Can You Carpet Over Laminate Flooring?

There are many things to consider when selecting flooring, such as safety, cleanliness and appearance. Some people prefer the smooth, hard surface of a laminate floor while others like the soft, warmer surface of carpeting.

Whether out of personal preference or general practicality, sometimes carpeting over laminate flooring can be what a space needs. There are some factors to consider in making this decision.

Laminate Flooring

Before deciding if you want to carpet over laminate flooring it's important to understand how the laminate flooring you have is installed. Most laminate floor is installed using a "floating floor" method, which means that the laminate floor is not attached to the floor beneath it. The way this works is that the boards or planks of the laminate attach to each other, but not to the subfloor over which they are installed. There are several practical benefits to a floating floor installation, a main one being that the floor can contract and expand as changes in humidity occur.

There are also disadvantages to the "floating floor" method, one of these being that the floor can become slightly warped and obtain a rigid or "seasick" quality. This inherent instability of laminate flooring coupled with the fact that laminate flooring is a very firm surface that doesn't allow for much cushion make it advisable to rip up laminate flooring before installing carpet. Laminate flooring often comes up relatively easily, and once you get the first piece up the rest of the floor should follow suit without too much trouble. By installing carpet on the sub-flooring and not the laminate flooring you avoid potential future issues, such as uneven and uncomfortably hard surfaces and excessive wear on the carpet.

Installing Carpet Over Laminate Flooring

If your laminate flooring proves difficult to uproot or if you decide to install carpet over laminate flooring for any other reason, there are a few other things you should take into consideration. First of all, if you install carpet over laminate flooring you can always go back to laminate flooring by removing the carpet. If you install carpet on the subfloor then you will have to reinstall laminate flooring, which is significantly more time consuming. Depending on the height of the carpet and of your door clearances, you may also have to trim all of your door bottoms to make sure they open properly over the new carpeting.

Adhering Carpet to Laminate Flooring

If you decide to install carpet over laminate flooring make sure to use a quality gripper to prevent the carpet from shifting or moving over the laminate flooring, as this can cause unfortunate wrinkles and rips in the carpet. If you think you may remove the carpet and go back to the laminate floor you may want to consider other alternatives that won't damage the laminate floor, such as a felt carpet that you spray down.