LESLIE: Vinnie in New Jersey is on the line with a flooring question. What can we do for you today?
VINNIE: I want to install laminate flooring in my bedroom. Right now, I have builder’s carpet and rather than removing the carpet, can I put the laminate flooring right over the carpet?
LESLIE: Well, while it seems like it would be a good idea, it’s definitely not. Yeah, the issue is because a laminate flooring is a floating floor, it locks together and sort of floats in the perimeter of the space of your room. It needs a solid foundation to sort of keep those joints together and to keep it standing up to the wear and tear of just furniture placement and usage of the space. So you really do want to take up that carpeting, you want to take up whatever underlayment they’ve used and then you want to use the underlayment that the manufacturer of your laminate flooring specifies.
So, some of the laminates come with an underlayment attached already to the back. Some recommend a foam that sort of rolls out. It really varies but it’s super-effective and you do need it.
TOM: A lot of the seams with the flooring are locked together. And if the underlayment of carpet, in this case, is soft as I’m sure it is and you press down on that seam, it could pop open or it could break. It’s just not designed to be supported by anything other than the underlayment sold by the manufacturer and specced out to go with that particular product.
VINNIE: So, the underlayment sold by the manufacturer would be more firm.
TOM: Yeah, it’s usually a very thin foam, like maybe an 1/8- to ¼-inch stiff foam that comes in rolls and rolls out or like Leslie said, it could be attached to the back of the laminate piece. And it would go right on the subfloor or on the slab.
VINNIE: OK. Thank you very much.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.