Finding the perfect area rug for your living room can be a nerve-racking and timely feat. So once you find the perfect one, lay it out on the floor, and discover it won't lay flat or creases all over, you're sure to be worried about the beautiful rug you've chosen. Don't worry! The creases and resistance to laying perfectly flat are only temporary. Try some of the tricks below to flatten your area rug to perfection in any room in your home.
Lay It Out
The first thing to do after you bring your new area rug home is lay it out on the floor. Take note of creases or bent fibers that may need attention, but before you address those things, let the rug lay spread out for a few days. Sometimes all the rug needs is a little gravity and time to reshape and flatten out. If the rug still shows creases or doesn’t quite lay properly on the floor after a week, try some of the techniques below.
Reverse Roll It
One of the easiest ways to combat a rug that doesn't want to lay flat on the ground is to reverse roll it. Unroll the rug and re-roll it the opposite way. For example, if the rug was rolled with the top facing out, then roll it again with the bottom facing out instead. You can loosely tie the reverse-rolled rug with a string and let it sit that way for a few days to loosen the fibers and train them to lay in the opposite direction.
Weigh It Down
You can also try weighing your rug down to relieve some of the creases and help it to lay flat. If your rug is small enough, put your unrolled rug between your mattress and box spring for a week or two to ensure it stays smooth and flat. If the corners of your rug are sticking up or not laying flat against the floor, try weighing it down with a stack of heavy books or furniture. Keep the weight on top of the rug for up to a week to ensure they stay down. You could also flip the rug upside down and put weight on the back of the rug to ensure corners stay down.
Fold the Corners
If the corners of your rug keep curling up, fold them under the rug to reshape the fibers downward. Do not step on the corners or place weight on top of them. Doing so may cause creasing or bending in the opposite direction.
Warm It Up
Heating your natural fiber area rug can help eliminate creases that prevent your rug from laying smoothly on the floor. Lay the rug in sunlight for a few hours to warm up the back of the rug. Heat helps to loosen the fibers which makes them more susceptible to movement. Reverse roll the rug after it’s been warmed to roll out creases.
You can also use a hair dryer to warm up your rug. Be sure to use a low to medium heat setting only and hold the hair dryer 6-9 inches away from the rug to prevent melting or burning. Always keep the blow dryer moving. Never let the heat warm one spot for too long. Once the rug is warmed, fold it in the opposite direction of the crease and let it cool before laying it down again.
Adding a little moisture to your rug can help smooth it out. This method works best with synthetic, cotton, or wool rugs, but it is best to test a small area of the rug first to ensure the colors won’t bleed. Use the upholstery tool on your steamer to moisten the back of the rug slightly. Don’t ever soak the fibers. Gently bend the rug in the direction needed to correct the crease and let it dry completely. If the crease persists, try reverse rolling and then steam again as needed.
Tape It Down
Another way you can help train your rug’s corners to stay down is by using rug tape, masking tape, or non-curl corner protectors to keep them against the floor. Most of these solutions can work with hardwood and carpeted floors. Place the double-sided tape on the back side of your rug and press it down onto the floor. Doing this can also help to keep your rug in place as you walk across it.
Spray Wrinkle Remover
Using an upholstery or curtain-safe wrinkle removing spray can also help to remove creases from area rugs. The spray relaxes the fibers so they can be manipulated in any direction easily. Use a spoon or towel to move the fibers around in the correct direction. Let the rug dry flat on the ground.
Ice It Overnight
Furniture can leave dents in your rug after long periods of time. To get rid of these dents, place an ice cube in the indentation, let it melt overnight, soak up any leftover water in the morning, and use a spoon or towel to move the fibers into place. Always be sure the colors in your rug won’t bleed when soaked before using this method.
Now that you have your rug smooth and laying flat on the floor in your living space, keeping it clean and smooth will be easy. Consider placing a non-skid pad underneath it to protect your floor, keep the rug in place when people walk over it, and help to keep it flat. Remove creases right away by using any of the above methods. You can prevent dents and creases in your freshly smooth rug by moving heavy furniture (even an inch) after every few months or by rotating the rug to even out the wear. Check out our tips for keeping your outdoor rugs in tip-top shape here!