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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!

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2 comments

  1. Avatar

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

    • Alana Kane

      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.

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