Many people are drawn to laminate flooring because of how cost-effective it is. Laminate flooring is a fantastic option for anyone who is looking to install nice flooring that costs far less than something such as wooden planks or marble tiling.
If you already have laminate flooring, then you might be very happy with it. However, it’s possible that the laminate flooring can get damaged over time.
Perhaps you installed laminate flooring years ago and you want to get new laminate flooring now. You’re likely hoping that you can install new laminate flooring as easily as possible.
Can you put laminate flooring on top of laminate flooring? Or is that simply a terrible idea?
Keep reading to learn more about laminate flooring and whether or not you should install it on top of old laminate flooring. You’ll get a lot of information so that you can make an informed decision that you’re comfortable with.
You Can Technically Install Laminate Flooring Over Laminate Flooring
Technically, you’re going to be able to install laminate flooring over laminate flooring. Doing so might not always be the best idea, though.
You see, installing laminate flooring on top of old laminate flooring is going to make your floor quite thick. This can cause a number of different problems that will be addressed later on.
The potential is there for things to go really bad when you choose to install laminate flooring on top of old laminate flooring. However, there are people out there who have done this without experiencing any issues.
It could wind up working out just fine for you, but it seems much more likely that you’ll encounter issues. You should read more about some of the reasons why doing this is not the best idea so that you can draw your own conclusions.
You’ll Have to Resize the Entrances to Your Home
It’ll wind up being necessary to resize the entrances to your home if you go this route. You’ve already heard that laying laminate flooring over laminate flooring will make the floor thicker.
This is going to create a disparity between the height of the floor and the height of the entrance to your doors. In some instances, the floor will become much too tall and it just won’t look good or feel functional to leave the door as it is.
You would likely have to resize the door frame and change things substantially to make this work. That’s a lot of work in and of itself.
The effort that you saved yourself by installing the laminate flooring on top of the old laminate flooring will be a moot point. You’ll wind up making more work for yourself in other ways.
The Potential for Expansion and Contraction to Cause Problems
One of the reasons why installing laminate flooring on top of old laminate flooring is a bad idea has to do with expansion and contraction issues. Laminate flooring is usually divided into tiles or planks depending on what type you decided to buy.
You don’t glue these together since they’re designed to just fit tightly next to each other. Flooring like this is designed to expand when the weather is hot and contract when the weather is cool.
Placing another layer of laminate flooring on top of the old layer can cause problems. Two layers of flooring expanding and contracting can cause friction over time.
What this does is it wears out the joints. Over time, the laminate flooring is going to get damaged due to friction.
The Potential for Mold Problems to Pop up
Perhaps the biggest reason to avoid installing laminate flooring over laminate flooring has to do with the potential for mold issues to pop up. You probably already know that mold is a potentially terrible problem to have in your house.
If you install laminate flooring on top of old laminate flooring, then it’ll create moisture retention issues. Moisture can get stuck between the two layers of laminate flooring and it won’t have anywhere to go.
Eventually, this moisture is going to turn into mold and it’ll cause you many problems. The mold will damage your floors and things will start to become uneven.
You don’t want things to rot underneath the top layer of laminate flooring. This is bad for your home and it’s going to make all of the work you did get ruined.
Pulling up Old Laminate Flooring Is Rather Simple
If you’re concerned about how much time it will take to remove the old laminate flooring, then you should know that it’s easy to get this done. It’s only going to take a little bit of time and effort to remove the original laminate flooring so that you can install the new flooring that you purchased.
While it is possible to install laminate flooring over old laminate flooring, it’s not recommended. This is going to be the worst option since so much can go wrong.
You’ve read about many common scenarios that will cause your flooring to get ruined. All of this can be avoided by just taking the old laminate flooring up so that you can lay down the new flooring without needing to worry.
What you decide to do is up to you, but you now know that it’s much safer to pull the old flooring up first. It’ll be simple to do it since the laminate flooring isn’t held to the subfloor with any type of adhesive.
What If You Want to Move Forward Anyway?
If you want to install laminate flooring over laminate flooring despite what you read, then you can indeed choose to do that. It’ll be possible to give it a shot, but you should just know that a lot can go wrong.
It’s more likely that things will go wrong than it is that you’ll find success. You can try to check certain things to ensure that you have the best shot at success at least.
Read the information below to learn what you should check before you start installing the laminate flooring. If you check these things, then you might be able to avoid certain mistakes that can make everything turn out poorly.
Ensure That the Old Laminate Flooring Is Even
You should at the very least check to see if the old laminate flooring is even before proceeding. If the old flooring is not even, then you shouldn’t consider installing new laminate flooring on top of it.
To check to see if the old laminate flooring is even, you’ll need to walk around looking for depressions. It’s possible that the subfloor might be depressed in some way, and you’ll notice that the laminate flooring will go down where these depressions are located when you walk on top of it.
You can simply walk around and check things with your feet to see if the flooring is even. Hopefully, everything will be even and you won’t have to worry about that.
If depressions are present, then it can be problematic. It can cause the laminate flooring joints to flex and will eventually ruin the flooring entirely.
In this situation, you wouldn’t want to install laminate flooring on top of the old flooring. You’d already know that things would turn out bad and you’d need to pull up the old flooring to repair the subfloor.
Checking the Trim Is Also Prudent
Checking the trim will be a good idea as well. The trim will typically be located above the laminate flooring, but it’ll be flush with the flooring.
This means that you’ll have to remove the trim to be able to install laminate flooring on top of the old flooring. It’ll take a bit of time to do so, but you’re going to need to do it if you want to be able to get the job done.
Sometimes trim can be a bit annoying to remove. Some types of trim are nailed to the wall and you’ll need to meticulously pull out tiny nails to get things up.
Advice for Successfully Laying Laminate Flooring Over Laminate Flooring
If you’ve decided to move forward with this, then you’ll want to do things right. Before doing anything else, it’s going to be important to install an underlayment.
The underlayment is going to be placed between the old flooring and the new laminate flooring. Having it there will reduce the likelihood that you’ll encounter moisture retention issues.
It should also make it less likely that depressions will become a significant problem. You need to make sure that you trim the underlayment properly so that it fits against the wall.
With this done, you’ll be able to start laying out the planks of laminate flooring. You can just install the flooring as instructed to get good results.
Sometimes it might be necessary to cut some of the planks to get things to fit perfectly. You’ll need to take some measurements to figure out how to cut certain pieces to the right specifications.
Keep laying out planks like this until you finish the job. It’ll take some time to get the flooring looking nice, but installing laminate flooring isn’t that difficult when compared to other types of flooring.
If you followed all of the advice, then you should have the best shot at getting decent results. It’s still possible that you could encounter issues since you installed it on top of old laminate flooring, but you’ll just have to hope for the best.
You Could Hire Someone to Install the Flooring
If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, then you could consider hiring someone to install the laminate flooring for you. Many companies that sell flooring will offer installation if you choose to pay for it.
It’s true that this is going to cost you more money overall. However, not everyone likes having to do things like this themselves.
If you don’t consider yourself to be a very handy individual, then paying for installation might be a good idea. It’d be better than trying to cut corners by installing laminate flooring on top of old laminate flooring.
You’ll also be able to ensure that the job gets done right if you hire a professional. People who install flooring all the time know what they’re doing and they can get things done in a timely fashion.
Sometimes it’s worthwhile to spend a bit of extra cash. Depending on what your budget looks like, this might be worth looking into.
You have learned a lot about laminate flooring and whether or not you should install it over the top of old laminate flooring. Generally, it’s not going to be a good idea to do this because so much can go wrong.
It is in your best interest to simply pull up the old flooring so that you can install the new laminate flooring on top of the subfloor. This really won’t take a lot of time to accomplish and you’ll get much better results.
You don’t want to spend all of that money on laminate flooring planks or tiles to have things get ruined. Even if your new laminate flooring will be fine for a while, there’s a good chance that you’ll run into significant issues down the line when it’s installed on top of old laminate flooring.
If you do choose to give this a shot, then you should at least put an underlayment between the new flooring and the old flooring. It can limit the likelihood that you’ll have moisture retention issues and it’ll help with depressions as well.
Regardless, you should know that an underlayment isn’t going to provide you with complete protection. It simply isn’t possible to 100% guarantee that your laminate flooring will be fine when it’s installed over old flooring.
Keep all of this in mind and choose the best path forward for your home. You want your house to look great and to be as functional as possible.
When you consider all of the problems that can be caused by installing laminate flooring on top of old laminate flooring, it becomes clear that you should avoid doing so. It really isn’t that hard to pull up the old laminate flooring and you’ll get much better results.
I have a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies…I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.