Carpet Flattening

Understanding and Remedying Carpet Flattening

Carpet flattening is a common process that affects the appearance and texture of your carpet over time, it is most common with cut pile carpets although loop pile carpets will also experience it to some degree. This phenomenon occurs when constant pressure or foot traffic causes the carpet pile to fall over or compress, making the individual fibres and overall texture appear to blend into one surface.

What Causes Carpet Flattening?

Several factors contribute to carpet flattening:

Foot Traffic
Continuous walking or movement in specific areas leads to fibre compression.

Heavy furniture placed on the carpet creates indentations.

Quality of Carpet Underlay
Inadequate or worn-out underlay fails to provide ample support to the carpet.

Identifying Carpet Flattening:

Carpet flattening is identifiable by visibly flattened or indented areas on the carpet. These areas lose their natural texture and may appear worn or less vibrant than the surrounding carpet.

How to Fix Carpet Flattening:

Here are effective ways to remedy carpet flattening:

Regular vacuuming helps to lift the fibres upright and return the pile to its original structure. High use areas like hallways and stairs should be given more attention when vacuuming as they’ll benefit the most. Note that most manufacturers will now advise against using beater head vaccums, for prolonging the life of the carpet, instead opt for a vaccum with the most suction available.

Ice Cube Method
Place ice cubes on flattened areas, allowing them to melt. Gently lift the fibres with a spoon or the edge of a credit card once the carpet dries.

Steam Cleaning
Professional steam cleaning rejuvenates flattened areas by restoring the carpet’s fluffiness.

Brushing or Raking
Utilise a carpet brush or rake designed for this purpose to gently lift flattened fibres.

Heat Treatment
Use a hairdryer to apply gentle heat to the flattened area and fluff the fibres with your fingers or a brush.

Preventing Future Flattening

Implement these preventive measures to maintain your carpet’s lush appearance:

Furniture Rotation
Regularly rearrange furniture to redistribute pressure on the carpet.

Area Rugs or Runners
Place rugs in high-traffic zones to reduce direct foot traffic on the carpet. It is important the backing on any rugs or runners is not the factory backing (if it was an offcut  leftover from installation) as this is generally quite a coarse material and the friction will speed up any wear. This can be fixed by putting a layer of felt or something similar in between the carpet and rug/runner.

Quality Carpet Underlay
 Invest in good-quality underlay to offer better support and resilience to your carpet.

Carpet structure
Higher gauge (thicker) carpet fibres and denser/tighter pile structure will retain their appearance much better than shaggy & soft carpets with long piles & finer fibres. Some manufacturers have developed ranges that utilise a blend of fibres to achieve the best of both worlds.


Carpet flattening is a natural occurrence but can be managed and reduced with proper care and targeted remedies. By employing preventive measures and utilising effective techniques, you can revitalise your carpet, preserving its comfort and aesthetic appeal for a prolonged duration.