Should You Place A Rug On Carpet?

Have you ever considered placing a decorative, functional area rug on top of a carpet? There are more than a few great reasons to treat your carpeted space by adding a beautiful area rug. We researched key ways to place a rug on a carpet and bring a room's look together. Read on and learn how to create a stylish and inviting space using a rug on a carpet.

Area rugs are not only for tile or wooden floors as they look great on a carpet when certain design rules are followed. Check out the following reasons to add a rug to a carpet.

  • Heighten aesthetic value in a room
  • Hide blemishes
  • Preserve the floor 
  • Create visual interest
  • Unite the elements in a room

Whether you want to place an area rug in a carpeted living room, bedroom, entryway, or hallway, this article is full of helpful and inspirational ideas.

A cool classic living room with a green couch and a glass coffee table in front with a rug on the floor, Should You Place A Rug On Carpet?

A Practical Design Solution

You might love or tolerate your carpeted floors, but you can immediately brighten up a room by adding a tasteful floor rug. Many homes have carpet floors that are in a neutral color, so putting down a rug that provides a pop of color, eye-catching pattern, or has a variegated texture is a welcome addition. Also, an area rug is an effective way to create a cohesive look in a room, uniting your furniture and elevating your style.

Aesthetic Value

An area rug is a welcome accessory because it offers plenty of aesthetic appeal and value. If you have a living room in a farmhouse with oat-colored carpet and rustic style furniture, adding a vintage rug with Pennsylvania Dutch designs increases the charm and sense of nostalgia. Placing a rug under an ottoman or coffee table in the center of a minimalist living room makes the eye focus on the heart of the room. 

Check out this beautiful patterned rug on Amazon.

Cover Up Blemishes

If you can't change your carpet's color or style, or there are some unsightly stains from pets, spills, or kids, add a rug. Choose a rug with a busy, repeating pattern or ornate details to make your eye focus on the positive design points of a room. Additionally, if there is an area of the carpet that looks raggedy, worn, or is singing in, an area rug hides the flaws and adds extra padding.

Save Your Floor

Over time, foot traffic from houseguests, everyday use, and moving around furniture can take a toll on your floors. Adding a quality rug atop your carpet can increase the longevity of your floor. Protect your area rug and the carpeted floor underneath by adding a mat under the rug. Vintage rugs or handwoven, hand-dyed rugs need protection from matting or transferring fibers or dye to the carpet it sits upon. Plus, adding a protective mat helps absorb shock from foot traffic, muffles sound, and adds more cushion under your feet when you walk on the rug.

Check out this shaggy, textured geometric rug on Amazon.

Create Visual Interest

Break up the monotony in a living room or bedroom that is dominated by a single color family with an area rug. Choose a rug with bold stripes in a primary color, or opt for geometric designs or floral motifs. Whatever rug you choose, whether it has tassels, is made from wool, or has a bohemian style, should make your room more visually interesting. Ensure the type of area rug you choose doesn't clash with your existing decor and color treatment. Use your area rug's pattern, texture, colors, and size to elevate your space alongside layering it atop the carpet.

Check out this modern, abstract rug on Amazon.

Unite A Room

Make a bold visual statement and tie-together the elements in a room using a well-chosen area rug. When you have a couch or bed, coupled with chairs, side tables, and other accent pieces, an area rug could be that one thing that completes your room's look. Utilize layering, rug placement under furniture, and the layout of your room to maximize your decor and style.

Living Room

The living room is an excellent space to place an area rug over a large carpeted floor. Make sure you understand how your furniture's layout and whether all or some of the legs are touching the rug will impact your room's look and visual flow. When in doubt, a bold and visually pleasing look is to only have a table on the area rug and leave the rest of the chairs, settees, and couches off of the rug.


Breathe life into an ordinary bedroom with a delightful area rug. Add an extra layer of cushion under your feet when entering or exiting the bed. You only need to allow 2/3 of your bed to sit atop the area rug, with a foot or two of space extending on either side of the bed. Any nightstands or standing lamps do not have to sit on the area rug.

How To Keep Area Rug In Place

It might seem silly to place a pad or mat under an area rug to keep it in place when it is on a carpeted floor. However, it is essential to place a protective mat under an area rug to prevent buckling, slips, and accidents, but it preserves both the carpet and rug. Especially in a home with pets, children, or elderly adults, it is easy for an incident involving a rug to occur.

Over time, foot traffic can cause a beautiful wool rug to begin matting, or signs of wear-and-tear can appear on a rug with indentions, rough spots, or loose loops. Putting a pad under an area rug helps slow down visible signs of damage to a rug and keep it in place. Additionally, you can place heavy furniture on top of the area carpet to keep it in place and prevent slipping.

Check out this pad for rugs on a carpet on Amazon.

Check out this non-slip, thick pad for rugs on Amazon.

Will An Area Rug Ruin Carpet?

If you fail to add a protective mat under your area rug, it can potentially ruin your carpet. Some carpets may have fibers that are not dye-fast that can bleed onto the carpet in the event of a spill, repeated foot traffic, or moisture. If an object ends up between the area rug and the carpet, foot traffic and moving around furniture atop the rug can damage both the rug and carpet. Always add a protective pad under an area rug to protect the rug's longevity and the floor underneath.

How Do You Layer A Rug Over Carpet?

Get a good idea of your room's layout and the furniture placement within before adding a rug over the carpet. You will want to ensure that all of your furniture's legs are on top of the rug, only the front legs are on the rug, or all of your furniture encircles the rug without the legs touching it. Ideally, a bed should at least have 2/3 of it sitting atop a rug over a carpet, with 18 to 24 inches of rug extending on both sides of the bed. In a living room, at least the coffee table or ottoman in the center should sit with all legs on a rug.

If you have a carpeted space that is long and narrow, choose an area rug that matches that room's shape. Choose a circle or square-shaped area rug over a carpet if it best fits the layout of the furniture to create movement. When layering a rug over a carpet, make sure that it is a suitable size, and the placement creates visual unity in the room. Don't forget to add a protective mat between the rug and carpet. Doing this helps to keep your rug from slipping, buckling, or adding to wear-and-tear on your floor.

How Do You Determine The Right Size Rug For The Room?

Before you purchase that perfect rug, make sure it is the right size for your room. Make sure when you place your rug on the carpet that there is a minimum of 24 inches of space of exposed flooring surrounding the rug. You want the area rug you choose to encourage good eye movement in your room, unite your furniture and design elements, and make you feel comfortable. A too-small rug brings negative visual attention and makes the elements in your room feel disjointed. A rug that is too large will make a room seem crowded and overwhelmed.

Measure your room, subtract a minimum of two feet of space from that total, and choose an area rug that matches those measurements and the shape of your room. In a living room, at least the front legs of all of your furniture should sit on the area rug. If your couch sits completely on the area rug, make sure there is at least six inches of space on either side of the couch for visual balance. 


Placing an area rug atop a carpeted floor is a wonderful way to improve the look and feel of a home. An area rug adds an extra layer of cushioning to the floor, muffles sound, protects feet from cold floors, and looks sophisticated. Choose an area rug that is an appropriate size for the room and naturally ties-together the furniture and other design elements in a room. Use an area rug to heighten the drama and visual appeal in a room with layering, texture, color, and patterns.

Make sure to protect your investment and ensure the longevity of your carpeted floor and area rug with a protective non-slip mat. Use a mat under your area rug to cushion your floor covering from furniture indentations, foot-traffic, and prevent premature signs of wear and matting. An area rug thrown on top of a carpet is a simple and practical design solution that creates a more cohesive space, adds visual pop, and hides blemishes. Choose a quality area rug that fits your aesthetic tastes, budget, and brings you years of enjoyment in your home.

Click here to read more inspiring articles on carpets and rugs.

Do Curtains And Rugs Have To Match?

Can You Patch A Carpet?

Nautical-Themed Rugs For The Nursery

13 Industrial Rugs That Will Enhance Your Room Design

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *