How to Make a Rug Lay Flat with these 6 expert tips

Rug Runner in Bathroom - Use Nevercurl - make a rug lay flat - no curling corners

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Learn some good tips and tricks for how to make a rug lay flat.  

Have you recently purchased a new rug and you are wondering how to get it to lay flat?  Or perhaps you have an older rug that just won’t stop curling at the corners.  Ughhhh.  So annoying!  

Today, I thought I would share some tips and tricks with you for how I keep rugs laying nice and flat.  I have a dog and two young kids who are constantly running around the house, so it’s imperative for me to keep these rugs in place to avoid tripping hazards and losing my dang mind.  

With some really heavy rugs, you can get them to lay flat pretty quickly.  However, with other rugs, it takes some tinkering and finesse to finally get them to give.  

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How to Make a Rug Lay Flat

Tip #1:  Roll and Bend Your Rug the Opposite Way

When a new area rug arrives, it’s typically rolled into a long cylinder shape.  Depending on how long it sits in the warehouse or mail truck like this, it can create quite a lumpy and bumpy rug when you open it up.  

The first thing I do is unroll it and then roll it back in the OPPOSITE direction.  This causes the fibers in the rug to bend the other direction, forcing your rug to uncurl itself and lay flat.  I keep my rug rolled like this for several hours – you can check on it often and unroll it to see how it’s coming along.  

You can also try “bending” out the curl or bump, by bending it in the opposite direction for a little and holding it down.  Don’t do this for too long or you will cause it to want to stay in that direction.  LOL.  

Also – give your rug a good vacuum.  The weight of the vacuum and the suction may be enough to help unkink those pesky spots.  

Tip #2:  Lay Heavy Books/Furniture on it

If I have unsightly bumps or folds in my rug, I lay a few heavy hardcover books on top of it for a few days.  Yes, it looks weird but 9 times out of 10 this really works!  The next day, the rug is really flat.  

You can also try this with furniture, especially furniture without legs or feet.  Ideally, a piece of furniture that is completely flat on the bottom to really PRESS it out.  

Tip #3:  Use a Grippy Carpet Pad 

I’m not talking about those heavy-duty carpet pads (like this).  I’m talking about these GRIPPY rugs pads with holes in them.  They not only help keep your rug from sliding, but they help flatten your rug too.  These grippy rug pads are rubbery on both sides, gripping the floor AND your rug at the same time, which helps grip it to the floor and keep it flat.  Sometimes I use painter’s tape to tape my grippy rug pad to the carpet itself with tape to keep it against the rug exactly where I want it.  

And, just to throw in my two cents, those cushioned heavy-duty carpet pads are really good for your rugs.  They are typically non-skid on the bottom which helps a really heavy rug stay in place.  But sometimes, they are not enough to flatten the rug, in which case you need to try tips 1 and 2.  

Tip #4:  Use NeverCurl or carpet stickers to Keep Corners Down

A beautiful rug can be completely ruined by corners that keep curling up.  It just looks so bad!  And it’s a trip hazard.

I have this new runner for my bathroom.  Although it’s flat and fits under the door, the one corner kept curling up and getting stuck under the door, which then caused the whole rug to bunch up.  It was driving me nuts despite the fact that I kept rotating the rug.  

Enter:  This NeverCurl product.  I was somewhat skeptical of this product but I decided to throw caution to the wind and try it anyway.  And what do you know – it worked.

Here’s how to use NeverCurl. They come with a sticky side for the rug and a sticky side for the floor – the sides are clearly marked. You peel off the tape and stick them to your rug in each corner and then to the floor. They are made of heavy-duty plastic with some weight to them.  TRUTH: I actually just used two of these in a corner on opposite sides of the rug and it still worked).

Nevercurl - make a rug lay flat - no curling corners
Nevercurl - make a rug lay flat - no curling corners
Nevercurl - make a rug lay flat - no curling corners

I also recently tried these viral carpet stickers and they worked just as great as NeverCurl. They work in the same way, but are smaller. I used these on my kids bathroom rug and it hasn’t moved since! I’ve also tried these carpet stickers and didn’t like them. These stickers leave a gooey residue on your hardwood floors and get pretty icky after a while. No bueno. I don’t recommend them.

Tip #5:  Use Water/Steam/Wrinkle Releaser

I use a handheld steamer to take the wrinkles right out of my drapes, so why not use it on the rug too?  Keep in mind that a steamer is freaking HOT and I have burned myself using one so be careful with how you are holding the rug because the steam will come through the rug and burn you.  

You can also try a spray bottle with a bit of water or wrinkle releaser to get those dang lumps and bumps to let go already.  A word of caution: If you have a one-of-a-kind rug or one that’s super expensive, you might want to check with the manufacturer before spraying all kinds of water and things on it.  Sometimes water can damage rugs (especially natural fiber rugs, like sisal!)

If you purchased a washable rug, you can just throw it in the wash and let the water/dryer do its thing.  When I wash my Ruggable Rugs – I pull them out of the dryer before they are totally dry and let them air dry flat on the floor.  

Tip #6:  Lay it Out in the Sun

If the temperature is warm enough, say above 75 degrees, you can bring your rug outside and use the sun’s heat to warm it up and flatten the rug.  The sun is just like applying heat – it will relax and soften the rug fibers of the rug so it’s easier for you to take the kink out.  Be sure to check on it!  If you live where it’s really hot, the sun can actually melt the fibers of your rug (the same is true for using an iron or hairdryer too close).  So be careful!

I hope these tips helped you.  With time, your rug will lay flatter and you will be one happy camper.  

Xo Karen

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