Installing laminate over hardwood?

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors:  I have a hardwood floor that is not level. It is level in the center but when you go towards the sides it is not. I was wondering what I could do to get this floor level so I can put a laminate floor down.

A: I don’t believe laminate manufacturers recommend installing laminate over hardwood flooring. Is your hardwood in such bad shape that it could not be properly sanded and finished?

That aside, how much of a dip are we talking about here? If it is not too severe, you could use building paper to build up the dip. However, if it is a hump, you have a bigger problem.

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors:   I’ve decided to tear up my old floor and level it up the proper way I just one question – I was going to use OSB board for the subfloor and then put the laminate floor over that. Would that be okay?

A: I have never read a spec on not using osb as a sub floor for laminates. I have read that they (or some versions of them) are okay for nail down also, but I still prefer real wood plywood. You should be fine.

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors:  Should I remove my red oak floor before installing a laminate (Pergo) floor?

A: Always check the product manufacturers recommendations first. I’m not aware of any reason this would be a problem provided the hardwood is sound, flat and dry. The only possible issue I could see develop is hardwood can and will react to moisture, for example, coming from a basement or crawl space. This is why hardwood expands and contracts. If you install Pergo on top and such moisture transfer has no place to go then you would have a problem.

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Flip-side Q: Can you install hardwood over laminate?

A: Can you install hardwood over laminate? Some people will try anything to save money. My answer? No.