Revamping your floor space doesn’t always require a complete overhaul. Sometimes, it’s about layering the old with the new, especially if the current carpeting in your place isn’t quite your style. Enter the transformative power of area rugs. With the right approach, adding a rug over your existing carpet can inject personality, texture, and a splash of color into your room.

So, if you’ve been eyeing those colorful rugs but weren’t sure how to blend them into your carpeted rooms, you’re in the right spot. Let’s unravel the mystery of rug-on-rug decor and how it can elevate your living space from mundane to magazine-worthy (except don’t worry, we won’t undo the threads of your favorite rug).

Can You Put a Rug on Top of Carpet?

Can you put a rug on carpet? Yes! Layering an area rug over carpet is the ultimate home decor hack—it’s not just a trend, it’s a game-changer. Think of it as the secret sauce that adds oomph and coziness to any room, whether you’re looking for living room rug ideas for some extra flair or to make your home office a tad more snug.

Plus, putting a rug over your carpet is a great way to add a fresh vibe to your space, letting you play with new textures and colors without committing to a major overhaul. But, jumping into the rugs on top of carpet scene without a clue can turn your stylish vision into a bit of a mess. So, getting the lowdown on the dos and don’ts is key to nailing that effortlessly cool vibe, ensuring your place looks put-together and oh-so-inviting.

Understanding the Dos & Don’ts of Using Area Rugs Over Carpet

Area Rugs on Rugs

Transforming your space with rugs over carpet comes with its own set of rules. Here’s how to navigate the styling options effortlessly.


Choose the Right Size

Selecting the ideal rug size is crucial in achieving a harmonious look in any living room or space with a carpeted floor. A rug that’s too large can overwhelm the room, while one that’s too small may seem out of place. Striking the right balance ensures the rug complements the room’s dimensions and furniture layout, including any heavy furniture, without dominating the existing carpet.

Consider Pile Compatibility

The interaction between the pile of your area rug and the underlying carpet can significantly affect the overall look and feel of your space. A flat-weave wool rug layered over a plush carpet creates a dynamic interplay of textures that can add depth and interest to your room. Choosing a top rug that lies flat and stable over the carpet’s pile is crucial for a polished look and to prevent tripping hazards.

Use Non-Slip Pads

Speaking of stability, wondering how to keep rugs from sliding? Incorporating a quality rug pad or rug tape beneath your area rug is a smart move, especially on a carpeted floor. These materials not only enhance safety by preventing slips but also protect the integrity of both your rug and carpet.

Match Colors and Patterns Thoughtfully

Coordinating your rug with the existing carpet involves a dance between color and pattern. Whether it’s rugs that go with gray couches or something bold, the goal is harmony, not chaos. Pairing rugs that complement gray couch setups or introducing a woven rug with a vibrant pattern can add a pop of color while thoughtful coordination will elevate the room’s ambiance. Consider the existing decor and color scheme to achieve a cohesive look that enhances rather than clashes with your space.

Dress up your floors with area rugs. Shop now!


Excessively Layer

One rug over carpet? Chic. A rug on a rug on a rug? Overkill. Keep it simple to maintain elegance and functionality. While layering rugs can add visual interest and texture to a room, there’s a fine line between tastefully layered and overly cluttered.

Opt for a single area rug on top of carpet in a strategic area, such as under a coffee table or between a pair of sofas, to define the space elegantly without overwhelming it. This approach maintains functionality and style, especially in high-traffic areas of your living room.

Use Rugs With Rough Backing

Selecting an area rug with a gentle backing helps to preserve the condition of your underlying carpet. Rugs with abrasive backings can cause friction, leading to premature wear and tear on your carpet. Investing in rugs with smooth or soft backings, such as a wool rug or a woven rug, can prevent damage and extend the life of both your rug and carpet.

Neglect the Carpet’s Condition

Layering over a worn-out carpet is like putting lipstick on a pig—it doesn’t hide the flaws. Ensure your carpet is in good shape to serve as a worthy base, as placing a new rug over a damaged or worn-out carpet can detract from the overall look and feel of your space.

Regular cleaning with a vacuum cleaner and prompt spot-cleaning can make a big difference. So, before adding that beautiful round rug or washable rug, ensure your carpet is clean and in good condition to serve as a solid foundation for your layered look.1

Place Rugs in High-Moisture Areas

Bathrooms and kitchens are a no-go for the rug-on-rug approach. Moisture can get trapped and lead to mold or mildew—definitely not the extra guests you want.2 Opt instead for rug placement in dryer areas of your home, where you can enjoy the beauty and comfort of your layered rugs without the risk of moisture-related issues.

By incorporating these detailed strategies and mindful considerations, you can effectively enhance your living space with layered rugs, transforming your floors into a focal point of style and comfort.

Enhance Your Floors With Society6 Rugs

Now, bringing it all back home—Society6 is your ultimate destination for finding that perfect rug to complete your layering masterpiece. With an endless selection of designs from global artists, you’re sure to find a rug (or two) that not only fits your rug-on-rug vision but also tells your unique story. From traditional rugs that imbue a sense of timeless elegance to modern patterns that scream contemporary chic, every rug is a piece of art waiting to transform your space.

Whether you’re complementing a minimalist, monochrome carpet with a bold, patterned rug or adding a subtle texture over a brightly colored carpet, Society6 has the variety and quality to make your design dreams a reality. Embracing the rug-on-rug trend is about daring to express your individuality and changing the narrative of your space. It’s about not settling for the base layer but enhancing it, making your home truly yours. So why wait? Dive into Society6’s collection of rugs and choose a rug for your space.

Remember, the foundation of a memorable space is not just in how it looks but in how it feels. By layering rugs thoughtfully, you invite warmth, texture, and color into your home, creating a sanctuary that reflects your taste and lifestyle. Let each step on your layered rugs remind you of the beauty and complexity of your design journey, anchored by the unique finds from Society6.


  1. Architectural Digest. “How to Clean a Rug.” Architectural Digest, Accessed 19 Mar. 2024.
  2. International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. “Carpet Mold: Identification, Prevention and Removal.” International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, Accessed 19 Mar. 2024.