Using Area Rugs on Carpeting

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 up my beautiful carpet with a rug?” 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.

area rug over carpet in living room

area rug over carpet in living room

Area Rug: Yes or No?

How do you decide if you should put an area rug over your broadloom? Some reasons are compelling: you’re renting and don’t like the carpet in your apartment; you currently can’t afford to change your carpet; or 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 can add new color and texture to a space without requiring a complete redesign.

area rug over carpet in bedroom

area rug over carpet in bedroom

Vary Texture

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.


Size Matters

A small rug that appears to “float” in the middle of a space, without touching any furniture, can look awkward. Your rug should be scaled to the size of the room, regardless of what is under the rug. Follow these guidelines to help choose the right size area rug for your room.


Consider Color

Make sure that the color of the rug complements the color of the carpet. You may be laying down an area rug because you aren’t fond of the color of the existing wall-to-wall carpet (such as in a rental unit), but if the color of the rug clashes harshly with the carpet, you’re as likely to create an equally unappealing look.


One Pattern Only

In general, when using an area rug over broadloom, patterns don’t mix well. If you have a plain broadloom, then you can use a patterned rug. But if your broadloom has any kind of pattern, whether it’s printed (designs made of different colors) or cut and loop (the pattern is made from looping some fibers and leaving others long), then it’s best to go with an area rug with a solid color.


Get Professional Advice

At Dover Rug & Home, we are more than happy to help you find the right area rug to enhance your wall-to-wall carpeting. With traditional, transitional, and contemporary designs to choose from in both bright and neutral tones, our selection is a broad as your imagination.

How to Prevent Buckled Carpeting

Have you noticed any ripples or wrinkles in your wall-to-wall carpeting? Does it appear loose in certain areas? If so, then you have what is known as a “buckled” carpet. What causes it?



Humidity is one of the biggest culprits of carpet buckling. It is especially common in four-season climates. When conditions are humid, the moisture in the air penetrates the carpet and causes it to swell. In some cases, your carpet may lie flat again when drier, cooler temperatures return. But the best way to prevent it at the outset is to regularly run your air conditioning during the summer months. For extra protection, consider buying a dehumidifier, which draws moisture out of the air and your carpet.





Dragging Heavy Furniture

Dragging heavy furniture across carpeting is a very common cause of buckling. It tugs on the carpet, making it stretch. If you need to move furniture during a redesign or a professional cleaning, take precautions. First, try lifting before dragging. If the item is too heavy to lift completely off the carpet, you can purchase “sliders” or “gliders” placed under each foot that make for a much smoother dragging procedure.

_MG_4852_14711Inadequate Underpad

An improper cushion under the carpet can cause it to buckle. This often occurs when the pad is not dense enough to adequately support the carpet, allowing for too much flexibility. For information on the thickness and density requirements for underpads, refer to this Carpet Cushion Guide.












Broadloom has a primary backing, which is what the fibers are fastened to, and a secondary backing, which holds everything together and is what you actually see when you look at that back of the carpet. Delamination occurs when the secondary backing detaches from the primary backing, due to a breakdown of the latex adhesive. When this occurs, the top of the carpet is free to move, and can buckle. Delimitation often occurs after a carpet gets wet. Your best bet is to have a professional come over to inspect the issue.

pet-pee-carpet-dirt-onlyMy Carpet Buckled – Now What?

If your carpet has buckled, it needs to be re-stretched. It is best not to leave ripples too long, as they could become more severe over time and cause the carpet to crease permanently.To re-stretch your carpet correctly, contact your retailer and request that their professional installers come over to take care of the problem.