Rug Rules: Can I Put a Rug on Carpet?

Luxurious fur rug layered on low pile carpet
A plush, fur rug works well with the Berber carpet in this texture-rich, neutral nursery. Photo via Ray Interior Design.

A good rug can pack a serious design punch, bringing a pop of color, pattern, and personality to your little one’s space. If your nursery is sporting hardwood floors, a big, comfy rug is a decorating must. But what if your baby’s bedroom already has wall-to-wall carpeting? Does it make sense to throw an area rug on the carpet?

Like most things in decorating, it all boils down to a matter of taste. Area rugs serve a number of practical purposes, from protecting the existing floor to adding an extra layer of soundproofing.

These benefits still apply in a carpeted room, making the addition of a rug perfectly reasonable.

Rugs can also have important design purposes. For instance, you might use a rug to set off a certain area of the room, especially if you are sharing a room with your baby or if your nursery doubles as a guest room. Renting your home? If you’re limited on your decorating options, a colorful nursery rug can go a long way toward brightening your space.

Still, despite the benefits, many people feel like putting a rug over a carpet is a no-no. Not a fan of the layered look? There’s nothing wrong with a clean expanse of carpet either! Give the rug a pass, and sink the money you save into statement-making window treatments or a beautifully upholstered nursery chair

How to Layer a Rug

If you do choose to layer a rug on top of your carpet, pay close attention to texture, and try to mix things up. If you have Berber or a tight-weave, low-pile carpet, opt for something luxurious in the rug department.

If your carpet is on the shaggy side, choose a simple, low-pile mat. A rich layering of textiles can really add to a space, creating a sense of warmth and extravagance.

It’s also important to choose the right size of rug for your nursery. An area rug should either be big enough to anchor your major furniture pieces or small enough to sit independently of them.

Not sure what size is best for your space?

Finally, don’t forget the carpet pad. You’d be surprised how much a rug can shift around, even on a carpeted floor. The higher your carpet pile, the more likely you are to have a carpet surfing rug.

Rug or no rug? The choice is entirely yours. Still on the fence? Check out these budget-friendly nursery rugs, and let your heart make the decision for you!