This Old Tenement (Laminate over carpet)

Old 08-15-06, 01:41 PM
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This Old Tenement (Laminate over carpet)

I rent a floor-through in an old NYC tenement building, circa 1870. Floor is rough boards, not very even, lots of 1/4" (or more) spaces between the boards.

I currently have cheap wall-to-wall in the living room, and it's wearing out, needs to be replaced. Would like to do the least-possible-cost upgrade. Landlord won't pay -- so major work is out.

From reading this forum, looks like laminates won't work. Can anyone confirm? Can I lay the laminate on my current worn-out industrial wall to wall carpet?
Old 08-15-06, 02:41 PM
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Laminate should not be installed over carpet. Investing in a rental is usually not a good idea unless you plan on staying there long enough to get a return on your investment.

If the landlord will not pay for new carpet and cushion, is he agreeable to your removing the carpet and cushion and leaving the floor bare? The boards, unless unsightly, could give you a rustic floor on which you could place inexpensive rugs.

No matter how bad you think the carpet looks, he may think it is valuable and that he could always rent it to someone no matter what it looks like. Thus, the landlord may not be agreeable to removing the carpet and cushion in view of the fact that he would have to pay to install new carpet and cushion when you move out.

A flat subfloor is recommended for laminate. There is nothing that can be done with gaps between boards. As long as boards are flat, the gaps should not affect the laminate installation.

Laminate is sold by the square foot. You would need to measure the rooms (Length x Width) to calculate square feet needed. Add 5% extra for waste. You will likely need trim pieces, and that will be additional costs. If you DIY, you can save installation costs on laminate. You can also price new carpet and cushion and installation for an inexpensive carpet in order to compare costs.

It is not clear if the carpet is in the livingroom only and the rest of the tenement is exposed wood. If exposed wood, cover with inexpensive rugs and enjoy the old, rustic floor. If carpet is only in the livingroom, the room may be small enough to replace with a carpet remnant (usually sold at discount) or to camouflage with a large area rug if not planning on staying there very long. Shop around to explore flooring options that may be within your budget. Sometimes you can find some bargains at discount and salvage stores.

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