Can You Install a Floating Floor Over Carpet or Vinyl?

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install floating floor over carpet or vinyl

If you have carpet or vinyl flooring in your home, you might want to make a change. 

However, in order to do this, you usually will have to remove the flooring that is there. This can be time consuming and expensive and may be too much work or money for you. 

Luckily, you have options when it comes to what you can install over these flooring types. 

By understanding what a floating floor is and how it can be installed, you can rejuvenate your home. You can also save yourself time and money when putting in your new floor. 

In this article, we have put together a guide on how to install a floating floor over your current floor. By following these steps, you can get a completely new look without all the hassle. 

Installing a Floating Floor Over Carpet or Vinyl: Basic Idea

Installing a floating floor over carpet is a very simple process, but it requires some planning and steps. These include: 

  • Choose a Flooring Type
  • Prepare the Surface
  • Lay Down Plywood 
  • Install Floating Floor

By following the above steps, you can be sure that your floating floor will stay put. It will also last a lot longer and be more comfortable to walk on. 

Why Install a Floating Floor Over Carpet or Vinyl?

why install floating floor over carpet or vinylWhen you want a change in your home, this usually means that you need to spend a lot of money. It also means that you will need to do a lot of work and not everyone has the time for that. 

You also usually need to remove the floor that is already there, which is another costly step. This is especially true if you want to install tile or hardwood flooring. 

One of the nice things about a floating floor is that it is easy to install and more or less temporary. Floating laminate floors can be installed over almost anything else. 

You can take steps to make sure your floating floor doesn’t end up moving around. With the right installation, you would have no idea that a floating floor was over another type of floor. 

Pick a Type of Flooring 

The first thing you’ll want to do is pick the kind of flooring you want to install over your current floor. 

Make sure you choose a floating floor that clips into itself and doesn’t need any sort of adhesive. This is the best option for installing it over carpet or vinyl. 

You should choose a flooring type and color that matches your style and the color scheme of your home. 

It is also recommended that you get about 20 percent more than you think you will need. This gives you extra flooring for mistakes as well as spare planks for repairs down the line. 

Prep the Floor 

Before laying down your floating floor, you should prep the vinyl or carpet floor that is already there. 

This means that you should remove all the baseboards in the room as well as any furniture. Get the floor as empty as you can so you have space to work and won’t have to move things later. 

You should also clean the floor as much as possible so no dirt is under the new floating floor. Mop the room if you have vinyl and vacuum the carpet so it is free of any debris. 

This will give you the flattest possible surface on which you can lay down your new floating floor. 

Lay Down a Plywood Layer

lay down plywood layerOne of the most important things to do when installing a floating floor is lay down a plywood subfloor. 

Putting a layer of plywood between the two flooring types will give you a flat, solid base. If you have carpet, this will also keep your floating floor from coming apart as you walk on it. 

Because carpet has quite a lot of give to it, the floating laminate floor will come undone without a solid base. 

Adding the plywood subfloor allows you to start from the flattest possible base. By doing this, it will be just like if you were installing the floating floor without the carpet.  

Install the Floating Floor 

One thing you need to check when installing a floating floor over carpet or vinyl is the height. 

Make sure that the new floor won’t interfere with any doors or thresholds. If it does, you may have to make adjustments with your door heights or put in new transition strips. 

Start installing the floating floor working from left to right. This will allow you to snap the floor into place as you go and make sure you get a perfect fit. 

When you are done installing the floor, you can then put your baseboards back in place. You can also move the furniture back into the room. 

One of the nice things about a floating floor is that you don’t have to wait for it to dry. It will be ready to go as soon as you snap it into place. 

Frequently Asked Questions

faqs install floating floor over carpet or vinyl

You do not have to remove old vinyl flooring before putting in new floors. However, if you are planning on having them in permanently, it may be a good idea. 

By removing the old vinyl floors, you can be sure that there are no cracks and that the surface is flat. 

  • Are floating floors glued?

Not only do floating floors not have to be glued, it is actually not recommended to glue them at all. 

Floating floors are meant to shift and move with use. If you glue them in place, they may crack as they shift, which will damage them beyond repair. 

  • Can I install vinyl plank flooring over a hardwood floor?

Hardwood flooring is a great surface for installing vinyl flooring on top of. 

However, if you are going to do this, make sure you put a moisture barrier between them. This will protect the hardwood from any spills that might happen and prevent mold. 


By installing a floating floor over carpet or vinyl, you can save yourself a lot of time and money. Not removing the old floor allows you to hold onto it in case you want to go back. 

By following the above steps, you can preserve the old floor while still enjoying a new look. 

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Michael J. O’Connor is a writer and marketing specialist from the Bay Area of California. A graduate of Sonoma State’s Creative Writing program, he spent many years as a contractor and carpet layer, learning the ins and outs of flooring and general contracting. When he’s not typing away at his desk, he enjoys hiking with his dogs, woodworking and collecting rare books. See full biography here.

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