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Installing laminate over very short pile carpet -- unique situation...plz read.

Installing laminate over very short pile carpet -- unique situation...plz read.

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  #1  
Old 09-25-13, 06:57 AM
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Installing laminate over very short pile carpet -- unique situation...plz read.

Hi,
As the title says, on Friday I will be having laminate installed over very short pile carpet. I know it is not recommended and I understand the risks, but let me explain why.

The house I own was built in the 60s. Under this very short pile/no shag carpet is asbestos vinyl. I had an inspector come in and perform two tests: asbestos test on the vinyl, and an air quality test. The asbestos came back positive, and the air quality came back fine(no mold or anything.) We are renovating this room because wifey and I are going to start trying for kid #2. At that point, I'll need to move my 'man cave' down stairs. The dowstairs will be my computer area, my kids might play down there a bit, and it'll be a traffic area for parties(once or twice a year). Not a ton of traffic.

I will not rip up the carpet, which is glued to the asbestos vinyl, and risk kicking up asbestos particles into the air.

I've already hung the drywall, taped, mudded, sanded, painted. Everything is good to go. I am paying someone to put in laminate because my knees cannot be bothered right now

So, question is: What would you do in my situation?
I will post a reply to this thread to detail the specifics of the project and situation(this first post is long enough).
 
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  #2  
Old 09-25-13, 07:04 AM
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-Age of house: 57 years old

-State: New Jersey

-Style of house: Bi-level, concrete slab.

-Location of project: Down stairs room. Part of the room is below grade, part is not.
-Carpet: VERY short pile carpet. Very WORN carpet. I describe it as being cocrete itself. The carpet does not give at all, it does not compress. Its been worn by 57 years of traffic. It is glued to asbestos vinyl. If you knocked on the carpet/floor with your fist, it sounds lik you are knocking on a thinly-padded concrete floor. It is very similar to indoor/outdoor carpet or commercial grade carpet that you would find in an office building. It can be compared to a welcome mat outside, a thin one. Also, I will NOT be putting down an underlayment since the existing carpeting could act as the underlayment.. I will be putting down a moisture barrier.

-Situation\Usage: I have wife, 2 yr old, dog, and hopefully a second kid in the near future. This area will be my computer room / wreck room. My kids will play down there from time to time. We have parties and use this area as a traffic area/party area (I don't see this happening more than three times per year).

I hope this covers my situation. As stated, its unique. I know its not recommended to put laminate over carpet...or anything over carpet. However, I believe it is OK to do so on 1/4 inch or less carpet, which this short-pile junk I have HAS to be. I simply do not want to expose myself or my family to asbestos at all, but this room needs to be renovated and moved out of the 1960s.
 
  #3  
Old 09-25-13, 07:10 AM
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If it's a really low pile carpet, it's probably not much different than some of the under pads on the market. I would vacuum very well and even shampoo the carpet (too late for that if the install is this Friday). I would lay some heavy plastic sheet under the laminate. I think I might do the same as you in this case. Not because of the asbestos but just to avoid tearing up a glued down carpet.
 
  #4  
Old 09-25-13, 07:17 AM
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Thanks for the reply.

Don't get me wrong: I am no stranger to breaking my back, spitting sweat and tears to do some hard and necessary work. If it would have taken me an entire weekend of working 10 hours a day to rip up the glue, I would have done it. However, I even think that while the carpet is glued to the asbestos vinyl, it is so old that I had no difficulty pulling up one tiny corner to see the vinyl. Granted, it could be worse in other parts or in the center, but I have a feeling that pulling up the carpet would not have been difficult.

I am just obsessive. I dont want to risk anything being kicked up. I know asbestos is everywhere, it was widely used, etc etc. But i want to limit my exposure to it being airborne, especially to my family.

I had laminate in our condo a few years back. My father in law and I put it in. We had to shim up a small part of the floor because the subfloor in that little area was terrible. A year later, it was bumping up and squeeking. Eh, what are you going to do. I don't remember if the laminate gave at all when installed on subfloor + underlayment padding...or if it was noticeable. However, when I threw down a few planks in my current situation, it might have given way just a little, hardly noticeable. But that could be because the entire room is not done, I dont have the shim/spacers in place against the wall to add to the strength of the floor, etc...
 
  #5  
Old 09-25-13, 08:14 AM
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I am a little more reluctant to give blessings on applying laminate over any type carpet. Granted, as toolmon says, sponge backed low loop carpet (indoor/outdoor) you may get away with it. However, don't expect any warranty coverage for the installation or product failure, as it will fail, when....who knows. You are having someone lay the laminate. Make sure there is adequate spacing from the edges around the room to allow for expansion and contraction, or it will bubble up on you.

I know you don't want to do it, but pulling the carpet may indeed pull the tile up with it, eliminating the problem. I would have a remediation place remove the carpet and tile if you have problems, and start with a fresh floor. You plan on encapsulating it, and that's good. I dare say, the laminate won't like it, however. Good luck and keep us posted with the results. Pictures of that you have would help us, help you, too. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
  #6  
Old 09-25-13, 08:22 AM
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Chandler, thanks.

Ill try to post pics.

I am having a general contractor install it, no warrenty. Home Depot was going to do it for us. They had to check with their installer company and they said its OK, but will void the warranty and we were OK with that. But in the end, we wanted a specific laminate that Home Depot would not install with the deal of whole-home install of $397. So we opted out, picked what we wanted and having a guy that has done work for us in the past install it.

Even if I was OK with ripping up carpet and possibly the tile with it, my budget does not allow for that. I would imagine that some sort of safety measures would need to be taken with the knowledge of asbestos in the house and possibly disturbed. I cannot get into dumping more money into that. I would rather have left the room as is...1960s dusty/worn old wood paneling and the crummy carpet.

Let me ask...whats the difference, if any, between a very low pile indoor/outdoor type of carpet, vs underlayment ? I mean yes, they are designed for different purposes, but in terms of properties? Wouldnt a thin quarter inch or less carpet function the same way an underlayment would?

I know people cringe when they hear carpet and underlayment in the same sentence. Until I explain to them the situation, and until they see this carpet for themselves. Ill try to take some pics when I get home so you guys can guage the thickness of this carpet.
 
  #7  
Old 09-25-13, 08:32 AM
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One of the walls, with the old wood paneling, and a corner of the floor/carpet. Pre-demo...


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  #8  
Old 09-25-13, 08:37 AM
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Panels removed, Drywall hung, taped/mudded/sanded. Ready to paint.

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Old 09-25-13, 08:40 AM
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If they are OK with the install, then they have seen it. The pix didn't allow us to see the carpet. I assume more are on the way.
 
  #10  
Old 09-25-13, 08:40 AM
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Painted. Ready to clean up, and have flooring installed.
(all of these pics were just of one corner of the room)

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  #11  
Old 09-25-13, 08:43 AM
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The first picture you can see the blue carpet. The picture with the wood paneling. You cant really see depth or the pile..but maybe get an idea.

When I get home Ill try to snap a few that give some prespective on the carpeting.

I mean, at this point regardless of what is said in this thread, this is still happening. Laminate over the carpet. I just don't have the money to spend on a proper removal of the carpet and remediation for any asbestos being kicked up in the process. I dont want to disturb it at all.

I really just want to hear what people think, what they would have done in my situation..maybe get some peace of mind.
 
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Old 09-25-13, 08:59 AM
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Let us know how the install goes, and how the carpeting affected the feel of the laminate. We're just a curious as you are. Post the pix, too. We'd like to see them.
 
  #13  
Old 09-25-13, 09:03 AM
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I sure will. If it goes well, month by month after the install, maybe this can change some perceptions of laminate over short-pile carpet.
 
  #14  
Old 09-25-13, 09:44 AM
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One more thing I wanted to add... The room is quite cold throughout the entire year. I doubt it reaches 70 degrees at any time throughout the year and is very cold in the summer with the AC running. Always feels like crisp, cool air downstairs in that room. No humidity at all.
 
  #15  
Old 09-25-13, 03:09 PM
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I guess I'll second the no go recommendation.

1- Carpet, regardless how small the pile, is usually installed to cushion your steps under your feet. Underlayment for laminate is less than an 1/8th of an inch thick so any movement is limited to "LESS" than that amount of movement.

2- Big Orange has already told you they would not do it, and it voids the warranty. Pretty much tells the story right there when you have to get a friend to put it in for you.

3- I've seen too many failed floors put in by people that stretched the rules a little or didn't even bother to research. You have done the research and know it is not the right thing to do. Your laminate can sit for years while we figure a solution, I would not rush to get it down.

They make adhesive remover that you pour onto the carpet, it seeps through the pile from above and loosens the glue. You can then score the carpet with a utility knife and take it out in small strips. You are safe from asbestos as long as you do not chip, hammer, grind or any way cause dust. At that, wear a mask and put a box fan in the window facing out and turn on high. Crack a window in another section of the house and you will create negative pressure in that room. Any fumes, particles or dust will go out the window and not drift throughout the house. I think you can get the carpet up without removing the tile and then go with a traditional underlayment. Any voids in the tiles can be skimmed with patching compound.
 
  #16  
Old 09-25-13, 05:20 PM
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Hi,
Well, even if I wanted to safely remove the carpet...the wife would not let me. She put her foot down early about not touching it, and I, knowing better, reluctantly agreed. Reluctantly at first, but thinking about it...it is the safer bet.

I checked out the thickness of the carpet and the pile itself is about 1/8 inch. With the nylon that the pile is woven through, it is about 1/4 inch. I checked out my laminate, and the manufacturer, hampton bay, says I can install over carpet if it is no more than 1/4 inch.

I don't mind being a guinea pig here. We can call it an experiment and Id love to share the results with everyone. I am a frequent forum goer for other things(such as gaming), and I frequently home-improve to some extent throughout the year so I will be on these forums a bit more. I'll post pictures when I can and updates every few months to let people know how it works out.

Oh, and I think you misread. Home depot said they WILL install over the carpet, but that it did void the warranty which was to be expected.

I do appreciate the responses though, however that room has been unusable for the better part of a month, the contractor is coming Friday morning and we need to get it done soon. Kid is getting antsy to get her play room back. This is not to say that I do not take these suggestions into consideration. Talking to the wife about it, but I don't think she'll go for it at this point.
 
  #17  
Old 09-29-13, 02:47 PM
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Added pic of finished laminate install. Install went smooth. The only issue is that my slab turns out to be slightly uneven. Even with a level, I could not tell. The difference is pretty small, however, but you can feel small dips in random spots and you can hear the vapor barrier underneath in these spots because you step into a small dip pressing the plank onto the vapor barrier causing a crinkling sound from the plastic barrier. No crackles or pops like some people hear from an improper installation so that is good. On areas where you dont feel any dips, it feels solid as it should. I'll try to update this every once in a while with status on how the floor is holding up over the course of time with traffic. Already put furniture on it, and daughter is playing on it.

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  #18  
Old 09-29-13, 04:09 PM
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For anyone else wishing to follow this posters guide on installations outside the bounds of manufacturers warranty's, I would like to add the following cautions.

Unfortunately, I could not copy/paste from a major manf. of laminate website as it was a PDF, but here is a paraphrase:

Laminate can be installed over 1/4" carpet fully adhered over a suspended subfloor with a minimum of 18" clearance. Do not install laminate over carpet adhered to concrete. Use a moisture barrier sheeting over carpet (it is not necessary to tape the seams).

In this instance, the posted was over asbestos tile, but that was on a concrete subfloor which violates industry standards. I don't want this thread to be justification for everyone to start putting laminate over carpet on a slab because this one looks nice in a picture.

Reference website see page 16 : http://www.armstrong.com/pdbupimages/2127188114.pdf
 
  #19  
Old 09-29-13, 09:00 PM
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Hi,
This is not meant to be a "guide". Given my budget, you can all think of it as an experiment.

I don't have the money to rip up the carpet, take up the asbestos tile and re mediate the asbestos, level the slab and THEN throw down the floor, nor do I have the desire to expose my currently livable house to the wonders of asbestos particles. Not to mention, this room(which is a substantial living space) has been out of service for a month. Shopping around for quotes to get each phase of a 'proper' remediation would take a lot of time aside of the cost.

So, given my budget, I threw down a floating laminate floor over carpet that glued down to tile which is on top of concrete. A stretch of the manufacturers specs? Sure. By how much? Who knows.

The floor looks great and is acceptable for a floating floor, especially one on short pile carpeting. With the weight of furniture, especially on a few of the dips, its actually better than it was when I first checked it out.

If the floor fails in 1 year, 2 years, 10 years..I've already told my wife that I won't be putting another hard surface down on this floor. We'll rip up the laminate, throw down regular carpeting and call it a day. But until then, if then, the floor is fine and I will try to document its progress over time.

I am not endorsing this to anyone. However, if anyone is in a similar situation with similar financial circumstances, let this be information for you on how it goes because I couldn't find a lot of info on something like this.

And Ive been in homes before where a floating laminate floor on a proper substrate began to fail within 5 years anyways.
 
  #20  
Old 06-05-15, 05:07 AM
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Cesmode , how is your laminate floor over the carpet holding . Have similar situation . Debating to remove the carpet or not . For us it will be yoga/ dance studio
 
  #21  
Old 06-05-15, 06:20 AM
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It has been a year and a half since cesmode has visited, so I don't think you will get an answer to this old thread. If you have a specific question, please feel free to post your own question and start a new thread. We will be happy to assist. I will return this thread to the searchable archives.
 
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