We’re just going to come right out and say that carpet is one of the best flooring choices. There are so many different types of carpets on the market that it’s easy to find the perfect color and style for any taste.

However, have you ever had the urge for…more? Well, did you know that some people like to put area rugs on top of their carpets? You might be asking, isn’t that a little redundant? Well, yes and no. Besides, who says redundancy has to be a bad thing?

If you’ve been toying with layering an area rug over a carpet, we’re here to help! Sure, rugs are typically paired with other types of flooring, like the best vinyl plank flooring. But let’s take a closer look at how and why people do this.

First, we’ll discuss the situations in which layering an area rug over carpet works (and why you may want to do it). Then, we’ll quickly cover some rug safety tips (yes, there is such a thing) and how to safely add them to your decor without making your home look messy. Finally, we’ll share some ideas on how to make this approach work for you.

Is it OK to Put an Area Rug Over the Carpet?

The short answer: yes, it’s perfectly fine to do so! 

Granted, not everybody will agree with this decision. It can be a love/hate situation for some people, but the truth is you aren’t going to please everybody. However, many designers embrace putting an area rug over the carpet so that you will have some loud and proud supporters.

The practice of putting rugs on carpets has existed for as long as carpets and rugs have existed. Over the years, people have found many reasons to take advantage of this concept. It can be a helpful way to solve a problem or just a way to spruce up a room.

The idea of layering a rug over a carpet goes in and out of fashion, but one thing that never is unfashionable is coziness. And laying a rug on the carpet is one shortcut to coziness!

Home decor is a personal choice; you’re the lucky one who gets to live with it! So if you like something, we say go for it. 

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There Are Many Reasons to Layer an Area Rug Over a Carpet

Layering area rugs over carpets is a versatile design technique that offers practical and aesthetic benefits. This simple approach can transform your space without the need for expensive renovations.

One of the primary advantages is the ability to instantly refresh your room’s look. Whether you’re dealing with outdated carpet in a rental or want a change without the cost of new flooring, strategically placed area rugs can create the desired effect. It’s a cost-effective alternative to installing hardwood, vinyl, or laminate flooring.

In open-concept spaces or large rooms, area rugs excel at delineating different functional zones. They can visually separate living areas, dining spaces, or work zones within a single room, offering flexibility in organizing space.

For the design-savvy, layering rugs presents endless creative possibilities. By combining various textures, patterns, and sizes, you can craft a unique look that reflects your style. This approach allows for easy updates to your decor scheme without permanent changes.

Area rugs can discreetly cover carpet stains or damage, saving you from full carpet replacement. They can also protect high-traffic areas, extending the lifespan of your underlying carpet.

The comfort factor shouldn’t be overlooked. Layering adds an extra dimension of coziness, creating a plush, inviting atmosphere that’s especially welcome in colder months.

When layering, choose materials and textures that complement your existing carpet. Opt for low-pile rugs over thicker carpets to avoid a lumpy appearance, and consider non-slip rug pads for stability. Natural fibers like jute or sisal can add interesting texture, while bold patterns can inject personality into neutral backgrounds.

Remember, successful rug layering is all about balance. With thoughtful selection and placement, you can elevate your interior design, solve practical issues, and create a space that feels like home.

Mastering the Art of Layering Rugs Over Carpet: Tips and Tricks for a Flawless Look

Layering area rugs over carpet can be a game-changer for your interior design, offering aesthetic appeal and practical benefits. However, careful consideration is required to achieve a polished look. Here’s how to do it right:

Prevent wrinkles and bunching using furniture as anchors or non-slip pads designed for rug-on-carpet layering. This keeps your rug in place and protects your carpet from friction damage.

When selecting rugs, aim for contrasting textures with your carpet. Pair low-pile carpets with plush rugs or vice versa for visual interest. Avoid layering rugs on shag carpets, as this can overwhelm the look.

Color coordination is crucial. Use the color wheel to choose complementary or contrasting hues with your existing carpet and overall room decor. Remember, the rug should enhance the room’s palette, not clash with it.

Size matters – ensure your area rug is proportionate to the room and furniture layout. A too-small rug will look out of place and unanchored.

Keep patterns simple, especially if your carpet is already patterned. Opt for solid colors over patterned carpets to avoid visual overload.

Be cautious with rubber-backed rugs, which can damage the carpet over time. If using one, move it frequently to allow the carpet to breathe.

Maintain your layered rugs as you would any surface—regular vacuuming and occasional deep cleaning will keep them looking their best.


So, there you have it – layering rugs over carpet isn’t just doable, it’s a pretty nifty trick up your design sleeve. It’s like giving your room a mini-makeover without breaking the bank or your back. 

Whether trying to hide that stubborn stain or just want to shake things up, this technique’s got you covered (pun intended). Remember to play nice with colors, keep an eye on those textures, and don’t go overboard with patterns. 

Oh, and size matters – no one likes a rug that looks like it’s trying to escape the room. With some creativity and these tips in your pocket, you’ll be layering like a pro in no time. Give it a shot – your floors might just thank you!

If you want a good place to start browsing for your ideal rug, you can always check out our most trusted manufacturers that are known for making high quality rugs – Masland and Fabrica.

About The Author

Courtney Daily

June 24, 2024

Courtney is a freelance writer who wears many other hats: kindergarten teacher by day, Broadway diva in the shower. She is a transplant Hoosier who originated in New England. When she isn't writing in her spare time, you will find her reading history books, arguing with her latest knitting project, or being beaten by her kids at most games.