How to Flatten Curled Area Rugs

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  • 1-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
Steam cleaner or damp sponge
Wet towel
Furniture or large and heavy books

Bringing home new area rugs for the first time can be very exciting. You wait with breathless anticipation to see how this new feature will set off your room only to be met with the problem of curling. This can be quite disappointing when you first bring an accessory home but it is relatively easy to make curled area rugs lie flat.

Step 1 – Steam or Dampen the Edges

Curling is a common problem for area rugs due to the fact that they have spent most of their life rolled up in some form or other. Fortunately, there are several things that can be done to remedy this situation. First, try taking a steam cleaner or a wet sponge and moistening the areas where the curling is at its worst. The water will help loosen the fibers and enable it to lay flat. Once the water dries there should be some improvement. If not, there are still other methods that can be tried.

Step 2 - Iron

A steam iron

Take a wet towel and moisten the areas where the carpet is curling. Then, take an iron and set it to a medium heat. With the towel still covering the carpeted area, hold down the iron and press. This should flatten the areas out. Do not set the iron at too high a heat as this could leave burn marks on the new carpet. To be extra cautious, you might consider starting at a low heat and working your way up as needed. If this method proves unsuccessful, you can try something else.

Step 3 – Use the Furniture

Take the carpet and place it where you intend it to lay. Take available pieces of furniture and place them around the corners. This is usually where the curling is the worst. It may not be the best look for a room but it is only temporary and should sort the problem out within a week or so. Once that time has passed, remove the furniture to reveal a hopefully flattened area rug.

Step 4 - Use Books

A large pile of books

For some, space limitations may not allow for furniture to be used. In this situation, get your hands on all of the large sized books that you have. Dictionaries, encyclopedias, phone books, and so forth are the best but any large, heavy book will do. Leave the books in place for a week or two. Remove again after the time has passed and the rug should be flat.

Step 5 – Try Your Bed

For really stubborn area rugs there is one final solution to try. Remove the area rug from the floor and place it between your mattress and box spring. Make sure it lies completely flat, and leave it for at least a week before you check the result. This method should work for rugs that are badly curled at the corners, but the rug obviously needs to be the size of the bed or smaller for the best results.

Step 6 - Reverse

Simply taking the carpet and laying it upside down will also help stop curling. It may look odd for a while, but you should have a flattened area rug in about a week or so.