Can You Put Carpet Over Laminate Flooring? (Find Out Now!)

Jessica Stone
by Jessica Stone

Laminate flooring is one of the most popular flooring choices that homeowners make, as it is incredibly versatile and affordable. Though, if you’re more accustomed to real hardwood floors you may be disappointed by the aesthetics of laminate flooring. Or, perhaps you would simply prefer the look and feel of carpeting in your living spaces. If this is the case, you may find yourself wondering: “can you put carpet over laminate flooring?”

While it is possible to install carpet over laminate flooring, it’s more a question of should you install carpet over laminate flooring. By gluing or nailing down a tacking strip to install the carpeting, you will damage the laminate. If you want to use the laminate flooring in the future, you should consider a different option. Though, if you’re trying to avoid the time and expense of removing your existing laminate floors, you can install carpet over them.

Yes, solving your laminate flooring issues can be easy; however, there are a number of things you must consider before you jump right into adhering carpet to this type of flooring. We’ll walk you through all the details, including how to put carpet over laminate flooring properly and the benefits and drawbacks of this home improvement project.

Are you looking for carpet installers?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Can You Put Carpet Over Laminate Flooring?

Whenever you’re installing new flooring, it’s always ideal to start with a clean slate. However, there are instances where you may want to get the new floors down quickly and without the expense of removing the old. In this case, you may be wondering if you can simply install new carpet over your existing laminate flooring.

So long as you don’t have any future plans for the laminate, this is possible. The existing laminate can be used as a subfloor, both for acting as a base under the carpet padding and for installing the carpeting. Of course, there are a number of different types of laminate flooring and each comes with its own unique considerations.

For instance, if the flooring is installed as a floating floor, it’s pretty simple to remove. On the other hand, if your laminate floors were glued down, it’ll take a lot of effort and expense to remove them – hence, why you may want to install carpet right over the flooring. In addition to the type of laminate, you must also consider the type of carpeting that you plan to install.

Conventional wall-to-wall carpeting is usually installed using a tack strip, which will cause damage to the existing laminate. This also applies to glue-down carpet squares. Again, if you don’t have further use for your laminate flooring, this won’t be a concern.

Should You Put Carpet Over Laminate Flooring?

Although installing carpeting directly on top of laminate flooring is possible, the project comes with both benefits and drawbacks. As such, the question becomes: Should you put carpet over laminate flooring? Let’s discuss the pros and cons to help you come to an informed decision about your own unique situation.

Benefits of Installing Carpet Over Laminate

  • Saves money. When it comes to installing new flooring on a budget, a great way to save money is to avoid tearing out the old flooring entirely. This adds unnecessary expenses to the project, as, in many cases, you can simply install the carpeting directly on top of your existing laminate and it will last for years to come.
  • Saves time. While it may be easy to pull out a floating laminate floor, if the flooring is glued down, it will be a very time-consuming and labor-intensive endeavor to remove it. You save time and make the entire project easier when you choose to install the carpeting over the laminate flooring.
  • More options. While you may enjoy having carpet for many years, it’s likely that eventually, you may want to switch things up again. Having the laminate flooring present underneath the carpeting gives you the option to switch back when desired. Assuming that you don’t cause any damage to the laminate flooring with nails or glue, you can easily remove the carpeting and make the change.

Drawbacks of Installing Carpet Over Laminate

  • Shifting and stretching. The surface of laminate flooring is very smooth. While this can be an advantage in a number of ways, it can also result in the carpeting shifting and stretching over time. Unless you choose to have the carpet restretch, which is recommended, you’ll quickly end up with wrinkles and lumps that may potentially be tripping hazards.
  • Higher elevation. While laminate flooring is typically very thin, when you consider the underlayment, laminate, carpet padding, and then the carpet, the layers add up. This can make it challenging to transition from carpeting to some other flooring type in your home, like tile or wood. Although you can implement transition strips to help, they may not help depending on the elevation.
  • Restricted movement. Another potential drawback to installing carpet over laminate flooring is that you might restrict the floating floor from moving in response to seasonal temperature and humidity changes. If you install a tack strip and nail down the carpet through the subfloor, the floating floor will be firmly held in place and won’t be able to move.
  • Cleaning difficulties. Of course, you may have to clean the carpeting from time to time. Though, if the carpeting gets too saturated, water could get under the carpet padding and damage the laminate flooring. If the damage is extensive, the flooring will buckle and affect the carpeting above.
  • Damage to the laminate. If you’re installing wall-to-wall carpeting, you need to install a tack strip. This involves nailing down through the laminate and into the subfloor, which will cause irreversible damage to your laminate flooring.

Are you looking for carpet installers?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

How to Put Carpet Over Laminate Flooring

Before you start installing the carpet over your existing laminate, you must inspect the laminate flooring. Although carpeting can be pretty forgiving, you’ll still want to fix any imperfections before you install the carpet. This avoids undesirable lumps and bumps as you’re walking along the carpeting. Once the laminate is inspected and properly prepared, follow these steps to install the carpet on top:

  • For wall-to-wall carpeting, start by installing a tack strip around the perimeter of the space. If you want to avoid damaging the laminate, install the tack strip as close to the edge of the room as possible. That way, you can hide the damage using quarter-round or a thicker baseboard.
  • Next, comes the installation of the underlayment. There are many options available on the market, but it’s recommended that you choose the highest quality possible. The underlayment provides comfort to the carpet and also sound dampening.
  • Once the tack strip and underlayment are installed, you can cut the carpet to the appropriate size.
  • Then, start by installing the carpet on one side and securing it with the tack strip.
  • Stretch the carpet within the kicker to the opposite side of the room, ensuring that it is tight. Secure this side with the tacks strip as well.

After the carpet on both sides of the room are secured with the tack strip and the carpeting is tight, make any final cuts to the carpet and then replace the baseboard. That’s all there is to it!

Related Guides

Jessica Stone
Jessica Stone

Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.

More by Jessica Stone