How to Keep Your Area Rugs from Buckling

Wrinkled Oriental Rug

Have you ever had the terror-inducing experience of accidentally carpet surfing? Not the intentional sort of area rug sliding that many of us did during our childhoods when we encountered slippery hard floors with perfectly smooth area rugs, but the sort of carpet surfing that had you envisioning an injury at the end of the experience? Maybe not, but you almost anyone who has owned an area rug has experienced area rug buckling. This is when the rug ends up bunching up under a piece of furniture or even underfoot, and you need to know how to keep your area rugs from buckling to remain safe.

Why is it a safety issue?

There are two reasons you must keep your area rugs from buckling:

  • They can slip and slide around, causing you to fall
  • They can buckle up in an area where they create trip and fall issues

As you can see, buckling rugs usually mean someone is going to fall. Of course, they are also unsightly and give the room a sort of untidy or awkward look. As an example, you have a gorgeous area rug beneath a dining table, but the wall to wall carpeting allows furniture to sink into the area rug, leading to buckling. This looks odd and stands out in even a flawlessly decorated space.

What to Do to Keep Your Area Rugs from Buckling

So, how do you keep your rooms looking good as well as preventing unwanted injuries and falls? To keep your area rugs from buckling, we suggest the following steps:

  1. Start by ensuring the rug itself is not buckling by rolling it out face downward and holding down the edges with heavy stacks of books. Leave it this way for hours to ensure the rug is as flat as possible.
  1. While a rug is face down, lay out a non-skid rug pad on the back and make marks on it to allow you to cut it down to fit the rug with only an inch of overhang
  1. Vacuum or thoroughly sweep and clean the area where the pad and rug are to be placed
  1. Using double-sided carpet tape, make a huge X across the bottom of the rug and also run the tape around all of the edges
  1. Place the rug pad where you will position the rug
  1. Align the rug correctly on the upward facing side of the pad and run your hands over it to ensure no buckling or warping

You have now firmly attached the rug to the pad and you should have no buckling or warping of any kind. This is true even if you put furniture on top, such as a table with narrow tips on the ends of the legs.

Many will wonder if you can keep your area rugs from buckling without the pad and by just using the tape on the carpet. You can try this step, but it usually is not as effective as the other, more robust approach.