Can you put an area rug over carpet?

Putting an area rug over a carpet can be a wonderful way of bringing new life into a room. This can add that pop of colour or texture that doesn’t require a complete room redesign. Alternatively, it can be an inexpensive way to cover up a worn area, or if you are renting, bring your own design taste to your space.

The “rules” for selecting an area rug to use over broadloom are not so different from those over hard surface flooring. There are however, a few things to consider.


This is one of the key elements to layering carpet over carpet. Have a contrasting texture, for example, layering a thick or highly textured carpet over a short pile or looped carpet will add elegance to the space and another dimension to the room.


Ensure the carpet is not too small. If the area rug is too small and just floats in the room, it will look out of place. Be sure to scale the rug to the size of the room.


Colour matters, and it’s important that the area rug complements the colour of the carpet and your décor.

Can you put an area rug over carpet?

One pattern at a time

Typically, when using an area rug over carpet, patterns don’t mix well. Mix plain carpet with an area rug that has a pattern and conversely, mix a patterned carpet, whether it’s printed or cut and loop, with an area rug that does not have a pattern.

Need an anchor

When layering an area rug overtop of carpet, you want to make sure it doesn’t bunch up and become a tripping hazard. To prevent an area rug from moving around on the carpet, anchor it with furniture. Have the edges of the area rug under the legs of a sofa or chairs on all four sides or two sides if the furniture is heavy enough. The other option is to use a non-slip pad.