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Install Carpet Over Vinyl Floors? Can/Should You/How to

Are you thinking of spicing up your vinyl floor with a carpet? Maybe you’ve just moved into a new property with vinyl flooring, and you’re wondering if gluing a carpet down onto the surface is a good idea. Are you on the right path, or are you about to make a mistake and lose money?

You can install carpet over vinyl floors because carpets can go on most floor surfaces, including vinyl, wood, and concrete. However, the vinyl has to be in excellent condition if you want an evenly laid out floor. You also need to be careful with the installation to ensure maximum durability.

The rest of the article will take a look at all you need to know about installing carpet over vinyl floors and how to do it properly.

Why Install Carpet Over Vinyl Floors?

There are many good reasons why you’ll choose to install carpet over vinyl floors. Some of them include the following:

  • It provides better insulation. If you want flooring that feels warmer, a carpet is an excellent option to consider. This is especially true if you choose a brand that is properly padded out to provide this effect.
  • You can change styles and décor more easily. It may be easier (and cheaper) to install a carpet than to rip up old vinyl flooring and install a new one that aligns with the aesthetic appeal you’re currently looking to achieve—if you want to go in a different direction with your home’s design.
  • It can improve traction. Some types of carpet can provide better traction than vinyl flooring. This is especially true for degrading vinyl floors. The improved traction and softer landing can make your home safer for the elderly and toddlers.
  • It can help keep the noise down. Carpets with thick padding can absorb sound a lot better than typical vinyl floors. This can help to ensure a more tranquil atmosphere around the home. You don’t have to live with your kid’s or pet’s toys banging on the floor repeatedly every day.
  • It can improve comfort. Lying down on the carpet to play with your kids will certainly feel more comfortable than lying down on vinyl flooring. Your feet and knees will also feel more comfortable walking on the carpet compared to vinyl.

Can You Install Carpet on Vinyl? Should You Do So?

As we mentioned in the introduction, you can install carpet over vinyl easily. The process is a lot easier when compared to installing carpet over wooden floors. Is it a good idea? While there are some benefits to the installation, as you’ve seen above, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:

  • Vinyl sweats, so it’s not always good to leave it under a carpet. It could cause degradation of the carpet fairly quickly. This is especially true where the vinyl is not properly stuck to the subfloor.
  • Loosely laid vinyl can cause bubbles in the carpet, leading to an uneven appearance or warping in worst-case scenarios. Water can also get under the carpet in such a setup, causing visible stains.

Therefore, it’s best to only install carpet on a properly laid vinyl floor that hasn’t deteriorated too badly.

How to Install Carpet Over Vinyl Flooring

To install carpet over vinyl flooring, here are the steps to follow:

Clean the Floor

You need to clean the floor properly before you start with your installation. This is the best way to ensure the adhesive under your carpet will properly stick to the floor. Simply mopping the floor is far from insufficient in this case.

You need deep cleaning as it’s the best way to be sure you’ve removed grease, dirt, or any other such debris that can prevent the adhesive from working as well as it should. Scrubbing the floor with a cleaning agent made for vinyl floors is a good idea, but stick to the directions on the label. After cleaning the floor, allow it to dry for a day.

Prepare the Floor

Once you are done cleaning the vinyl floor, it’s time to prepare it. If it is in a decent state, you can proceed with the installation of the carpet directly onto the surface. 

However, if some of the vinyl is loose or if you find depressions in the floor, you’ll have to replace the missing pieces or use compounds known as self-levelers to fix the depressions. Henry Company and Savrogan are two brands to consider.

This process is important because even though you don’t need a level base for your carpet installation, it has to be flat. Self-levelers work well because they tend to leave a flat surface after drying. You just have to follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturer, mixing the compound and then use a flat metal trowel to pour the mixture into the depressed or low spots on your vinyl floor.

Once the liquid hardens, it will fill out the low spots, given you a flat base.  

Prepare the Bead of Glue

To install carpet over vinyl, you need glue to hold the carpet down. Choose an adhesive that is strong enough to hold fiber or cloth to vinyl, and then use a caulking gun to create a bed line of adhesive around the edges of the room and across the vinyl floor.

You should start from the center and gradually work your way towards the door. However, if you intend to change your carpet regularly in the future, using glue to hold it down isn’t the best idea.

Cut the Carpet

Since you are fixing the carpet over glue, you’ll need to do all the cutting ahead of time. This is to ensure you won’t wait too long before starting the process of installing the carpet once you’ve applied the glue. Cut the carpet in manageable sizes for easy installation.

If you are only installing the carpet over a small room, you can immediately cut the carpet after applying the glue across the floor. With larger spaces, however, you should cut the carpet well ahead of time.

Don’t forget to measure the floor with tape first to avoid any mistakes with your cutting. If you’re cutting carpet for a large-sized space, you should be ready to regularly replace the blades to avoid ragged cuts as you work.

Install the Carpet

When you have finished cutting the carpet, it is time to install it over the bead of glue. You should install the carpet from the front to ensure you don’t step on the glue again. Once you lay down a sheet of carpet, run your palm across it to ensure there are no bubbles. Continue in this manner until you are done.

For better results with your installation, you should consider adding a carpet pad under your carpet—if your carpet isn’t padded out enough to your taste out of the box. You should lay down the pad over the vinyl, and not over the carpet runners. 

Then install the carpet over the pad. The pad is what gets glued to the vinyl. Don’t glue the carpet to the pad, as it will make the removal process very difficult if you ever need to change the carpet in the future.

Can You Put Carpet Over Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Carpet can be installed over vinyl plank flooring, but it requires careful consideration of the carpet type and installation method. Using a thin carpet and a low-profile padding helps avoid any height issues with doors and adjoining floors. Ensure the vinyl is clean and level before installation.

One important consideration is the potential damage to the vinyl flooring. Heavy carpet padding or adhesive can leave marks or residues. To avoid this, opt for a lighter, non-adhesive carpet or use area rugs instead. These options provide the warmth of carpet without risking damage to the vinyl underneath.

Final Thoughts

You can install carpet over vinyl as long as the vinyl is properly stuck to the floor. The installation process is straightforward, as you only need to clean the surface, get the dimensions, cut your carpet, apply the adhesive, and complete the installation.

This is a DIY project that you can complete on your own, but you’ll probably need extra help for large-sized rooms. Don’t hesitate to call in professional help if you are not sure you can pull it off to avoid wasting the money spent on buying the carpet.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on September 6, 2020.

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