Installing laminate over an existing laminate floor???

Discussion in 'Hardwood and Laminates Q&A' started by san diego jim, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. san diego jim

    san diego jim Pro Member

    What can happen if you install a laminate floor over an existing laminate floor? The existing laminate floor is covering a plywood subfloor and is flush to other rooms that have ceramic tile in them. The rooms with the ceramic tile are getting new laminate as well. If I remove the existing laminate then I need to deal with the unevenness by removing the ceramic tile or putting in a subfloor. Major demo work! Putting laminate over the existing laminate would save a lot of time and money. What are your thoughts???
  2. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Remove it all.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. san diego jim

    san diego jim Pro Member

    Could you elaborate on that answer please?
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Too much movement, no warranty, even higher undercuts in door casings, possibility of panels gapping or even breaking and not a single manufacturer will warranty the product. Remove it all. Laminates are one of the easiest floors to remove. There's a good chance you won't have to do any undercutting. There's a slight possibility you can use the laminate underlayment over again.

    Yeah, remove it all. :yesss:
    • Agree Agree x 3
  5. SteveG

    SteveG Pro Member

    You can't install a floating floor on top of another floating floor.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I always want to know the "whys" to become "wise"

    I think it may cause the lower layer to expand by moisture being "trapped" if there is not enough expansion space underneath ex. Hitting doorjambs, wall, the the flooring will raise and use vertical expansion necessary, gravity will help to keep floor down to an extent, but the stronger force is physical material.

    If one area starts to raise like a joint, it will telegraph to finish flooring. If it were one room, I might chance it, but it would run perpendicular to previous floor to counteract/offset the joints.

    It's another layer of foam underlayment, could be too much movement, all in all, it's risky, probably a few more issues I could think of.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    Floating floors expand and contract. The cheaper the floor, the more they expand and contract. Installing another floating floor over top could and likely will hinder the natural order of how these floors behave.

    Your very question leads me to believe you will be using low end products since it's all about money. Buying a quality product helps but is not an insurance policy for doing stupid things. Let's say you install a cheap ass LVT floor over top of a cheap ass laminate floor. The LVT (or whatever floor you choose) will act as a moisture barrier and stop the natural transfer of moisture to and from the existing laminate floor. Now your laminate floor starts to buckle which causes your LVT floor to buckle.

    Would you try and go after the installer while playing dumb? Maybe you would post on here trying to figure out what went wrong. Maybe the house will have sold by the time a problem arises?:(
  8. san diego jim

    san diego jim Pro Member

    Thank you for all the great answers. I will submit my proposal to the owner to include removing the laminate.
    The job is a 2000 sq ft cabin in the southern california mountains. It is 3 separate levels. Loaded with furniture and space for furniture. The driveway is so skinny and steep that my van and trailer wont fit. And its 3 hours away from my shop. The only way i will do this job is the right way. I know not to put laminate over laminate but i wasnt totally clear on why. Now i have good information to tell my client. Thank you Floor Pro's!
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    If you want to pass a money saving tip along, if necessary rent a u-haul to store furniture and things. Way cheaper than renting a pod.
  10. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    That's interesting, had a few customers get pods, low to the ground. Outside the "box" of thinking. Some were longer term though, like two weeks. Logistics as a competitor tool, I like it.
  11. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    I like it when someone has a desire for knowledge. Makes the whole world a better place. That and
    Everybody these days just want the answers out of the back of the book. Nobody ever wants to actually read the book anymore.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Jim and Chris nailed it. Too much "shucking & jiving" as my favorite tech guy from Mannington use to say to describe laminate moving. Because laminate cores aren't made out of solid hardwood, but compressed wood dust, you can't predict which way it's going to move like you can with a solid piece of wood. With two floors doing that at different rates you got double shucking and jiving going on in all directions.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2017
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