Laminate Flooring With Carpet Underlay

Can I Install Laminate Flooring Over Carpet Underlay?

When deciding to replace old flooring with laminate there is a tendency to look at ways to manage the overall cost by reusing the underlay that you already have.

Laminate flooring underlay is only 3mm – 5mm thick whereas carpet underlay is much thicker, and can be 12mm thick
This can be an effective strategy, if you have some unused laminate flooring underlay lying around or if you are replacing a laminate floor with a new laminate floor. But if you are installing laminate flooring in a room that previously had a carpet – Can you install your laminate flooring over this carpet underlay?

No, carpet underlay is not a suitable underlay for laminate flooring. The carpet underlay is too thick and will be too bouncy underfoot. Carpet underlay will also reduce the lifespan of your laminate flooring by 30-40%.

Replacing Carpet with Laminate Flooring

When replacing a carpet with laminate flooring you should always begin with removing both the carpet and underlay in its entirety. Your new flooring will require an underlay that is much thinner than your current underlay.

Carpet Underlay Vs Laminate Underlay
Carpet Underlay Vs Laminate Underlay

Laminate flooring underlay is often only 3mm – 5mm thick whereas carpet underlay is much thicker, and is usually approximately 12mm thick.

In addition, laminate flooring underlay has been designed to ensure your flooring remains relatively solid, stable, and accurately mimics the feeling of a real hardwood floor. It will also increase the lifespan of your laminate floor.

Carpet underlay’s main purpose is to increase the softness of the carpet underfoot and prolong the lifespan of your carpet, by preventing the carpet pile from flattening.

However, my main objection is that a soft bouncy wooden floor (even of the fake kind) just feels strange.

The 6 main reasons you should NOT use carpet underlay for laminate flooring.

  • Carpet underlay can add up to 10mm extra height to your floor.
  • Carpet underlay will decrease your laminate floorings lifespan by 30-40%.
  • Carpet underlay will feel bouncy underfoot.
  • Carpet underlay will increase movement, which can damage the click-lock system and lead to issues that may have otherwise not occurred.
  • Installing the laminate is much more difficult on a bouncy surface than it would be otherwise.
  • Any guarantee offered with your laminate flooring is likely to be null and void.

Choosing the rights underlay for your laminate flooring project.

A while ago a published an article on how to choose the right underlay for your laminate flooring project, you can read that here.

Wish you the best for your laminate flooring project.