5 Tips for Keeping Area Rugs EXACTLY Where You Want Them.

A few months ago, we layered a really gorgeous vintage rug (from here) on top of our FLOR tiles in our entry. While we loved the character it added, and the extra layer of dirt camouflage, we struggled with it constantly bunching and moving around on top of the FLOR carpet squares. Often resulting in a look more like this:

I ended up rolling it up for our big Halloween party so it didn’t become a hazard, but I was determined to keep it in place without excessive straightening every afternoon. Whether you’re layering area rugs, or putting an area rug over wall-to-wall carpet, or just laying an area rug over hard flooring, here are the top 5 tips and methods for keeping them exactly where you want them.

1. Rug pad

The most obvious is a rug pad. We have them under every area rug in our home to help them last longer and stay put. This gorilla grip one is great (and cheap!) for area rugs directly on hard flooring, but we opted to use this amazing rug pad (with so many great reviews) for keeping these two rugs together since the FLOR tiles don’t slip themselves. The pad’s fibers are especially grippy–they’ll even stick to your fingerprints) and the rugs have been smooth ever since.

2. Strips of silicone-based caulking or hot glue.

If you’re wanting a more DIY route, Martha Stewart made adding strips of caulking on the back of an area rug a thing back in 2002 (!!), although the process has mixed reviews. The “fails” I read all used latex caulking which soon rubbed off, so that could be a factor.

Along the same lines, Gimme Some Oven used hot glue on the back of her rug with great results. Just make sure it’s fully cured before flipping it over! 

3. Velcro 

Here’s an example of a blogger that used velcro on the back of an area rug to keep it in place. Of course, you’d have to be okay with attaching the other half of the hook and loop to your flooring.

4. Double-sided Tape.

This double sided indoor carpet tape promises it will stick to any kind of flooring, including carpet without leaving behind any sticky residue when you want to pull it up–which sounds pretty great.

5. Stop Curling corners.

Lastly, sometimes your area rug, even if you have managed to keep it from slipping around, still has stubborn corners that won’t quit curling. I see it all the time on Instagram. This NeverCurl product is our favorite solution for that. No more curling corners, ever!


  • Reply January 30, 2017

    Tyler Meredith

    It’s interesting to read about some of the ways that you can get a rug to stay where you want it. It makes sense that a rug mat would be a quick and easy option. I’m wanting to get some more rugs, specifically antique ones, and trying these tips could be very helpful. Thanks for the post!

  • Reply January 7, 2017


    And I did the caulking thing too, but it eventually stuck to the floor and i had to scrape it off – which is good I guess cause the rug didn’t move – but once I was over the rug, it left behind nastiness. HOnestly, its still under the new front door rug, because I’ve been slacking on scraping those last bits off the tile ;)

  • Reply January 6, 2017

    Mr. Grant

    Thanks for these tips Julia! I’ll definitely share this with my wife. There is a part of our house where the rug keeps on curling. This will surely help! Thanks for sharing this. Thumbs up.

  • Reply January 6, 2017

    Kristen Williams

    Thanks for this post. We just moved into a house will all wood floors on the first floor and our rugs have been driving us crazy. Will certainly try some of these options.

  • Reply January 5, 2017


    Thanks so much for sharing these useful tips! I was researching this exact topic just a couple weeks ago. I’m using a kilm rug on top of carpet in the nursery, and I want to make sure it doesn’t budge. I’m going to be checking out the rug pad.


  • Reply January 5, 2017


    Ooh! So any tips on how to straighten out a rug that’s been rolled up? I ordered a Moroccan shag rug for our foyer and over a year later, it’s still all bent out of shape. You can see it in this post (sorry for the bad photos – I need to go back and replace them due to camera issues!).


  • Reply January 5, 2017


    Gorilla Grip sells a non-slip rug pad similar to the Martha Stewart one you linked out to that has the added benefit of being rolled instead of folded for delivery; of course, because it’s rolled that means you end up with a large cardboard tube (depending on the size of rug pad you order) to dispose of, but the tube can be used for projects or recycled. The GG rug pad is a bit more expensive (still reasonable), but you don’t have to worry about creases in the rug pad that can make the rug uneven until they flatten out. It’s also easier to trim the rug pad because it lays perfectly flat.

    • Reply January 5, 2017


      I linked to the Gorilla Grip one! It’s awesome.

      • January 5, 2017


        I was referring to the GG one that is like the Martha Stewart by Safavieh one you chose, not the thinner one in the grid-like pattern by GG that is linked in the post. It’s more expensive, but it’s cushy like the MS one and comes rolled instead of folded.

  • Reply January 5, 2017


    I’ve used a similar carpet tape to what you have listed, and will never use it again. I put it under my entryway runner because various rug pads wouldn’t keep it in place with all the foot traffic. On the plus side, it kept the rug in place very well. On the negative side, when I took the tape up it left horrible sticky marks on my hardwood floor, and I had to scrub the floor on my hands and knees with multiple products before I could get it up!

    • I had the same problem with this! I’ll never use it again.

    • Reply January 5, 2017


      I’ve had the same issue with other carpet tape! It was a nightmare. But this one promises to leave no tacky residue and the reviews are affirming.

  • Reply January 5, 2017

    steph n

    I have wall to wall carpet and certain rugs always slip and slide around. I recently found by putting some of the microfiber cleaning cloths under the rug that it keeps it anchored. I used some older cheap ones that I had in my cleaning basket. I put one in each corner and one on the edge where the rug is most walked on.
    Hope this tip helps someone else!

    • Reply January 5, 2017



      • February 10, 2017



  • Reply January 5, 2017


    I know you guys don’t have an IKEA near you but for those that do–they sell the same kind of grippy pad as that Martha Stewart one you linked to but they are cheaper! (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60300345/)

    I have the IKEA pads under ALL my rugs and they work fabulously. I swear by them.

  • Reply January 5, 2017

    Nicole Orrell

    Chris & Julia, did you just cut the rug pad to fit and layer it between the two rugs or does it adhere to the bottom of the top rug? The rug pad on the link looks thicker than the one in the picture of Chris cutting it. Just looking to get more info before i commit. We have a similar rug problem and in the past when I’ve bought those thin rug pads they just bunch up under the rug or move around and creep out from an edge.

    I would love to find something that really truly works.

    Thanks for all your hard work!


    • Reply January 5, 2017


      We just layered it in between. The fibers are really, really grippy on both sides so it stays firmly in place.

    • Reply January 6, 2017


      We tried the calking route to keep our rug in place and it left sticking marks all over our wood laminate. It took a long time time to get it off.

Leave a Reply