Do Area Rugs Work Over Carpet?

October 21, 2015

A question I get asked quite often is, “ Can an area rug be placed over carpet?”

rug over carpet


I have always suggested that if either rug was not very thick, then yes, you can make it work. For instance, I think natural-fiber rugs like jute or sisal can work very well for layering.



Berber rugs will also usually work because they have a thin pile. BUT, I would not try an area rug over a thicker rug like shag.







The reason this subject just came up again was because my sister asked me this same question. She wanted to bring more color into the room with an area rug and wondered how it would look. Her carpet is not thick so I told her to give it a try. And look how nice it came out!:

jill rug

Brings a lot of color in, doesn’t it?

So yes, I do think using an area rug over a carpet can work well in a room.

Do you agree readers? Have you tried to layer an area rug over carpet in your home?


  1. We use area rugs over carpet frequently when staging houses. Especially in large open rooms. We usually do not feel the front legs of the sofa need to sit on the rug as when it is hard flooring and a rug.

  2. I have a large carpeted room and felt I needed an area rug to make the sitting area more cozy. My large wool area rug started to buckle in traffic areas around heavy furniture. I bought a good quality rug pad made of felt and now the area rug lays perfect and I get many compliments since it enhances the color scheme. We live in the north and prefer the warmth of carpet over the concrete slab foundation for warmth.

  3. I too think area rugs can be used over carpeting in the same examples as you mentioned.

    However I often will say no if they have small children or older people who may be using a walker or cane, because sometimes the rug won’t lay flat well enough and it may present a tripping hazzard. But as long as they can get most of the furniture feet on the rug for stability, then I’ll say yes in this instance. (Having worked in both daycares and nursing homes, I am always cognizant of safety issues.)

  4. I think it can be done in some instances but sometimes, if the room is small and the carpet is really thick (like mine), even a very thin rug can “clutter” the room. Marianne’s idea of floating the area rug rather than anchoring it under furniture feet can help. Those are the images I like best in the pics above.

  5. I’m loving the colours and patterns of the flat weave rugs, typically made out of wool, that are around now. I am sure they would work over broadloom etc but would probably need a special underpad specially labelled for a carpeted surface. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thanks for the photos. I just asked this same question a couple of weeks ago and now I get an idea of what it might look like. I like it!

  7. To secure an area rug to a Berber carpet better…double sided tape? As the extra thickness of a padding will not work well.

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