How to Secure Area Rug on Top of Carpet

Are you looking for a way to add flair and comfort to your room with an area rug on top of the carpet? If so, how to keep your rug from slipping, sliding, bunching, or wrinkling on your carpet. 

This article will show you how to secure area rug on top of carpet using different methods, such as using rug pads, tapes, anchors, or velcro. We will also give you tips on choosing the right area rug for your carpet, how to clean and maintain your rug and carpet, and the pros and cons of using an area rug on top of the carpet.

Whether you are a homeowner, a contractor, a designer, or a retailer, you will find this article helpful and informative. Read on to learn how to secure an area rug on top of a carpet and transform your floor into a cosy and elegant surface.

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Choosing the Right Area Rug for Your Carpet

Selecting the right area rug for your carpet is more than just a decorative decision. It plays a crucial role in ensuring the two’s compatibility while promoting durability and enhancing overall room appearance. Here are some factors and tips to guide your choice:

Size and Shape

The size of the area rug is paramount. It should be large enough to cover the desired area while leaving a margin around the edges. This prevents a cramped look and delineates spaces effectively. A square or round rug can add an interesting contrast if your carpet is rectangular.

Thickness and Pile Height

The rug’s thickness matters. A thinner rug or one with a low pile height is recommended when placed atop a carpet. This avoids creating trip hazards or a disproportionately bulky appearance. For instance, a flat-woven rug would be a wise choice if your carpet has a high plush pile.

Color and Pattern

The color dynamics can either make or break the overall look of a room. Choose an area rug that complements or contrasts with your carpet’s color. For a harmonious look, go for colors within the same family as your carpet. For a more dynamic and vibrant appeal, choose contrasting colors or patterns. For example, a patterned rug can pop against a monochromatic carpet.

Material and Quality

As with carpets, rugs come in wool, nylon, or polyester. Consider a rug material that’s both durable and easy to clean, especially since it will face wear and tear from being atop another carpet. For instance, a wool rug is known for its resilience and might be ideal for high-traffic areas.

How to Secure Area Rug on Top of Carpet

1. Rug Pads:

These pads act as a buffer between the rug and carpet, providing extra grip and preventing unwanted movement.


  • Felt Rug Pads: Known for excellent cushioning but might be thick for some applications.
  • Rubber Rug Pads: Offer great traction but might not offer the cushioning some users prefer.
  • Felt-and-Rubber Rug Pads: Combine cushioning and grip but are generally more expensive.


  • Provides extra cushioning which is comfortable for the feet.
  • Protects the rug and the carpet from wear and tear.
  • Can help reduce noise and improve insulation in a room.

2. Carpet Tape:

This adhesive solution ensures the rug sticks firmly to the carpet, preventing any movement.


  • Double-sided Carpet Tape: Offers adhesive on both sides, ensuring the rug stays in place.
  • Hook-and-Loop Tape (Velcro): Similar to Velcro, allowing for easy adjustments.
  • Gaffer Tape: A heavy-duty adhesive solution.


  • Easy to apply and remove without residue.
  • Invisible under the rug, preserving aesthetics.
  • Ensures a long-lasting grip, preventing frequent adjustments.

3. Rug Anchors or Corner Grippers:

Anchors are placed beneath the rug to grip both the rug and the carpet, keeping the rug flat and in position.


  • Corner Anchors: Used at each corner of the rug.
  • Edge Anchors: Placed along the edges to prevent them from curling up.
  • Center Anchors: Provide stability to the rug’s center.


  • Almost invisible, ensuring the rug’s appearance is undisturbed.
  • Reusable and can be adjusted as needed.
  • Protects both rug and carpet from potential damage.

4. Non-Slip Rug Underlay

Acts as a grip-enhancing layer between the rug and the carpet.

Types: Typically mesh-like materials designed to prevent slipping.


  • Ensures the rug doesn’t move even under heavy traffic.
  • Protects the underlying carpet from wear.
  • Can be easily adjusted and repositioned as needed.

5. Heavy Furniture

By placing furniture, like sofa legs or tables, on the rug’s edges, you use their weight to anchor the rug down.


  • Natural method without additional costs.
  • Especially effective for larger rugs.
  • Allows for easy repositioning of the rug.

Pros and Cons of Using an Area Rug on Top of Carpet

Using an area rug on top of a carpeted floor is a personal choice that depends on various factors, such as aesthetic preferences, functionality, and budget. Here are some of the pros and cons of this option, as well as some tips on how to overcome or minimize the cons.


  • Creates a Focal Point: An area rug can highlight a specific area of your room, such as a seating arrangement, a fireplace, or a coffee table.
  • Adds Warmth and Comfort: An area rug can make your floor feel cozier and softer, especially if your carpet is thin or worn out.
  • Hides Stains and Flaws: An area rug can cover up any imperfections or blemishes on your carpet, such as stains, tears, or burns.
  • Flexibility and Creativity: An area rug can be easily changed or moved around, allowing you to experiment with different styles, colors, patterns, and textures.
  • Enhances Sound Absorption and Insulation: An extra layer of fabric can help reduce noise and improve thermal comfort in your room.


  • Causes Tripping Hazards: An area rug can pose a risk of tripping or falling if its edges curl up or if it is too thick or high-pile compared to the carpet underneath.
  • Attracts Dust and Allergens: An additional layer of fabric can trap more dust, dirt, pollen, pet hair, and other allergens that can affect your indoor air quality and health.
  • Potential Design Clash: An area rug can clash with the existing carpet design if it does not match or contrast well with the color, pattern, texture, or style of the carpet.
  • Requires Extra Maintenance: An area rug can require more cleaning and care than a carpet alone, as it can get dirty, stained, or worn out faster.
  • Reduces Airflow: An area rug can reduce the airflow to the carpet below, which can cause moisture buildup, mold growth, or odor problems.

Tips to Overcome the Cons

  • Avoid Tripping Hazards: Choose an area rug that is thin, flat, or low-pile to avoid creating a tripping hazard or a bulky look. You can also use a solution such as a rug pad, tape, anchor, or velcro to secure the area rug on top of the carpet and prevent it from curling or moving.
  • Design Harmony: Choose an area rug that complements or contrasts the color and pattern of the existing carpet to create a harmonious or dynamic effect. You can also use accessories such as pillows, curtains, lamps, or artwork to tie the whole look together.
  • Regular Maintenance: Vacuum both the area rug and the carpet regularly to remove any dust or allergens. Spot clean any spills or stains on the rug or the carpet with a mild detergent and a cloth or a sponge. Lift and shake the rug occasionally to remove any dirt or debris trapped underneath. Steam clean or shampoo the rug and the carpet periodically with a suitable cleaner and a machine or a brush.
  • Ensure Cleanliness Below: Every once in a while, lift and shake the rug to free any trapped debris beneath. This not only keeps the carpet below clean but also ensures better airflow, reducing the chances of mold.

Alternatives to Using an Area Rug on Top of Carpet

Using an area rug on top of carpet is not the only option for enhancing your floor. Some homeowners may prefer other alternatives for various reasons, such as changing their flooring preference, updating their decor, or repairing their floor. Here are some of the alternatives and how to choose and use them:

Replacing the Carpet with a New One

  • Why: A new carpet can give your room a fresh look and feel, especially if your old carpet is worn out, stained, or outdated.
  • Drawbacks: Replacing the carpet can be costly, time-consuming, and disruptive. You may need to remove furniture, dispose of the old carpet, and hire professionals to install the new one.
  • Tips: Choose a new carpet that suits your style, budget, and needs. Consider factors such as color, pattern, texture, material, quality, and durability. Hire a professional to install the new carpet properly and safely.

Installing Hardwood or Laminate Flooring Over the Carpet

  • Why: Hardwood or laminate flooring can create a more durable and elegant surface than carpet. It can also add value to your home and make it easier to clean.
  • Drawbacks: Installing hardwood or laminate flooring over carpet may not be recommended or possible in some cases. The carpet may cause unevenness or moisture problems for the flooring. The installation may also be challenging, risky, and expensive.
  • Tips: Choose hardwood or laminate flooring that is compatible with your carpet and has a locking system that does not require nails or glue. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and consult a professional if needed.

Using Fabric or Canvas as a makeshift rug

  • Why: Fabric or canvas can be a creative and inexpensive way to cover your carpet with a large piece of cloth. You can choose a fabric or canvas that has a pattern or design that you like and matches your decor.
  • Drawbacks: Fabric or canvas may not be as stable or durable as traditional rugs. They may be slippery, messy, or hard to clean. They may also damage the underlying carpet if you use adhesive or staples to secure them.
  • Tips: Choose fabric or canvas that is large enough to cover your carpet and has a smooth and flat surface. Use a spray adhesive or a staple gun to secure the fabric or canvas on the edges of your carpet, but be careful not to damage the carpet.

Best Ways to Clean and Maintain an Area Rug on Top of Carpet

An area rug on top of the carpet can enhance the look and feel of your room, but it also requires regular cleaning and maintenance to keep it hygienic, fresh, and beautiful. Here are some of the best ways to clean and maintain your area rug on top of the carpet, as well as some tips to do it safely and effectively.

Regular Vacuuming

  • Why: Vacuuming removes dust, dirt, and pet hair from both the area rug and the carpet, preventing them from embedding into the fibers.
  • How: Use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar to gently vacuum the area rug and the carpet at least once a week.

Spot Cleaning

  • Why: Spot cleaning removes spills or stains from the area rug or the carpet before they set in or spread.
  • How: Dab spills with a clean cloth to absorb as much as possible. Blot stains with a mild detergent solution and a cloth or sponge from the outer edge toward the center. Avoid scrubbing or rubbing.

Lifting and Shaking

  • Why: Lifting and shaking removes dust and debris that may accumulate under the area rug over time.
  • How: Periodically, lift the area rug and shake it out, preferably outside, to free any trapped particles.

Deep Cleaning

  • Why: Deep cleaning rejuvenates the fibers of both the area rug and the carpet, removing any deep-seated dirt or odors.
  • How: Every year or two, depending on traffic and usage, steam clean or shampoo both the area rug and the carpet with a suitable cleaner and a machine or brush.

Tips for Effective Cleaning

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations for both the area rug and the carpet before cleaning them.
  • Test any cleaner or detergent on a small inconspicuous area of both the area rug and the carpet before applying it on the whole surface.
  • Avoid using too much water or heat when cleaning both the area rug and the carpet to prevent shrinking, fading, or damaging them.
  • Allow both the area rug and the carpet to dry completely before placing them back on the floor. Use fans or open windows to promote air circulation.


We hope this article has helped you learn how to secure an area rug on top of carpet with different methods, such as using rug pads, tapes, anchors, or velcro. By doing so, you can enjoy the benefits of using an area rug on top of carpet, such as adding color, texture, style, and comfort to your room. You can also keep your area rug and carpet clean and fresh by following our tips on vacuuming, spot cleaning, lifting and shaking, and deep cleaning. If you have any feedback, questions, or experiences to share with us, please leave a comment below. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to check out our other related articles or resources on our website.

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