How to flatten a rug

You’ve finally found the ideal area rug for your living room, den, or children’s playroom, and you can’t wait to unroll it once it arrives. Imagine your surprise when you discover the rug is fully bent, curled, wrinkled, or otherwise out of shape. Wrinkles and creases can also appear when you remove a rug from storage that has been rolled or folded.

Most rugs will require some “training” to lie flat again after being rolled up for an extended period of time. But have no fear: we’ve compiled a list of the finest methods to reconfigure your new area rug so that it matches the rest of your decor.

Allow time for it to settle.

Okay, so the first option is a little clumsy. However, depending on the rug’s condition, it might just work. If you’ve just unrolled a new area rug and it has some ripples from packaging or shipment, smooth it down as flat as you can and let it alone for a day or two, the fibers will relax and the rug will flatten out on its own.

In other circumstances, all you’ll need is gravity and patience to restore your rug to its former glory. Even if you plan to use the rug on a carpet later, consider laying it out on a hard floor while it relaxes for the best results.

It’s steamed

Your rug may be able to be steamed to remove the creases, depending on its manufacture. This is a job that can be done by a professional. However, before attempting this approach, you must first test the rug for colorfastness. The steaming process has the potential to damage your rug by causing the colors to bleed.

Extend it

Another alternative is to have the carpet stretched out by a local carpet store. The wrinkles will typically be released if it is pulled taut and progressively stretched. However, because the stretching procedure might damage the rug if not done correctly, this is likewise a job best left to professionals.

Turn it Over

When you first unroll a new rug, it will have some curl on the edges. The corners then refuse to lie flat, even as the remainder of the rug relaxes. In that situation, your next move will be determined by which way the corners curl. Fold them gently under and leave them alone for a day or two if they’re curling upward. If the corners are curling under, either flip the rug over and curl the corners under, or just weigh down each corner with a heavy object (books, furniture, etc.) to let the carpet fibers relax.

Tape it to the wall

Grab some double-sided carpet tape from your local furniture or home improvement store if you need to flatten your rug quickly. The tape will attach to the floor and hold your rug in place when applied to the back of your rug. It efficiently flattens existing creases while also preventing new ones from forming. Both hard flooring and existing wall-to-wall carpet can be covered with carpet tape. Before gluing the rug, make sure to press it down hard and smooth it out.

Roll it backwards

In some circumstances, you’ll only have to wait a few minutes for your rug to be ready for use in your house. It’s sometimes enough to unroll the carpet and then roll it in the other way to get it to lie flat. If this method does not work straight away, leave the rolled carpet to sit for a day or two before unrolling it the opposite way.

Switch on the Iron

If you’ve tried leaving it alone, flipping it over, and weighing it down and your rug still won’t lay flat after a few days, you can always use your trusty iron.

A rug’s curled section can be ironed on a low setting, but be careful to employ a barrier between the iron’s heat and the rug. This is where craft paper comes in handy. You’ll want to limit the iron to a bare minimum to avoid burning, melting, or any other heat damage.

Make use of the sun.

If the heat from an iron doesn’t work or you simply don’t want to risk damaging your rug, try spreading it out on clean concrete or asphalt outside. This should be done on a dry, sunny afternoon if possible.

It’s even better if the temperature is at least 75 or 80 degrees, because the ground has had time to absorb the sun’s heat. It’s typically enough to simply lay the rug out in direct sunshine for a few minutes to release any creases or wrinkles.

Take out the Hair Dryer

If the iron or the sun aren’t working, try using a hairdryer on the rear of the rug. You’ll want to gently heat and then release the folded region. To avoid melting your rug’s fibers, keep the hair drier at least six to nine inches away from the rug and use a sweeping motion on a low to medium setting. Never leave the dryer in one position for long periods of time; you’ll want to keep it moving.


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