Can You Install Laminate Flooring Over Carpet?

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Laminate flooring is a popular alternative to natural wood flooring and tile. Typically, laminate is less expensive than traditional flooring and is moderately easy to install. You should consider some precautions especially when it comes to the materials over which you lay your new laminate flooring. Following manufacturers instructions will help to ensure you have a top quality new floor, that you can enjoy for years to come.

  • Understand the process. Before you consider laying laminate flooring over carpet, it is important for you to understand firstly, how laminate flooring is installed. Installation of laminate flooring uses a “floating floor” method. A floating floor is one that is not attached to the subfloor beneath it. The boards or planks of the laminate attach to each other, but not to the sub-floor where it is being installed. A floating floor installation allows the floor to contract and expand as changes in the room’s humidity occur.

  • Know all the considerations. The second consideration is that since laminate flooring is installation that occurs using the floating floor method, the material of the sub-floor on which it lays is important. The movement of the flooring during changes in humidity can be hampered if proper underlayment and subflooring is not present. If your subfloor is not flat, creaking and other problems of your laminate flooring may result. Carpet in most cases will not be totally flat. The underlayment of the laminate flooring probably won’t eliminate bumps or dips of the carpet. This is why manufacturers and professional floor installers do not recommend laying laminate flooring over carpet.

  • Remove the carpet. If you currently have carpet, the best method for laying your new laminate is to remove the carpet. There have been reports of laying laminate over carpet that is very thin, such as indoor/outdoor carpeting. With that being said, it is still not part of the manufacturer’s recommendations. Even carpet as thin as indoor/outdoor carpet can still have thick and thin areas that could cause problems with your new flooring. Remember, the goal is to make sure your subflooring provides a completely flat surface on which your new laminate will lay.

Tips & Warnings

  • As with any type of flooring be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for preparing the subfloor and for installing laminate flooring.
  • Installing laminate flooring over carpet may result in the manufacturer denying any warranty rights.
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