An area rug can add a finishing touch to your living room, but if you don’t know how to get an area rug to lay flat, you’ll be disappointed with uneven and bumpy sections of your floor covering.
Area rugs can enhance your decorating plan and bring a lot of compliments. However, an area rug with a permanent hump will ruin the whole appearance.
Area rugs take a beating over time. Sometimes the abuse they receive is unintentional. Other times it’s unavoidable. Either way, the result is the same. A rug that has yet to be folded and appropriately rolled will not lay flat. It will continue to curl, and you’ll have a mess on your hands. So, how to get waves out of a rug?
Even though it might be easier to roll up the rug and return it, sometimes it is better to fix the problem rather than give up. You can do several things to make sure your area rug lays flat.
How to Get an Area Rug to Lay Flat?
You can use rug grippers or rug tape, place heavy objects on the edges, roll the rug in the opposite direction, and use a steam iron to make an area rug lay flat. But these are not the only solutions.
Below are the ten most common ways to make your area rug lay flat, improving its appearance and making it more functional since it will be easier to walk on.
1. Take Your Time With the Rug
Firstly, you need to let the rug settle. There’s no uncommon thing about rugs coming rolled up; you can tell where it was on a roll by its creases. These will flatten out with general use and foot traffic over time.
Allow your rug to settle for about a week. The backing may loosen up a bit as the pile relaxes.
2. Unroll the Rug Immediately
When your rug has been rolled up for too long without being allowed to lie flat, the fibers could have flattened underneath, causing it not to lie flat. The longer a rug is rolled, the more likely it will maintain its shape.
Unroll your rug when you receive it from the store or an online retailer. Place it on a hard surface and use your hands to flatten out any bumps or folds in the rug gently.
Let it rest in the room where you intend to use it for 24-48 hours before placing any furniture on top of it. It will allow the fibers to relax into their natural state and lay flat again.
If your rug has a pattern, ensure it faces your desired direction. If you want the lines of your rug to run the length of a room, place the long side against the wall, not one of the short sides.
3. Roll the Rug in Opposite Direction
Rolling the rug in the opposite direction is good to prevent it from curling up. Be sure to roll the rug tightly. You may use a rubber band or duct tape to secure the rug in place.
After rolling it, leave it in this position for some time. In this way, the rug’s memory can be changed to lay flat naturally.
It works because the rug is rolled on itself so tightly that the fibers are essentially bent in the opposite direction. When you let the rug rest for a few days, it will naturally relax and begin to lay flat again.
4. Use a Steam Iron
Try using a steam iron if you cannot get the curling edges flat with the above methods. Ironing an area rug is a much faster way to deal with wrinkles and curls than waiting for the rug to lay flat on its own.
To avoid damaging your rug, place it over a board or carpet without padding and iron it on a low setting, preferably the lowest temperature that produces steam.
Apply iron to the back of the rug in small sections until smooth and straight. It needs to be done gently but firmly. Place the iron on the area for 20-30 seconds, then move it to another spot. Keep a firm hand on the area you steamed to keep it flat.
5. Stretch the Rug
If your area rug is made of natural fibers, you will need to stretch it. They are more rigid, so they are more likely to bunch up.
You can stretch an area rug by turning it over and pulling one end diagonally across the back. Ensure you do this on all sides of the rug until it is flat on its back. It will get ripples out of an area rug.
If you have a relatively small rug with only slight curling, you can get it flat by stretching it in the opposite direction. However, you will need to apply carpet tape for more stubborn curls.
6. Flip the Corners
Almost all rugs have latex backing to help them stay in place. Over time, however, the backing can dry out, and the rug may curl at the corners or sides.
Flipping the corners may be all that’s necessary to solve corner bunching. It’s an easy process. You need to pull up on each corner of the rug and flip it over so that it has been reversed.
Flipping the corners will redistribute wear on the rug and keep it from getting caught on corners or furniture legs.
7. Use a Non-Skid Rug Pad
One thing you can do right now to help your rug stay flat and secure is to invest in a non-skid rug pad.
Non-skid rug pads are typically made from rubber, felt, or foam. They prevent rugs from slipping and moving. Also, they add a layer of cushioning between the rug and the floor, helping it resist wear and tear, stay clean, and feel softer.
These pads come in various shapes and sizes to fit any rug or carpet, including runners, round rugs, and more. Additionally, they can be cut down with household scissors if needed.
8. Tape Off the Rug
The fastest way to flatten a new rug is to tape off the edges before laying it on the carpet.
It involves taping the rug’s edges to the floor to stay in place. You don’t need much tape since most rugs are thick enough. I use a narrow strip of duct tape on each edge of my rugs, it works great, and all I need is an inch or two of tape on each end.
Consider special rug grippers to avoid using tape or other items on your floor. These are small plastic pieces explicitly designed for this purpose and are available at most home improvement stores.
9. Weigh Down the Rug
One way to make an area rug lie flat is to weigh the corners. You can use heavy items like dumbbells or books when using a rug pad.
You can also use bricks or rocks, which are heavier but may cause damage to the flooring underneath if they leak moisture. Alternatively, you can use corner weights designed explicitly for laying area rugs flat.
10. Make Use of a Hair Dryer
A hairdryer is a handy tool used repeatedly to flatten rugs. It should be done with great care not to damage the rug or the floor.
Hair dryers should not be used at their highest heat settings as they may burn the rug fibers. The best way to flatten an area rug is to place a heavy object on the edges and then use a hair dryer.
When the rug is heated, its fibers expand and become loose, allowing it to lie flat on the floor.
How to Avoid Future Creases
You can also avoid creases by rotating your area rug once every six months, which will help it wear evenly, and by keeping sharp objects away to prevent damage that could cause buckling.
A rug gripper is another solution. It is handy and keeps the rug perfectly flat. This product is excellent for high-traffic areas, but if you plan to move furniture on top of the rug, be aware that it can damage it.
I heard about this product from a friend. The next time I buy an area rug, I will try it myself. Lastly, the Amazon reviews are positive, proving that the product works as expected.
I hope that this article has served as your go-to guide when figuring out how to lay an area rug.
Because of the nature of rugs, you must be prepared for various potential factors, such as a corner of the room or a high-traffic area that may make it difficult to flatten the rug.
Following the above steps will help you get an area rug to lay flat so your guests don’t trip over it or catch their feet on the folds as they socialize.
Frequently Asked Questions