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Tips for layering an area rug over carpet

9th September 2020
Tips for layering an area rug over carpet

The topic of whether to place a rug over carpet is always a disputable one in the interior-design world. Some people feel that it is absolute taboo, whereas others simply don’t feel limited by their existing carpet. 

At Carpet Barn we believe that, if done right, layering an area rug over carpet can actually be a match made in heaven, and also a great way of dividing the space into separate sections or specific rooms. Nevertheless, if you are sitting on the fence with this, or have decided to do so, continue reading to see our top design tips for rugs on carpet.

Variation in texture

The key to layering carpet 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 rug adds a wonderful sense of softness and elegance to the space.

Similarly, if you have a more plush style of carpet installed, choosing a low-profile woven rug is your best bet. Avoid put an area rug over a very long-pile carpet, such as a frieze or a newer “soft carpet” because the area rug will not have firm support, and may shift, buckle and wrinkle.


Before deciding on the size of rug to place on top of your carpet, you first need to identify the purpose of the rug. Is it to introduce some pattern? Break up a space? Or, cover as much of the carpet as possible? If the latter, bigger is better. But if you’re going for something bold and patterned, less is often more.

Colour considerations

Choosing the colour of your area rug is a basic principle that applies to most circumstances. The only difference when the rug is going to be used over a carpet is to make sure that the colour of the rug complements the colour of the carpet. You may be laying down an area rug because you can’t stand the colour of the existing wall-to-wall carpet, such as in a rental unit, but trust us, it will look much worse if you just throw down a rug that clashes with what’s underneath.

Pattern considerations

In general, when using an area rug over broadloom, patterns don’t mix well. If you have a plain broadloom, you can use a rug that has a pattern. If your broadloom has any kind of pattern, whether it’s printed or cut and loop, it’s best to go with an area rug that does not have a pattern.

Anchor it

When using an area rug over carpet, it’s important to make sure that the rug is properly anchored to avoid having it bunch up and become a tripping hazard – similarly, you don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of shifting it back in place every time it moves out of place, and it will, if you don’t anchor it with the furniture in that area.

At Carpet Barn we offer a wide range of area rugs to choose from, from budget-friendly to high-end luxury, and varying colours and sizes. Our friendly and experienced team is always on hand to help you find the floor covering of your dreams - get in touch.

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