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More homeowners are embracing the idea of layering an area rug over carpet for décor purposes, comfort or practicality. Strategically placing area rugs over a carpeted floor adds warmth, helps conceal damage or stains and can transform the visual character of a room.

If you’re considering this addition for the rooms in your home, here’s what you should know.

Why Layer Area Rugs Over Carpet?

In general, you have two choices when designing your home and protecting your floors: add broadloom carpet over a room’s entire floor or lay down a few area rugs. Combining these two styles can:

  • Upgrade or enhance the room’s aesthetic appeal
  • Add an extra degree of warmth, particularly during colder times of year
  • Limit the amount of dirt traveling toward the carpet
  • Cover or camouflage stains and damage to carpet, without redoing the entire floor
  • Offer an extra degree of protection if you have children or pets
  • Incorporate more texture, color or patterns into the space
  • Help extend the life of your carpeting

How to Layer Area Rugs Over Carpeting

Not every rug can be layered over any carpet. Get started with the following tips.


Contrast is key when layering rugs over carpet. Before you think about colors, start with texture. For practicality, your carpet should have a short to medium-pile with no shag.

Placing any type of carpet on a high-pile rug can compress the fibers, affecting the appearance and resulting in patches with a flattened look. As such, your rug is more likely to slip and become a safety hazard.

Start with a short-pile or looped carpet that’s somewhat stiff and layer a rug with more texture, longer pile, shag appearance, jute fiber, flat weave or luxurious material like silk.


Rugs are typically layered near furniture. Keep the size proportionate to your sofa and tables, even if you overlap them. Also avoid having a smaller rug sit in the middle of the room. For a single rug, select a larger size that will sit under multiple pieces of furniture.

However, this is not to say you should steer clear of smaller rugs. Multiple small rugs can be layered for comfort in front of your furniture. Select different sized rugs and arrange them at an angle to stand out and also complement your furniture.

Color and Patterns

Layering rugs can add a pop of color to any space. However, you can go overboard and add too much. Stick to a specific color scheme and seek out contrast through shades or the rug’s pattern. Avoid mixing multiple patterns and consider a theme like stripes or chevon.


Layering rugs on carpet can potentially create a trip hazard. To avoid this:

  • Layer on looped or short to medium-pile carpeting to keep the rug from sliding.
  • Anchor the rug with furniture, like the legs of a coffee or end table.
  • Add a rug pad below each rug or secure it with carpet tape.
  • Select heavier materials that are less likely to slip, like wool or jute.

Ready to layer area rugs over carpeting in your home? Explore all the style and material possibilities in our Guilford or Orange showroom today!