Is Your Area Rug Curling? Here's How to Flatten It

best rug pad to keep rug from wrinkling and curling

Choosing a brand new area rug is an exciting process. Adding a patterned carpet to your dining room or plush shag throw rugs to your bedroom is an easy and effective home improvement hack.

Once it arrives in your home, you can’t wait to spread it out in your living space to see how it complements your design aesthetic.

But sometimes, rugs just don’t behave.

Area rugs typically come rolled to prevent creasing and transportation damage. Over time, most rugs will naturally flatten out, but that takes weeks.

Or maybe you’ve come across a vintage rug that has been folded in storage, creating deep creases along the pile that take away from the beautiful pattern. 

You’ve invested a lot of time, effort, and money in purchasing your new carpet. Unsightly creases and bumps take away from the overall aesthetic and create dangerous tripping hazards in your home. 

So how do you flatten out an area run that seems to want to roll itself up again? 

The best way to speed up the flattening process is to invest in a high quality rug pad that will grip the rug’s backing and plant it firmly on your flooring. 

Let’s take a look at how an area rug pad will help flatten your carpet fast, what you need to know before buying, and the best rug pads for the job.

Why you need a rug pad for your rug that was rolled

When attempting to flatten a rug, not all creases are created equal. Some area rugs may just need to relax from being rolled, while others may have deeper wrinkles that need to be fixed. 

Here are some common types of creasing and how you can remove it from your rug.

How to fix problems with area rugs

While these methods are effective, they take time and may not work. Having a bumpy, curling rug on your floor creates slipping and tripping hazards that can hurt you or your guests.

Applying rug tape on your floors and carpet may lay the rug flat and help smooth things out, but it may do more harm than good. Carpet tape is notorious for ruining some types of flooring. 

Because it’s made with stiff, synthetic adhesives, the residue often breaks down and adheres to hardwood floors, linoleum, or natural tile flooring. This causes unsightly staining that is very expensive to repair.

Carpet tape also damages the delicate backing of your area rug. The adhesive disintegrates over time and causes a chemical reaction on the back of your rug.

This means when you remove the rug, you may leave carpet fibers behind and create holes in your area rug that you cannot repair.

The best way to get bumps out of area rugs is to adhere to a high-quality rug pad made from all-natural materials. Here is why your area rug needs a rug pad and which ones work best for rolled rugs. 

What to know before you buy

Before you choose the right rug pad for your types of rugs, it’s essential to know why you should avoid inexpensive area rug pads. 

Cheap rug pads can ruin the expensive flooring in your home. Made from imported plastics chock full of toxic chemicals, inexpensive rug pads are coated with an adhesive that enhances their non-slip grip. 

However, the pad will break down over time, causing the adhesives to stop to your flooring and the back of your area rug. Because the chemicals that make up the rug pad are technically dissolving agents, they will break down your expensive flooring and lead to costly repairs.

Always choose a rug pad made from high-quality ingredients and natural fibers, like jute, 100% natural rubber, and 100% wool felt.

Not only do these materials last for decades, but they protect both your floors and your area rug from damage and creasing. If you choose the right rig pad, you can flatten your area rugs in an instant.

These are the best rug pads for rolled rugs

When choosing a rug pad to help flatten your rolled rugs, look for natural materials with a high level of grip on both sides to help flatten your area rug. 

Here are the best rug pads for the job.

Super-Lock Natural

Super Lock Natural best nonslid rug pad for area rugs

Tame your rolling area rug with Super-Lock Natural. This waffle design rug pad facilitates airflow as it holds down your carpet. Simply lay your errant carpet on top of super lock natural and spread it out in a sweeping motion to help flatten rolls and waves. 

It offers an excellent level of cushioning while being thin enough to pull rugs flat to the ground. Super-Lock Natural is made with over a pound of natural rubber per square yard, which is denser than a pad made from latex or polypropylene. 

This rug pad is safe for all hardwood flooring and laminates, tile, natural stone, and concrete. It offers optimum grip and floor protection that won’t stain, stick, or create mildew issues. 

Nature’s Grip

best nonslip carpet pad for area rug

Nature’s Grip is an eco-friendly choice superior to your average non-slip pad. It’s hand-woven with organic jute fibers and natural rubber to offer a maximum grip that will speed up the rug flattening process. 

This rug pad is designed to grip your area rug and floor rather than stick, which it’s the perfect choice for rolled rugs. Nature’s Grip has a durable, low profile, making it the best choice for high-traffic areas with door clearance or rug thickness issues.

Use Nature’s grip to help runners from slipping on tile flooring and keeping throw rugs in their place. 

Anchor Grip

Best nonslip natural rubber flat carpet pad for curling area rug.

If you are looking to smooth out your high-maintenance oriental rugs, you’ll want the exceptional traction and high quality of Anchor Grip.

This rug pad is made from an EVA backing that offers both intense grip and floor protection. Anchor Grip is waterproof, safe for all vinyl, luxury vinyl plank, hardwood floors, tile, laminates, marble, and stone.

As an added bonus, this rug pad is perfectly safe for humid climates and heating flooring!

Other things you want to know

Nothing brightens a room and adds luxurious comfort like a new area rug. Fixing a rolled, bumpy rug can be challenging and frustrating. But in the end, the results are worth it.

Here are some things you will want to know about area rugs and carpet pads.

Are furniture dents in my area rug permanent?

Furniture indentations are not permanent. You can erase them quickly by saturating them with water and using a hairdryer on the lowest setting to gently dry and coax the fibers back into place.

Always consult the manufacturer’s tag to ensure any DIY care you do on your area rug won’t harm the integrity of your carpet.

Can I iron a rolled area rug?

Yes, ironing a rug is one way to DIY dent and ripple removal. It’s essential to be very careful and only iron carpets made from natural materials, like wool rugs.

  1. Check Your Rug Label To Ensure It Is Iron-Friendly.
  2. Set Your Iron To Low Heat and Activate The Steam Setting 
  3. Place A Piece Of Craft Paper Between Your Rug And Iron To Prevent Burning
  4. Slowly Iron In A Sweeping Motion.
  5. Allow Rug To Cool And Repeat After A Few Days If Needed. 

It’s important to know that ironing a rug should be a last-ditch effort. It’s better to wait patiently for your carpet to relax or use a rug pad, like Contour-Lock, to expedite the flattening process.

Is it OK to put an area rug on top of carpeting?

Yes. Layering rugs on the carpet is a great way to add style, comfort, and color to your home without any significant home improvement projects. 

It’s the perfect solution for renters looking to liven up their apartment’s existing wall-to-wall carpet. Consider choosing an area rug in a bright accent color or alternating textures to create a luxurious, bohemian look in your living space. 

How often should I change my area rug pads?

While some rug pads need to be replaced every 4-5 years, a high-quality rug pad made from wool and natural rubber can last longer than ten years if cared for properly. 

How do I get mold out of an outdoor rug?

If your outdoor rugs have developed a layer of mold and mildew, here is how you can clean them.

  1. Allow The Outdoor Rugs To Dry In The Sun.
  2. Use A Broom Or Vacuum To Brush Off The Surface Mold.
  3. Spread Baking Soda On The Moldy Areas Of Your Rug. 
  4. Let it Sit For 20-30 Minutes.
  5. Scrub The Area With a Sponge Or Scrub Brush
  6. Choose A Mold And Mildew Resistant Outdoor Carpet Pad To Prevent The Issue From Recurring.

How do I know if I need a waterproof rug pad?

You may need a waterproof rug pad underneath your carpet if you find yourself in these situations:

  • You Need To Pet-Proof Your Hard Floors
  • Humid Conditions Require Indoor/Outdoor Waterproofing 
  • You Know You Must Protect Your Floors From Spills. 

Always make sure your waterproof rug pad is mold and mildew resistant to prevent dangerous spores from building up between your rug pad and area rug. If you are unsure whether or not your rug pad has mold, check out our post on everything carpet mold.

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