Can You Put Laminate Flooring Over the Carpet? (Tips, Pros and Cons)

If you are planning to renovate your floors, you may be wondering whether laminate flooring can be laid over carpet. Installing laminate flooring over the carpet can simplify the process and avoid the hassle of removing the existing layer, which can be messy and time-consuming.

Prior to removing carpets or purchasing new flooring materials, it is crucial to evaluate the feasibility of this option.

  • If you have low-pile carpeting in good condition (short, dense, and flat fibers), you can lay laminate flooring over it.
  • In most cases, removing the wall-to-wall before installing flooring is recommended.
  • Soft carpets won’t provide the support your flooring needs to maintain its locking system.

To aid in your decision-making process, we will provide a comprehensive analysis of whether or not it is possible to install laminate flooring over carpet in this article.

Should You Install Laminate Over Carpet?

Installing laminate over carpeting is not advised because most carpets are made of soft materials and don’t provide a stable base for flooring.

Flooring over the soft or thick carpet can lead to shifting the planks when walking on, causing instability. The boards will get cracked and uneven since they aren’t static and are always moving. If the boards continue to move, the locking mechanism will not function.

The wall-to-wall can be covered with planks if it is thin or stiff. It ensures the plank will remain in place due to the solid base provided by a thin layer. Planks can also be kept in place and prevented from moving by placing flooring beneath or above the layer.

Pros of Installing Over Carpeting

  1. The surface below will be shielded by planks.
  2. Installing planks over carpet is simpler than doing it with bare wood.
  3. The extra layer beneath will provide the planks with more warmth and insulation.
  4. Planks will alter the appearance of your floor.
  5. The floor will be more moisture-resistant.

Cons of Installing Over Carpeting

  1. If the flooring is not installed properly, it may become uneven.
  2. Soft layer underneath can lead to the cracking and separation of laminate boards.
  3. The boards may develop bumps and warps as a result.
  4. Poor adhesion.

Carpet Types to Use

Laminate can only be used to cover carpets that are thin or have a low pile. The flat and hard surface of low-pile carpets provides a sturdy base for the planks.

These types of covers are also referred to as floor mats due to their lack of fluffy padding and proximity to the floor.

Materials such as leather, polyester, and rubber are commonly used in their production to ensure their durability and resistance to moisture.

Laminate planks are not suitable for installation over the high-pile carpet as they do not have a sturdy and even foundation, leading to instability. Attempting to install them regardless will result in their fragmentation and division.

High-pile carpets, such as fluffy, layered, and leveled plush carpets, possess flexibility that causes them to bend under pressure.

How to Properly Install Laminate Flooring Over Carpet

Only thin or low-pile covers are suitable for installing laminate planks over. Consequently, it is advised to eliminate any high-pile or fluffy carpet you may have.

You need the following equipment:

  • Clean rags
  • Floor Vacuum
  • A bucket of water
  • A circular saw or even a table saw
  • Tapes
  • Pencils
  • A scrubbing brush
  • Detergent
  • Knives
  • A hammer or even a rubber mallet
  • A measuring tape

1. Clear the Floor of Any Furniture

Start by taking away all the items and furniture from the floor. Additionally, take off any fittings and pads from the room’s corners.

2. Clean Wall-to-Wall

To get rid of dust and other debris, vacuum wall-to-wall. If the floor is dirty, scrub it with a scrub brush and detergent, then let it air dry for a couple of days.

3. Get Your Measurements

Measure the floor precisely with a measuring tape (length x width). Knowing your required number of laminate planks (or boards) is made easier by this. They can also be arranged to determine how many you need (without locking them).

4. Install a Subfloor (Optional)

If the carpet already includes a waterproof underlayment, there is no need to install an additional one. However, if there isn’t one, you should install it to prevent moisture from seeping into the laminate planks.

A water-resistant underlayment will serve as a “barrier” and stop moisture from entering the boards from below. Moreover, it provides a firm footing and muffles the sound of your footsteps on the flooring. Water can destroy the planks if it gets underneath them without an underlayment.

5. Install the Laminate Flooring

Install the underlayment first, then lay the laminate planks. The longest portion of the floor should be used to begin placing them. Make sure the end joints are securely fastened. Lock the planks into position by using the locking mechanism.

Make sure to leave spaces between certain planks to allow for acclimation. They will swell and shrink for a few days as they adjust to their new environment.

How Long Can Laminate Flooring Last?

Laminate flooring tends to have a longer lifespan than carpet by approximately 10 years, but this depends on the type of room in which the planks are placed. If installed on high-traffic floors, laminate planks may not last as long.

Additionally, the condition of the layer underneath the planks is critical; if it is worn or unstable, it may cause bumps that can reduce the durability of the flooring.

To increase the longevity of the boards, it’s essential to use waterproof mats to prevent water from penetrating the flooring.

Final Thoughts

There is no straightforward “yes” or “no” response to whether laminate flooring can be installed over the carpet.

Although it is possible to lay laminate floor over some types of carpet, there are several critical considerations to make, including the thickness of the wall-to-wall, and the state of the subfloor.

A thin, durable carpet floor can be covered with laminate. Planks won’t stay put and will break and split if the layer underneath is too soft or thick (high-pile).

When vinyl flooring is installed on a carpeted floor, it is not as rigid and robust as on a hardwood floor. If vinyl planks are placed in a heavily trafficked carpeted area, the connection between the boards may break down faster.

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