How to Keep an Area Rug From Bunching Up on the Carpet

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how to keep an area rug from bunching up on the carpet

An area rug can enhance the look of your home and add some much-needed color. They are a great way to bring some textures and colors to a room on a budget. 

However, if you are putting an area rug on the carpet, you could end up with issues. Area rugs can bunch up and curl, especially if they are put in high-traffic areas. 

Fortunately, there are ways to fix this that are relatively simple and inexpensive. 

In this article, we have laid out different ways to keep your area rug from bunching up. By trying these techniques, you can enjoy the look of your rug without worrying about tripping.

There are a few different ways that you can keep an area rug from bunching up on the carpet. Try each of these methods to see which one works best for your home. 

These methods include: 

  • Put the rug in an area with less traffic 
  • Use a skidpad 
  • Use carpet tape 
  • Place furniture on top of the rug

Why Keep your Area Rug From Bunching Up?

why keep area rug from bunching upWhen an area rug bunches up or curls on your carpet, it could end up being a safety hazard. 

Area rugs can actually be quite dangerous if they are allowed to curl and stick up. Any time you have a protrusion on the floor, it can present a tripping hazard. 

Area rugs that bunch up can also take away from their look and won’t be as attractive. 

The designs and prints on rugs are meant to be looked at when the rug is flat on the ground. If your rug is always bunching up, it will not have the right aesthetic qualities. 

Generally, you want your area rug to lie as flat on the ground as possible. This will make it safer and give it a better overall look of the home. 

Place the Rug in a Low-Traffic Area

One of the best things you can do to keep your rug flat is place it in a low-traffic area. 

When people walk on the rug, it will pull at the center and cause it to bunch up. It will also place pressure on the edges and could make them curl up and become tripping hazards. 

Low-traffic areas can be great places for area rugs. This could be somewhere like a corner of a room or a room that doesn’t get as much use as others. 

This will also help keep your area rug in good condition. It will not get damaged by people walking on it and it can stay as pristine as when it was new. 

Use a Skid Pad

use a skid padSkid pads are a great way to keep your area rug from bunching up on the carpet. They can help keep it in place and protect the carpet underneath the rug itself.

Skid pads are usually made of webbed rubber and will sit between the rug and the carpet. 

By putting one of these under your rug, you can lock it in place and make sure that it doesn’t bunch. When someone walks over it, it will hold its shape as if it were attached to the carpeting. 

Make sure you get a skid pad that is cut to the size of your rug. The more surface area the pad covers, the more likely the rug will be to stay in place.

Use Double-Sided Carpet Tape 

Carpet tape is a great tool that can be used to keep your area rug in place. 

Quality carpet tape will stick to the carpeting and it takes a lot of force to remove it. It is double-sided, meaning you can lay it down on the carpet and the rug will stick to it. 

Carpet tape is a great option because it will hold for a long time. You also won’t raise the rug any higher, which may happen with a skidpad. 

Lay down the carpet tape along the perimeter of the rug with some pieces in the middle. Then, place the rug on top of the tape and step on it to allow the tape to stick. 

Put Furniture on the Rug 

If you have the ability, you can also arrange furniture to be on top of the rug. 

This will keep the rug in place since the furniture will hold it down. There will also be no traffic on the rug. 

Putting furniture on your area rug can also be used as a design element. 

If your rug matches the look of your furniture, you can enhance the two pieces. Putting them together will draw the eye and make them much more of a focal point of the room. 

Frequently Asked Questions

faq how to keep an area rug from bunching up on the carpet

Why won’t my rug lay flat on the carpet?

If your rug won’t lay flat on your carpet, it may need to be steamed. 

Sometimes, rugs are shipped in ways that will put creases in them. When this happens, steaming them can bring out their natural, flat shape. 

Why are rugs wavy?

Area rugs are sometimes wavy because they are not sitting on the carpet correctly. 

If your rug is in a high-traffic area, it may be coming up from people walking on it. Using the above steps can help keep the rug flat. 

Will duct tape hurt the carpet?

For the most part, duct tape will not hurt your carpet. However, it may pull some of the fibers out when you pull it off. 

Because of this, carpet tape is a much better option for keeping your rug secured. 


If your area rug keeps bunching up on the carpet, the above steps can help. Bunched rugs can not only make your home look sloppy, but they can also be a safety hazard. 

By trying some of the methods outlined above, you can find the one that works best for you. 

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Michael J. O’Connor is a writer and marketing specialist from the Bay Area of California. A graduate of Sonoma State’s Creative Writing program, he spent many years as a contractor and carpet layer, learning the ins and outs of flooring and general contracting. When he’s not typing away at his desk, he enjoys hiking with his dogs, woodworking and collecting rare books. See full biography here.

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