Learn the keys to layering rugs on carpet in your home. While this technique won’t work in every space, it’s a great way to extend the life of your carpet, cover stains or unsightly areas, and buy you more time before a flooring upgrade.
Rugs over carpet can also instantly breathe a layered, eclectic style into a room, creating the feel of a warm and cozy home in an instant!
This layering technique for rugs on top of carpet is one I’ve used in several rooms of our homes over the years. It’s a tried and true way to quickly create a look you’re sure to love!
When you love hardwood floors as much as we do, you learn pretty quickly that rugs will be your new best friend. In our years of homeownership, we’ve owned countless rugs.
Some, of course, are better than others. Some are softer underfoot, some are easier to clean, and some are just all about the look and style.
With that in mind, we’ve created a complete rug guide to give you the best tips for Purchasing a Rug according to size, budget, materials and durability! You can learn about virtually every type of rug out there, and find out what works best for your family.
But today, I wanted to chat with you about another way we’ve used a lot of rugs over the years: layering rugs on carpet. This can be an incredibly fast and easy way to inject an immediate dose of fresh style into a room with tired carpet.
Read on to find out if this look will work in your home.
I’ve written a lot about rugs, including the best easy to clean indoor/outdoor Stair Runner on Basement Steps, the Best Kid and Pet Friendly Rug, Indoor Outdoor Rugs, Vintage Turkish Rugs and Sisal Rugs you can Clean!
When to Consider this Option
- Hide stains
- Hide damage or imperfections
- Fastest way to change the look of your flooring
- Renting? Lay an area rug on top of the carpet to add temporary style
- Add a pop of color and personality
- Introduce pattern
- Add luxury and warmth
- Extend the life of your carpeting
We’ve used this trick many times in our years of renovating old homes! You can see a rug on carpet in this bedroom makeover I did with Lowe’s years ago, in our Primary Bedroom, our newly updated Modern Laundry, and even in the girls’ Bunk Room at the lake.
This trick can work virtually anywhere in your home. Think dining room, living room, bedrooms, basements and more… anywhere you have a carpeted floor you might not love!
When you can’t immediately change the flooring in a room, a rug on carpet is an awesome option you can embrace!
Rugs Over Carpet
Believe it or not, placing rugs on carpet can be a controversial topic in the world of interior design. It might not always be a resounding YES from everyone, but it’s actually a great option for many situations.
Of course, you don’t have to have hardwood floors to use a rug. You can use them over vinyl flooring, tile flooring, and yes… even carpet! Let’s learn together to find all the keys to layering rugs on carpet in your home.
Because if we know anything at this point, it’s that what works for one homeowner might not work for another. A rug over carpet might work for us, but not for you… and that’s perfectly okay!
Layering Rugs on Carpet
This vintage Turkish rug adds a lot of character to our master bedroom and makes me resent the old wall to wall carpet slightly less.
I’m anxious to have wood floors installed after we renovate our adjoining master bathroom and reconfigure the floor plan. Until then, this beauty will add a pop of color in our room and minimize the old carpeted floors.
I can just continue to dream about how she’ll beautifully grace our wood floors one day.
Depending on the style of carpet in your room, layering rugs on top might be a great option for giving your space a whole new feel!
How Do You Layer a Rug Over a carpet?
After considering your reasons for adding a rug on carpet in your home, think of these design guidelines.
- Texture – Even if it’s monochromatic, adding a textural rug on top of carpet can create instant coziness in a room. Consider a Sisal Rug or something similar for texture underfoot.
- Scale – Keep size and scale in mind. Be sure to check out the size guide in my Tips for Purchasing a Rug.
- Color – While I am personally always a fan of a neutral color scheme, I love to see fun color schemes, too! Add a bold pop of color to your space with a bright rug. Just be sure to add the perfect Pillow Covers on your accent pillows to really pull the room together!
- Style – Get creative! This is an excellent area to give your room more pizzazz. Whether you’re creating a cozy cottage vibe, a Neutral Living Room, a Modern Living Room, a Coastal Modern look, or creating the primary bedroom of your dreams, the world is yours!
- Pattern – Rugs feel like less of an investment than wall-to-wall flooring. They are easier to replace and they are a safer place to play with pattern!
- Safety – This is a consideration when you’re placing rugs on carpet! You don’t want them to ripple and create a tripping hazard. Read more below!
- Yes, you can add any area rug over broadloom carpet! With a few exceptions, of course.
- One exception comes to mind! If you have a higher carpet pile (like a deep shag rug style) layering a vintage Turkish rug or another thick option might not work aesthetically. Thick pile carpet + thick pile rugs would probably be a little too much and not give you the desire affect.
- Put an area rug over carpet on its own, or consider a rug pad between the layers. This can help ensure that your rug is properly anchored against your carpet fibers, preventing slippage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! Ignore the old design rules that might say otherwise. Rules are meant to be broken, and a rug on carpet can greatly improve the design of a room in minutes. Why not give it a try?
Prevent rippling with rug pads or tape, or even glue! (Not on your carpet, of course… use glue meant to dry on the back of your rug to create a ridged, adhesive affect when it dries.)
How to Prevent Rippling
- Add a rug pad. You can even find a rug pad specifically made for carpet-over-carpet.
- Use double-sided carpet tape
- Use a heavy rug (think jute or wool)
- Anchor with furniture
I’d love to hear from you! Are you a fan of layering a rug on carpet, or is this a look you’d prefer to skip?
More Flooring Inspiration
- What Type of Basement Floor is Best?
- Hand Scraped Wood Floors
- Traditional Rugs
- Neutral Rugs
- Painting Vinyl and Linoleum Floors
- LVP Flooring
- Bedroom Rug Size and Placement Guidelines
- Patterned Carpet
- Folex for cleaning