LESLIE: Liam in Iowa has a flooring question. What can we help you with?
LIAM: I was wondering if I could get away with putting some snap-together flooring, like Pergo, over carpeting in the dining room. Because I don’t want to cover the carpeting up but the dining room is carpeted. And we’d like to have a hard surface underneath the dining-room table so it doesn’t get food and stains and stuff in the carpeting.
LESLIE: So you’re talking about an area just for the table?
LIAM: Yeah, just like underneath the dining-room table. Rather than tear up a hole in the carpeting or tear up the carpeting in the dining room, you think I could just snap together flooring over the carpet, under the dining-room table and chairs?
TOM: I don’t think so, because that type of flooring needs a certain level of consistent support. And there’s special underlayments that are designed to go underneath it and those underlayments have just enough cushion but it gives the flooring material the support it needs.
LIAM: Mm-hmm. Sure.
TOM: So putting it on top of carpet, it’s going to be too mushy and the floor joints are going to start to break apart. So, that’s just not going to work. You’re going to have to decide one or the other.
LIAM: OK. So if I want a hard floor, I’m going to have to tear up the carpeting.
LESLIE: Well, yeah, if you’re looking for a hard floor like a Pergo or a laminate type, you would take up the carpeting, which isn’t a huge project. And depending on what’s under there, you could probably use whatever plywood or base as your subfloor and make it work really well and go together quite easily.
The other option – if you like that carpeting that’s in there, you’re just concerned about the table and the usage and dirt, you could get an inexpensive sisal or seagrass rug, which is really in style, and layer your carpeting. I’ve seen this done many times. It looks great in rooms like this and you can do a carpet – like an area rug underneath the table and chairs. And if you go with a sisal or seagrass, it’s very stylish. I don’t know what your décor is but it could work and be really awesome.
LIAM: A friend of mine has an indoor/outdoor rug that looks like black-and-white tile, at their campsite, outside of their Airstream trailer. So maybe something like that, like an indoor/outdoor type of carpet?
TOM: Yeah, it doesn’t have to be indoor/outdoor. If I had an Airstream trailer, I’d probably have indoor/outdoor carpet for that, too. But in your situation, it’s inside your house.
LESLIE: Right. In my dining room, I don’t know I would do that.
LESLIE: But you can get a sisal rug or a seagrass rug for 100 or 200 bucks, depending on the size of it. And those clean really well, they’re reversible. So if one side gets super-dirty, you just flip it over and use the other side. And then when that one gets trashed, you chuck it and get a new one.
LIAM: OK, cool. Appreciate it.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.