Turn a rug into artwork by hanging it on the wall.

Tips for Hanging Rugs on the Wall

by Leah James

A favorite rug hung on the wall protects it from diaper leaks, juice spills and muddy little feet, and preserves its beauty as a work of art. When you hang a large, thick rug on a shared condo wall, it can help to muffle sound between your space and another person's, whether because of your wee ones' wailing or the neighbor’s thumping bass. The best way to hang a rug on the wall all depends on the type of rug you have and where you plan to hang it.

1. Tough Choice

A solid-colored, synthetic rug from a discount department store adds nothing to your interior. If you hang a rug as artwork, pick one with visual appeal that means something to you. This could include hanging an inherited antique Aubusson or the Navajo rug you bought during a family trip to Santa Fe. Or you could hang that rag rug you made from colorful strips cut from your daughter’s outgrown dresses. Monetary value doesn’t matter; beauty and sentiment do.

2. Weighty Matter

To hang a rug without damaging it requires that you distribute its weight evenly. Do not hang a rug from rings or wall-mounted clips because the rug sags between them when you do. The best option for hanging rugs begins with heavy-duty hook-and-loop tape. Hook-and-loop tape is a must for heavy rugs, as it allows for an even distribution of the rug's weight without sagging. Hand stitch the soft half of the tape to the wrong side of the rug, just beneath its top edge, and staple the coarse half to a wall-mounted wood strip. By hand sewing a heavy casing along the top back of the rug, you can also hang a lightweight rug from a pole rod in the same manner as when you hang rod-pocket curtains. For a flatter fit against the wall, thread a shelf standard -- a metal strip used to secure shelf clips or brackets to the wall or inside a bookcase -- through the casing. Hook the end holes of the strip over an angled nail hammered into the wall.

3. Stiff Upper Lip

The stiffer the rug, the better it hangs -- especially along the edge you’ve designated as the top. If you can fold your rug instead of rolling it, machine stitch your casing or hook-and-loop tape to a strip of thick, cotton canvas webbing. Sew the webbing strip along the top back of your rug by hand for securing the rug to the wall.

4. Saving Face

Sunlight fades textiles, including rugs. To minimize fading, avoid hanging your rug in the direct path of sunlight steaming in from a window. Close your curtains or tilt blind slats upward during the brightest part of the day also helps. Lacquer unsealed metal rods and paint raw wood mountings to keep rust or wood pitch from staining your rug or weakening its fibers.

5. Staying Centered

The center of your rug should hang approximately 55 to 60 inches above the floor. If this causes you to see the rug mostly from a seated position, opt for the lower end of the acceptable range. In a hallway or foyer where you view the rug while standing, use the upper end of the range, but make certain the bottom of the rug falls no lower than 15 inches from the floor. If you plan to hang the rug over a piece of furniture, such as a sofa or sideboard, leave no more than 8 inches between the top of the furniture and the bottom of the rug. If that puts the rug’s center outside of the right range, turn the rug in the other direction or hang it somewhere else.

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