How To Place Area Rugs Over Carpet

Area rugs decorate hardwood floors. Laying them over wall-to-wall carpets is becoming a trend. Picking the right pattern and style to match your carpet isn’t challenging. Area rugs are inexpensive and complement your home’s decor style.

Placing area rugs over a carpet requires finding suitable anchoring points. Size and texture are also worth considering when placing an area rug over a carpet.

How To Place Area Rugs Over Carpet

Area rugs are more like carpets that come in smaller dimensions. Like carpets, they also come in different fibers. Some area rugs are geometric (circular or rectangular), while others are irregular.

5’x8’ and 8’x11’ are some of the most common area rug sizes. They’re also available in various shapes, patterns, colors, and textures. Area rugs are lightweight and portable, making them easy to lay over a carpet.

Some brands custom-make area rugs to suit your home’s interior design. Most area rugs are soft underfoot, add warmth, and complement your personality.

The Perks of Laying an Area Rug Over Carpet

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

1. Hides Carpet Dents

Area rugs help hide stubborn stains and dents. Sharp objects and pet claws tend to cause scratches on the floor. Area rugs are an affordable remedy to potential damage on hardwood floors. If you have kids, area rugs reduce the impact of falls and prevent injuries.

2. It Makes the Floor More Cozy & Warm

Area rugs make your room feel cozy and are an inexpensive insulation option. With the right size and pattern, area rugs make your furniture more connected. A bigger area rug should accommodate all the furniture.

3. 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.

5. 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

Laying an area rug on heavy furniture makes the living room feel cohesive. Make sure the rug edges go under the sofa for better anchoring.

It’s best to have furniture anchoring the rug on all edges to keep it more firm. If the rug isn’t geometric, find something solid to anchor it, at least on two edges.

2. Add a Non-Skid Rug Pad

A non-skid rug pad keeps an area rug in place. With a rug pad, there are fewer chances of the rug shifting with foot impact. They also protect against damaging carpets when moving furniture. Rug pads are effective in areas without furniture to anchor a carpet.

Carpet-to-carpet pads provide cushioning, which results in a more comfortable underfoot. Padding aids in muffling sounds in a room, maximizing your carpet’s soundproofing capabilities.

3. Prevent Bumps & Creases

Areas rugs that are poorly anchored often curl up and form bumps on the carpet. Creases or carpet ripples are loose wavy areas that become permanent with time. A rug pad or a double-sided tape holds down area rugs on the carpet.

Bumps and creases are common in new area rugs since they come folded up. Use heavy weights such as books and furniture to flatten the rug out. The bumps flatten out after some days of stretching the rug.

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.

While color matching is not mandatory, it works well in most spaces. Dark-colored area rugs make a room look smaller. Light colors give the illusion of a bigger space.

5. Don’t Mix Patterns

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. For example, placing a wool area rug on a Berber carpet adds softness and protects it from snagging.

Using a Persian area rug on a dull broadloom creates visual interest in the room. A patterned carpet, however, would not work well with a Persian area rug.

6. Size Does Matter

Pick a size that extends under all the anchoring of the furniture. If not possible, place the front legs of the huge upholstered furniture on the rug. But, smaller furniture should fit.

Choose an area rug large enough to accommodate the dining chairs and table. The chairs should stay on the rug even when pulled from the dining table.

Top Considerations When Choosing an Area Rug

Style & Texture

The area rug you choose depends on your preference and room style. Common rug styles include Bohemian, contemporary, floral, shag, and more. Boho rugs are popular for their unique patterns and vibrant colors.


Geometric and animal-pattern area rugs are bold and create a focal point in any room. Muted patterns are versatile and classic. They work well in colorful spaces and traditional interior design styles. Combining different area rug patterns is also feasible if they have similar colors or styles.


Rooms with high foot traffic need durable area rugs from nylon or wool. They resist crushing and matting but are costly compared to other materials. Synthetic area rugs made of polyester and olefin (polypropylene) are less expensive.


An area rug should go under the sofa for anchoring in living rooms. Small area rugs should at least go over the sofa or chairs’ front legs. Area rugs in high-traffic areas cover the carpet to protect it from wear and tear.


Choosing an area rug that complements the carpet’s color improves a room’s look. Dark color area rugs are ideal for hiding stains in kids’ playrooms and dining rooms. Adding a bold color rug is the fastest way to change a room’s style. Ensure the area rug’s color coordinates with other furnishings in the room.