Reflecting on Rugs on Carpet

Since moving in to our current place. I have been taking part of that great, controversial experiment… area rugs on top of carpet.

I thought I’d share a few of my thoughts because others might be wondering if it’s worth it!


Here’s a pretty old photo of our dining area. Under the dining table is this flat-weave zebra rug. It feels like it’s made of canvas or something–not jute or something stiff. This rug is pretty “floppy” and it bunches up daily, due to moving chairs, walking on it, etc. and has to be pulled straight. You can see some of those effects above. Still, I really like using it for a punch of personality and space definition. So, since I value aesthetics above practicality, a rug in this area is for me.

Pro: Using a rug under the dining table helps establish the space as a “room” in the open layout. 

Con: Needs a lot of attention to pull the corners flat. 


The second rug I’m using is this simple navajo rug under the coffee table here. I love how the horizontal stripes in the rug echo the spindles in the lower part of the coffee table. Due to size, they go perfectly together. This rug doesn’t really get bunched up since it’s pinned down by the table legs pretty close to the edge on either side.

Pro: Adds another layer of texture and warmth

Con: Its size may be out-of-scale with the rest of the room

There’s no photographic evidence for my last example; my apologies. A little known fact–we experimented with having our diamond jute rug in the bedroom under the end of the bed. This turned out to be a disaster since the geometric diamond pattern made it glaringly obvious when the rug got tugged even a little bit one direction or the other. Everyday walking on it quickly got it distorted and it wasn’t as easy to adjust as the light canvas rug in the dining area. After a few weeks we decided to roll it up and store it under the bed for use in our next place.

Pro: Introducing another texture and pattern into the room seemed like a good idea; matched the curtains

Con: Got distorted very easily; huge pain in the butt

One thing to note–all the rugs I have are flat-weave, which do not have a canvas or rubber backing like tufted rugs have. This makes them prone to shifting, becoming askew, etc. A much more expensive and durable tufted rug will retain its shape more evenly and might be better for use on carpet. My parents use some looped rugs with rubberized backing in their living areas and it works.  However, any dents from placing furniture on these rugs will be exaggerated since the furniture leg must sink through the plush rug and through the plush carpet until it reaches the stable floor. This might be a dealbreaker–I believe it wouldn’t be good for the quality of the rug in the long run–so you must taking into account how much you are spending on the rug and if you ever plan on using it in another area in the future.

There you have it, my rug-on-carpet opinions.

Have you ever experimented with rugs on carpet?