Is It Dumb to Put a Rug Over Carpet?

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is it dumb to put a rug over carpet

Are you afraid to put a rug over carpet because you think it will look dumb? Don’t be. Rugs look perfectly fine over carpet and there are many benefits of using one.

Some of the best reasons to place a rug over your carpet include bringing definition to a space, adding style or texture to the room, and trying out a new look on a budget. 

Here’s what else you need to know.

The Benefits of Putting a Rug Over Carpet

the benefits of putting a rug over carpet

Try Out a New Look on a Budget

If you’re like me, you enjoy changing up the look of your home. And adding a rug over your carpet is a great way to try out new looks without recarpeting an entire room.

You can move rugs around to change up the look of different spaces and since you can find some rugs inexpensively, using them is a great way to decorate on a budget.

Define a Space

Rugs are incredible for defining spaces  – especially if you have an open concept floor plan.

You can place a rug under your living room furniture to create a defined seating area or use one to designate a play area. 

Anytime you want division, using a rug is a good idea.

Add Style to a Room

You can pack in a lot of style with a large area rug. So, if your room is feeling bland, layer a rug over your carpet. 

You can even layer rugs on top of each other. Doing so will help bring pattern and color to your space.

Bring in More Texture

Good room designs incorporate many different textures. If you have a low pile carpet, consider adding jute, high pile, or faux fur rug for interest.

You can also pull off a beautiful tone-on-tone look by using a rug the same shade as your carpet but with a different texture.

Protect a High Traffic Area

If you notice that your carpet is wearing down in a specific area, put a rug on it to protect it. 

You can lay runners in the entrance of your home or large area rugs where family members or pets often walk through.

Examples of When to Put a Rug Over Carpet

example of when to put a rug over a carpet

Put a Rug Over Carpet in the Bedroom

Rugs work beautifully in carpeted bedrooms. 

The most common place to put a rug is under the bed. Doing this grounds your bed and creates a focal point.

The size of rug you need depends on how large your bed is, the size of your room,  and the look you’re going for. 

Here are the most common size rugs for bedrooms:

  • Twin Sized Bed – Use a 4 x 6′ rug for the bottom two-thirds of the bed.
  • Full-Sized Bed – Use a 5 x 8′ rug for the bottom two-thirds of the bed.
  • Queen Sized Bed – Use an 8 x 10’ area rug for the bottom two-thirds of the bed.
  • King Sized Bed- Use a 9 x 12’ area rug for the bottom two-thirds of the bed.
  • California King Sized Bed – Use a 12 x 15’ rug under the bed.

As a rule of thumb, your rug should reach about 18-24 inches out on the sides and foot of the bed. However, you can use a larger rug if you want your entire bed to sit on it or if you have a huge room.

If you don’t want to put an area rug under the bed, you can place a smaller rug on the side. Depending on your bed and bedroom size, a 2×3′ or 3 x 5′ rug will work for this.

Put a Rug Over Carpet in the Living Room

Rugs are the perfect defining pieces for living rooms. But finding the right size can be difficult.

If you’re going to put a rug under or near your sofa, it should be about six inches longer than the couch on both sides. The most common area rug sizes for this are 8×10’ and 9×12’. 

If you can’t decide on a size, it’s almost always better to go bigger. The exception is if you have a really small space. Ideally, your rug will anchor your furniture but leave 18 – 36 inches of walkway space in the room.

And if you’re wondering how to place the rug, it depends on the look you like. There are no hard and fast rules. 

Here are some of the most popular orientations to consider:

Putting the front legs of your couch on the rug – This is the most popular rug placement, ideal for small living rooms.

Putting all legs on the rug- If you have a large living room and a large rug, you can place your entire sofa on it, resting the back legs near the edge of the rug. This also works well if you have a couch and a loveseat and want to create an L-shaped sitting space.

Layering rugs – You can layer your living room rugs. To do this, start with your most oversized rug and then choose a furniture placement. Once you’ve done that, place a smaller rug on top to add more pattern and texture.

Putting a Jute Rug Over Carpet

Jute is a natural fiber and common rug material. Jute rugs are durable and pack in a lot of texture, making them ideal for layering over carpet. They are also relatively budget-friendly

Although natural is the most popular, you can find jute rugs in many colors.

Since natural jute is neutral, it’s an excellent option for any space. You can use a jute rug under your bed, in your living room, or as a base to layer in another more bold rug.

Jute rugs will give your space a calming, earthy feel and go with all sorts of decor styles.

How to Secure an Area Rug on Top of Carpet

how to secure an area rug on top of carpet

Area rugs work well on low pile carpets; still, depending on the material and traffic in your home, you might deal with a bit of slippage.

Luckily, securing your area rug is easy to do. Here are  your options:

Use a rug pad – Placing a pad under your rug will not only make it feel softer and plusher, but it will also prevent bunching. 

Put furniture on top of the rug – If you’re putting a rug in your living room, you may be able to secure it simply from your furniture placement.

Use rug tape – Rug tape is double-sided. One side sticks to the back of the rug and the other to your carpet. While this works well for securing a rug, you need to find a tape compatible with your carpet type. If not, the tape may pull up carpet fibers when you remove it. 

One option to consider is XFasten Double-Sided Carpet Tape.

Final Thoughts

It isn’t dumb to put a rug over carpet. There are many benefits of doing so. Rugs will help define an area, ground large pieces of furniture like a bed or sofa, and are a great way to add style.

Area rugs work best on low pile carpet. You can bring in texture by using a jute or shag rug. Or, bring in style and color with a bold print.

Photo of author


Katie Barton lives with her husband and three daughters in an 1800’s style log cabin in southern Ohio. She thinks cleaning is relaxing and is considered the organizing go-to person by her family and friends. She runs the blog Cabin Lane where she shares about cleaning, decluttering, and minimalism. See full biography here.

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