Photos by 1. twoshakesvintage; 2. therescuedhome
Your carpeted floor may not be as grippy as you think when it comes to placing an area rug over carpet.
Believe it or not, carpet fibers ≠ extra grip compared to a smooth surface.
In fact, the longer/taller the “pile” (height of the carpet fibers), the more distance the area rug can be carried across the top of your wall to wall carpet. With each step, you’re basically surfing across the carpet for unnoticeable distances… until your area rug is halfway across the room!
Before you grab some rug tape from Amazon, let’s explore the different ways to keep your area rug in place over your carpet. I’ll go through the different options and share with you what I think is the best solution (hint: non slip rug pad).
Different ways to secure your area rug over carpet
I’m basically going to work my way through these in the order that I recommend them. The best solution will always be rug pads because they are the most effective and the least likely to damage your floors (whether carpeting or hardwood floors). But I’ll share a couple more popular options and go through the pros and cons of each.
Felt rug pads with rubber backing
Normally, when you want an area rug to stay in place, natural rubber non slip rug pads are your best bet. But when it comes to carpeted flooring, you actually want felt to grip your carpet and natural rubber to grip your area rugs.
Felt rug pads with rubber backing are the best option for securing area rugs on carpet without ruining your carpet. The rubber side of the pad provides a non-slip grip to keep your area rug in place… but in the opposite way you might think!
You put the entire rug pad upside down!
Like I mentioned earlier, the natural rubber grips the area rug while the felt gives a sticky friction against the carpeting.
Here’s how to install one:
- First, make sure your area rug and carpet are clean and free of dust and debris. You don’t want anything to get in the way of a snug fit!
- Measure and cut your rug pad to size, making sure it’s slightly smaller than your area rug. This helps prevent the edges of the pad from showing. **If you order the rug pad I recommend from RugPadUSA, then you’ll be able to order the exact size you want. Read my guide about how to size a rug pad.)
- Lay the rug pad felt side down on the carpet, making sure it’s centered and straight.
- Place your area rug on top of the rug pad, making sure it’s centered and straight. The rubber backing should be facing up, so that it grips with the bottom of the area rug and keeps it in place.
It’s super important to point out that it matters a lot what kind of non-slip pad you get. If your rug backing is made of harmful chemicals that can stain your carpet underneath. This is why I always recommend RugPadUSA, who uses natural rubber and recycled felt.
Double-sided carpet tape
Double-sided carpet tape is like the duct tape of the rug world – it’s strong and sticky on both sides, and you can use it to hold your area rug in place on top of your carpet.
Basically, you cut the sticky tape to size, stick one side to the underside of your area rug, and the other side to your carpet. It’s like magic – your area rug stays put and you don’t have to worry about tripping over it or having to constantly adjust it.
They’re pretty straightforward to use, but honestly take more effort than a rug pad. Just sayin’.
Of course, there are some risks associated with using double-sided carpet tape. The adhesive, often made with harmful chemicals, can leave behind residue on your carpet or area rug, which can be tough to remove. It can also cause discoloration or damage to your carpet or area rug. If you choose this option, then make sure to use a high-quality tape that’s specifically designed for this purpose, and test it out in a small, inconspicuous area before using it all over.
Velcro strips are made up of two sides – one with hooks and the other with loops. The hooks side of the strip is attached to the underside of the area rug, and the loops side is attached to the carpet. When the two sides are pressed together, they stick together and hold the area rug in place.
To use Velcro strips on your area rug, you first need to make sure that your rug and carpet are clean and free of debris. Then, cut the Velcro squares to the appropriate size and attach the hooks side to the underside of your area rug. Attach the loops side of the Velcro squares to your carpet, making sure that they’re centered and straight. Finally, press the rug down onto the Velcro squares to secure it in place.
While Velcro squares are an easy and effective way to keep your area rug from slipping on your carpet, it’s important to be aware of their potential downsides. Velcro squares can damage your carpet or area rug and they may not work well on certain types of carpet or area rugs.
Factors to consider when choosing a rug pad for securing area rugs on carpet
There are really two main considerations when choosing a rug pad for your carpet: materials used and thickness levels.
Consider the type of rug pad material that will work best for your needs. There are several types of rug pads available, but the best materials for rugs over carpet are recycled fiber and natural rubber. Be sure to put the rubber side up against the area rug and the felt down against the carpeted floor.
Choosing a rug pad that’s thick enough to provide cushioning and protection for your area rug is important. A thicker pad can help prevent the rug from wearing down over time and provide added comfort underfoot. A thin pad could be great for just keeping your rug in place, like in high traffic areas. The Superior Lock comes in two thickness sizes so that you can get the right one for you.
Not sure which rug pad to get?
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Just in case you’re still wondering, here are the most common questions most people have when considering purchasing a rug pad.
Which is the best solution?
I will always vote for non slip rug pads. Double sided tape is specially designed to secure your area rug over carpet, but I’m not a fan of applying any kind of adhesive to, well, anything. There’s too much room for damage there.
Can I use heavy furniture to keep the area rug in place?
While using heavy furniture to keep your area rug in place may seem like a quick fix, it’s generally not recommended. Heavy furniture can cause your area rug to bunch up or shift, which can potentially damage both the rug and the furniture. Also, furniture may not be evenly distributed on the rug, which can cause the rug to wear down unevenly over time.
Will using a rug pad damage my carpet?
So, the short answer is that rubber-backed rugs can damage your carpet over time. This is because the preservative gas used in some rubber backings can get trapped between the rug pad and your carpet, which can cause the pile to turn yellow and fade.
Think of it like a sandwich that’s been sitting in your backpack all day – the air can’t circulate, so everything inside starts to get a little funky. In the case of rubber-backed rugs, the lack of aeration can cause the preservative gas to build up and damage your carpet.
To avoid any potential damage, it’s best to choose a rug pad made of materials that are safe for use on your specific type of carpet, and avoid using rubber-backed rugs directly on your carpet. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting your flooring!
Do I need to trim the rug pad to fit my area rug?
When trimming your rug pad, it’s important to measure your area rug carefully and cut the pad 2” smaller than the rug mat itself. (See my guide on how to size a rug pad.) This will ensure that the pad provides the right amount of cushioning and grip without causing any bunching or slipping.
If you’re not comfortable trimming the rug pad yourself, you can also purchase pre-cut carpet pads, that are designed to fit standard area rug sizes. Just make sure to choose the right size and type of pad for your needs to ensure that your area rug stays in place and provides the right amount of cushioning.
How often should I check and adjust my area rug to ensure it stays in place?
Keep your eye on it and check underneath every few months just to keep your eye on things. If you use safe materials (all natural rubber and recycled felt), then you should be free of damage. If you notice that your area rug is starting to slip or bunch up, adjust it immediately to prevent any damage to your carpet or area rug. This may involve repositioning the rug, adjusting the rug pad, or using additional securing methods like double-sided carpet tape or Velcro strips.
More About Rug Pads
- How To Secure Area Rug On Top Of Carpet (The Safe Way)
- Best Non-Toxic Rug Pads Safe For Children And Pets
- How To Size A Rug Pad, Expert Tips
- The Best Memory Foam Rug Pad for Maximum Comfort
- Best soundproofing rug pads: 3 options for a quiet barrier
- This Is The Best Rug Pad For Vinyl Plank Flooring
- Rug Pad Thickness Guide: How To Choose Rug Pad Thickness
- Can You Use A Carpet Cleaner On A Rug? It Depends.