How to Lay an Area Rug Over Carpet

Area rugs commonly decorate flooring such as hardwood, laminate or tile. But did you know you can lay it over wall-to-wall carpet? At first you may be wondering, “why would I want to cover my beautiful carpet up with an area rug?” But with proper selection and placement, an area rug on top of carpet can definitely work to enhance a space. Consider the following tips to help you make your decision.

Should You Lay an Area Rug Over Your Carpet or Not?

How do you decide if you should put an area rug over your broadloom? Some reasons are compelling, such as:

  • You’re renting and don’t like the carpet in your apartment
  • You currently can’t afford to change your carpet
  • Your carpet is showing signs of wear in areas that you can easily cover up

But another reason people often overlook is that an area rug can add new color and texture to a space without requiring a complete redesign.


While rugs can bring in color or interesting patterns, make sure the colors work with the existing carpet. It can be tempting to pretend the carpet doesn’t exist when covering it with a rug. But if you do this, you may end up with clashing colors that detract from the harmony of the room, rather than adding to it. Rugs with bright colors can also tie the floor into the room’s overall color scheme. Colors in a large area rug can be echoed in the curtains, home décor accessories or upholstery.


area rug over carpet
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Rugs offer a way to introduce more pattern to a room for added interest. To avoid choosing a patterned rug that will clash with your décor, pick one that complements or echoes the existing color scheme and make sure it either matches or contrasts with any of the other patterns already in the room. Striped rugs, especially two-tone rugs, are considered one of the easiest ways to add pattern. When layering an area rug on carpet, it’s generally best to avoid using a patterned rug over a patterned carpet. One or the other will work well.


area rug on carpet
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The key to layering rugs over carpet is to vary the texture. Area rugs generally work best over short-pile or looped carpet. In those cases, laying a thick, luxurious shag rug can add a softness and elegance to the space. Likewise, if you have a plush style of carpet installed, choosing a low-profile Berber or woven rug is your best bet.


area rug over carpet

area rugs over carpet

When choosing the size and shape of your rugs, consider the size of the room and the placement of your furniture. Consider two or three complementary rugs in various sizes and shapes to distinguish different areas in a large room, or pick a circular, oval or curvy rug to add variety to a room dominated by rectangles.


area rugs over carpet
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You can’t have a rug without a rug pad. Just because it’s on a carpet doesn’t mean this partnership should be broken up. Look for rug pads that are specifically for use over carpets, which are generally referred to as “carpet-to-carpet” pads. These types of pads are especially designed to help keep an area rug from shifting and rippling over the carpet. Additionally, they can help prevent damage to the carpet underneath. Or try double-sided carpet tape—both work well when trying to combat creeping.

So, hopefully your thought now is, “why wouldn’t I put an area rug over my wall-to-wall carpet?” To make it even better, we just happen to have great selections of area rugs in all of our showrooms. So, stop by one of our locations and choose the perfect rug to layer on your carpet and vamp up your space!

At Avalon Flooring, we want to make sure you’re happy from your first step in our showroom to your first step on your new flooring—and as your partner in home design, we’ll be there every step along the way. Consider us your “One-Stop Shopping” destination for all things flooring…(and window treatments)!

Our design consultants are equipped with the knowledge to guide you through the wide selection of products we offer, and our expert installation team is professionally trained to make sure everything gets installed the way you envision. We know your home is an expression of your sense of style, and we’re here to make sure you’ll be proud of it for years to come.

If you have any questions, please email us.