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?


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:

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  1. Alana Kane

    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.

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

  3. Alana Kane

    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:

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    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

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