Is It Tacky to Put an Area Rug Over a Carpeted Floor? (Seven Reasons)

As the name suggests, an area rug covers a small section of the floor.

Carpets, on another hand, normally cover the whole or a big part of the floor.

While carpet layering (placing a rug or another carpet on a carpet) is the most automatic thing to do if you want to add color and style on the floor, it’s never a simple mix and matches affair.

Hence, Is It Tacky to Put an Area Rug Over a Carpeted Floor?

Certainly not. There are more benefits to it than drawbacks. Also, layering an area rug on a carpet can be a great way of hiding flaws on the latter. If the carpet is torn or burnt, for instance, you’d just place an area rug over the damaged area and forget about it.

Here are more reasons why you shouldn’t hesitate to put an area rug over your carpeted floor.

1. A Great Way to Divide Floor Space

The job of an area rug is the same whether you choose to place it on a bare or carpeted floor – to divide the space, although it can serve other purposes while at it.

If you choose the right size, pattern, texture, and thickness, you can section off varying sizes of your floor space all without looking tacky to visitors.

If you want to designate an area for dining or any other function, go ahead and place an area rug over that region.

2. A Necessity If You Like to Create Thick Layers

Soft and thick layers of a rug/carpet combo feel great on bare soles.

You are free to make more than one layer.

The second layer feels better than the first but the third and fourth may not be comfortable so 2 – 3 layers sound like enough.

There’s more to thick layers than comfort and play.

If you want to protect your underlying carpet from messy kids, perhaps the most practical thing at your disposal is to add one or several area rugs where the action takes place often.

3. A Way to Disrupt the Ordinary

Before adding an area rug on your carpet, the first thing to do should be to confirm whether they match. However, décor appeal can be diverse.

It won’t hurt to mix different colors of rugs and carpets.

In fact, experimenting with different colors and textures can tremendously transform the look of your living room if your approach is right.

4. Would You Like to Cover Your Walkway?

Sometimes you want your new carpet to stay bare and remain visible to everyone in the living room.

At the same time, you might want to cover the walkway section with something, preferably a rug.

In such a case, you don’t have a lot of options – one of the few would be to add area rugs on some sections or the whole length of the walkway.

Some of the areas you might prioritize are the entryway and corridors.

Runners are just as effective. In fact, they are better suited to protecting your walkway carpet from the damage inflicted by the high foot traffic.

However, area rugs offer a more lasting solution and are more localized, covering the area you want to protect most such as the doorstep leading into the room.

5. Area Rugs Make Better Focal Points in Living Rooms

The bed always serves as the bedroom’s focal point. When it comes to the living room, the homeowner is free to choose a suitable focal point which can be anything:

One of the cheapest and radical focal points you could choose for your living room is a colorful, textured, or beautifully decorated area rug.

The more arresting your area rug is, the better.

6. Use The Area Rug to Break the Carpet Monotony

Carpets create a sea of repeating patterns on your floor that may bore your eyes after some time.

Replacing the whole carpet can be a tedious and sometimes expensive affair.

Fortunately, you don’t need to try too hard – you add variety by adding an area rug that you think looks better, preferably in the middle of the floor.

However, you’ll need to be a little careful this time.

Ensure you go for an area rug that approaches (if it doesn’t match) the rest of the room.

An area rug that blends with your monotonous carpet and still rhymes with the rest of your décor can make the upgrade to be more noticeable.

7. Best Way to Cover the Carpet’s Flaws

Carpets are hard to keep in pristine conditions especially if you have kids, pets, or a space heater.

If your home is always buzzing with activities, the chances of ruining your carpet by accident are very high.

It can be a stray spark of fire, undue pressure from a chair or table, or an erratic pet that can’t just stop scratching on the surface.

So, if an area is prone to friction or similar destructive elements, it would be sensible to add an area rug on that area. If it’s already damaged, hide the area with it.

A Few Things You Must Get Right for Better Results

As mentioned earlier, regardless of the purpose, don’t think that just any area rug and carpet would look great on your floor.

1. Use The Same Size Of The Rug As You Would If The Carpet Wasn’t Beneath

Selecting the perfect rug size for your bare floor is very much the same as choosing one for a carpeted floor.

However, if you opt for a more traditional rug, choose a larger product.

Contemporary area rugs, on another hand, should be a bit small.

Also, the size of the damaged area on your carpet can have a say if you plan to use your rug to cover the imperfection – the larger the area the larger the area rug.

2. Let The Colors Complement Each Other

First off, the area rug of your choice should look good with your current pieces and furnishing. Thereafter, proceed to compliment the carpet beneath the rug. For instance, if the carpet is neutral, choose a brown area rug.

3. The Two Textures Should Be Different But Not Very Far Apart

The area rug and carpet should come in different textures to give you an easy time walking on them. Different textures boost visual texture. While at it, be careful not to choose two extreme textures.

4. Stay Away From Patterns

Patterns are largely harmless but a bit risky if you think of visual interest.

You risk ending up with a visually heavy final setup or clashing patterns.

Patterns may work in some situations though, one of them being a large floor area with a neutral carpet.

Also, if you are trying to do some radical decoration, patterns are worth putting into consideration.

5. Don’t Forget To Anchor And Pad Your Area Rug

Anchoring helps prevent the rug from sliding on the carpet.

The easiest way is to rest the furniture on top of the rug. Specially designed rug pads ensure maximum safety.


To summarize everything, it’s NEVER tacky to place an area rug on top of your carpet.

Layering is, in fact, a common practice used to solve several issues:

  • Break the carpet monotony
  • Make better focal points in living rooms
  • A way to disrupt the ordinary
  • Create thick layers
  • A great way to divide floor space