Laminate Flooring Over Carpet (Can You Do it & How To?)

Laminate are floating floors that can stay over most even surfaces. So, can you put laminate flooring over carpet?

You can put laminate over carpet flooring. That’s because laminate is a floating float and will stay over an even and clean surface. However, it’s best to apply laminate planks over a thin carpet. 

Also, thick carpets don’t provide a suitable base, so removing them before applying laminate is better,

Should You Do it?

It’s not recommended to put laminate over a carpet. That’s because most carpets don’t provide a suitable base and are made from soft materials that don’t offer stability. 

So, if you put laminate over a soft or thick carpet, the planks won’t stay strong in one place and will move if you walk over them. Since the planks aren’t static and move, they will develop cracks and become uneven. The locking mechanism of the planks won’t work if the planks keep moving. 

However, if the carpet is thin or rigid, you can install planks over it. That’s because a thin carpet has a strong base and will keep the plank in one place. Also, installing a subfloor under or above the carpet will allow planks to stay in one place and not move. 

Pros

  1. It’s easier to install planks over a carpet than bare wood. 
  2. The carpet underneath will provide additional insulation and warmth to the planks. 
  3. Planks will protect the surface underneath. 
  4. Planks will change the look of your floor. 
  5. The floor will have better moisture resistance. 

Cons

  1. Soft carpets can cause laminate planks to develop cracks and separate. 
  2. It can cause bumps and warps on the planks. 
  3. The floor can become uneven if not applied correctly. 
  4. Poor adhesion. 

Types of Carpets To Use

You can only put laminate over thin or low-pile carpets. This is because low-pile carpets are hard and flat and will provide a sturdy base for the planks. Low-pile carpets are also referred to as floor mats because they are closed to the ground and don’t have any fluff or soft padding. They are made of moisture-resistant and strong materials such as rubber, leather, and polyester.

You shouldn’t install laminate planks over high-pile carpets. This is because they don’t have a sturdy or flat base, meaning they won’t offer stability and the planks will crack and separate if you do. High-pile carpets include fluffy, multiple-layered, and flush carpets. These carpets are flexible and will bend if weight is applied to them. 

How To Lay Laminate Floor Over a Carpet?

You can only install laminate planks over low-pile or thin carpets. So, if you have a high-pile or fluffy carpet, it’s best to remove it. 

Here are the tools you need:

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

1. Remove Furniture From The Floor

Remove Furniture and Objects in The Room

First, remove objects and furniture from the floor. Also, remove fittings and pads around the corners of the room. 

2. Clean The Carpet

Clean The Carpet

Clean the carpet by vacuuming it to remove loose materials and dust. If the floor is filthy, wash it with a scrubbing brush and detergent and allow it to dry for a few days. 

3. Get Your Measurements

Get Your Measurements

Use a measuring tape to accurately measure the floor (length x width). This helps you know how many laminate planks (or boards) you need. You can also arrange the planks (without locking them) to know how many you need.

4. Install a Subfloor (Optional)

Install a Subfloor (Optional)

If the carpet already has a waterproof underlayment, you don’t need to install an extra one. But, if it doesn’t, install one to protect the laminate planks from moisture.

A waterproof underlayment will act as a “barrier” and prevent moisture from penetrating the planks from underneath. It also provides a sturdy base and reduces the knowing sounds when you walk over the floor. Without an underlayment, water can get underneath the planks and damage them. 

5. Install The Laminate Flooring

Install The Laminate Flooring

After installing the underlayment, lay the laminate planks. Start laying the planks from the longest part of the floor, and ensure the end joints are tightly fixed. Use the locking mechanism to lock the planks in place. 

Ensure to leave gaps between some planks for the acclimation process. During the acclimation process, the planks will expand and contract for a few days (3). 

How Long Will It Last?

On average, laminate flooring will last 10 years over a carpet. However, it all depends on the type of room the planks are installed. For instance, on busy floors, laminate planks will last less.

Also, the condition of the carpet matters. If the carpet is old or not durable, the planks won’t last long because the old carpet will cause bumps in the flooring. 

To make the flooring last longer, use waterproof mats over the floor to prevent water from the planks. 

Final Words

You can install laminate over a thin and sturdy carpet. But, if the carpet is thick or too soft (high-pile), planks won’t stay in one place and will crack and separate. 

Also, you must install a waterproof underlayment under the planks if the subfloor doesn’t have one. 

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