How To Place Area Rugs Over Carpet

Traditionally, area rugs lay over hardwoods to cushion the floor. A popular trend today is to layer area rugs over carpet. Doing so can help define a space and bring more color and texture to a room.

How To Place Area Rugs Over Carpet

Area rugs are small carpets that come in different shapes, sizes, and carpet fibers. When layering an area rug over a carpet, it’s important to choose a different fiber than the carpet, or else the rug will blend in.

Why You Should Add an Area Rug Over Your Carpet

Besides leveling up your interior design, there are reasons why area rugs are popular.

1. Hides Carpet Dents and Stains

Area rugs hide stubborn stains and dents — whether your pets had an accident and the carpet won’t come clean or the carpet is bubbling, an area rug will hide the imperfection.

2. Increases Your Carpet’s Lifespan

Carpets are prone to shrinking under high-foot traffic. Area rugs are ideal for high-pile carpets as they handle foot traffic better. As a result, they lengthen your carpet’s lifespan.

3. Ideal for Noise Absorption

Using area rugs is a reliable way of sound dampening. They reduce noise from vibrations and absorb sound from the air.

Tips for Laying an Area Rug Over Carpet

Laying an area rug over a carpet isn’t burdensome if you follow the proper steps.

1. Use Furniture for Anchoring

Use an area rug to anchor your room. An example is to put an area rug in the living room and have the sofa and chairs on the edge.

2. Add a Non-Skid Rug Pad

A non-skid rug pad keeps an area rug in place, preventing it from shifting with foot impact. Pads also protect against damaging carpets when moving furniture. 

3. Prevent Bumps & Creases

Areas rugs that are poorly anchored often curl up and form bumps. Creases or carpet ripples are loose wavy areas that become permanent with time. Use a rug pad or double-sided tape to hold down the rug if you won’t be anchoring it with furniture.

4. Pick Complementary Colors

Choose an area rug that complements the carpet’s color. Also consider the furniture, such as a sofa, wall colors, and other decor.

5. Mix Materials

A patterned carpet goes well with a plain area rug, and vice versa. For looped carpets, use an area rug with a smooth texture, like a plush pile. On the other hand, placing a wool area rug on a Berber carpet adds softness and protects it from snagging.

6. Size Does Matter

Your rug needs to be proportional to the room. For example, if it’s going under your bed, it should extend about 18 to 24 inches on each side. If the rug is going in the living room, it should be large enough for the edges to fit under your sofa and chairs.