Carpet Installation: Carpet Over Carpet

Installing Carpet Over Carpet

Good or Bad Idea?

On the surface, installing new carpet over existing carpet probably seems like a good idea. You don’t have to remove the existing carpet, you don’t need underpad and it provides an extra layer of insulation for cold floors. However, flooring industry professionals strongly advise against installing new carpet over existing carpet for a lot of reasons.

Tack Strips Are Hard To Secure

Tack strips are hard to install on top of a layer of carpet since the installation nails on tack strip are only about 3/4″ long. These are too short to penetrate through existing carpet and into the subfloor, where they need to be secured.

Image of a carpet tack strip

Old Carpet Is Dirty

Really dirty. Studies show that mold and mildew and dirt and moisture live in old carpet and, unfortunately, it’s virtually impossible to remove all contaminates from carpet.

Picture of old carpet rolls

Residential Carpet Needs Solid Underpad

While your carpet wears down, so does your underpad. If you’ve got underpad underneath the carpet you’re installing over, you can pretty much guarantee that it has worn down to dust by now. Without good underpad, your new carpet is going to wear down twice as fast.

Picture of old carpet rolls

How To Make It Work:

If you really have to install carpet over existing carpet, make sure your new carpet is an extremely low pile.
You’ll also want to keep it as a temporary measure – not only will your new carpet wear down faster but it also won’t adhere like carpet installed properly. Be prepared for it to shift around on you.

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