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Can You/Should You Lay Floating Floor Over Hardwood?

Installing a floating floor is an incredibly easy way to minimize efforts while still getting beautiful results with your newly installed floor. If you already have hardwood floors as the base, can you lay (and should you) lay a floating floor over it?

Laying a floating floor over existing hardwood is possible, provided the hardwood is stable, level, and in good condition. Before installation, clean the hardwood thoroughly and check for any loose boards or protruding nails that might need to be secured or removed. This ensures a smooth base for the floating floor, preventing unevenness or damage over time.

One critical consideration when installing a floating floor over hardwood is the issue of moisture. Like placing a plastic cover over a wooden table before painting, laying a moisture barrier between the hardwood and the floating floor acts as protection against moisture damage. This barrier helps to prevent the wood from warping or swelling, which could compromise both the old and new flooring. It’s an essential step that ensures the longevity and stability of your flooring investment.

Additionally, be mindful of the additional height that the floating floor will add. This can affect door openings, thresholds, and transitions to other types of flooring in your home. To address this, you may need to trim the bottom of doors and install transition strips where the new flooring meets other surfaces. Adjusting these elements ensures a seamless integration of the new floor into your home, much like tailoring a garment to ensure a perfect fit.

Floating floor installation

Installing a floating floor is a process that requires very little preparation that is incredibly simplistic, offers people the ability to install the floor on their own without having to pay someone else to complete the task, and can also be very cost-effective. If you have a hardwood floor and are looking to install a floating floor, continue reading to find what you need to know to tackle such a task.

Can You Lay Floating Floor Over Hardwood?

Male thinking with images of question marks floating around

Many people may be shocked to hear that someone would even consider putting a floating floor over a hardwood floor that already exists within their space, after all, doesn’t everyone want hardwood floors? Hardwood floors are beautiful, but they are quite a bit of upkeep, they are extremely easy to scratch and dent, and they wear very noticeably over time. If you have a hardwood floor currently, can you lay a floating floor over them?

If you have existing hardwood floors, you can put a floating floor over top of them so long as you either install an underlayment on top of the floor or install floating floors that have the underlayment bonded directly beneath the plank, tile, or sheet. If the underlayment is already attached to the material, all you have to do is simply install the floating floor of your choice and the hardwood floors will be long gone.

The benefit of installing a floating floor above hardwood floors is that they are typically incredibly sturdy. Instead of being a type of material that needs a hefty support on top of it, hardwood floors are able to withstand wear and tear due to the strength that accompanies such a strong natural material (even if it does easily scratch and knick). This makes installing a floating floor effortless but also gives you security knowing your floors are well supported.

Should You Put Floating Floor Over Hardwood?

Installation of floating floor

There is always the question of “Can I?” when it comes to different projects, but this question is almost always followed with “Should I?” You know that you are able to install a floating floor over hardwood, but when you weigh different advantages and disadvantages, is this something that you should tackle or should you install a floating floor differently? For those of you with existing hardwoods, there is good news for you.

Putting a floating floor over your hardwood should be no problem whatsoever. If you have a hardwood floor that is in good condition, has been well maintained, and is not in need of any major work, there should be no reason that you cannot install a floating floor above it. However, if your floor is in poor condition, there will be a few things you need to do before installing a floating floor.

If there are nails that have come up and are protruding from your hardwood floors, if there are spots where the wood has begun to rot or decay, if there are areas where the floor dips and feels as if it is soft or has give to it, or if any of the boards have bowed or angled up in certain areas, repairs will need to be made. This will ensure that the floor is stable so that your hardwood floor can act as a subfloor without any structural problems.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on April 28, 2021.

How to Install Floating Floor Over Hardwood

Floating floor installation

At this point, it is no secret that installing a floating floor is a way to skip the mess and get straight down to business when it comes to having a new floor that is ready to go within even a few hours. Floating floors are quickly installed, are made of durable material, and can be incredibly cost-effective when compared to hardwood counterparts. Now that you know you can install them over your hardwood floors, how exactly do you go about it?


There are three types of floating floors: engineered hardware, luxury vinyl flooring or LVF, and laminate. All of these can be installed over hardwood floors, but each differs a bit when it comes to the types of tools that are needed to see out the installation process. Although some may require more than others, these tools are what will make the difference in you being able to complete the installation versus having to pay for a professional to see it out.

Engineered Hardwood

For most floating floors, the installation is very simplistic and requires only a few basic tools to get the job done. However sparse these tools may be, they are needed so be sure that you have them handy before getting started. If you are installing engineered hardwood floating floors you will need a rubber mallet, a tapping block, an oscillating saw, a jigsaw, a miter saw, 1/4 “ spacer blocks, and a quarter round.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring (LVF)

If you are installing luxury vinyl flooring, you will need a few less serious tools compared to those needed for hardwood floating floors. For these, you will need a utility knife, a jigsaw, a measuring tape, a speed square and a pencil. Again, just be sure that your existing hardwood is in good condition and these tools aid you in installing a new floating floor in no time.


For those of you who are installing laminate flooring, the tools for this type of floating floor are a mix of what you need between both engineered hardwood and luxury vinyl flooring. For laminate flooring, you will need a jigsaw, a rubber mallet, a tapping block, a pull bar, a measuring tape, a combination square, a sliding t-bevel, and a handheld drill. These tools will be your right-hand man for installing laminate floating floors.


The biggest key when it comes to prepping for the installation of any type of floating floor is to ensure that your subfloor is in top condition. Although your subfloor is actually the hardwood floors of your space, it is essential that, although it will be hidden, it is in a condition that will allow for a floating floor to be easily installed without any risk. This means that a bit of work may need to be done before you install your floating floor.

Primarily, you want to make sure that your wood floors are completely level so that the floating floor will have no issues during installation or later on when the unevenness of the floor leads to problems within the floating floor. Once you know that the floor is level, be sure that every piece of wood within the area is in tip-top condition. This means there should be no rotting, no sagging, and no decay at any single point.

If you do find this, replace the piece and then also ensure that the subfloor beneath the hardwood floor does not reflect the same damage. The surface of the hardwood floor should also be smooth and without any nails jutting out or warps on the surface protruding. If you find any of these, either remove the nails or sand down the areas that are rough or sticking up so that the floating floor can have a smooth base beneath it.

Underlayment vs No Underlayment

When you are installing floating floors, there will either be underlayment that is already attached to the material, or it will simply be a raw version of that particular type of floating floor, meaning, no underlayment. Either option is fine for installing over hardwood, but you will need to implement one more step before getting started with your floating floors if no underlayment is present.

If no underlayment is beneath the tiles or panels of your floating floor, you will need to install a separate underlayment above your hardwood floors. Underlayment helps to take out any major deviations that may be on your hardwood, helps to muffle noise when in use, and also helps to support the floating floor above it. Simply purchase the underlayment, install it on top of your hardwood, then lay your floating floors above.

If you have purchased a floating floor that comes with the underlayment directly attached beneath it, this extra step is not required for you. With the underlayment already attached, there is no need to add any more as each piece has been engineered in a way that will help to keep noise at bay, support the floating floor, and will keep any imperfections out of sight that may exist on top of your hardwood.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on April 28, 2021.

Can You/Should You Put Engineered Wood Over Hardwood?