How to stop rugs moving on carpet

how to stop rugs creeping on carpet

Rugs, mats and carpet runners have an inconvenient habit of creeping out of their original positions; particularly when placed on top of carpet. Aside from looking a little askew and untidy, a rug or runner that moves around or rucks up on carpet can become a dangerous tripping hazard.

With this in mind, we’ve put together a guide on how to stop rugs creeping on carpet and maintain a neat, safe environment in your home. First, though, a quick note on why rugs move on carpet:

Why do Rugs Move on Carpet?

It’s somewhat easier to understand why a carpet runner or rug might shift around a lot on hard, shiny floors, but you’d think the friction of a carpeted surface would keep it in place, right? Unfortunately, no. 

The reason why mats, runners and rugs creep on carpet is all down to the carpet pile itself. Rugs will naturally move in the same direction as the pile beneath them, and carpet pile will move whenever it is walked upon. As you walk over your rug or runner, the weight of this action transfers through the rug into the carpet pile beneath, which will, in turn, be pushed in a certain direction. The rug or runner will then have no choice but to move along with it, causing a very gradual movement of the entire rug over time. The longer and plusher your carpet pile, the more liable your rug is to creep. 

How to Stop Rugs Creeping on Carpets  

It’s easier than you might think. You can use any of the following methods to stop rugs moving on carpet:

Option 1: Add a Non-Slip Underlay

A non-slip underlay sheet is one of the fastest and easiest ways to secure existing runners, rugs and mats that won’t stop moving on your carpet. You can purchase these as standalone products, making them ideal if you already have a wayward rug and don’t wish to replace it altogether. Non-slip rug underlays can be cut to size to allow the perfect fit beneath your rug or runner, and are then simply placed on the carpet with your rug sitting neatly and securely on top. 

Tip: Make sure you cut your underlay at least 5cm / 2 inches shorter and narrower than your rug or runner, otherwise you may find the edges of your rug will lift and cause a trip hazard. And, besides, you don’t want any of the underlay poking out from around the edges and spoiling the effect. 

Option 2: Use Double-Sided Rug Tape

Quicker and easier still than the non-slip underlay, a simple roll of double-sided rug tape will add extra grip to stop your rug from creeping on carpet. The best thing about this option is how easy it is to apply and the fact that it suits rugs and runners of absolutely any size or shape; ideal if you have a rug with a non-standard shape. Rug tape is also designed not to leave any sticky residue or marks on either your rug or your carpet, so you don’t need to worry about damage.

Option 3: Choose Rugs with Non-Slip Rubber Backing

If you’re yet to purchase your rug or runner, you should aim to find one with a non-slip rubber backing already in place. Non-slip hallway runners and rugs are very common and easy to find, featuring a very grippy latex gel backing. The gel gives the rubber backing extra grip on hard floors and carpets, helping to prevent slipping and creeping on carpet. 

The effectiveness of the gel backing does, however, vary depending on the type and thickness of the carpet it will be placed on. If you have a very thick, plush carpet pile, you may need to team up your rug or runner with an additional non-slip underlay sheet or tape just to be on the safe side. If, however, your carpet is relatively non-plush, a non-slip backed rug or runner should be more than sufficient to prevent creeping.

Now you know how to stop rugs from creeping on carpet, you’re free to enjoy the style and sophistication they bring to your interiors without the worry of movement or trip hazards.

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