patterned furniture, choose a solid-colored rug in a color that complements the couch and matches accent pieces like vases or artwork.

Light-colored rugs help make a small room look bigger. Use dark colors to create an intimate space. Add warmth by using rugs with red, orange, or yellow. Or use cool hues for a calming environment, which works fantastic in sunny areas.

Florals and soft stripes in light neutral shades like white, beige, or gray are excellent patterns for beach-themed makeovers. Consider rugs with bright colors to add pops of color and personality without overwhelming the room for a boho feel.

Plain or Pattern

In most cases, rugs with patterns will not look good when paired on top of broadloom carpeting. With a completely plain, flat broadloom, you may get away with a simple patterned rug. But if there’s any pattern in your carpet (cut and loop or printed), you’ll need a pattern-free rug. 

What’s Trending

Rugs on top of broadloom is a trend that has gone in and out of style throughout the decades. Some current design themes are currently topping the design trends. 

With more people starting to prefer supporting small business owners over large corporations, handmade rugs make a huge comeback. You can use a handmade carpet from a local artist to spruce up a bland off-white rug to get a more homey feel. 

Old is new, and we all love anything new that looks old. If that sounds weird, let us clarify. Vintage is back in style. We’re referring to the vintage look – when carpets are intentionally designed to look old, even when they’re brand new. 

Rugs on Carpet – We Like It

When paired appropriately, an area rug can make an excellent decor accessory laid over the top of a room with a whole carpet. This style looks best when you use contrasting textures and anchor the rug using heavy furniture to avoid a tripping hazard from ripples. Remember that the size of your rug should be proportionate to the size of the room. Rugs over a carpet – is it right for you?

Leave a Comment