Home Laminate Flooring Can I Install Laminate Flooring Over Carpet?

Can I Install Laminate Flooring Over Carpet?

by Bestlaminate
Published: Updated: 37 comments 4 minutes read

Installing laminate flooring over carpet is not recommended in most installation situations. Since carpet is usually plush and soft, your laminate flooring would not have the support it needs to keep the locking system sturdy. If there is too much give to the floor underneath, the locking system would be strained, causing the floor to buckle and possibly damaging the floor.

Unfortunately, there can be a high cost in removing carpet, so some homeowners prefer to install over their existing floor. Here’s the one exception to the rule.

What about short or low pile carpet?

If you are working with sturdy low pile carpeting, you can install laminate on top of it. Short or low pile carpet is what you would see in most hotel rooms, bus and airplane aisle ways, and other commercial spaces. As long as it is flat and in good condition, your laminate will install well on top. No underlayment is needed in this type of installation.

How to decide if you have the right carpet for laminate installation?

Be sure that the carpeting is less than ¼ inch high. If a carpet pile is too high, there may not be enough stability to float your floors. Think of the plush carpet found in most residential homes in bedrooms and living rooms. These carpets should never have laminate flooring installed on top of them.

Problems with Laminate Flooring over Carpet

There are a few concerns we need to address before you go ahead and install over carpeting. The first concern is the possibility for trapping allergens, as dust and mites live in carpeting. Next, your carpet may be uneven where there was high traffic, causing the subfloor to have low spots. This can cause the laminate to float improperly, leaving areas that flex. Lastly, there is a possibility that the flooring can harbor mold and mildew beneath the carpet.

Removing Carpet for Laminate Flooring Installation

If you decide to remove your carpeting prior to installation, as it is recommended in most cases, be sure to also remove the carpet underlayment as well. You cannot install laminate flooring on top of this type of underlayment, as it’s too soft.

Remember that the subfloor underneath the carpet and carpet underlayment should be smooth and free of debris. Remove any potential obstacles, so your laminate flooring will have a seamless surface. You will need laminate flooring underlayment for your project – here is a guide to select the right underlayment.

How to choose underlayment for laminate flooring chart Bestlaminate

If you are looking for something different from what is mentioned above, you can visit our underlayment section on Bestlaminate. We have a wide selection of underlayment to fit your needs!

If you are unsure about what underlayment is best for your project or have unique circumstances, do not hesitate to contact a Bestlaminate flooring specialist at 1-800-520-0961.

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Jo November 29, 2022 - 6:56 am

Hey there
I’m looking to lay laminate over a short pile carpet tile. It used to be an office space and I’m converting into a yoga studio. Is it okay to lay directly on to the carpet tile as you suggest and would this be fit for use?

Rachel Vahcic December 13, 2022 - 8:41 am

Thanks for your question, Jo. IF the carpet is the low plie commercial carpet, you can install laminate right over it. If the carpet has any shag or thickness to it, we would recommend pulling it up prior to installation.

Beth MacPherson May 10, 2022 - 2:05 pm

My office has low pile commericial carpet glued to a cement floor. It is almost impossible to get any of it off. Would we have to put a vapor barrier over the carpet before we could put laminate down? I was hoping to tear off the carpet, but even the super could not rip any up.

Rachel Vahcic May 17, 2022 - 8:47 am

Thanks for your question, Beth! Unfortunately, the commercial carpet will need to be taken out before you can install any floating floor in your office. By not removing the carpet, you will risk the possibility of your floor buckling due to the unlevel subfloor underneath. For best results, the carpet should be removed and the subfloor should be leveled underneath! We would suggest finding a local contractor to see if they could get the carpeting out.

Peter September 29, 2021 - 3:53 pm

Hey I want to install laminate flooring over a low pile commercial carpet but we are concerned with sound attenuation. Originally were planning on installing 6-8mm rubber underlayment for sound dampening but wondering if we just go over the carpet and skip the underlayment how the sound attenuation would compare. Any ideas?

Vanessa October 4, 2021 - 8:28 am

Hi Peter! Yes, in a lot of cases you are able to install laminate over a low pile commercial carpet. We just advise to reach out to the manufacturer of the laminate to make sure that type of installation is compliant with their warranty and instructions.

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