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I think I goofed up my laminate install, am I hooped?

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 17th, 2018 10:59 pm
[OP]
Member
Sep 28, 2011
341 posts
84 upvotes
Lethbridge

I think I goofed up my laminate install, am I hooped?

Hi all. Was installing laminate in the guest bedroom this weekend and after ripping up the carpet, my father in law decided the carpet underlay was pretty good and we should install over that. I had a different opinion but in the end agreed with him.

Now I’ve read that you need to put a proper layer down and not use the carpet underpad. How serious is it? It was a pain putting this Trafficmaster stuff in and my back is still out.

It’s a light traffic room that has a double bed and a shelf unit in the closet. Any thoughts? Keeping in mind I already know I’m an idiot...
26 replies
Member
Apr 6, 2008
481 posts
170 upvotes
I always thought the laminate underpad was for noise? I'm assuming this is a house (not a condo) so the noise you get the walking on it won't bother anyone else. Its your house, are you happy with the way the floor "feels" when you walk on it? If you're happy then just do the whole thing this way (so it's uniform). Obviously would have been better to do it properly but if you don't feel like pulling it up then dont bother.
Deal Addict
Sep 11, 2006
1315 posts
297 upvotes
Toronto
Probably fine but would have been a better idea to use proper underlay because its thinner. If the floor is too spongy, it may split at a joint. Does the floor have a lot of bounce to it? If you glued the joints you'd have been better off.
[OP]
Member
Sep 28, 2011
341 posts
84 upvotes
Lethbridge
DIrty-D wrote:
Mar 12th, 2018 11:23 pm
Probably fine but would have been a better idea to use proper underlay because its thinner. If the floor is too spongy, it may split at a joint. Does the floor have a lot of bounce to it? If you glued the joints you'd have been better off.
Nothing is glued down and there is quite a bit of bounce. The floor goes down a few mm when stepped on so I’m worried about it cracking.
Deal Addict
Apr 24, 2007
2084 posts
396 upvotes
angrydingo wrote:
Mar 12th, 2018 11:34 pm
Nothing is glued down and there is quite a bit of bounce. The floor goes down a few mm when stepped on so I’m worried about it cracking.
If there is a lot of bounce you're gonna have trouble down the road. Sorry.
Newbie
Nov 17, 2013
67 posts
18 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
If carefully removed and kept in order you can take it apart with minimum damage, replace the underlay and put it back together.
Jr. Member
Feb 12, 2012
110 posts
28 upvotes
BRANTFORD
It will have to be redone or you will definitely have problems down the road. Better to do it now.

Setting a bed on there or having someone laying on the bed will almost certainly make it start to separate from its channels.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2012
2075 posts
953 upvotes
KINGSTON,ON
Ya, the seams are probably going to open up at sone point. Some of that laminate comes apart easily, some not. You may end up trashing the interlocking joints.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2009
1344 posts
164 upvotes
You will have problems, the boards will separate over time, even if you put a bed on that floor the legs will probably leave divots in your floor, you should have used the proper underlay like very thin foam that is meant for laminate or if the laminate that you installed had the backing already installed.
You can easily take the floor apart get rid of that foam underlay and start over with the proper , Lowes or home depot has all this stuff in stock.
Member
Oct 2, 2012
226 posts
150 upvotes
Ottawa
Agree with others. If you have >1mm of movement then the laminate tabs are going to break over time. The only pad I've ever used (if any) is a really thin white foam. If you have a really smooth base surface that isn't cold like concrete then you can likely get away without any underlay. Just make sure you vacuum the area VERY well before putting down the flooring. Basically the less movement you create means the longer your floor will last. Laminate is nice because it's cheap and fast, but that comes at the price of robustness.
Deal Addict
Dec 3, 2006
1606 posts
466 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
Do it right the first time around. Should never listen to you father in law. I never do lol!
Rip it up and do it again.
That's what I learned from doing renos to my parent's place. Don't cheap out on materials and tools either.
Deal Addict
Nov 2, 2005
3059 posts
654 upvotes
Ottawa
There is way too much give in carpet underlay. Your seams will fail and probably pretty quickly at that. If you're lucky you may be able to lift the floor without damaging the joints but this is not always the case. It really depends on the quality and design of the flooring. One think is for sure, the more you walk on it the less likely you will be able to salvage and reuse it.

Approved underlay will help reduce noise transmission but it's main purpose is to support the flooring over small imperfection in the subfloor e.g. nail heads, knots and tiny height differences between plywood sheets. All manufacturers require it for warranty.

Tip - never take advice from in-laws unless you're 100% sure they know what they're talking about. Never give advice to in-laws unless you're 100% sure you know what you're talking about.
Deal Addict
Sep 2, 2006
2220 posts
507 upvotes
Orleans
Must have been a bitch to clip the laminate together with all the flexibility.
Sr. Member
Dec 15, 2009
879 posts
131 upvotes
Ontario
fusion2k2k wrote:
Mar 12th, 2018 11:23 pm
I always thought the laminate underpad was for noise? I'm assuming this is a house (not a condo) so the noise you get the walking on it won't bother anyone else. Its your house, are you happy with the way the floor "feels" when you walk on it? If you're happy then just do the whole thing this way (so it's uniform). Obviously would have been better to do it properly but if you don't feel like pulling it up then dont bother.
Noise AND moisture. The plastic backing on the foam helps keep moisture from reaching the laminate which will curl and warp if wet.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 24, 2012
5066 posts
1372 upvotes
Space
Just lift it up and put down a proper underlayment. You live and learn.

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