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Can You Lay Laminate on Laminate-Should You?

Lay Laminate Floors on Laminate – Can You/Should You/How To

Laminate flooring is a more economical option to traditional marble tiling or wooden planks. However, some parts of your laminate floor can get damaged, and you might be wondering if instead of plying the entire thing up, it is possible to just re-laminate over with no problems. 

Installing laminate floors on laminate is possible, but it is never a good idea. Laminate on laminate increases the floor’s thickness, the probability of mold formation, and puts a lot of stress on the joints, which disrupts the locking pattern and will cause cracks. 

Although there is a probability that installing laminate on laminate flooring will go over well with no issues, that is a slim chance, and it is much more likely that the project will fail. It might seem like a viable solution now to save time and leave your flooring looking pristine, but it will cost you in the long run. Keep reading this article to learn more about installing laminate floors on laminate. 

Can You Lay Laminate Floors on Old Laminate?

Can You Lay Laminate Floors on Laminate?

It is technically possible to lay laminate floors on laminate. Before you go about buying new laminate flooring, you need to ensure that the following requirements are met. Otherwise, your project will fall apart immediately. 

Check the Evenness of Old Laminate Flooring

Laminate is installed over a subfloor. For most homes, this subfloor is going to be concrete. No matter what the material used, you need to check if there are any small depressions present in the subfloor. When you walk over your existing laminate flooring, if there are depressions in the subfloor, the laminate flooring will depress accordingly. 

As a result, the laminate joints will flex, moving up and down and causing a deterioration in the connection between these joints. This breaks the careful locking system that laminate floors are made out of and ruins your flooring. 

Even if a thick underlayment is used, which seems to mask the depressions, the problem still exists, and installing laminate flooring over your existing laminate is just going to transfer the problem upwards to the second layer. Doing this will have the added effect of destroying not only your second layer but also your first layer, resulting in you having to pull the whole thing up and re-ply. 

If you have checked with your contractor and are absolutely certain that the first layer of laminate flooring has been installed perfectly, then only can you proceed. 

Check the Trim of Old Laminate Flooring

If your laminate flooring’s edges are all under the trim, then before installing a new laminate flooring over the old one, you will need to remove the trim. This can take quite a bit of time and effort, especially if you have used nails at some point for the trim on your door. 

Once these two steps are complete, then you can proceed to put laminate on laminate. However, the question of whether you should remain. 

Should You Lay Laminate Floors on Laminate? 

Should You Lay Laminate Floors on Laminate?

The simple answer is no; you shouldn’t. But that probably won’t convince you—so here are a number of reasons why it would be a bad idea:  

Laminate Expansion and Contraction 

Your laminate flooring has likely been divided into planks or tiles. These are not glued together—instead, they’re tightly fitted next to each other side by side when they are first installed. They will expand when the external temperature is hotter and contract when the external temperature is cooler. These are called floating floors. 

When you re-laminate the laminate floorings, adding another layer of planks creates tension because there are two layers of planks expanding and contracting against each other, creating friction. This will create wear and tear, stressing out the joints. The laminate planks can also track and get damaged due to the friction. 

Resizing Openings

Adding a new layer creates a height difference between the door and the floor because you are raising the height of the floor up. You will need to cut doors and architraves down to size because otherwise, it will be impossible to open or close a door with the panels getting in the way. 

That is an additional amount of manual labor that you probably don’t want to do, or even worse, pay someone else to do for you. If you ever decide to get rid of the second layer, you will also face problems with all of the improperly sized openings like doors in your house. 

Moisture Retention

When one laminate floor covers another, there is a great chance of moisture being retained in between the two layers. This will likely result in mold and rot growing underneath the new flooring on top of the old laminate flooring, resulting in both unevenness and serious floor damage caused by the mold. 

If you decide to lay a single thin laminate sheet down with adhesive covering the planks instead of going for an entirely new floating floor on top of the one that you already have, you will not face any of the problems mentioned. This is also much more durable than an entirely new floating floor. 

However, using a laminate sheet is usually a practice reserved for objects like countertops and tables, not the entire floor. You can still use it if you just want to cover up the damaged planks below.  

Instead of trying to laminate over your floor, it is heavily advised that you just pull up the old laminate floorboards. This won’t take long, especially because they’re not attached in place with any adhesive. 

How to Lay Laminate Floors on Laminate

How to Lay Laminate Floors on Laminate

Here it is, the section that all of you have been waiting for. Laying laminate floors on laminate just follows the exact procedure that laying ordinary laminate does. 

Nevertheless, here is a step by step tutorial to walk you through it:

  1. Install an underlayment before putting down your second laminate flooring. This reduces the susceptibility of retaining moisture between the floorings and decreases the possibility of depressions. Trim it appropriately to fit against the wall, secure the seams together, and butt the edges together.
  2. Start laying out planks. Lay a plank against the wall, keeping it the specified distance away from the wall, as suggested by the manufacturer. Proceed from one side of the room to the other while locking the plank side by side with a hammer or tugging block to ensure that the joints are locked together tightly. 
  3. Cut the planks. Unless you have planks that fit your room’s specifications exactly when you reach the end of the first row, the last plank will be too big. Measure the length needed while accounting for the space between the wall and the plank. Then, transfer that measurement onto a full-length plank. Cut the plank to the length from left to right and secure the tongue-and-groove end joint. 
  4. Keep laying out planks. For subsequent rows, after you have finished laying out the first row, you will need to hold each plank at a 45-degree angle and insert the tongue edge into the groove of the previous row. Then, lower the plank in slowly flat so that it locks into place. 

Final Thoughts

Although it is technically possible to lay laminate floors on laminate, you should never do it. It can cause various complications in the long run, and it requires a lot of additional work beyond just installing the planks, like resizing door frames. 

Instead, hire a contractor to pull up the planks and replace them—it might seem time-consuming now, but it will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. 

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on September 14, 2020.

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