Flatten Area Rug

17 min read

Area rugs can add warmth, color, and style to any room. However, over time, they can develop wrinkles and folds, making them look unsightly and potentially causing tripping hazards. Flattening your area rug is an essential task to ensure it looks its best and remains safe to walk on.

Key Takeaways

  • A flat and wrinkle-free area rug is important for both aesthetics and safety reasons.
  • There are various methods to flatten an area rug, including using weights, heat, stretching, and professional services.
  • Prevent rug wrinkles from appearing in the future by using rug grippers, non-slip pads, and practicing proper rug care and maintenance.
  • With the right techniques and care, you can flatten your area rug effectively and efficiently.

Why Do Area Rugs Wrinkle?

Area rugs can add comfort, style, and warmth to any room in your home. However, over time, you may start to notice wrinkles, folds, and bumps forming on them. These unsightly imperfections can not only ruin the aesthetics of your space, but they can also become a tripping hazard or cause wear and tear on your rug. Understanding why area rugs wrinkle is the first step in preventing and treating them.

Reasons for Rug Wrinkles

There are numerous reasons why area rugs develop wrinkles and folds. The most common ones include:

Reason Description
Incorrect Installation If your rug was not installed correctly from the beginning, wrinkles and folds are sure to appear. This can happen if the rug is not stretched properly during installation.
Heavy Furniture Heavy furniture can create pressure points on your rug, causing it to buckle and fold. Make sure to use furniture pads or rearrange your furniture periodically to avoid this problem.
Humidity and Moisture Excess humidity or moisture can cause your rug to absorb water and swell, leading to wrinkles and folds. This can happen if you live in a humid climate or if you spilled water on your rug and did not clean it up properly.
Poor Rug Quality Low-quality rugs are more prone to wrinkles and folds than high-quality ones. If your rug is made of cheap materials or has a thin backing, it can easily buckle and fold under your feet.

Now that you know some of the reasons why area rugs wrinkle, you can take steps to prevent and treat them. Let’s move on to the next section to learn how to prepare your rug for flattening.

Preparing Your Area Rug for Flattening

Before attempting to flatten your area rug, it’s crucial to prepare it appropriately to ensure the best results. Here are some essential steps to follow:

  1. Clean your area rug: Make sure to clean your rug thoroughly before flattening it. Dirt and debris can make the rug more difficult to flatten and can potentially damage the fibers or backing. Use a vacuum to remove any loose dirt or dust, and spot-clean any stains that may affect the flattening process.
  2. Roll out your rug: Unroll your rug on a clean and flat surface, making sure there are no creases or wrinkles. Leave the rug to lay flat for a few hours before attempting to flatten it. This allows the rug to adjust to the surrounding temperature and humidity, making it easier to flatten.
  3. Reverse-roll your rug: Once the rug has been laying flat for a few hours, reverse-roll it. This means rolling the rug in the opposite direction from which it was unrolled, with the backing facing outwards. Leave the rug in this position for several hours to allow the fibers to stretch and relax, making the rug more pliable and easier to flatten.
  4. Apply pressure: After reverse-rolling, place heavy objects on the rug to apply light and consistent pressure. This will help to flatten the rug gradually and safely. Make sure the objects are evenly distributed across the rug’s surface to avoid creating new wrinkles or folds.
  5. Adjust the temperature: If using a heat method to flatten your rug, ensure the room is at the appropriate temperature. The heat source should be at a safe distance and keep an eye on the rug to avoid overheating or scorching it.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to prepare your area rug correctly, making it easier to flatten and remove wrinkles.

Using Weights to Flatten an Area Rug

If your area rug has developed wrinkles, using weights to flatten it is a simple and effective method to restore its smooth surface. Here’s how:

  1. Clean your area rug thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris that may be trapped in the fibers. This will allow the rug to lay flat more easily.
  2. Flip your rug over and fold the edges underneath so that the back of your rug is facing up.
  3. Place heavy objects, such as books or weights, on the corners and edges of your rug. The weight of these objects will apply pressure and help flatten out any wrinkles.
  4. Leave the weights on your rug for at least 24 hours to allow the fibers to relax and settle.
  5. After 24 hours, remove the weights and flip your rug back over. Your rug should now be flat and wrinkle-free!

Note that this method may not work for all types of area rugs, especially those made of delicate materials. If you’re unsure whether this method is appropriate for your rug, consult a professional rug cleaning and flattening service.

Pro tip: For an added layer of protection between your weights and your rug, place a cloth or towel over the rug before adding the weights.

Using Heat to Flatten an Area Rug

If weights alone don’t seem to be doing the trick, heat is another effective method for flattening your area rug. Here’s how:

  1. Start by vacuuming your rug thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris that might have gotten trapped under the wrinkles.
  2. Lay your rug in a clear, open space with enough room for you to move around it.
  3. Using a steam iron or garment steamer on low-medium heat, begin to work on the wrinkled areas of your rug, starting from one end and moving to the other.
  4. Hold the iron or steamer just above the surface of the rug, without allowing it to touch the fibers, and move it in a slow, sweeping motion across the wrinkles.
  5. As you go, gently tug and pull on the rug to help stretch it out and smooth out any remaining wrinkles.
  6. Repeat this process in small sections until you have covered the entire rug.
  7. Allow the rug to dry completely before replacing any furniture or walking on it.

Remember, it’s important to use caution when applying heat to your area rug. Be sure to test a small, inconspicuous area before proceeding with the rest of the rug, and use a low heat setting to avoid damaging the fibers.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have a steam iron or garment steamer, you can also try laying a damp cloth over the wrinkled area of your rug and ironing over the cloth on a low setting. The heat and moisture will help to relax the fibers and smooth out the wrinkles.

Stretching and Tugging the Rug

If weights and heat methods didn’t work, you can try stretching and tugging your rug. This technique is suitable for smaller rugs, and it is not recommended for larger ones, as it can be physically demanding.

To stretch your rug, start by finding a clean and flat surface that is larger than your rug. Lay your rug flat on the surface, with the wrinkled side facing down. Grab one corner of the rug and gently pull it towards the opposite corner, keeping the tension even across the rug’s surface. Repeat this process with the other two corners, until you’ve stretched the rug in all directions.

Once the rug is stretched, it’s time to tug it. Start by standing on one end of the rug, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grab the opposite end of the rug with both hands and pull it towards you. Keep the tension even across the rug’s surface and avoid pulling too hard, as this can damage the fibers. Repeat the process, tugging the rug towards you until it flattens out.

If your rug has stubborn wrinkles or folds, you can use a handheld steamer to soften the fibers and make them more pliable. Gently steam the wrinkled areas and then repeat the stretching and tugging process.

Professional Area Rug Flattening Services

If you have tried different techniques to flatten your area rug without success, it may be time to consider hiring professional services. Professional rug cleaners and restorers have the knowledge, tools, and expertise needed to tackle even the most stubborn wrinkles and folds.

When looking for a professional area rug flattening service, make sure to choose a reputable provider that specializes in rug care and restoration. Do some research and read online reviews to get an idea of the quality of their work and customer satisfaction.

Professional area rug flattening services use specialized equipment and techniques to stretch and flatten the rug, removing any wrinkles, folds, or creases. They may also use heat and weights to help the rug regain its original shape and smooth texture.

While professional rug flattening services may cost more than DIY methods, they can save you time, effort, and frustration. They can also help prolong the life of your rug by restoring it to its original condition, preventing further damage or wear and tear.

If you have a valuable or delicate area rug, or if you simply want to ensure the best possible results, hiring a professional area rug flattening service may be the best option.

Preventing Rug Wrinkles in the Future

Now that you have successfully flattened your area rug, it’s important to take steps to prevent wrinkles from appearing in the future. Here are some tips and tricks to keep your rug looking smooth and flat:

  1. Choose the right rug pad: A good quality rug pad will not only keep your rug in place but also prevent it from wrinkling or bunching up.
  2. Rotate your rug regularly: This will help distribute the wear and tear evenly and prevent wrinkles from forming in the same spot repeatedly.
  3. Avoid high traffic areas: Placing your rug in an area with heavy foot traffic can cause wrinkles and damage to the fibers.
  4. Keep pets away: Pets love to scratch, bite, and play with rugs, which can cause wrinkles and tears over time.
  5. Consider professional cleaning: Accumulation of dirt and debris can cause your rug to become heavy and develop wrinkles.

By following these tips, you can keep your area rug flat and wrinkle-free for years to come.

Using Rug Grippers and Non-Slip Pads

If you’re tired of constantly adjusting your area rug and want to keep it securely in place, rug grippers and non-slip pads are the perfect solution. Rug grippers are small pieces of adhesive tape that you can attach to the underside of your area rug, while non-slip pads provide a cushioned surface that prevents the rug from sliding around.

Rug grippers work by creating friction between the rug and the floor, which stops the rug from slipping and sliding. They’re easy to apply and don’t leave any residue or damage on your flooring. Non-slip pads, on the other hand, provide a layer of cushioning that keeps the rug in place while also protecting your flooring from scratches and scuffs.

When choosing between rug grippers and non-slip pads, consider the size and weight of your area rug. Large, heavy rugs may require a combination of both products to keep them in place. Make sure to measure your rug and choose the right size product for optimal results.

Pro tip: If you’re using rug grippers, make sure to clean the floor thoroughly before applying them to ensure maximum adhesion. Also, be sure to replace them every few months to prevent them from losing their grip.

Proper Rug Care and Maintenance

To prevent wrinkles and ensure your area rug stays smooth and flat, proper care and maintenance is crucial. Here are some essential tips:

  • Vacuum regularly: Dirt and dust can accumulate on your area rug and cause it to warp or wrinkle. Vacuuming regularly, preferably once a week, can help maintain a clean surface and prevent particles from settling in.
  • Rotate your rug: To avoid excessive wear and tear on one area, it’s recommended to rotate your area rug every six months. This can also help prevent wrinkles from forming on one side due to constant foot traffic.
  • Avoid direct sunlight: Exposure to direct sunlight can cause the fibers in your rug to fade and weaken, which can make it more prone to developing wrinkles. Try to keep your area rug in a shaded area or use curtains or blinds to block out the sun.
  • Clean up spills immediately: Spills and stains can soak into your area rug and cause the fibers to buckle or warp. Clean up any spills immediately using a clean cloth and mild detergent.
  • Get professional cleaning: While vacuuming can help maintain a clean surface, it’s recommended to get your area rug professionally cleaned at least once a year. A professional cleaning can remove deep-seated dirt and stains that can cause your rug to warp or wrinkle.

By following these tips, you can help keep your area rug flat and wrinkle-free. With proper care and maintenance, your rug can last for many years to come.

DIY Tips for Flattening Area Rugs

If you want to flatten your area rug yourself, there are some simple DIY tips you can try. Here are some effective methods:

  1. Reverse Roll: Roll the rug in the opposite direction of the creases and leave it for a few days. This will help flatten the rug by reversing the roll.
  2. Steam: Steam the rug using a clothes steamer or iron. Apply steam on the folds and creases and gently flatten them with your hands. This will relax the fibers and help remove the wrinkles.
  3. Towel Stretch: Dampen a towel and place it over the creased area. Gently iron it over the towel. This will help stretch the rug and remove the wrinkles.
  4. Sunlight: Lay the rug flat in the sun for a few hours. The heat from the sun will help relax the fibers and remove the creases.
  5. Weighted Objects: Place heavy objects on the creased areas and leave them for a few days. This will help flatten the rug and remove the wrinkles.

Remember to be patient while trying these methods, and avoid using excessive force or heat that could damage your area rug.


Having a flat, wrinkle-free area rug can make a significant difference in the overall appearance and comfort of your living space. Whether you own a traditional oriental or a contemporary shag area rug, following the right techniques can help you achieve a smooth and polished finish.

As discussed in this article, wrinkles on area rugs can occur due to various reasons, such as improper storage, humidity, and foot traffic. Fortunately, you can use several methods to remove wrinkles from your area rug, including weights, heat, and stretching.

If you’re unsure how to flatten your area rug or lack the necessary equipment, you can always consider hiring professional area rug flattening services. Additionally, using rug grippers and non-slip pads can help prevent future rug wrinkles from appearing.

Remember to follow proper rug care and maintenance practices to keep your area rug in excellent condition for many years to come. With these tips and tricks, you can achieve a flat, wrinkle-free area rug that will enhance the aesthetic appeal and comfort of your home.


Q: How do I flatten an area rug?

A: There are several methods you can try to flatten an area rug, including using weights, applying heat, stretching and tugging the rug, or hiring professional services. It’s important to prepare the rug properly and take care of it to prevent future wrinkles.

Q: Why do area rugs wrinkle?

A: Area rugs can develop wrinkles due to various reasons, such as improper installation, heavy furniture placed on top, changes in temperature and humidity, or poor rug maintenance. These factors can cause the rug to shift, fold, and develop unsightly wrinkles.

Q: How do I prepare my area rug for flattening?

A: Before attempting to flatten your area rug, it’s essential to remove any furniture or objects on top of it. Clean the rug thoroughly and let it dry completely. You may also need to vacuum or brush the rug to remove any dust or debris that could affect its flatness.

Q: Can I use weights to flatten an area rug?

A: Yes, using weights can be an effective method to flatten an area rug. Place heavy objects, such as books or weights, on top of the wrinkled areas. Leave the weights on the rug for a few days or until the wrinkles are gone. Keep in mind that this method may not work for all types of rugs or severe wrinkles.

Q: How can heat help flatten an area rug?

A: Heat can help relax the fibers of the rug, making it easier to flatten out wrinkles. You can use a steam iron or a garment steamer to apply heat to the wrinkled areas. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid direct contact with the rug to prevent damage.

Q: How do I stretch and tug an area rug?

A: To stretch and tug your area rug, start by anchoring one side of the rug to a secure point, such as a heavy piece of furniture or a wall. Gradually pull the opposite side of the rug in the direction you want it to flatten, using gentle force. Repeat this process on the remaining sides until the rug is flat and wrinkle-free.

Q: Should I hire professional services to flatten my area rug?

A: Hiring professional area rug flattening services can be a convenient option, especially for delicate or large rugs. Professionals have the expertise and specialized equipment to ensure the rug is flattened effectively and without causing damage. Consider this option if DIY methods have been unsuccessful or if you prefer to leave it to the experts.

Q: How can I prevent rug wrinkles in the future?

A: To prevent rug wrinkles in the future, avoid placing heavy furniture on top of the rug, use rug grippers or non-slip pads to keep it in place, and regularly clean and vacuum the rug to maintain its condition. Additionally, be mindful of changes in temperature and humidity, as these can affect the flatness of the rug.

Q: Can rug grippers and non-slip pads help keep an area rug flat?

A: Yes, using rug grippers and non-slip pads can contribute to keeping your area rug flat and secure. These accessories help prevent the rug from slipping or shifting, which can lead to wrinkles. Place them under the corners or along the edges of the rug for added stability.

Q: What are some tips for proper rug care and maintenance?

A: To keep your area rug in excellent condition and minimize the risk of wrinkles, follow these tips: vacuum regularly, spot clean spills immediately, rotate the rug periodically to distribute wear, avoid direct sunlight exposure, and consider professional cleaning every 1-2 years for deeper maintenance.

Q: Are there any DIY tips for flattening area rugs?

A: Yes, here are some additional do-it-yourself tips for flattening area rugs: use a rug pad to provide extra cushioning and stability, place the rug in direct sunlight to allow the heat to relax the fibers, or try gently rolling the rug in the opposite direction of the wrinkles and leaving it rolled for a period of time.

Q: What are the key points to remember about flattening an area rug?

A: Flattening an area rug involves various techniques such as using weights, heat, stretching, and tugging. It’s important to prepare the rug properly, clean it regularly, and consider professional services if needed. Using rug grippers and following proper maintenance practices can help prevent future wrinkles. Carefully consider which method is most suitable for your specific rug and follow the instructions to achieve a flat and wrinkle-free surface.

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