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I tore up laminate flooring and the underlayment is still intact and in very good condition. Can I install the new laminate (which has the underlayment attached) on top of the existing underlayment?

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4 Answers 4

From the Pergo Installation Instructions (Section 10d, page 6):

  • If the Pergo Product being installed has an attached foam underlayment then use only a vapor barrier when installing over a concrete subfloor.
  • When installing a Pergo Product with an attached underlayment foam over a wood subfloor no other additional acoustic underlayment should be used.
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This is the correct answer. +1 for RTFM. –  Tester101 Mar 6 at 13:02

What Jack said is correct. I'll add some extra comments. Of course you can install over an existing subfloor in good condition. What would be the reason to remove a solid plywood subfloor and replace it with the same material except new? I would advise you to check the existing subfloor to be sure it is secured well. If needed, screw down any loose areas. If there are any dips, use an embossing compound or cement style leveler to fill and level any irregularities. Do not use any additional vapor barriers over the plywood subfloor. The only time a vapor barrier would be appropriate would be over concrete or an unheated crawl space, but then only under the underlayment.

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The OP does not want to remove the subfloor, they are asking about the layer of material between the subfloor and the finished flooring (e.g. tar paper, rosin paper, foam, plastic, etc.). –  Tester101 Mar 6 at 13:01
    
guess i am missing something in the question....I was thinking the new laminate described had it's own soft backing. If it is just the hard backer, then Yes, a foam underlayment layer must be put down first. Foam backer ranges from cheepie 1/8" to high density sound deadening foam. Do not use resin paper or plastic. thanks for the heads up Tester. –  shirlock homes Mar 6 at 14:38

I am sorry I don't have time to research this right now but I will give you a quick answer and maybe edit later. First - call Pergo and ask.

Second, I have installed 4 different types of Pergo+underlayment and all of them say to take out old underlayment. I think there is first an issue with the floor becoming too spongy and second if there is spongy/vertical movement it could could splintering or disconnecting of the tiles.

If your old underlayment is "padding" I would remove. If it is just a thin vapor barrier then keep it.

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I'm inclined to agree. If you have two layers of underlayment, you might actually risk breaking the flooring when you walk on it, as two layers of underlayment would give too much. –  Robert Harvey Mar 5 at 21:11

Yes you can, make sure the floor has no dips or high spots, no more than an 1/8" preferably less, using a 4 ft level or straight edge.

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I think this might void some of Pergo's warranty since it would be installed counter to their instructions. –  DMoore Mar 5 at 20:13
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I was figuring it to be a plywood underlayment, as in 4X8 sheets, not the pad that goes under the laminate. The spongy pad cannot stay if the other has it already as part of the product. –  Jack Mar 5 at 22:38

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