Can I lay vinyl plank flooring over laminate?

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by Cindy812, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. Cindy812

    Cindy812 New Member

    We put laminate in 3 bedrooms and a hallway 2 years ago. We had a professional installer put it down. We have small dogs that have accidents. Even though we clean this up as soon as it is seen we have found that the laminate swells a bit on the seams. We are wishing we had went with the floating vinyl flooring instead. The floor is still in good shape and still looks very nice except for a few areas where the seems have swollen a bit. My question is can we install the floating vinyl over the laminate or must we take it all up? Could we just sand the areas where the seams have swollen a bit?
    Will the new vinyl planking hold up to dog urine?
    Is there one brand that would be better for this than another?
  2. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    Can you? Yes. Should you? NO! Laminate is quite easy to take up, all it requires is somewhere to get rid of it.
  3. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Nothing will hold up to urine, flooring is NOT made to withstand animal urine.

    Why would you be willing to put up with animals that urinate in your home?
  4. Cindy812

    Cindy812 New Member

    It would be helpful if you would tell me why it is not advised.
  5. Cindy812

    Cindy812 New Member

    I do not need a lecture. If you have no helpful advice then please no comments.
  6. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator


    What brands of vinyl plank flooring are you considering? Take a look at the installation instructions of those products and you will likely see what substrates are acceptable. You won't find laminate flooring among them. You prob'ly won't find any loose-lay product is an acceptable substrate for any new flooring. All of them usually require smooth and sound surfaces. Your laminate is not smooth and it definitely is not sound (it's loose).

    No residential flooring is designed to withstand pet urine. Elmer offered no lecture, he asked a simple question. Please do not expect our pros to be all pet lovers. They are flooring professionals, some of whom have seen the abuses that pets can cause to flooring and a lot of humans that think it's normal behavior. Many of us realize that pets have accidents, but when it is acceptable behavior, it's not an accident. Yes, we know pets can become incontinent (so can adults, Elmer), but that just means the home owner should be more alert in getting that substance off the floor before it damages it. Otherwise, your flooring choices are very limited - poured epoxy floor coatings or maybe sealed and stained concrete.

    Now THAT was a lecture. Please, just take what you like and leave the rest. Our pros volunteer their expertise to help other pros and consumers. Some of us do not have the ability or desire to walk on eggshells when it comes to flooring.

  7. Cindy812

    Cindy812 New Member

    I am considering Swiftlock and Armstrong but will consider just about any brand.
    So if I am understanding you right the reason it is usually not acceptable is because it too is floating??
    I am just trying to do my research and understand the reasoning behind this when I am hearing that tile may be acceptable.

    Look, I have an old dog that misses the pads. One dog that has incontinence from being spayed. Lets face it kids do as much damage as dogs and sometimes even more. Can we please hold our preferences for pets aside and just answer the questions please? The vinyl in my kitchen seems to hold up quite well when one has an accident however it is 1 piece. My question is since these planks are pieces could water seep down in the crevices? I guess I am on the wrong forum. I was looking for help, not attitudes.

    Vinyl is advertised as being water proof.
  8. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I thought that was helpful!:pout:

    Jim would be correct.
    In my opinion LVT over Laminate is not acceptable!

    The individual planks may be waterproof, but they do not make a waterproof floor! At the seams, moisture can seep in and destroy the adhesive bond, allowing curling and further moisture intrusion. The pH content of urine is especially bad about degrading the adhesive.
  9. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    I'm not a scientist or an engineer. I sold and installed flooring for 35 years and my policy was :instructions:. I don't understand the reluctance one would have, when preparing to do a DIY project, to do the easiest part of the project and one that will help to assure you get the best job possible and maintain the warranty of your new floor: tear out the old laminate flooring first.

    Children do NOT do the kind of damage to flooring that urine does - unless you let them pee on the floor every day. We aren't talking about our preferences for or against pets here, we are talking about floors. You are sensitive about your pets. We are sensitive about our floors. We love floors so much, we volunteer our time and dote on our careers in flooring because we love floors. We like helping people make the right choices.

    We would be cautioning you against having drag races and using this kind of flooring in your garage and you would be upset because we don't care enough about your car or motorcycle. We do floors. Not pets, not hot rods, not badminton. We can tell you what kind of flooring is best with those because we are flooring people, not because we are pet, hot rod or sports fanatics. But we know enough about floors to tell you if you might be abusing the floor by allowing your Harley to leak oil all over it.

    You didn't ask about sheet vinyl, but yes, many of those products will withstand urine better than vinyl plank flooring. Urine will still damage it over time, but it will have less chance of getting to the floor under it. But no matter what flooring you choose, our advice would be to remove the laminate flooring first.

  10. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Types With Elbows Senior Member Published

    Jim, I do Badminton, not a lot but I do it. I have four cats that I love. I do my own urine abatement when needed. I have also donated to help support TFP. I can relate to both sides of this discussion. The old glued laminates were better at being water RESISTANT than the new click systems.
    Cindy812, you may have to bite the bullet and replace the laminate instead of going over it. It's not sound or stable. If the door casings have been under cut for the laminate and you put down a thinner floor there will be a gap under the casing(s). This just keeps getting better doesn't it?
  11. Bearman

    Bearman Pro Member

    As you found out the lams dont like water, or urine especially at the seams. I would recommend removing your existing laminate, and installing sheetgoods providing your sub floor is acceptable. You may have to put down an underlayment first. Linoleum with a heat welded seam would probably be fine providing you cleaned up the accidents right away? It is highley bacterial resistant. Pick a yellow color?

    Protect-All is a Commercial Product I use in Animal kennels, but might be overkill for you?
  12. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    When moisture finds its way in between your moisture barrier under the laminate and under the vinyl plank, the laminate is going to get a little antsy and want to move around, curl , expand, bow up.
    Glue down vinyl plank works pretty dam good on a slab with pets, over wood substrate less so. Someone probably manufactures a sealer for the substrate designed specifically for this reason.
  13. Steve Forbo

    Steve Forbo Pro Member

    I would suggest a high quality sheet vinyl. You will need to remove the laminate, and more than likely install a good underlayment(plywood).
    But the only things that will hold up to urine are going to be sheet vinyl, linoleum and sheet rubber.
    I suggest sheet vinyl because it is very nice looking with tons of wood grains to choose from, and will keep your house looking like a house. I personally think wood patterned sheet vinyl looks way better than most laminates.
    I don't think heat welding is necessary since I don't think your pets will look for the seams to pee on....LOL A regular chemical weld is fine.
    Good luck with your choice.
  14. Jon Scanlan

    Jon Scanlan That Kiwi Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Leaving Sydney airport yesterday I came across this timber laminate, (I think)floor which looks like it had been flooded in a food shop and somebody tried to repair it. So one could imagine laying a vinyl product over the top if something went wrong at a later date

    Attached Files:

  15. Chris Sheafer

    Chris Sheafer Published

    Do not install over the laminate no matter what floor. The vinyl plank is what your wanting so... Buy an extra box. You can replace any bad ones down the road. Pee and floors.... Not good.
  16. FlooringGirl

    FlooringGirl Senior Member

    She won't be back, you guys offended her. Too bad, as I would have shared some info about the "treats" I got my dog before she passed and lost her bladder control, they helped a whole lot!! She only tinkled a couple times a week instead of every day! Anyway ...
  17. dootsy

    dootsy New Member

    I have the same problem with pet urine. Our laminate is on a concrete floor. (we live in a pole barn with the front converted to a small home) I would like to lay sheet vinyl over our laminate, but was wondering if it has too much "give" and may destroy the vinyl. I would be doing this myself, and do not have a clue as to how to put down a sub floor. It is one open area that encompasses three living areas. There is basically no noticeable "give" to this floor due to the concrete underneath. There is maybe one spot that gives a little when you step on it. I want this laminate covered up. I can't stand it! I do not think the pet damage is bad enough to mess up the new vinyl, but I just wasn't sure if it would hold up over that surface. I can't afford much, so the cheapest way is best for me, or else I can't do it.

    I believe it was the second line that offended her. A professional would assist in finding a solution to a homeowner's situation, not judge.
  18. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Types With Elbows Senior Member Published

    Flooring is not cheap. Having said that I must point out how cheap floors cost more than high quality flooring. The cheap floor wears out faster, often before you can save up for a better replacement. During the brief life of a cheap floor the cost of flooring inches upwards so now, even the same cheap floor costs more.
    My advice is to cover the floor you have now as cheaply as possible. You could paint it and toss a few carpet rems on it. Then save in esrnest for a quality floor...and maybe a professional installation.
  19. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Dootsy, you wouldn't need a subfloor over concrete, the slab should not have paint/glue etc on it, the laminate would be removed and vinyl installed directly on slab, I would suggest fiberglass backed, there probably isn't a moisture barrier under slab, so not sure if this is viable. Here is laminate left outside for couple months.

    Attached Files:

  20. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    No one here purposely tried to offend her. Bringing up year-old painful issues is offensive to me. The pros here tried to provide professional opinions and solutions. You have failed to read them because now you are asking the same question: can you put new flooring over the old laminate flooring? The answer a year ago was no and it is still no. It is not that difficult to remove old laminate flooring. It's dirty and sweaty, but does not take extraordinary skill.

    I'm sure you will feel my response was offensive, rude, whatever. As was also mentioned before, we are a group of flooring professionals that love our business and our industry so much, we care enough to help each other and our DIY/Consumer members in our free time. When people ignore good advice and continue to believe what marketing geniuses with no real flooring experience tell you in their expensive campaigns, we get a little snippity.

    As was also said, take what you like and leave the rest. If you don't want or like our professional advice, please don't tell us what advice to give instead. It doesn't work that way.


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