How To Lay Carpet Over Laminate Flooring [A Complete Guide]

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When you’re preparing to install a new carpet, it can be overwhelming to think about ripping up your current flooring before starting your project. You are likely wondering if you can lay carpet over your laminate floor. We understand this frustration, so we did some research on the topic. See our findings below. 

If at all possible, it is better to remove the laminate flooring before installing the carpet. Laying carpet over the existing floor comes with several disadvantages. However, if you don’t have the time or means to do so, it is possible to lay carpet over laminate flooring.

Continue reading to learn how to lay carpet over laminate flooring, the disadvantages of doing so, and answers to other questions you may have. 

Handyman is laying fitted carpet. How To Lay Carpet Over Laminate Flooring [A Complete Guide]

How to Lay Carpet Over Laminate Flooring

Although it’s best to remove the laminate flooring before installing carpet, if you are looking to take the easy way out, you can lay carpet over your existing floor. Before getting started, you should make sure your floors are level and clean. If they aren’t level, your carpet will have bumps or waves. You will also need to have the following tools on hand: 

Installer Using Knee Kicker to Stretch Bedroom Carpet

  • Hammer
  • Carpet knife
  • Tack strips
  • Tack strip cutter
  • Carpet stapler
  • Knee kicker

Click here to see this carpet knife on Amazon.

Click here to see a tack strip cutter on Amazon.

Installing the Carpet

Man installing carpeting in home.

Just because you are installing the carpet on top of an existing floor doesn’t mean you can skip the underlay. Choose the thickness and type that will work best with your carpet. 

Since you are installing your carpet over laminate floors, it is best not to glue it down. If you do, you may not be able to use the underlying floor in the future. Instead, use the hammer and tack strips to secure both the underlayment and the carpet to one side of the room.

Click here to see tack strips on Amazon.

Now, you should go to the opposite side and stretch the carpet using the knee kicker. Repeat this process until you have the carpet stretched and tacked down on all sides, trimming any excess carpet along the way. 

Click here to see a knee kicker on Amazon.

It is extremely important to make sure you don’t hammer your tack strips too far down. The strips should secure the carpet to the laminate floor without securing the floating floor to the subfloor. If the strips are nailed into the subfloor, the laminate floor will no longer be able to float. With variations in humidity, this will cause problems with mold. 

Follow the link below for a YouTube tutorial on how to lay carpet over laminate flooring: 

Is it OK to Lay Carpet Over Laminate Flooring?

Laying carpet over laminate flooring comes with many challenges. You should weigh the advantages and disadvantages before making a decision. 

Advantages:

  • Saves time
  • Allows you to switch back to laminate

Disadvantages:

  • Shifting
  • Transition
  • Cleaning
  • Restriction

Saves Time

Saving time is the number one reason people choose to install carpet over an existing laminate floor. Removing laminate floors can be both time consuming and frustrating. This is especially true when it comes to removing the glue from the subfloor. However, you absolutely cannot lay carpet glue over old adhesive. Doing so will prevent the carpet from properly adhering to the subfloor. 

Switching Back to Laminate

If you have beautiful laminate floors, you may have hopes of being able to use them again in the future. For this reason, many people opt for laying their carpet over their floating floors. However, if installation is not done properly, your laminate floors may become damaged and unusable. For this reason, it is best not to glue the carpet and padding to the laminate floor.

Shifting

This is the biggest issue homeowners experience when installing carpet over laminate floors. While it may seem like an easy solution, you will likely find yourself having to reposition the carpet time and time again. Laminate floors do not provide a sturdy surface for carpet.

Instead, the floating floor will begin to shift under the pressure of the carpet, causing the laminate to warp and the carpet to pull away. You will likely have to fix the laminate and re-stretch the carpet every couple of years, maybe sooner. 

Transition

While laying the carpet is easier if you don’t have to remove the existing floor, you will likely run into problems when it comes time to transition from carpet to laminate or another flooring. The laminate has a subfloor and underlay beneath it. Likewise, the carpet has padding underneath. This creates a thicker-than-normal scenario, making it difficult to transition from one floor to the next. 

Cleaning

When it comes time to clean your carpet, the excess water can potentially damage the laminate underneath. Even if the carpet feels dry, the padding and laminate may hold moisture for some time. Not only can this cause mold and mildew growth, but it can also damage the laminate floor. If the floor buckles, it will also affect the carpet. 

Restriction

As mentioned earlier, you must be extremely careful when tacking down the carpet. If you hammer the tack strips into the subfloor, your laminate floors will become too secure, restricting their movement. This causes problems as the humidity in the room changes. It can cause mold and mildew to grow, and the floor could also warp. 

How Do You Transition from Carpet to Laminate?

When transitioning from carpet to laminate, it’s best to use transition strips to make it look better and help prevent people from tripping. 

You can purchase transition strips on Amazon.

Position Your Carpet

First, you will need to glue your transition strips together, giving them plenty of time to dry. Next, trim the carpet away from the laminate. If installing in a doorway, the transition strip should be positioned directly under the door. Place your carpet where you want it, then trim away about half an inch for the tack strip. 

Install Transition Strip

After installing the tack strip, it’s time to screw the U-channel into the floor. This is the bottom piece that the transition strip fits into. The screws are usually included. Once you have screwed the U-channel into place, the top piece should fit easily into the bottom, using a hammer to secure it. 

Stretch the Carpet

Trim the carpet evenly with the transition strip. Using your knee kicker, stretch the carpet and secure it to the tack strip. You should have about a quarter of an inch of carpet hanging over the strip. Now, it’s time to tuck the excess carpet below the strip. Using a scraper, place it on top of the carpet, hitting the end with a hammer to tuck it neatly into place. Staple it down, and you’re finished.  

Watch this YouTube video to see how it’s done:

Can You Transition from Carpet to Laminate Without Using Transition Strips?

If you prefer not to use strips, you can still transition seamlessly from one floor to the next. Lay your tack strip under the carpet. Instead of cutting the carpet evenly with the laminate, you will need to leave about one-inch excess. This will give you plenty of room to fold it under. 

Once you have folded the excess carpet, take your knee kicker and slightly stretch the carpet. Now, all you need to do is take your carpet stapler and staple it down neatly with the floor. The higher the pile, the easier it will be to hide imperfections. That’s all there is to it; you’re done. 

Click here to see a carpet stapler on Amazon.

You can see this in action on YouTube below:

Does Replacing Laminate With Carpet Increase Home Value?

Unless your current flooring is in bad shape, replacing laminate with carpet will not likely increase your home value. The same can be said when replacing carpet with laminate. However, hardwood floors will generally increase your resale value. 

Additionally, if you are planning to sell your home in the near future, you should probably not install the carpet on top of the existing laminate floors. It’s okay to take that risk for your own home, but if you are planning to sell, the buyers will appreciate you taking the extra measures to properly install the carpet. 

In Closing

There are more disadvantages to installing carpet over laminate than there are advantages. There are several things that can go wrong, but if you insist on taking the easy route, it can definitely be done. However, you will likely have to adjust your carpet every one to three years. 

If you follow the above steps, you can install your own carpet, with or without transition strips, without having to hire a contractor. Make sure you have the necessary tools for proper installation. 

If you have other questions or need more information about installing carpet, check out these other posts on our blog:

Is Carpet Hard to Install? 

How Much Space to Leave for a Transition Strip

Where Should Carpet End in a Doorway?

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