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Can You Put An Outdoor Rug On A Concrete Patio?

We’re building a new concrete patio as part of our extension, so can we put an outdoor rug on it?

You can put an outdoor rug on a concrete patio without damaging either the rug or the concrete, provided you seal the concrete first and fix the rug down with flooring tape or adhesive. Patio rugs are usually made of polypropylene so are water, mold, mildew, and UV resistant.

Let’s dive down into this topic in greater detail, and find out whether your outdoor rug will damage your patio, if you should seal the concrete first, and how you can attach your rug to the patio so it doesn’t become a tripping hazard…

Will An Outdoor Rug Damage A Concrete Patio?

An outdoor rug won’t exactly damage your concrete patio, but it could cause the surface to darken. If moisture becomes trapped under the rug, it will seep into the porous concrete and change its appearance.

There are several approaches you can take to prevent this. You can seal the concrete (more about this in a moment) or choose a breathable rug that lets the water evaporate. Alternatively, you can simply decide that a bit of darkening is worth it for the lovely effect you get from an outdoor area rug.

Don’t forget, if your concrete patio is already damaged or stained, the rug is actually an excellent solution.

How Do You Install An Outdoor Carpet On A Concrete Patio?

If you’re thinking of creating a luxurious extra room on your patio, an outdoor carpet is the perfect, luxe addition. These carpets (often called “indoor-outdoor carpets”)  are specially designed to withstand the elements: they are water, mold, mildew, and UV resistant and should last you for years. They’re also pretty easy to install.

Do You Need To Seal Concrete Before Fitting Carpet?

Ideally, you should seal the concrete before fitting your outdoor carpet. As we mentioned earlier, there’s always the risk of moisture building up between the carpet or rug and the porous concrete.

Prepare the concrete by sweeping it thoroughly, then scrubbing it with soapy water. Rinse it well, then make sure it’s completely dry before sealing it. Even if you decide not to seal it, you’ll still need a clean and dry surface for the new carpet.

Can You Glue Carpet To Concrete?

You can glue the carpet to the concrete surface using flooring adhesive and a trowel. You’ll certainly get a good finish with no slippage, and no fiddly tape to deal with.

However, we’d say that this is definitely a two-person job, as it’s not easy to lay a carpet over the sticky surface, especially if it’s a large patio. 

Then, there’s the difficulty of removing the carpet. If you want to replace the carpet in the future or go for a different flooring, it’s by no means an easy job to pull up a glued carpet. Think carefully before choosing this method…

Want to take outdoor carpet to the next level? Take a look at this YouTube film, which takes you through how to install carpet onto an outside staircase

Does Carpet Tape Work On Concrete?

Yes, carpet tape will work on concrete, and it’s a good way to install your outdoor carpet. If you’ve chosen a rug rather than a whole carpet, tape will prevent it from becoming a trip hazard on your patio.

There are lots of masking tapes to choose from, so look out for one that’s suitable for concrete. It needs ro be highly adhesive and double-sided.

How do you fix a carpet or rug to the patio using masking tape?

  1. Clean the surface first. Sweep up dust and debris; scrub it well with soap and water; rinse the soap off; wait for it to dry
  2. Seal the floor with a concrete sealant, to prevent moisture build up discoloring the cement floor. Again, wait until it’s completely dry
  3. Place the masking tape around the perimeter of the patio
  4. Add some extra strips of masking tape across the center of the area
  5. Carefully and slowly, unroll the carpet across the area, pressing it down onto the adhesive as you go

If you’re installing a rug rather than a carpet, you could choose to use a rug pad instead of adhesive tape. Not only will this help to keep the rug in place, but it will make it thicker, giving you a really comfy feel underfoot.

Can You Use An Outdoor Rug On An Uncovered Patio?

Outdoor rugs can be used in a variety of garden settings. With their bright shades and vibrant patterns, they look fantastic next to your outdoor furniture or underneath your dining suite. They’re a great way of introducing color to your “outdoor room”, as well as bringing a touch of extra luxury.

However, what happens if your patio or deck is uncovered? Can even an outdoor rug survive that much exposure to the elements?

A good-quality, purpose-made outdoor rug should be able to cope with the weather. Most are made from polypropylene or a similar synthetic material, with fibers designed to be waterproof. An outside rug should also be mold and mildew-resistant, and the colors should be able to withstand the UV rays without fading.

Outdoor rug on concrete patio
Outdoor rug on concrete patio

If the rug becomes very wet, such as after a rainstorm, it’s worth hanging it up to dry or at least turning it and spreading it out elsewhere, to prevent moisture from building up underneath it. But other than that, your rug should be able to remain outdoors during the summer.

However, unless your uncovered patio rug is somewhere like Arizona, you’ll need to winterize it if you want to prolong its life. After all, few of us lounge around on our patios in the colder weather, so you may as well put your rug away along with your patio furniture.

So in the early Fall, before it gets too wet, take a few simple steps to winterize your outdoor rug. When the rug is dry, vacuum it thoroughly to remove any dirt, dust or debris that’s gathered in the pile. If there are any stains, now’s a good time to wash the rug.

When the pile side is thoroughly dry, flip the rug and give the underneath a good dust and wipe. Again, leave it to dry. Next, roll it up as tightly as you can (to save space) and cover it with waterproof sheeting. Tie it securely to keep the sheeting in place, and you can then store it in the back of the garage or other dry outbuilding until the spring. 

If you have an uncovered patio and plan to winterize your outdoor rug like this, don’t secure it to the floor with masking tape. This just gives you an extra job in the Fall! Carpet pads may cost a bit more, but they make it far easier to move your rug around. You can also try rug gripper as a cheaper alternative.

Can You Put An Outdoor Rug On Stamped Concrete?

Stamped concrete, which is sometimes called imprinted concrete, has been textured to resemble flagstones, brick, slate, or even wood. It’s a great way to give your patio a distinctive look: but is this rougher surface suitable for outdoor rugs? Happily, you can place your favorite outdoor rug on your stamped concrete patio.

Stamped concrete is often sealed, which prevents the problem of water staining. Indeed, the rug can actually help protect the floor in high-footfall areas (such as under the table, in front of the couch, or on the route between the seating area and the kitchen door). A rug pad is a good way to keep the rug in place, as it yields to the textured finish.

A colorful rug is just the thing to introduce a splash of color to a stamped concrete floor, and it creates a warm and homey feel on your patio.


We’ve been looking at some really colorful polypropylene rugs for the patio, and it turns out that fixing them down to the concrete surface couldn’t be easier.

And because they’re synthetic we don’t have to worry about the weather ruining them – which means less work for me in the long run.

This looks like a win-win all round! 🙂

Mark H.

Homeowner and property investor Mark H. aspires to bring you the very best outdoor living content, based on his years of experience managing outside spaces. Read more >