How To Keep a Rug in Place on Carpet

I should have titled this post “My Slightly (or not so slightly) Weird and/or Crazy Out of Desperation Experiment on How to Keep a (bleep-ing) Rug to Say In Place on Carpet” though that seemed a little excessive so for now I’ll stick to my neatly summarized one.

Anyhoo, I recently placed a jute area rug beneath the desk in our soon-to-be-complete home office to help define the space and add some natural texture.

How To Keep a Rug in Place on Carpet

Note: I have a new desk chair awaiting refurbishment and the one shown above is just temporary. It’s my great-grandmother’s old kitchen chair and to be honest I’m surprised I haven’t fallen through it yet!

The rug is layered over our carpet, which I thought would be fine in terms of movement given it’s anchored by two heavy cabinets, though between the cabinets where the desk chair sits (and is shuffled in and out daily at Guinness World Record rates) it still creeps uncontrollably on the carpet, causing it to shift and bunch with ease, which not only looks unsightly though, if I’m honest, also kinda makes me twitch.

I trialled a few of the conventional rug-on-carpet solutions to get it to stay put though nothing worked, so out of desperation I finally decided to try something a little more innovative (that is, as mentioned previously, possibly weird and/or crazy).

I purchased a sheet of thin MDF (I contemplated using something softer though decided I needed the rigidity, other alternatives were stiff rubber or thick cardstock though I figured I’d try MDF first), cut it with a jigsaw to fit snugly between the two cabinets and just short of the front edge of the rug, then slipped it underneath, butting it right up against the rear skirting board (so it basically takes up the entire square cavity space).

Stop a Rug from Moving on Carpet

I had no idea whether this would look strange, feel weird or even work, in fact based on my past failed attempts I was more than prepared for another strike-out, though to my surprise and relief it seemed to do the trick!

Far from looking strange, the MDF panel is actually completely concealed by the dense jute, and whilst there is a subtle hardness where it sits beneath the rug there’s certainly nothing weird about the feel of it at all (no different to having a rug over floorboards or tiles).

In terms of movement, having the MDF panel alone made a huge difference though for some added staying power I also used a few small strips of strategically placed strong adhesive velcro.

Keep Your Rug in Place on Carpet

Now, not only does the rug stay neatly in place – even with the desk chair being shimmied back and forth twenty million times a minute – though you would never even know the MDF panel was there (and my growing baby bulge is increasingly grateful for the cessation of all my previous stooping and straightening at ground level – hey, it’s a long way down when you’re at 32 weeks gestation!).

Granted, this kind of solution is not really suitable for all rug-on-carpet scenarios though if you have a situation similar to mine it might just be the answer for you!



Oh, and about the home office reveal…I just have one more DIY project to complete then I’ll finally be sharing it – promise! Just don’t say I didn’t warn you when after a six month lead-up it leaves you feeling a little underwhelmed :-)

And oh, just in case you’re wondering, the rug is from Floorspace. It needed to be a pretty specific size and unfortunately I couldn’t find anything ‘off-the-shelf’ though to save on the usually extravagant cost of anything bespoke I arranged to have it custom-made from an old off-cut they already had.


  1. Treagan says:

    I can’t wait to finally see your home office.
    I have a rug over carpet beneath my desk and it moves like crazy (and drives me crazy!). I am definitely giving this a go first thing tomorrow. Thanks so much for sharing your ‘weird and/or crazy’ ideas.
    PS How is the new nursery coming along? Or are you keeping it as is and moving Charlotte to a new room instead? If so, how is Charlotte’s new room coming along?

    • The Painted Hive says:

      Hi Treagan
      I’m glad that sharing my weird/crazy idea has given you some hope!
      Regarding the nursery…the new baby will be going in there though as we don’t know what we’re having we are leaving it as is for now. If we have a boy I’ll make some subtle changes a little later on.
      Charlotte will be moving into what was our guest room. I have just started getting it ready and will be sure to share all about it once there’s something more interesting to say :-)

      • Marcia says:

        Where did you buy Stick + Grip Adhesive Roll at? I live in Southern Illinois and can’t find it, but will happily order onlinel

        • Hi Marcia. I just found it at my local hardware store. They had a few different brands. If you’re having trouble finding it, maybe do a Google search for “velcro tape” or “hook and loop tape”. I’m sure you’ll find something similar.

  2. Megan says:

    I have almost this exact same situation though after trying what I thought was everything had resigned myself to the fact I’d just have to bend down and straighten the rug every five minutes. Thank you so much for sharing this. I never would have thought to try something like a wooden panel.

  3. Angie says:

    This isn’t crazy at all. If it works when nothing else did then it’s actually very clever.

  4. Simone says:

    I’ve had this problem in my living room ever since laying a rug to cover our ugly renters carpet. I just assumed I’d have to accept it. I don’t think MDF will work for us though your suggestion of stiff rubber might. I’m gonna try it :)

  5. Candice says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your ‘crazy’ experiment! Just what I need to try.

  6. Emma says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for sharing all of your ideas.

  7. Great solution! I will have to try it. In my home, we have an area rug by our front entrance to protect the carpeting from stains, etc. But the rug never stays in place and is always bunching up and tripping people! But I don’t want to remove the rug, since it is a great protection from stains (for the wall to wall carpeting).

  8. Shaggy Rug says:

    Very nicely written post. Your blog is very beneficial for every reader including me. Keep doing the great work so that people like me can learn some nice and new things.

  9. Lori says:

    I really like this idea on how to keep a rug in it’s place on carpet! I will definitely be using this tip in my home.

  10. Ashley says:

    How has the product been working for the last few months? I came across another option called GripCote Ultra that makes any rug or floor mat stick to any surface. I had a few rugs that I wanted to keep in place on carpet and tile, but I didn’t want it to be time-consuming. Your method is great for one or two rugs, but for a house full of them (and a few hyper dogs) I needed something sturdy.

    It’s an eco-friendly coating that you paint on the underside and dries transparent. All of my rugs, including a Persian, did not damage. And I can move them to clean my floors anytime and they won’t so their stickiness. It also made my rugs waterproof, which is great since I live in rainy South Florida!
    Just another option to consider since it’s a completely different approach.

    • Hi Ashley
      I tried numerous anti-slip options though nothing worked to keep the rug in place on our wool carpet. The thin sheet of MDF I used has worked a treat.
      I would be willing to give GripCote Ultra a try though I don’t think it’s available here in Australia.

  11. Deborah Reti says:

    THANK YOU Kristine!!! This is such a brilliant idea to relieve my carpet rolling issues!!!! And thank you Ashley for the GripCote idea for a combo pair of ideas to work everywhere! I am sooooooooooooooooooooo grateful for your sharing!!

  12. Marcejen says:

    Please, tell me what is MDF. . I tried the double face tape, but the rugs small or large kept on moving. They move West .
    Thank you in advance for your answer

    • Hi Marcejen
      MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) is an engineered wood product manufactured by compressing timber fibres with a bonding resin. Amongst other forms, it is sold in thin panels.
      Due to the placement of my rug, it worked well to stop it moving on the carpet by acting like a timber floor. I’m not sure what your situation is, though I don’t think it would be the answer for large area rugs.

  13. Jo says:

    Very inventive solution, well done. For others who have larger rugs go to carpet store, they have an underlay specifically for rugs on carpet. It’s about $20 a metre, not cheap but it really works. After constantly wrestling with a really heavy rug in our lounge every month after it had slowly “crept” away and bubbled and buckled under furniture I was willing to try anything! Its been in place for about 12 months and the rug has not budged.

    • Thanks Jo. I tried a few of the underlay options though nothing worked for me. I’ll have to look into this product. Can you share where you bought yours from?

  14. dan stevens says:

    hey guys, I took ashleys advice and purchased grip cote from liquiguard. My dog Mr. Ruffs, use to slip on our rugs constantly, he would crash into us, the baby, the wall etc. Not anymore, our rugs stay in place on the floor and there seems to be non issues after 6 months now. So hope this helps, thanks for this cool blog found you on google search for rug slipping.

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