What Can I Do If My Rug Is Too Big? [Resizing a rug in 3 steps]

Area rugs add texture and color to any room. If your rug has the desired hue and style, but it doesn't fit your space, don't just roll up the rug and store it away. We've carefully searched for all the possible ways to resize your too big rug to fit any room. 

If your rug is too big, you will want to resize it to fit the space. You may be able to cut the rug following these steps -

  1. Measure the rug
  2. Carefully cut to your measurement
  3. Sealy the newly-formed edges

If you've never tried resizing a rug, there's always a first time for everything. Keep reading to explore how to perform the operation on your rug. These steps are straightforward and cost-effective too!

Modern gray and white themed living room with white painted walls and a matching blue colored rug, What Can I Do If My Rug Is Too Big? [Resizing a rug in 3 steps]

How to resize your rug

If your rug is larger than the floor, you intend to cover, consider resizing it to fit. Whether or not to follow this plan depends on the type of rug you have. Re-sizing works best with a square or rectangular rug that's not too thick. 

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Interior bright minimalist living room with blue sofas and couches with a matching blue rug

If the remaining rug is large enough, you could make another rug out of it, of you could use the remaining material for re-upholstering another item of furniture to match your rug. Here are the items you'll need for resizing a rug project:

  • Tape measure
  • Pair of scissors/carpeting knife
  • Carpet adhesive
  • Paintbrush

Step 1 - Measure and mark your rug

Spread out your rug upside down on a flat, clean, and open area. The cutting process gets a lot easier with the tough side on top and the softer one facing down. Grab your tape measure and determine how much of the rug you want to cut off.

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After measuring the length and width to cut, make some visible markings along the rug using either duct tape or a marker pen. Counter-check the measurements before heading to the next step.

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Step 2 - Carefully cut the rug

Grab your pair of carpet cutting scissors or knife and carefully cut along the markings you made on the width. 

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Step 3 - Seal the freshly-cut edges

You should have two separate rugs at this point. Take the small paintbrush, dip it in some carpet adhesive, and smear it along the freshly-cut edges. Adding adhesive will help in solidifying the fibers and lower the chances of cut edges fraying. 

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And just like that, you not only have a rug that fits the room, but also an extra piece of carpet that you can use to coordinate in any area of your choosing!

Use A Portion Of The Excess Rug To Reupholster Another Furniture Item

If your remaining rug is large and pliable enough, why not use it to reupholster another furniture item? A small ottoman can be ideal for this project. You'll end up with an ottoman that perfectly matches the rug.

Bright colored furnitures and a colored rug on the middle

Start with a clean pied of the rug, large enough to cover every corner of the ottoman. Lie the rug upside down on a flat surface. Next, use a screwdriver or hammer to detach the legs from your ottoman. Lie the ottoman top-down onto the center of your rug. Cover the ottoman's sides with the rug, and using a staple gun, tac the rug onto the sides of the ottoman with staples.

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Neatly affix the rug onto the ottoman's corners by rounding the rug in crisp folds, then staple folds in place—trim excess rug from all sides. Reattach the legs to the ottoman. And just like that, you just saved yourself hundreds of dollars' worth of refurbishing.

Resize Rug To Fit Your Room

If your rug is too wide or too long for the designated floor space, resizing it is a sure way to get the right fit. Here's what you need to get started:

  • Rug (should have at least one side with your preferred measurement)
  • Straight edge
  • Measuring tape or stick
  • Colored Duck Tape
  • Sharp razor or knife

Step 1:

Determine how long or wide you want your rug to be, then transfer the measurements to your rug using the measuring tape or stick. Fold the excess edges under the seam, and then tape edges down to the underside of the rug with the colored duck tape. You can make the folded area easier to cut by placing your rug back onto the floor of the room for a few days. Walk on it frequently to give the folded areas crisp creases.

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Step 2: 

After two to three days, the rug should be ready for cutting. Get your straight edge and measure about 1-1/2" to 2" from the crease. Use the sharp razor or knife to cut away the excess pieces. Fold the remaining cut edges toward the underside of the rug, and either affix to the underside by using tape or sew to bind the edges. We'll explain how to bind a carpet yourself later in this post.

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How Much Of A Room Should A Rug Cover?

Before we delve deeper into this, here's a quick tip to get an easy visual on how much floor area the rug should cover. Use a bedsheet as a testing tool. Fold the sheet into different sizes to have a visual representation of how each size would look in your room. Measure the size that works for you and buy a rug with those exact dimensions.

With that said, here are the recommended rug sizes for various room measurements :

  • For a 5' x 7' room, a 3' x 5' rug will do just fine.
  • For a 7' x 10' room, settle for a 5' x 8' rug.
  • If you have a 10' x 12' room, settle for an 8' x 10' rug.
  • For an 11' x 14' room, your rug should be at least 9' x 12.'
  • In a 14' x 17' room, settle for nothing less than a 12' x 15' rug.

As a rule of thumb, your rug should be approximately one foot wider than your chair or sofa on both sides. Instead of positioning your area rug at the center, use your seating setup to determine the ideal placement. If you need more information about the positioning criteria, read "How To Position an Area Rug In A Living Room." 

Gray colored sofa with beige throw pillows inside a small but lively living room

Although the color is not a determining factor, it's helpful to know what rug color best suits your living room. Read more about it here, "What's The Best Area Rug Color For The Living Room?"

How To Bind Carpet Yourself?

Binding is an inexpensive way to finish the cut edge of a rug neatly. You can have a rug bound professionally, but for a DIY project, one of the simplest methods is to use Instabind. This patented carpet tape requires only the use of scissors and a hot glue gun to apply to cut edges of a rug for a smooth, long-lasting bind. 

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Step 1: 

Trim the edges of the resized rug to remove any hanging fibers or threads. Lie the rug bottom-side-down on a clean, flat surface. 

Step 2: 

Extend the roll of Instabind to slide beneath the underside of the rug, aligning the coil edge with the cut edge of the rug. Slowly peel away the tape, and press gently to adhere Instabind onto the rug along the entire, exposed edge. Stop at the corner of the rug and do not cut the coil on the Instabind.

Step 3: 

Make a slice on the Instabind's adhesive edge, stopping just short of the coil. Bend the coil at 90-degrees, to curve along the corner of the rug, and continue to adhere the Instabind strip onto the next, adjoining edge. Continue to line all exposed edges with Instabind.

Step 4: 

Once the Instabind is in place around the perimeter of the rug, hot glue between the rug edge and Instabind coil to keep the binding in place. 

How Much Does It Cost To Cut And Bind A Rug? 

Though the costs vary, expect to spend between $10 and $20 for each cut. Octagons, ovals, or other custom cuts can cost at least $10. Felt backing additions go for about $1 to $2 per square foot. 

Anticipate the cost for binding a standard polyester rug to start at $1.50 per linear foot and rise to $4 per linear foot (unit for measuring carpet perimeter). The cost of binding varies based on the binding style, the type of tape used (tapestry, fabric, or leather), and the adherence method used (sewing, stapling, or gluing).

Interior of a rustic inspired living room with hardwood flooring, blue sofas and plants all over the room

It's important to know that cutting and binding a rug takes a lot of time. It's estimated that a standard ten by ten rug can take more than six hours to complete. For that reason, try as much as you can to do it yourself at home rather than seek out costly services on the internet. 

Ensure you have everything you need and follow each step as outlined above.

Final Thoughts

Modern gray and white themed living room with white painted walls and a matching blue colored rug

Before buying a rug, always ensure you take down the measurements of the floor space in the room first. If you have a small space and want to create the illusion of expanding it, choose a larger size rug that will subtly outline your room's perimeter. But, if you have a too big rug now, you know how to resize, bind, and reuse leftover rug pieces. 

A modern living room mixed with gray chairs and blue blankets and rugs, What Can I Do If My Rug Is Too Big? [Resizing a rug in 3 steps]


  1. Hello, I have a question. If the rug is machine washable (from Ruggables), will it still be machine washable after one or more of these methods of reducing the size of the rug? (I’m going for a very low pile rug, because my dining chairs need to be able to slide around on the rug. That’s the main reason I want to go with Ruggables.) I’ve been given an estimate by my condo managment (required floor coverage) of 7’x’8′ but of course rugs don’t come in that size, so Im thinking to get a 6’x’9 and cutting the 9′ down some for a better fit in the space. I’d like to end up with 6’x8′. (Other wise I’ll have a problem with some heavy furniture.) Actually, a square 7’x7′ would be even better.

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