How To Keep Outdoor Rugs From Curling Up

Last updated on September 25th, 2023

Shopping for a brand new rug can be exciting. Adding a stylish carpet to your living room or a patterned rug to your bedroom is a beautiful home improvement effort and an excellent way to compliment your interior decor. That is until your brand new rug refuses to spread evenly across the room.

Typically your rug will come rolled up to avoid creases or damages that may occur during transportation or shipping. While most rugs eventually flatten after a few days, some can take longer than necessary.

That brings us to one thing every homeowner would want to know: how to keep outdoor rugs from curling up repeatedly. If your rug keeps curling up at the edges, you’ll need to try out different hacks to flatten it thoroughly to avoid tripping and possible injuries.

This guide will show you how to flatten a rug with proven DIY hacks.

What Causes Outdoor Rugs Curling?

Several things can cause your carpet to curl up. For example, flat-woven carpets tend to curl up more than other rug types depending on how your carpet is designed.

Poor quality backing is another reason your carpet cannot stay flat around the corners and edges.

The foundation strings also tend to have a lot of tension which eventually causes the rug to curl up. In addition, if yours is a tightly woven thick pile rug, it will most likely curl up.

Flat-woven carpets without thick piles are more susceptible to curling, especially if the rug gets into contact with water and get wet.

When damp, such carpets tend to shrink unevenly, curling the carpet at the edges.

In a nutshell, the shrinking of your floor rug can be caused by poor quality workmanship, improper installation, poor packaging, and handling while in transit or heavy foot traffic.

For outdoor rugs, mainly curling occurs after the first or second wash, while for indoor rugs, it could be caused by humid room temperatures.

Fortunately, there are solutions to most problems, and your rug curling up shouldn’t worry you too much, not if you learn how to flatten an outdoor rug with the following tricks and hacks.

How Do You Uncurl Outdoor Rugs: The Tips

As we have seen, several factors contribute to your rug curling up at the corners and edges. Whatever the cause, it’s advisable to fix the problem entirely before your carpet gets ruined.

Consider the following ideas to stop the rug from curling, maintain its aesthetics and prevent any accidents that may result from tripping on your rug’s curved edges.

Weigh Down The Rug

You can quickly flatten the curved, or curling corners and edges of your rug by placing heavy objects or pieces of furniture.

Weighing down the rug is a practical, straightforward approach that doesn’t require much time or effort as the living or dining room furniture or objects are readily available.

However, be sure to place these objects specifically on the corners or curved edges and not on top of the entire carpet to avoid leaving traces of furniture dents on your new beautiful rug.

Leave the heavy objects or furniture pieces weighed down on the curled edges, then check after a few days. After 2-3 days, remove the objects from the rug, and you’ll be amazed at how flat your rug will be.

Flip Over The rug

This is yet another effective method that requires a little extra effort. You’ll need a few people to give you a hand if you have a rather large carpet.

This is because flipping over your rug may be a little tedious for one person, so having a few people help you is highly recommended.

Once you have someone to help, try flipping the rug upside down to flatten the curved corners.

While the rug will not uncurl immediately, this is an easier option worth trying, especially if you’re spreading your rug for the first time after buying.

One thing to remember is not to walk on your carpet while it’s still spread upside down. Once the rug is uncurled, flip it over and let gravity take over from there. You’ll love the outcome.

Use Spray Bottle And Hair Dryer

Using a spray bottle and a hair dryer can help you undo the curls on the edges of your rug. You only have to follow a few easy steps, and the annoying curls will disappear.

First, fill up the spray bottle with water. Next, plug the hair dryer closer to the rug. Next, spray water on the rolled edges of the carpet and dry it with a hair dryer at medium heat.

Keep drying the curled sections until they’re completely dry. You won’t even remember your rug was once curled up.

Use Masking Tape

If your rug is spread on a hard floor, you might want to use a bit of masking tape to flatten up the curled corners. Use a brown masking tape like the one used by most painters.

This tape is flexible, meaning should you want to peel it off in the future, you can easily do without leaving any residues on the floor.

Masking tape is more suitable than sticky double-sided tape, which can stick on your floor permanently.

To use this method, roll up a fly ball of masking tape and stick a handful under the curled corners of your carpet. This easy hack works best for wooden tile floors and is a no-brainer.

Dampen And Apply Heat

Another tip for uncurling rolled rugs is damping and applying heat to the affected area. The pressure and heat can help straighten up a rolled rug.

However, before you try to use this particular hack, you should read the care instructions from the manufacturer. If the instructions on the label allow heat on the carpet, then well and good.

Just apply some water to the edges of the rug and iron it. The effect should be visible immediately. If the instructions warn against using iron on the rug, you can counter this precaution with a damp towel.

Simply wet a towel or piece of cloth, place it on the affected parts of your rug and iron it. The curls and wrinkles will be out in no time.

Rolling In Opposite Direction

Sometimes what’s causing your rug to curl up is poor handling or storage conditions. For example, if left folded for a long time, your rug would undoubtedly stay curled up even when you attempt to unroll it.

That’s when you might want to think of a new idea other than those explained to avoid.

For this method, roll up the rug in the opposite direction and allow it to stay in that position for at least 24 hours. Your rug should be completely flat after that.

Finally, most area rugs often come rolled up on a tube to minimize or prevent creasing. You’ll find that it rolls itself back in position when you attempt to unroll such a rug.

This is often due to the fiber relaxing into the shape of the tube, and you’ll need to coerce them to spread in the opposite direction.

Other rugs get more pliable under intense heat. To speed up the flattening process, place the rug upside down in direct sunlight for several hours to relax the fibers.

How Do You Keep The Edges Of An Area Rug Down?

If the edges of your area rug prove too stubborn to stay down, you may have tried several ideas, including those explained above.

If none worked, consider this simple tip you may not know about: use two household rulers. First, find two flat rulers with cork lines on the back.

The cork helps provide grip on the rug’s underside. Attach the flat rulers on the back corners of your rug with the cork side down.

Using a monofilament and a large needle, tie the rulers to the rug and loop the thread around the ruler 2-3 times to hold it in place. This is a perfect solution for heavier rugs.

How Do Rug Anchors Work?

Rug anchors are rug pins used to hold throw rugs in place. They also act as decorative pieces on rugs and runners. You can use rug anchors to prevent rugs from blowing away, slipping, and curling up, which may cause tripping.

The rug anchors also come in handy when you want to anchor cat marts to secure them in place.

Rug anchors are easy to use. First, you only need to push them through the rug or carpet pad to the floor. Next, angle the anchor under the pad in the direction the rug has been curling.

Once the rug pins or anchors have held down the rug on the floor, you can remove them by pulling the rug’s ears, and they’ll easily slide out.

Best Rug Pads To Prevent Outdoor Rugs From Curling

The tips we have shared above aren’t the only way to keep your new area rug from curling up. You can also use rug pads to keep your rug flat and evenly spread out.

We reviewed some of the best rug pads for this option to prevent outdoor rugs from curling. While these pads are mainly used on outdoor rugs, you can use them for indoor rugs too.

Here are the three best rug pads we believe are the best and ideal for any rug.

iPrimio Non-Slip Area Rug Pad

The iPrimio Non-Slip Area Rug Pad has a light cushion and is made of PVC foam, designed to withstand different temperature levels in outdoor conditions.

It has a breathable grid built to withstand harsh weather and does not trap rainwater under the rug.

It is also super effective against moisture and dries within hours. We recommend cleaning up your iPrimio Non-Slip Area Rug Pad regularly to prevent mold from building up.

Product Features:

  • Thickness: ⅛ inch
  • Material: PVC Foam
  • Available in three different sizes


  • Can withstand different weather conditions and temperature levels
  • Flexible and easy to cut
  • Cost-effective


  • Only available in three different sizes, which can be limiting
  • Has high chances of  off-gassing PVC

RUGPADUSA Nature’s Grip Eco-Friendly Non-Slip Rug Pad

Most non-slip rug pads on the market have  PVC, potentially emitting chemicals into the floor or air. But the same cannot be said of RUGPADUSA’s Nature Grip rug pad made from 100 % organic jute and natural rubber.

These two are breathable materials that keep away mold and moisture. Since it is made without artificial chemicals or adhesives, reducing potential VOC emissions.

The RUGPADUSA’s Nature Grip rug pad has a 1/16 of an inch thickness, making it ideal for small rugs and runners that require little extra padding.

It has a wagle design that makes it breathable and full of grip. While it does have a rubbery smell when unwrapped, this quickly fades away after airing out in the sun.

The RUGPADUSA’s Nature Grip rug pad is easy to trim to any desired size and, when spread out, instantly grips the floor.

Product Features

  • 1/16 inch thickness level
  • Made of organic jute and natural rubber
  • Available in as many as 17 different sizes


  • Available in two shapes: round and rectangle
  • Made from natural materials and free from artificial chemicals
  • Contains low VOCs


It emits a rubbery odor at first

Mohawk Home Dual Surface Rug Pad

The Mohawk Home Dual Surface Rug Pad has 100%  recycled felt to cushion your steps. It also has a  latex bottom that offers sufficient grip.

Although it is a little scratchy to the touch, it has a  ¼-inch thickness that provides excellent underfoot cushioning.

The pad works well with both low and high pile rugs. Mohawk’s rug pad is ideal for any flooring type, including vinyl, carpeted, and hardwood floors.

The only downside of the Mohawk Home Dual Surface Rug Pad is its bulky foam, making it hard to trim.

We recommend determining the area rugs you want to use with this pad and then choosing the ideal size from 27 options.

Mohawk Home Dual Surface rug pad has low chemical emissions, making it one of the few certified products by the Carpet & Rug Institute, where Mohawks hold a Green Label Plus Certification.

Product Features

  • ¼ inch and ⅜ inch thickness
  • Made of felt and latex
  • It has 27 different size options
  • Great for most wood floors


  • It can be used on all floors or carpets
  • Provides extra underfoot cushioning
  • Available in more than 25 different sizes


  • Too bulky and may be hard to handle
  • Not easy to cut and maneuver

FAQs: How To Keep Outdoor Rugs From Curling Up.

Why is my rug not laying flat?

Several reasons may cause your rug to not lay flat. Either the rug is of poor quality, or it’s too tightly woven. It may be that your rug has a lot of tension around the foundation strings or if your rug is flat woven, it has a bulky pile and may have been exposed to water, making it not to lay flat.

Will carpet tape stick to concrete?

Depends on the type of carpet tape used. Some brands have double-sided carpet tape designed for sticking rugs on concrete and wood floors, wool rugs, and even wall-to-wall carpets. Such carpet tapes stick better on concrete and hardwood floors since such surfaces are flat and even. However, textile and woolen surfaces are not as even as flat surfaces meaning the adhesive tape may not hold as firmly.

Why is my area rug buckling?

Several reasons. Prolonged exposure to water, for example, flooding or regular rug cleaning, can cause the edges to shrink and roll-up. It buckles when the cotton wefts or fibers are exposed to a lot of water. While you can rectify buckling, sometimes it’s not possible to flatten out the rug thoroughly. In addition, buckling can be caused by heavy water extraction equipment, especially if your rug is loosely woven.

Can you iron rugs to flatten it?

Yes. Consider steaming your curling rug corners, then set it out to dry in the sun. If it refuses to flatten up, you should consider pressing warm iron on it as per manufacturer instructions. Next, place a damp towel over the curled corners of your rug and iron it vigorously. Doing these should stop rugs from curling.

How often should I change my area rug pads?

This depends on the type and quality of your rug pad. Ideally, consider replacing your rug pads every 4-5 years. Some rug pads are built to last and stay in good shape for ten years. You may want to work with a professional rug cleaning company to help you maintain your rugs, especially when it comes to cleaning.

Final Thoughts

Folding or curling rug corners is a common occurrence in most homes, regardless of the room and flooring type. But, if left like that, your new area rugs can be tripping hazards.

The curling may be caused by several factors, including poor quality carpets, improper handling, or manufacturing process. It could also be due to prolonged exposure to water or if the rug was rolled up in a tube.

Fortunately, you now understand how to flatten the rug if it’s curled. You can weigh down your area rug using pieces of furniture for other weight objects. You can also roll the rug in opposite directions to unfold it, spreading it upside down in direct sunlight.

Hopefully, the next time you notice your new area rug is curling at the corners, these simple solutions will come in handy, and you’ll find one that works for you, depending on your rug type.