Can I Install Laminate Flooring Over Carpet Underlayment?

Finally decided to swap your carpet for laminate flooring? Excellent! You’ve read up on all the tools and extras you need, and know you need underlayment in order to help the laminate float. You pull up the carpet and see… carpet underlayment! Since you see you already have this underlayment, you can use that to install your laminate flooring on top of, right?

Wrong!

When you tear up carpet, you must remove everything down to the subfloor. You absolutely cannot use carpet underlayment underneath laminate flooring. As much as you want to cut down costs on a new floor, this is not the way to do it. Installing laminate flooring over carpet underlayment will do more harm than good in the long run.

Carpet Removal from House of Humble Blog
Carpet Removal from House of Humble Blog

Why Can’t I Use Carpet Underlayment?

Put simply, carpet underlayment is too thick. Most laminate flooring underlayment is 1mm to 3mm thick. Most carpet underlayments range from 8mm thick to 10mm thick, way too thick for laminate flooring installations. Now you may think that added cushion equals a “softer” floor. This is also wrong. If you reuse your thick carpet padding, your floor will be too bouncy and it may damage the locking system. Pay special attention to your warranty when installing underlayment. Not following their directions can cause your warranty to be void.

carpet vs laminate underlayment

Have you installed laminate flooring underlayment? Have you made the mistake of using carpet underlayment? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

More About Laminate Flooring Underlayment:

18 comments

  1. Hello Denis, we suggest removing the carpet before vinyl installation.

  2. I have a very thin carpet in my livingroom, no underlay. Is it ok to install 12 mil on this without other underlay?

  3. Hello Beverly. We would recommend taking out the subfloor boards, the laminate and the carpet padding. The original dry rotted subfloor will need to be replaced with subfloor boards. Then an underlayment needs to be installed before any laminate flooring is installed. You cannot put any sort of carpet padding under a laminate because it is much too soft for the laminate locking systems.

  4. Hi, So my subfloor is dry rotted and some spots are really soft. My boyfriend put carpet pad down then laminate. Then their was water seeping into wall space bc of bad window. Then all of a sudden half the living room floor was so soft and caving in we had to put 4×8 subfloor boards on top of the laminate. Is this because the carpet pad absorbed the water and the dry rot soaked it up? How can we fix it?

  5. Hi Jenny. You will have to un install the laminate floor, pull up the carpet and carpet pad. Then make sure your subfloor is level. You would then be able to install an underlayment and the laminate floor on top.

  6. Hi. I just install laminated flooring on top of carpet. How can I fix it.

  7. Hello Asad, Unless your carpet is very short commercial carpet, do not install laminate over your carpet. This will be too much cushion and eventually the locking systems will break and buckle.

  8. Hi , i have carpet in living room and kitchen and going to change it to laminate flooring. the flooring fitter is telling me that by installing 8mm flooring board on top of carpet will have no issues at all like bouncy flooring etc.
    I also think that having carpet underlay will help in winter too by providing warm flooring.
    Please advise. Thanks

  9. Hi Anna! Unfortunately you would not be able to install laminate planks over carpet padding. The carpet padding is going to be too soft and cushion-y for the laminate. Over time, the laminate will separate from each other due to having too much cushion underneath it.

  10. Hi

    I’ve ordered laminate and acoustic plus underlay, I can not piss my neighbours off and my carpet underlay is in good condition can I not put everything on top of it just to add layers to avoid noise and kee heat in too as it’s old floor boards in a Victorian conversion flat

  11. Hi Penny! Unfortunately you would have to remove the underlayment layer and make sure that the subfloor is level, smooth and free of subfloor imperfections.

  12. I have just removed old carpet and there is a very thin glued down underlay. Turns out to be a huge job with a chisel getting it up. Can I put laminate and underlay over it?

  13. Hi Mike, thanks for the question. If you absolutely can’t remove it, the underlayment may be equivalent height. It all depends on how thick it is.

  14. I have a very thin rug thats glued directly to the floor. Can I install laminate flooring over it?

  15. Hi Marek, thanks for the question. I would not advise going this route, as the subfloor will not be properly installed or secure. You can find vinyl underlayment with sound dampening qualities. I would suggest removing the carpet underlayment and use a sound rated vinyl pad that meets your lease specifications. Here are some options: https://www.bestlaminate.com/accessories/underlayment/vinyl-underlayment/

  16. Hello. I want to install click luxury vinyl tiles in rooms where high-pile carpets are fitted. As I need to keep an extra layer of sound insulation (due to leasehold policy) I have decided to keep carpet underlayment. I know, I can’t install vinyl tiles over it so I want to put a layer of plywood on top of carpet underlayment to make it more sturdy. I also plan to use 1,5mm thin vinyl tiles underlayment on top of plywood layer so tiles can “float” properly.

    Would this solution work?

    Thank you

  17. Hi Bonnie, as long as your linoleum is still in good condition and securely adhered, you can lay vinyl flooring over it. Just be aware that any bumps or unlevel spots in the linoleum will be seen with a sheet vinyl over top of it.

  18. Can I put vinyl flooring that comes on a huge roll directly to the old linoleum that has been glued down?

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