How to Keep an Area Rug Flat on Top of a Carpet

Written by cat mccabe
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How to Keep an Area Rug Flat on Top of a Carpet
Secure the edges of area rugs for safety. (handmade rugs image by Earl Robbins from

Area rugs are functional and attractive additions to your home decor. They come in all shapes and sizes, from traditional, braided area rugs to sisal mats. Unfortunately, they also come in varying quality and the cheaper an area rug is, the more likely the edges will curl up and pose a tripping hazard in your home. If your area rug is too lightweight, it can also slip when stepped on. To prevent tripping and slipping on area rugs, you must stick them to the carpet underneath and secure the edges so that they stay flat.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Roll of carpet tape
  • Roll of carpet floor padding
  • Scissors
  • Area rug

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  1. 1

    Buy floor padding to go on top of your carpet and under the area rug. Floor padding comes in rolls and is a thin, rubbery, textured padding that will "grasp" both the carpet and the area rug when laid over it. The stickiness is not glue and will not harm or discolour either carpet or rug.

  2. 2

    Buy a roll of carpet tape. This double-stick tape is sticky on both sides and will not harm or discolour your carpet or area rug.

  3. 3

    Lay your area rug flat on any flat surface. If the edges are curling up, turn it over and press down to get it as flat as possible.

  4. 4

    Unroll the carpet pad on top of the area rug. You'll notice the material is thin, textured and slightly sticky.

  5. 5

    Cut the padding to three inches less than the size of the area rug. This will prevent edges of the padding from showing when you lay the rug on top of it.

  6. 6

    Lay the cut piece of padding on the carpet where you'd like to place the area rug. Cut pieces of carpet tape and place them down at the edges of the carpet padding. If the area rug you're going to secure is oval shaped, use several smaller pieces so that the curves can be accommodated.

  7. 7

    Lay your area rug lightly on top of the padding and tape and position the rug carefully so that you can't see either the padding or the tape poking out from underneath. When you're satisfied, press down along all the edges to secure the tape to the carpet. Now the rug will not curl, slip or wrinkle.

Tips and warnings

  • Floor padding is also good for securing area rugs on hardwood floors, where all types of area rugs are prone to slip.

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