Can I install laminate flooring over carpet?

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.

If you are working with sturdy low pile carpeting, you can install laminate on top of it. Think of carpet 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. 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.

Low-pile and High-pile carpet comparison
Low-pile and High-pile carpet comparison

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 sub floor 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 laminate flooring underlayment

If you are looking for something different than what is mentioned above, you can visit our underlayment section on Bestlaminate. We have a wide selection of underlayments 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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33 comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. Hi Beth, In most cases if your subfloor is uneven from room to room, you would have to either use a self leveling agent or install a new subfloor entirely. Also if you do not want transitions, make sure you choose a vinyl floor that does not require transition pieces. There are many that require transitions to keep your warranty valid.

  4. Hi we have a house that has hard wood floors, carpet, and tiles all running together. Is there a way to even everything up so we don’t have to have a bunch of transitions. We would remove the carpet. We are planning to lay vinyl laminate flooring throughout.
    Thank you !!

  5. Hi Christian! We do not recommend installing laminate over carpet unless it is commercial carpet with a low pile (fluff). We would recommend just pulling the carpet up, making sure that the subfloor is free of imperfections and installing underlayment and laminate on top of that.

  6. Hello,
    thanks for your tips. We plan to lay laminate over a very fluffy carpet. We were told that we had to put OSB sheets underneath first. Do you think that is also possible? Do we then still need a base between the OSB and the laminate? The rental apartment is on the 1st floor. Many thanks in advance.

  7. Hello, thanks for the question. For a laminate, anything over 8mm will work well here.

  8. Hello I have carpet that is exactly 1/4in thick. I want to put laminate right over as you had stated this size or less is fine . I would like to know is there a minimum thickness that the laminate should be? I have seen anywhere from 3mm to 12mm thickness. I am assuming the thicker the laminate the better. Is that the case? Thank you!

  9. Hi Leo, thanks foe the question. To install over carpet, it should be a carpet without underlayment. The underlayment will add too much cushion and compromise the joints.

  10. Hi. You mention it cant be more than 1/4 thick to support laminate flooring, is that including the padding below carpet?

  11. Hi David, sorry to hear you’re experiencing loud foot steps. This could be that they did not install the proper underlayment beneath the carpet. Usually carpeted surfaces are not as loud as a wood or vinyl floor.

  12. David Farrington

    Hi Alana

    I am having problems with upstairs neighbours who I have been informed have laid carpet over a parquetry floor and their footsteps are quite evident.
    Would you have any ideas why these foosteps can be heard?

    Thank you

  13. Hi Elain, thanks for the question. It sounds like the flooring is adding too much cushion and compromising the flooring joints with the noise. The only way would be to uninstall the flooring and remove the carpet and add a proper underlayment. If your engineered floor is floating, you should be able to carefully uninstall and re-install it.

  14. Hi

    We made a mistake and laid engender wood floor over the carpet. Not sure it is less then 1/4 thick. Floor is squicky and making popping sounds. Is there way to fix it? Many thanks.

  15. Hi Maria, thanks for the question. I believe your moisture issue is above the surface. Once water makes it under your mats, it doesn’t have anywhere to go, which will cause the mold to grow once it’s trapped under there. To fix that issue, the floor mats should be cleaned or moved weekly to avoid the mold. I don’t believe you have a water issue that requires a moisture barrier, but you will want to use an underlayment before you lay the laminate flooring. If the underlayment happens to have a vapor barrier, that is great too. I would consider a laminate with waterproof properties if you do have water tracked through your space.

  16. Hi Becky, is your carpet less than 1/4″ thick? You can install over commercial grade carpet. If not, you can remove the carpet and install an underlayment to help with cushion and thermal properties. You can shop our underlayments here: https://www.bestlaminate.com/accessories/underlayment/

  17. We have a commercial office space with VCT in the main areas and commercial grade no pile carpeting in the offices. We have used plastic floor mats over the VCT which does eventually grow mold underneath.

    What would you suggest before laying laminate flooring?

    Remove carpet?
    Leave Carpet and install moisture barrier under Laminate?
    Moisture Barrier over VCT and Carpet?

  18. Hi,
    In the basement of my house i have low pile carpet (with Concrete underneath) there’s 0 moister, now i wanna install laminate flooring in the basement but would very much not want to remove the carpet (for a few reasons)
    what are my options?

  19. Hi Clint, thanks for the question. It is very important to have a level subfloor before starting. The most sturdy idea would be to add plywood. This, of course, depends on how much of a height difference there is. Another option would be to use a transition molding between the kitchen and living room. I would recommend a level subfloor over underlayment.

  20. I’m installing laminate over a kitchen floor with vinyl flooring extending to living room that was carpeted. So the kitchen is a little higher than the living room…but I want the floor to be level straight across. Can I add extra underlayment in the living room or do I need to put down a thin layer of plywood subfloor to level it out? What is best method?

  21. Hi Diesel, thanks for your question. If you are installing a laminate, there is no securing necessary! It will simply float as one piece. Keep in mind, there will need to be a small gap on the edges that is usually covered with a molding. The moldings would be the only change needed that are secured to the wall.

  22. oh fantastic.. will do that so. Thanks so much for your help!

  23. Hi,

    I’m so glad I found your site! I need to install roll laminate over commercial low pile carpet which is over concrete. How could I secure this I am not able to modify anything since this is temporary space at work The space is 27′ x 22′.
    Any help you can offer is much appreciated thanks for your time!

    Cheers,
    diesel

  24. Hi Jane, thanks for the question. I wouldn’t recommend this for 2 reasons. The first, it will be too much cushion under the plywood to be a properly supported subfloor for the laminate. Second, if any moisture was to get in between the plywood and carpet, you can have an underlying mold issue. It’s in your best interest to uninstall the carpet and underlayment and install your floating floor ontop of the subfloor.

  25. No problem! So generally with a concrete subfloor, we always recommend a moisture barrier. I would take a peak under the carpet just to ensure there is no moisture or mold issues.Just to be safe, I would lay the vapor barrier film over the carpet in case anything may happen. Water damage from the subfloor can also affect the walls, which is why we recommend the moisture barrier to help overlap the subfloor and wall.

  26. Hello – I’ve bought a home which has low-pile (but not flat, as in indoor-outdoor) carpet, with attached foam underlay that is glued to the OSB subfloor. Rather than try to pull up this carpet, I was wondering if it’s possible to add a layer of 1/4 inch plywood, screw this through the carpet to the OSB, and then put down laminate.
    Would this work? Is 1/4 inch ply rigid enough once it’s thoroughly screwed down to keep the laminate from buckling or shifting? Thanks.

  27. Thanks again for reply – its a commercial v low pile carpet alright. Its laid on a concrete subfloor. Its a relatively modern building … maybe 1990 or so

  28. Hi Damien, is the carpet over a concrete subfloor or wood? If it is over a wood subfloor, you should be OK without moisture issues. You could always pull some up to double check. This is a commercial grade, low pile carpet correct?

  29. hi thanks very much for your reply – so you think install vapor barrier over the carpet? Would the carpet being dry be enough of an indication that there is no moisture issue do you think or should i pull it up slightly to check underneath? Many thanks again

  30. Hi Damien, thanks for the question! In this case, you could use a vapor barrier. If you already have carpet, it is concerning that you would have a moisture issue. You should make sure there are no moisture issues with the carpet before installing the laminate. You don’t want to find out you have a mold or mildew problem under the floating floor!

  31. Hello – I know you mentioned underlay will not be needed on top of the Low pile carpet… but should it be used if there is a need for moisture protection? Or would that create too much of a cushion on top of the carpet? Thanks

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