How to Keep Rugs from Sliding

Keep your area rug or kitchen runner in place using one of these foolproof tips.

boho living room with plants and colorful rug
Photo: Kim Cornelison

An area rug or runner is the perfect way to anchor furniture, create a layered look, and add comfort to your space. While it might fill a room with character or add a cozy textural element, a rug that's not properly secured on the floor can become a hassle, not to mention a safety hazard. Whether it sits on a bare hardwood floor or it’s layered on top of wall-to-wall carpet, here are interior designer-approved tips and tricks to keep your rugs from sliding.

1. Use a Felt Rug Pad

One of the best ways to keep a rug in place, keep corners from curling, and make it more comfortable to walk on is by placing a rug pad underneath it. Felt rug pads come in various sizes, thickness options, and materials to accommodate different types of rugs and flooring.

“To keep rugs from sliding, consider using a rug pad that is appropriate for your floor. Depending on if you have hardwood, stone, or vinyl, you want to utilize a rug pad material that will create enough friction, helping keep your rug in place,” says Becca Casey, owner and principal designer at Becca Interiors.

Felt rug pads are one of the most effective and commonly used options for large area rugs. They come in standard sizes and thicknesses but can also be custom-ordered to suit oversized rugs. These non-slip pads are soft but dense. In addition to keeping rugs in place, they also protect the floor and extend a rug’s longevity, make vacuuming and cleaning easier, help soundproof a room, and add cushioning for comfortable walking. Choose a rug pad that is approximately two inches smaller than your area rug so that it’s fully hidden. 

2. Add a Waffle-Style Rug Pad

A waffle-style rug pad is a common affordable option. They're usually made from rubber and sold in pre-cut sizes at most home goods retailers, though they can easily be cut down to size using a pair of scissors. This type of rug pad is very thin. One of its disadvantages is that it doesn’t add the same comfort and cushioning that a felt pad does. It also tends to lose its grip over time, meaning that it will likely need to be switched out more frequently. If a rubber waffle pad is used in a room that gets a lot of sunlight and isn’t weatherproofed, such as a sunroom or mudroom, you also run the risk of it leaving residue on the floor as it sits in the heat.

3. Corner Rug Grippers 

Rug grippers are particularly helpful not just for keeping an area rug or accent runner in place but also for preventing corners from curling. They have a strong adhesive on one side that adheres to the bottom of a rug and a non-slip silicone surface on the side that sits on the floor. Unlike sticky tape, grippers don’t leave a hard-to-clean residue on the floor, so you can easily reposition your rugs and reuse the grippers. They are thin, so they don’t cause any visible bumps, and work on multiple surfaces including hardwood, tile, marble, and more. 

4. Apply Rug Tape

Similar to corner rug grippers, double-sided rug tape has adhesive on one side that attaches to the back of a rug and either an adhesive or silicone material on the other side. It comes in the form of a roll, similar to duct tape, and can be cut down to the size that you need to outline your rug. It works on hard surfaces such as tile, laminate, and more, and is a good choice for smaller rugs, such as a kitchen runner or door mat. 

5. Silicone Caulk

If you thought silicone caulk was only for filling in the cracks in your window frames, there are many more uses for it around your home, one of them being to keep rugs from sliding. Caulk is typically clear or white and comes in a tube, so it can easily be applied to the back of a rug or runner. Squeeze out small dots of caulk directly from the tube or use a caulking gun. Once applied to the rug, allow it to sit and form a dry coating before pressing the rug down in place.

6. Hook-and-Loop Fasteners

Square hook-and-loop stickers, such as Velcro, are another effective way to keep rugs, runners, and door mats from sliding. Just like rug grippers, these stickers are designed to be attached under each of the rug corners by peeling off the backing and sticking one piece on the back of a rug and the other on the floor. This industrial-strength fastener is strong enough to keep rugs in place but allows for easy rug removal when you need to reposition or clean underneath the rug.

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