Placing an Area Rug on wall-to-wall Carpet


A question came in about laying aan area rug on top of wall to wall carpet.
There is an old wive’s tale that if you place a rug on top of a carpet that it is bad for the carpet.
In my experience, most area rugs are alright to put on top of carpet. It used to be believed that placing a rug on carpet would cause premature wear on the surface fibers of the carpet. This simply is not true… unless the area rug has a backing that is soo rough that it is like heavy grit sandpaper… and I have yet to see a rug that has this problem. Most area rugs are okay to use right on top of your carpet.
The only word of caution that I would give is that you do not use rugs with a heavy or solid latex backing. The kind of latex backing that is found on bath room rugs. They are made with this extra layer of latex on the backing so that they will not slip on wet or glossy flooring. If you place this type of rug on any flooring it may cause damage, but not from premature wear. Because this type of rug backing does not allow the rug to due to the heavy layer of latex, you may experience solarization. This creates problems on concrete floors when there is any moisture or alkali in or under the conrete slab. It can draw the moisture up through the padding and carpet causing moisture related damage to the flooring. These type of rugs will also cause damage to vinyl flooring (linoleum) under certain cicumstances. Most of the time you can remove the rug and you will see discoloration on the vinyl and this is due to moisture being drawn up into the backing of the vinyl floor. In fact when you see discoloration on vinyl flooring that is under the vinyl surface and not on top of the vinyl, it is usually due to moisture getting under the vinyl in some way. That is a good reason to make sure that you caulk around vinyl flooring, especially near tubs and showers, so that moisture does not work its way under the vinyl flooring. I have also removed rugs that were on top of carpet, only to find that moisture had caused damage to the carpet and padding in that area only, from discoloration, mildew or alkali. The carpet will usually be discolored and will fall apart if you pull at it or try to vacuum the area.
For this reason I also advise my clients to use masonite desk chair mats in an office area. The plastic ones will also cause solorization because they do not allow the flooring to breathe.
So don’t be afraid to use an area rug on top of carpet as long as it is a decent rug (preferably a natural fiber, but nylon or man-made silk is also okay). In fact, if you have heavy wear areas or ugly spots on your carpet, an area rug over that area is an inexpensive solution to the problem. If you stay away from the cheap rugs that have a heavy layer of extra latex or rubber on the back, your carpet will be protected instead of damaged.


Replacing Forum with Blog

I have been racking my brain for months, trying to find a forum format that is Search Engine friendly.
Now that I am able to insert my blog into the webite, this seems to be the most logical solution.
Just leave your questions and answers as comments to this blog and it will be easier for other people on the Internet to find them. You can also take advantage of this capability by leaving links to sites that are related or writing articles of interest pertaining to Area Rugs, Flooring, Home Design, Tips and Tricks, Cleaning Tips, etc…
I hope this will work better for us to share useful information on these subjects.
Thank You,
Charles Beason

About Charles Beason

Flooring Consultant/ Estimator, Bi-vocational Pastor of Oasis Missionary Baptist Church, Internet Business Owner, Webmaster.

Posted on February 2, 2008, in Area Rugs, Flooring and Home Design, Q&A, Info, Tips. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

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  3. I am having problems with an area rug on wall to wall carpet.  The area rug must have some type of  coating on the back.  I have tried a carpet pad underneath the rug and double stick carpet tape.  It adhers to the wall to wall carpet but not the area rug.  The area rug kepeps sliding and bunching up.  Any ideas as to what I can do?

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