Laminate flooring offers a convenient way to add an instant new look to any room in your house, often without the need to spend too much money. There are several benefits you can expect from laminate flooring. One critical factor that needs to be taken into consideration, however, is the installation process.
The surface where the laminate will be installed needs to be thoroughly prepared. And if this step is skipped, you may end up with a floor that will not give you the performance you expect.
A common question asked is whether laminate can be installed over an existing carpet. The quick answer to this question would usually be no.
Installing Laminate Over Carpet: Is This a Good Idea?
Installing laminate flooring over a carpet seems like a great way to reduce the effort needed to add this stylish product to your house. There is no need to rip out the existing carpets, and the process of prepping the area seems to become simpler. Unfortunately, if this is a route you decide to take, you may soon find yourself with more expenses than you anticipated.
Regardless of the carpet that you have installed in your house at the moment – it is never considered a good idea to add laminated flooring without first removing the carpets.
There are several reasons why you need to avoid this.
One of the very first issues that you need to realize when considering the installation of laminate flooring over an existing carpet is the warping of the material.
A carpet adds a soft surface underneath the laminate. What happens with carpet is it tend to push down as people walk on it. The same thing happens even when the carpet is underneath the laminate. As the carpet pushes down, it causes a distortion in the shape of the laminate.
This is eventually causing the material used in the production of the laminate to work, which means your floor will lose its shape.
If you have laminate that uses a snap feature to attach multiple parts together, then you may also find that they start to become loose. This can cause gaps in your flooring, which will definitely take away from the aesthetics of the laminate.
Carpets are home to dust mites and dust. With a regular carpet in your home, the use of cleaning products, along with a vacuum cleaner, can help you keep these two elements under control. Thus, they do not pose a significant problem.
When you decide to install laminate over your carpets, then dust and mites tend to become a more significant issue. Since the carpet is covered by laminate, dust and mites will continue to accumulate, and you will have no way of keeping the carpet in a “fresh” condition.
If you suffer from allergies, then you might find the combination of carpet and laminate flooring causes you to experience a significant increase in your symptoms.
Mold and Mildew
Yet another issue that comes with the installation of laminate flooring on top of a carpet is a high risk of mold and mildew.
When you cover your carpets with laminate, it increases the risk of moisture collecting underneath the laminate – inside the carpet. In turn, this creates an environment that promotes the development of mold and mildew. Both of these can pose problems in your house.
Quick Tips on Preparing a Surface for the Installation of Laminate Flooring
We have established that installing your laminate flooring over carpets is not a good idea. The question now is – how should you install laminate flooring for the best results.
If you have existing carpets in the area where the laminate flooring will be installed, then the first step would be to rip out all carpet.
Once the carpet is removed, the next step is to clean the surface thoroughly. If any pieces of carpet still remain, such as at the sides against the wall, then be sure to remove them using appropriate tools. Make sure you remove any debris of glue that may still be present on the floor. There should also be no dust.
At this point, you need to consider if you will be using underlayment before installing laminate. Most people tend to opt for mold-resistant acoustic underlay. It adds some insulation, while also absorbing the noise from footsteps.
Once you are ready to start with the installation of laminate, you should make sure you understand the instructions provided to you. These products will usually be accompanied by instructions you need to follow.
In some cases, the laminate flooring may come with glue already attached to it. However, there are a lot of these products that will need you to use your own adhesive. Different products are available – again, make sure to read and follow the instructions. You will usually be required to add the glue to the subfloor surface that you will be using. And then carefully place the laminate flooring on top of the glue layer.
After installing the laminate, make sure you allow enough time for the glue to dry thoroughly before you start walking on the floor.
While laminate flooring can be a great addition to your house, it is essential to take the necessary steps during the installation process.
It might seem like a good idea to install laminate over the carpet, but this could lead to serious issues in the future. Following a proper installation method gives you an impact-resistant and fade-resistant flooring that is sure to last for a significant time.
Related: Can You Install Laminate Over Tile?