How to Flatten an Area Rug That Has Been Rolled Up

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You can flatten an area rug that has been rolled up.
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An area rug that will not flatten is not only aesthetically frustrating but also a tripping hazard. More often than not, rugs are sold rolled in a tube, making it difficult to flatten the longer it stays rolled. Fortunately, a rug can easily flatten with a bit of help and time. You might need the rug to be flat if you are laying it on the ground or transferring the rug to carpet pads for display.

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Flatten Area Rugs That Were Rolled

When an area rug is rolled into a tube, its corners tend to curl up once you unroll it. This curling happens because the rug's fibers relaxed into the rolled shape, making it naturally want to curl upward when laid flat. To fix this, you will have to teach the rug to stay flat.

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The method you use to flatten a previously rolled rug depends on the direction of the roll. You can flatten corners curling toward the floor with weights placed on each corner for a few days.

The best way to flatten these corners is to lay the area rug in the desired position, situating furniture on each corner. After a week or two, the rug should relax into the desired shape, and you can move the furniture if needed.

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Flatten Area Rugs With Curled Corners

Rugs rolled with the back on the outside will have corners that are curling upward. To fix this, re-roll the rug so the fiber side faces out. Secure the rug in place by tying it with a loose cord and leaving it to reshape for a few days. If it is challenging to re-roll, leave the rug upside down under the sun to make it easier to maneuver.

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If the rug's ends are curling upward, lay the rug upside down and place heavy books or furniture on each corner. After a week or two, the rug should flatten.

Flatten Area Rugs Using Steam or Heat

Ultimately, all rugs become more pliable with heat. Simply laying a rug upside down in direct sunlight for a few hours will help relax the fibers and flatten the rug. However, if the sun is ineffective or not working fast enough, you can speed up the process with a steamer, an iron set to steam or a hair dryer. The steam method works best with synthetic, cotton and wool rugs. However, you should always proceed with caution when using heat near a synthetic rug since heat can melt the fibers.

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To steam away the wrinkles or creases, you will need a steamer or an iron set to the steam setting. When steaming a rug, always turn over the rug to steam the back and never the front. Flip the rug to face the back and lay a damp towel over the problem area. Press the iron set to the steam setting over the towel in short bursts or use a steamer. Then, bend the area rug's fibers back into place and brush the rug so it can lay flat to dry.

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If your area rug is made of natural fibers, the heat method will work better to flatten the rug. To use this method, you will need a hair dryer. Like the steaming process, be sure you face the back of the rug and use a hair dryer set to the lowest setting to warm the problem areas. Once warmed, push the wrinkle in the opposite direction to flatten it and leave the rug to cool.

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