Can You Use Carpet Underlay For Wooden Flooring Or Laminate?

If you decide to replace your old carpet with hardwood or laminate, you know that the process is time-consuming. So does that mean you can shorten the labor by using carpet underlay for the new flooring? Before you go ahead with it, you need to read this article.

You should never use carpet underlay when installing hardwood or laminate. Carpet underlay is too thick for hardwood or laminate. While it may cut your costs, it will cause more harm than good to your new flooring.

Installing new flooring is an exciting project, but it needs to be done correctly. This article will discuss why you shouldn't use carpet underlay for laminate or hardwood flooring. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about installing flooring, so read on!

Man installing wood flooring in home. Can You Use Carpet Underlay For Wooden Flooring Or Laminate

Can You Use Carpet Underlay For Wooden Flooring Or Laminate?

Carpet underlay is a material put down on top of the floor before installing your carpet. It helps to create a softer, more comfortable surface for your carpet, and it can also help reduce noise. Carpet underlay is typically made of foam, rubber, or felt, and it comes in different thicknesses.

Since carpet underlay is made of foam, rubber, or felt, it is thick. It's so thick that it causes an issue when installing hardwood or laminate flooring.

The problem with carpet underlays underneath laminate or hardwood is that the thicker the carpet underlay, the more likely your floors are to buckle. This buckling occurs because the underlay is pushing up on your flooring, which causes the flooring to pop off of the ground in some places.

When installing carpet underlay, you put it between your laminate or hardwood and the subfloor. This causes an issue because there must be a connection between your new flooring and the subfloor for it to be stable.

There will be air pockets if there is a thick carpet underlay between the two. These air pockets can allow moisture to get in, damaging your hardwood or laminate over time because of rot.

Can You Reuse Carpet Padding Under Laminate Flooring?

If you decide to do this, then you may want to reconsider. You will be putting yourself at risk of ruining your new flooring if you reuse old carpet padding under laminate or hardwood.

For example, say that you just finished installing a new layer of wood over the top of the old carpet padding, and it buckled again because the old carpet padding was too thick. The buckling may cause the laminate or hardwood to pop right off of the subfloor, and you will end up with a damaged floor all over again.

So why doesn't it work? One reason is that there is often adhesive left behind from the last install, which makes layers stick together. Adding a second layer on top of the adhesive will create an even thicker connection, and your floors may buckle again.

Carpet padding under laminate or hardwood may also not give you the same level of comfort as if you used brand-new carpet padding. In addition, the older the carpet padding is, the more likely it will begin to settle and appear lumpy.

There are specific instructions about how thick your underlay needs to be when installing laminate or hardwood. However, you should never try to make it thicker, even if this means using carpet padding instead of underlay because it will ruin the new floors.

Worker carpenter doing laminate floor work

Can You Use Carpet as Underlay?

Using carpet as underlay is not advisable when you are installing new floors. While it will help make your laminate or hardwood feel more comfortable, using carpet instead of underlay may end up causing damage to the floor in the long run.

The problem with reusing old carpet is that it may have things like dirt and salt ground into it from the last time you used it. This can end up damaging your new flooring, especially if you install laminate or hardwood over cement.

One of the best about underlay is that it provides a moisture barrier between your floors and the ground beneath them. Unfortunately, if you use carpet underlay, you may encourage moisture damage. If you are going to do this, you will need to put plywood sheets over the top of the carpet. 

However, if you are replacing carpet with carpet, you may be able to use the old carpet underlay. The issue, however, is that if you don't clean it well enough, then the dirt and salt will still be in the underlay.

What Kind of Flooring Can You Put over Carpet?

If you have a low ply carpet that you can't remove, you can put temporary flooring over the top. You can get away with installing laminate or vinyl plank flooring over low pile carpet. Keep in mind that placing plywood sheets over the carpet is recommended before installing the new flooring.

However, if the carpet has a high pile, you will have to remove it before putting in laminate, vinyl, or hardwood. If you don't, likely, some of the carpets will not be completely flattened out, which can cause some buckling later on down the road.

Laminate Flooring over Carpet Problems

If you try to install laminate over the old carpet, it will be unstable. You will have a wavy feeling on your floor, and not only can this cause problems with the installation, but it can also just feel uncomfortable when you walk on it.

One of the benefits of installing hardwood or laminate over concrete is that there will be no buckling or wavy flooring. It is a very stable surface, and you should not have to worry about problems popping up from the ground beneath them.

With that being said, if it is possible, then you should altogether remove the carpet before installing the laminate flooring. If you don't, then it will cause problems down the line.

Which is healthier carpet or laminate?

Laminate is healthier because you can install it in wet areas where the carpet would start to smell. In addition, carpet tends to attract all kinds of dirt, and it can be difficult, if not impossible, to clean.

Laminate is also easier for allergies because it doesn't collect dust and dirt. Carpet makes people sick because of the dirt that becomes ground into the fibers. There is no dirt to attract all kinds of allergens with hardwood or laminate.

Laminate is typically waterproof where the carpet is not. If mold builds up in the carpet, you will have to replace it, but with laminate, you can use a cleaner like vinegar water or tea tree oil.

Person Cleaning Carpet With Vacuum Cleaner

What is the easiest flooring to install?

If you are looking for a quick and easy flooring installation, look at peel and stick vinyl flooring. It is very easy to install, but it's not what you want in your living room. It also does not have the most long-lasting durability.

Carpet can be more challenging to install and require specific tools and expertise. However, if you want something that will last a long time, choose hardwood or laminate. It may be more expensive, but it is also durable and can stand up to almost anything.

What is good flooring for a large family?

If you have a lot of people in your household, you should consider going with hardwood. It is the easiest to clean and maintain, even though it can be more challenging to install.

Laminate is also sumptuous for larger families. These floors are easy to clean, and they don't show as much dirt, dust, residue, or grime.

Carpet is not ideal for larger families because it can be challenging to get all of the dirt out of the carpet after every single use. Over time, you will notice that your carpet gets dirtier faster than any other flooring option on this list.

Luxury Living Room At Night With Armchairs, Sofa, Lighting Equipments And Dining Table

Do you need an underlay?

When installing laminate or hardwood, it is essential to use an underlayment. This will help to ensure that your flooring is sturdy and won't continue to move after installation.

If you don't use an underlay, the flooring could buckle over time. If this happens too often, you will notice gaps or holes in your flooring, which can become a safety hazard.

Whenever you install any flooring, you must use an underlay. If you don't, then the flooring will not be stable and can cause damage to your property in this way.

Laminate flooring - worker installing new floor. Can You Use Carpet Underlay For Wooden Flooring Or Laminate

Final Thoughts

When installing hardwood or laminate, it is crucial to use the proper underlayment. Even when installing carpet, it is highly recommended to use underlayment. If you do not, the flooring will start to move on its own, and it can even become difficult to get your floors.

For more articles like this one, then you should also read:

How Much Does It Cost To Change Carpet Stairs To Wood?

How To Seam Pre-Padded Carpet

How To Soften A Hard Carpet: 4 DIY Solutions

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