How to Lay an Area Rug on Carpet: Simple Guide

Adding an area rug over carpet is an important decision and of course there are things you need to factor in because you don’t want to mess up your decor.

Below are some of the things you need to consider before buying your new area rug:

1. Color

You want your rug to compliment your existing furniture and carpet color. While contrasting colors look great, it depends on your flooring and design of your decor.

2. Texture

Rugs come in different textures and you choose the texture depending on your needs. If you’re looking to add luxury or add a carpet in the nursery then a thick shag rug can add a thick layer to the hardwood floor.

A shag rug adds a thick layering and is great for nurseries and play rooms because they provide a safe and comfortable space for babies.

3. Patterns

area rug on carpet

Choosing the right patterns is important. But according to top interior designers, a patterned area rug blends well with a plain carpet.

In other words, avoid a patterned area rug if your carpet has patterns. Pick a Plain rug with a color that goes well with your furniture if the carpet has patterns.

4. Size

Size is another thing you need to consider. Don’t pick a tiny area rug that doesn’t touch any piece of furniture and it looks like it’s floating in space. It will make the room look weird instead of cute.

Purchase a sizable area rug that covers a considerable space in the room even if there’s a cute carpet beneath it.

Tips on How To Place a Rug Over Carpet

Now that you have gone through the things you need to consider when purchasing your area rug, we are going to show you how you can add a rug over carpet. In this section, we are going to give you some pointers on how you can layer your new rug over your carpet.

Choose a Right Thickness

You don’t want to trip and fall because you added an extra thick rug over your carpet. Although an extra plush might look cute, the cuteness might bring about unnecessary accidents in your home.

Pick area rugs that add a bit of contrast and dimension but avoid a pile of layers of a mountain to trip on.

Play With Colors and Textures

Most wall to wall carpets have neutral colors with no exciting variations. Basically, most carpets are just cut wool piles. Adding a rug with different variations, colors and patterns can be the best decision. You might also want to consider a different texture.

When it comes to the color, if you want to tie things together and achieve a monochromatic look then you have to pick a rug with varying shades and tones of a similar color.

If you want to achieve a colorful look then you might need to add area rugs with complimentary looks to your home. There are so many rugs made of different materials like sisal, fiber, flat weave and silk. Picking one of these textures will add a soothing contrasting layer that gives life to your cut wool wall to wall carpet.

Most experts will advise you to use a plain rug if your carpet doesn’t have the usual dull gray or beige color that most wall to wall carpets have. If the carpet has patterns then you can go ahead and use a plain rug that adds a luxurious look to your room.

Choose The Right Sizes

The size of an area rug you shop for depends on what you want the rug to do for you. If you want to partition a room, you can add small multiple area rugs. If you want to cover a big space over your wall to wall carpet then you can add a big rug on top of the carpet to tie things together.

Don’t Forget a Rug Pad

If you want to secure a rug on top of carpet then a rug pad is a must have. Some people think that you can just add the rug on top of the carpet without the rug pad because its carpet but it’s wrong because rug pads prevent creeping.

You can also use a double sided tape to layer your rug over a carpet. The rug might not slide like it can on hard flooring but layering it without a rug tape can make it ripple causing a bump that might make you or any member of your family trip.

A tape helps secure your rug and also layers it perfectly making your room look elegant and beautiful.

Choose The Right Area Rug Design

It doesn’t matter that you’re an expert or not in interior design, there are some things you cannot ignore. We call them simple rules of the thumb. These are:

  • Ensure that you pick a sizable area rug and at least the front legs of any piece of furniture should rest on the rug.
  • Leave a space of not less than 18 inches between the area rug and the baseboard
  • If you’re adding an area rug to your dining room, ensure that the edges of the rug extends beyond the dining table (not less than 24 inches)
  • If you’re adding an area rug in your bedroom, ensure that at least two thirds of your bed rests on the rug (bottom side)


Area rugs play a great role in adding a luxurious style in your spaces. Rugs can be used in hard flooring (provided they are secured with rug tapes) or to an existing carpet. Layering an area rug over a carpet is the new craze but you might not enjoy this style if you have a long-strand carpet. Long-strand carpets don’t provide enough support to the rug so your rug might buckle.

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