How to Lay an Area Rug Over Carpet

How to Lay an Area Rug Over Carpet

An area rug can be laid over broadloom for a variety of reasons, ranging from hiding a worn or soiled spot in the carpet until it's time for replacement to adding personal style to a rented space to simply enjoying the luxurious look of layering carpet over carpet.

Does an area rug really fit over a broadloom? Yes, area rugs can be laid over carpet. Here are some tips to get you started.

Tips for Choosing the Right Carpet Color

Eliminate ripple effects

Laying an area rug over broadloom can be a concern due to how the area rug tends to move around on the carpet. In addition to the style of carpet under the rug, the backing style will determine how much it will move. Any area rug, regardless of these factors, will shift if it is not properly anchored.

The primary concern about an area rug's movement is that it will slide around when placed over a hard surface such as hardwood flooring. The issue is more of a tripping hazard when the rug is layered over carpet, however, since the rug may wrinkle or rip. Rugs wrinkle because when one area is stepped on, it shifts (assuming it is not properly anchored). While the entire rug would slide on a smooth surface, the other end of the rug meets resistance against the carpet below, preventing it from sliding. 

In other words, you cause one end of the area rug to shift without causing the other end to shift, resulting in ripples or waves in the area rug.

Take the following precautions in order to prevent ripples in the area rug.

Adding Furniture to an Anchor

By placing heavy furniture on top of the area rug, you can help hold it in place. Make sure the rug edges go under the sofa or chairs, especially if your area rug is for a sitting area. Ideally, the rug should be held by furniture on four sides, but if it is heavy enough, it may only need to be held by furniture on two opposite sides.

Make sure you use a non-slip pad

You can use non-slip rug pads for pretty much any application, including draping an area rug over a broadloom. "Carpet-to-carpet" pads are commonly known as such. Area rugs tend to shift and ripple over carpet when pads like these are used. Additionally, these pads can prevent damage to the carpet beneath the rug, as repeated friction could prematurely wear or bloom carpet fibers.

Aside from the wide range of carpet-to-carpet pads that are available, the effectiveness of these pads can also vary significantly due to the fact that there are so many factors (carpet style, rug backing, fiber type, etc.) that the pad can't account for. 

The furniture anchors a rug best, as outlined above. However, you may still use a non-slip pad under the rug, especially if one side cannot be anchored. In contrast, a carpet-to-carpet non-slip pad is the best way to prevent ripples in rugs that are not near furniture (such as in a hallway or foyer, for example).

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