How to Install Outdoor Rugs

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Sharp utility knife
Straight edge
Adhesive spreader
Tape measure
Double-faced carpet tape
Adhesive solvent
Seam adhesive

Outdoor rugs can make a porch or patio more appealing, and with such variety in styles and colors available today you can set an entire decorating them in your outdoor space with careful selection of a rug. Installing an outdoor rug can be physically challenging, especially for your back and knees, but if you use the proper tools it's a much easier job.


  • 50 lb carpet roller

Prepare the Surface
Thoroughly clean the area where you will be installing the rug. You may need a solvent to get porches or patios completely clean if you're installing the rug outdoors. Allow the area to thoroughly dry. Unroll the rug or strips of the rug and let them "rest" for at least a couple of hours, because it will expand slightly. If you install it before this happens, it can expand once it's down and lead to wrinkling or buckling.

Lay the Carpet
Use double-sided tape around the edge of the area, but leave the paper lining on for now. Then center the rug in the area so that there is at least a few inches extra on each side. If you need to use more than one roll, overlap them by about 2 to 3 inches and center them as one large rug. Cut around any protrusions and cut the corners with a vertical line so that the edges will lay properly against the walls. Where it overlaps, use a V cut. Be sure not to cut in too far.

Handling Seams
If you used one or more rolls of carpet and have them overlapping, make a double cut seam for the best appearance. Make sure the pile is matched and running the same direction before you cut. If not, turn one of the rolls around. They should overlap by about 2 to 3 inches. Using the straight edge and the sharp utility knife, cut down through the area where they overlap. By cutting through both rugs at the same time, the rugs will butt together perfectly.

Using Adhesive
Carefully fold the carpet back from one side to about halfway, then apply the adhesive with the spreader to both the back of the rug and the floor. Then unroll the carpet carefully back into place and smooth. Repeat this one on the other side. If you rent a carpet roller, roll if over the rug now to spread the adhesive and smooth any bumps or bubbles.

Using the sharp utility knife, trim the edges of the carpet to fit and then use an adhesive solvent to remove any excess adhesive. Also, clip any threads or protrusions on the edge of the outdoor rugs to prevent unraveling.