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Can You Put Plywood Over Carpet? (How To)

Installing plywood on top of a carpet is not really something that comes highly recommended, but if you really need to, there is a way to pull off this kind of task.

Putting plywood over a carpet may seem pretty straightforward, but unless you want to damage the carpet, you should ensure you use the tongue and groove type of plywood because it’s better than standard plywood.

Although it is possible and relatively easy to put plywood over a carpet, it might not be the best thing for your carpets. If you can, rather remove the carpet and then install your new flooring. That way, you’ll be sure the new floor will last long, there will be no friction and it will look awesome.

Should You Put Plywood Over Carpet?

Installing new plywood flooring over a carpet may not seem like a big deal, but it’s best to avoid it if possible. If you can’t avoid this type of project, then you need to be sure the carpet isn’t too plush. If it is, there will be a lot of movement, which is undesirable at best.

Before you install plywood over the carpet, you should consider laying a jute rug or canvas rug on top of the carpet. That way, there won’t be as much ‘give’ and the plywood flooring installation will last much longer.

If you can staple down a canvas, you may also be able to avoid moisture buildup and protect the carpet against potential damage.

What Tools Do You Need to Put Plywood Over Carpet?

Just like with any other home renovation or DIY task, you need the right tools to successfully pull off installing plywood over a carpet.

You will need the typical tools for this kind of project, such as a tape measure, ruler, rubber mallet, spacers, utility knife, and tapping block. 

There likely won’t be a need for any other tools, but be sure to keep your toolbox nearby, just in case.

What Preparations Do You Need to Put Plywood Over Carpet?

Before you can install plywood on top of a carpet, you need to take a few precautions that will ensure the success of the project.

You have to be sure that the carpet isn’t too thick or plush so it doesn’t give in under the plywood. This will cause unstable flooring, which can result in the plywood being damaged, as well as the carpet.

It’s also important that you make sure the carpet is completely flat on the floor so that there won’t be creaking and other problems after you’ve installed the plywood flooring. It can be almost impossible to ensure that the carpet is flat though, which is why installing plywood flooring directly on top of the carpet is not recommended.

You may be able to get the carpet completely flat if you rope in the help of a professional with experience in this sort of task.

Also, make sure that you use plywood that has interlocking tongue and groove connectors. This will make the installation a lot easier and more long-lasting.

An important point of interest is that you need to be certain that the room where you want to install the plywood flooring isn’t going to be exposed to moisture a lot and that it’s not prone to flooding. Moisture and water will damage the wood.

How to Put Plywood Over Carpet

Putting plywood over your carpet isn’t as easy as it sounds, but it’s also not as complicated as you may think at first.

In order to install plywood over the carpet without any major issues, you’ll need to ensure the carpet is flat and that you’re using plywood that comes with interlocking tongue and groove connectors.

Before you begin, you should obviously remove all furniture from the room. You should also give your carpet a thorough cleaning. Just vacuuming will be good enough, but it’s a good idea to wash and dry the carpet before starting the project because you may not get the opportunity to clean it this well again.

Here’s how you can go about putting plywood flooring over your carpet floor:

Put down spacers between the planks and the wall. These spacers will help you make sure there is a quarter-inch expansion gap from your wall.

Start by placing your plywood sheets over your carpet, making sure they’re straight. Lay the plywood neatly and tape it together at the seams at the bottom of the planks if you feel that the tongue and groove connectors aren’t secure enough. You should only use reliable tape for this purpose.

Should you run out of space in one of your rows, measure the gap between the last plank and the wall, and cut the next plank or sheet accordingly. 

Make your way through the room and ensure that your plywood planks or sheets are neatly interlocked and fit tightly. Use your rubber mallet and tapping block for this purpose. Add spacers every few feet and once you’re done, remove them again.

If you would prefer to install a floating plywood floor, you will have to install wooden latticework over the carpet. Then you have to attach the plywood sheets to each other using their tongue and groove design. You may want to use a bit of adhesive to ensure that the sheets of wood fit together securely.

Glue applied to the joints of the wood can help keep the flooring secure. You can lay down a canvas or other form of protection underneath the floating floor to protect your carpet. Finally, install the floating floor by securing it via base molding around the edges.

ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on 2022-11-21.

That is all there is to successfully installing plywood over a carpet. As long as you make sure the plywood stays in place by stapling it to the carpet, if you’re not installing a floating floor, you should be fine. This may cause irreversible damage to the carpet, though, so keep that in mind.