Can You Put A Rug On Top Of Carpet In The Living Room?

Rugs can complete a room, not only in terms of style but also in terms of comfort. Since rugs are a type of carpet, you may be wondering whether you can add a rug on top of your already carpeted floors. Well, we've researched the topic in-depth and have an answer for you.

You can put a rug on top of the carpet in your living room. They can still have the same effect whether you have hardwood flooring or carpeted floors in your living room.

So, now that you know, you can put a rug on top of your living room carpet, but keep reading as we elaborate on this further with some image examples and suggestions. Additionally, we'll answer some other questions you might have about placing a rug over your carpet. 

Interior of a modern bedroom with white painted walls, a huge wooden bed with white beddings, and a carpeted flooring with a beige area rug, Can You Put A Rug On Top Of Carpet In The Living Room?

How Do You Layer A Rug Over Carpet?

Since we've established that placing a rug over your carpet is a-okay, let's discuss how to do it. First, we'll discuss how to style a rug over a carpet, and then we'll go over how to secure it.


When it comes to placing an area rug over a carpet, there are a few things to consider. Think about why you would like to add an area rug over the carpet. Is it to help define an area in an open-plan room? Or to protect your main carpet? Or, maybe, you think it will complete your look and tie everything together.

Layering your rug doesn't have to be complicated. Think about where you would like it to go. If you choose a large rug, will you have all of the furniture on it? Or will you choose a smaller rug to go under a coffee table?

You should also consider how thick the rug will be. If you already have a thick carpet, you might not want to add a thick rug. Similarly, if you have a thin carpet, you might want to consider a thicker rug for added comfort. Let's look at some image examples below. 

Defining Space

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Rugs are a great way to define an area in a room. You might want to define an area because you have an open floorplan or an overly large living room. Placing a rug under or near your couches can define the living room space. 

Protecting A Carpet

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If you have a very light carpet and have children or pets, you might want to add a rug for a layer of protection from any spills or muddy paw prints. It is not uncommon for rental properties to have light-neutral carpeting, so giving them a layer of protection with a rug might save you from a hefty cleaning fee later on.

Making A Look Cohesive

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Sometimes all you need to complete your space is a rug that ties everything together. In this living room, a bright-colored rug is accompanied by similarly colored couch pillows to add a burst of color to the room. By choosing an accent color to place throughout the otherwise neutral room, the designer has created a cohesive look.

For Comfort

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Carpet isn't always very soft, so maybe you want to add a rug for extra comfort. A great way to do this is by layering a shag rug over your carpet. It'll feel great underfoot and also add some texture and character to your design.

Securing Your Rug

Once you've figured out where you want your rug to go, you'll need to think about whether you want to secure it. Rugs can slide on carpet, get bunched up, or end up crooked. Readjusting your rug every day will get old fast. Fortunately, it's relatively simple to secure a rug.

How Do You Keep A Rug From Bunching On Carpet?

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There are specific products made to help prevent rugs from bunching up and to keep them lying flat. You can purchase an anti-slip pad or double-sided carpet tape to go underneath your rug.

Click here to see Anti-Slip Pad on Amazon.

Click here to see Double-Sided Carpet Tape on Amazon.

Purchasing a higher quality rug can also help reduce the chance of the rug bunching up. Higher quality rugs are heavier, so they will not move as easily. You can also use furniture to weigh your rug down. Consider placing a coffee table or ottoman on your rug.

What Color Should An Area Rug Be?

Rugs come in a huge assortment of colors and patterns. So it's not surprising you might be having trouble deciding what color your area rug should be. You can choose a contrasting area rug, an area rug to go with your accent color, or a patterned area rug to bring some variety into your room.

You should also think about how much and what kind of foot traffic your rug will see. If you have kids and pets that might cause a lot of mess, a white or cream rug might not be a good choice for you. Similarly, a dark rug will show lint and dust more. It's best to choose a medium shade or light brown rug to avoid showing a lot of dirt. 

Contrasting Area Rug

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In design, contrast means placing two different colors next to each other. The more diverse the colors are, the greater the contrast. For example, if you have a light carpet, you might consider a dark area rug like in the image above.

Contrast isn't only created between dark and light colors. The further apart colors are on the color wheel, the more contrasting they will be.

Accent Color

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We touched on this briefly earlier in this post, but an easy way to choose a rug color is by matching it with your accent color in your room. In the image above, the purple rug is accompanied by purple pillows and canvas. The designer can also create contrast by choosing a dark purple rug to go over a very light-colored carpet. 

Patterned Rug

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If you have neutral furniture and neutral carpet, you may decide to make your rug your room's focal point. You could choose to go bold with a bright-colored rug or choose a patterned rug. Patterned rugs also help conceal dirt, stains, and dust. 

For even more discussion on this topic, check out our other blog post: What’s the Best Area Rug Color For the Living Room?

Will A Rug Ruin Carpet?

We've talked about protecting your carpet with an area rug, but we haven't yet discussed whether an area rug will ruin your carpet.

Area rugs will not ruin your carpet if they are used as they are intended. The only time an area rug might cause damage to your carpet is if it gets wet. Dyes from natural fiber rugs might bleed through onto the carpet below if they get wet.

You should also make sure area rugs are completely dry after cleaning before you put them back on your carpet. If there is moisture between the two layers of carpet and rug, you could see mold begin to grow.

You might also notice a color difference between the area of carpet not covered by the rug. However, this doesn't mean your rug ruined your carpet. This is because your rug will protect the carpet underneath from the elements the rest of the carpet is exposed to. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, we've helped answer your question about whether you can place a rug over your living room carpet. There are a variety of reasons you might wish to put a rug over your carpet, and maybe we've helped inspire you with our image examples. Don't forget to secure your rug to avoid it slipping and bunching!

For tips on positioning your area rug in your living room, check out one of our other blog posts here: How To Position An Area Rug In Living Room.

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