Area rugs are not limited to being standalone decorative pieces on hardwood or tile floors. Placing area rugs on top of carpets can be an excellent way to infuse additional style, comfort, and functionality into a room. While some may question the necessity or aesthetic value of this practice, the strategic placement of area rugs on carpets can transform a space, adding depth, texture, and personality. In this post, we delve into the art of placing area rugs on top of carpets, exploring the benefits, considerations, and practical tips for achieving a harmonious and visually appealing result.

  1. Enhancing Visual Appeal:

When carefully selected and placed, area rugs on carpets can elevate the overall aesthetics of a room. They introduce interesting patterns, vibrant colors, and textures that break the monotony of a large expanse of carpet. By strategically placing area rugs, you can define different functional areas within a room, creating visual interest and a sense of purposeful design.

  1. Defining Spaces and Zones:

One of the key advantages of using area rugs on carpets is their ability to delineate specific areas or zones within a room. In open floor plans where living, dining, and entertaining areas coexist, a well-placed area rug can visually separate these spaces. By defining different zones, area rugs help to organize and structure the room, making it more inviting and comfortable.

  1. Adding Texture and Depth:

Layering an area rug on top of a carpet introduces an extra layer of texture, adding depth and richness to the overall design. The contrast between the two surfaces creates a visually appealing composition. For example, a plush shag rug placed on a low-pile carpet can create an interesting textural contrast, making the room feel more cozy and inviting.

  1. Increased Comfort and Warmth:

Carpets are known for their softness and warmth, but sometimes they may lack the desired level of comfort. Placing an area rug on top of a carpet can provide additional cushioning and insulation, making the space more comfortable for walking, sitting, or lounging. This is particularly beneficial in rooms where people spend a significant amount of time, such as living rooms or bedrooms.

  1. Practical Considerations:

When considering placing an area rug on top of a carpet, there are a few practical factors to keep in mind:

a. Size and Proportions: Ensure that the area rug is appropriately sized for the room and complements the dimensions of the carpet beneath. A rug that is too small may look out of place, while one that is too large may overpower the room.

b. Stability and Safety: Use rug pads or grippers to prevent the area rug from slipping or shifting on the carpet, ensuring a safe and stable surface. This is especially important in high-traffic areas or homes with children or elderly individuals.

c. Cleaning and Maintenance: Regularly vacuum both the area rug and carpet to keep them clean and free from dust or debris. It’s also essential to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and care. Professional rug cleaning is recommended every couple years.

d. Style and Cohesion: Consider the existing décor and style of the room when selecting an area rug. Choose a rug that complements the color scheme, furniture, and overall aesthetic to achieve a cohesive and harmonious look.

d. Staining and bleeding:  Often if a rug is on a carpet that is heavily trafficked you can end up with a nice new looking rectangle in the middle of a faded, worn and permanently soiled carpet.  Also there is concern with color bleeding, particularly if the border of the rug becomes wet, the color from the border can bleed onto the carpet below leaving a permanent stain.  In addition, there’s a risk the backing of the rug can leave the carpet permanently discolored (see image above).


Placing area rugs on top of carpets is an effective way to enhance the visual appeal, comfort, and functionality of a room. By introducing interesting textures, defining spaces, and adding depth to the design, area rugs can transform a plain carpeted floor into a dynamic and stylish space. When considering this practice, it’s crucial to carefully select the appropriate size, style, and materials of the rug, ensuring it harmonizes with the existing décor. Wit