How to Secure an Area Rug on Top of Carpet (So It Won't Bunch)

best way to keep rug on carpet from wrinkling, moving, bunching up

A wall-to-wall carpet may not be everyone’s preference, but it does have its benefits. It offers noise absorption, is low maintenance, and keeps your room cozy and warm with an extra layer of insulation.

The downside is that carpeting can be expensive to replace when it shows signs of wear and staining. And if you are a renter, replacing the carpet is out of the question. You need a way to hide the mistakes of past tenants while being able to express yourself in your space.

So what can you do to update the look of your carpeted room without breaking the bank and ensuring you get your deposit back?

You already know that adding an area rug to any room automatically adds comfort and style to any design aesthetic. But did you know that you can layer area rugs over carpeting?

Choosing the right area rug will preserve your existing carpeting, hide stubborn stains, and add the perfect amount of cushioning.

However, unlike laying a carpet on hard floors, area rugs become more prone to bunching and rippling, leading to dangerous tripping hazards and possible injury. To prevent shifting on hard surfaces, you know to put a high-quality rug pad between your flooring and area rug. 

Luckily, you can do the same to prevent the unnecessary wear and tear that occurs from an area rug bunching on carpet. A rug pad is the best way to keep an area rug from bunching on carpet.

Let’s take a look at why you need a rug pad when layering an area rug on carpeting and which one is the best solution for your needs.

Why you need a rug pad for carpet

Keep rugs from moving on carpet pad

If your living room rugs have seen better days, adding a throw rug or area rug to the affected area offers an instant upgrade.

Because you don’t need to worry about slipping when it comes to rugs over carpets, you may think you can skip the anti-slip rug pad. However, this is not the case.

Even area rugs with a rubber backing are known to bunch and ripple when placed on carpeted floors. Foot traffic causes this shifting and can lead to a tripping hazard in your home. The right carpet pad will keep your rug in place.

There are even more benefits to using the correct rug pad for your stylish layered look.

  • Prevents Wear: Carpet fibers become frayed when rubbing against the rough backing of your area rug. A rug pad will protect your carpeting. 
  • Prevents Furniture Marks: Dining room furniture, coffee tables, and other heavy furnishings leave deep-set indentations in your wall-to-wall carpet. A rug pad offers ample cushioning to keep these marks from taking root. 
  • Prevents Curling: The edges of the rug you place on top of the carpet may curl due to foot traffic and rippling. A carpet pad helps prevent this warping, which protects your beautiful area rug. 
  • Additional Soundproofing: Adding the third layer between your carpeted floors and area rug will increase the soundproofing benefits and ambient noise reduction. This means better acoustics in your room and improved muffling between adjoining units.

As you can see, choosing the best rug pad will not only make your area rug plusher but will protect your home’s existing carpeting. Here are some things you need to know before purchasing the best carpet pad.

What to know before you buy

When researching the best rug pad for layering an area rug over carpeted floors, you may come across a product called carpet tape.

Typically, double-sided carpet tape is used to adhere area rugs to hard floors like hardwood flooring, tile, laminate, vinyl, and natural stone floors. Some manufacturers may claim that their carpet tape is safe for use on carpeting.

Unfortunately, many things can go wrong when you use rug tape on carpeting.

  • Rug Tape Leaves Behind A Sticky Residue That Is Difficult To Remove From Carpeting. 
  • Synthetic Materials Break Down Over Time And Release Harmful Chemicals.
  • Adhesives React With Carpet Fibers, Causing Staining, Bald Spots, And Fraying. 
  • Spills Will Neutralize The Sticky Tape and Render The Product Ineffective. 
  • Carpet Tape Only Lasts 6 Months, And Will Need To Be Replaced.

The best way to keep your area rug in place and prevent bunching and tripping is to invest in a high-quality rug pad. 

Not only will the right rug pad protect both your carpeting and your area rugs, but it will last for over ten years if properly cared for.

This is the best rug pad for carpet

When looking for a carpet pad to use on top of the wall-to-wall carpeting, you’ll need to choose specific materials to ensure your carpet isn't damaged.

Because the backing of your area rug won’t slip on a carpeted floor, you don’t need a non-slip rug pad. You’ll need one that will firmly grip both the floor and area rug to prevent the shifting and bunching that causes unsightly rippling and waving.

You will also want to avoid a waffle-cut rug pad to ensure dirt and debris don’t build up between your rug pad and carpeted floors. Opt for needle punched felt, which will allow air to pass through so your floors and rug can breathe while preventing the build-up of household dirt.

Look for all-natural materials to keep area rugs from shifting. 100% wool felt, jute, and natural rubber ensure your throw rug is protected and held in place without harmful synthetic materials. Felt and rubber won’t flake, stain, or leave behind residue.

Carpet Lock

Best rug pad to keep layered rugs on carpet from moving

Carpet Lock is the premier choice for adding cushioning and grip between your carpeted floors and area rug. It’s made with over 45 ounces of rubber and felt per square yard.

This rug pad offers a dense, concentrated buffer zone between your area rug and carpeting to keep it from wrinkling, bunching, and rippling as foot traffic passes over. 

Specially designed to be used under area rugs over wall-to-wall carpeting, Carpet Lock is textured uniquely to gently grip the fibers on top of the carpet with its natural felt bottom. 

The 100% rubber topper is eco-friendly and grips the back of the rug to prevent buckling, bunching, and tripping hazards. Carpet Lock is 7/16” thick, meaning it offers a comfortable amount of cushioning between your area rug and carpet. 

Other things you want to know

An area rug is a perfect way to update your home decor. Even if you don’t have wood floors, layering a rug over carpeting is a great way to add cushioning and hide worn-out areas and stains on your flooring.

Here are some things you will want to know about layering rugs and choosing the best rug pad to keep rugs in place.

How do I know what size rug pad I need for my new area rug?

To choose the correct rug pad size, measure around the edges of your rug. Your rug pad should be about one inch less all around than the area rug itself.

If you match your rug pad’s measurements to your carpet, there is a good chance the rug pad will show around the perimeter and potentially cause a tripping hazard.

Ensuring your area rug is one inch larger all around will allow it to drape over your new rug pad nicely.

Will cheap rug pads from Amazon ruin my hardwood floors?

Yes. Cheap rug pads will ruin your expensive flooring because their synthetic materials break down over time, leaving behind flakes and toxic fumes. Because they are spray with strong adhesives, they also leave a sticky residue behind that will stain your hardwood floor’s finish and lead to expensive repairs. 

Always choose a rug pad made from natural materials, like jute, natural rubber, and felt, that will not react with your expensive flooring.

Does my shag rug need a rug gripper?

Yes, choose a natural rubber and felt rug pad to offer a maximum grip with sufficient padding to make your shag rug feel even more luxurious underfoot. 

How do I DIY an anti-fatigue mat using a rug pad?

Anti-fatigue mats are a great way to reduce strain on your back, prevent varicose veins, and stave off foot pain. You can use them at work, in your kitchen, or even in front of a standing desk. 

You can easily DIY your anti-fatigue mat by using one of RugPadUSA’s cushioned rug pads cut to the appropriate size. 

  1. Place The Rug Pad On A Work Table.
  2. Use A Pencil And Ruler To Mark Your Desired MEasurements.
  3. Use Scissors To Cut Out Your Mat (Keep The Excess!)
  4. Cut Out Four 8x8 Squares From The Excess.
  5. Glue The Squares To The Underside Of The Mat For Added Support.
  6. Place The Mat In Its Spot And Test Drive!

Remember to shift your feet periodically to promote blood flow. Be sure to place your new anti-fatigue mat on a hard surface where you stand for long periods.

How often should I vacuum my area rug layered on carpeting?

Depending on the type of area rug you are using and the amount of foot traffic they ensure, your area rugs should be vacuumed or swept twice a week.

For area rugs layered on the carpet, remove the area rug and vacuum the rug pad once a week to prevent dirt and pet hair build-up.

If your rug pad is needle-punched and not a waffle weave, you can vacuum underneath the rug pad twice a year. Always check the manufacturer tag on your area rug for cleaning and maintenance directions.

Are there any eco-friendly, sustainable rug pad options?

Yes! RugPad USA’s eco-friendly rug pad collection will protect your home, floors, and our planet. 

You’re smart to avoid synthetic rug pads. They are made from materials that release toxic odors and chemicals over time, which will compromise the air quality of your home and react with your expensive flooring.

Made from sustainable materials like natural rubber, jute, and wool felt, these rug pads are non-toxic, odor-free, and work well in areas where babies or toddlers will be playing on the floor.

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