Scenario: I'm the owner of a multi-unit 2 story apartment. The people living up and down are cousins to each other and are in the process of switching apartments -- long story, don't ask. The upstairs tenants have already moved down but the downstairs tenants have yet to move up, so the top is vacant for a few more weeks.

The lower unit's kitchen has nice vinyl tile that's easy to clean, that the tenants like and are used to, while the upper's kitchen has commercial very low-pile carpet which helps with sound. Kids running around make reducing any low-end sound a priority. The lower unit people have requested similar tile for the upstairs for easy cleaning, but I don't want to get rid of carpet for the aforesaid reason.

The sound on the high end of the scale between units is not a current problem, it's the footsteps/running thuds I would want to keep minimized, which no doubt may be higher with just tile over pine. The rest of the unit will remain carpeted.

There is tongue & groove pine below the carpet. There's very little "give" on the carpet. Can I sandwich the carpet in with quarter-inch subfloor, screwed down well, topped with vinyl? (This is the part where you say yes, ha.)

I may use no-glue tile or tile squares with silicone adhesive. I'm not concerned about absolute perfection in performance/looks for this. If it's not OK to sandwich the carpet, I don't want to put down expensive soundproofing stuff and would tell the tenant to live with carpet.

Seems the only reason not to sandwich would be if a future 300lb'er would jump around cracking the subfloor, but they are all small people.

  • 2
    I would be concerned with stuff seeping trough the vinyl flooring to the carpet which would become wet and a breeding ground for molds and other nasty things. Especially since it is in a kitchen, where spills are more likely. I also prefer real, time proven materials for my rental units. I.e hardwood/ceramic tile vs crap like laminate/ vinyl/carpet.
    – Vitaliy
    Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 4:17

2 Answers 2


I think you will regret leaving old carpet on the floor and covering it up. If you are willing to spend $$$ on plywood, why not spend those same $$$ on some foam underlayment for a solid vinyl locking plank floor? The foam is a decent sound deadener, water-proof and resists mold and mildew.

Old carpeting, even a low nap commercial type will hold moisture, breed mold and odors. One bad spill, pet accident, etc will become a smelly problem.

Rip it out and do it right, you won't regret it.


If you are glueing this down I would go with construction adhesive not silicone. Vinyl on carpet might hold for a few weeks to a few years being glued. Depends on flatness of carpet, how clean the carpet is, how much glue, and the vinyl material.

However I would just use a click lock and float it on the carpet. HD sells http://www.homedepot.com/p/TrafficMaster-Allure-Ultra-12-in-x-23-82-in-Aegean-Travertine-Noche-Resilient-Vinyl-Tile-Flooring-19-8-sq-ft-case-742917-0/202819082?N=8pd#.UXIOo8purZc

They have tons of styles so pick what you like - this is super easy to clean, looks good, and it is waterproof. You can have the whole kitchen installed in 3 hours, won't need glue, and pretty much no prep (vacuum and take out big things).

  • snap lock vinyl planks are a great alternative to a traditional tile floor. I have used them in laundry areas with good results. Not sure I like the sandwiched carpet however, sounds like a breeding ground for odors and mold. Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 10:27
  • I agree - just giving best solution with keeping carpet since that was the question. I would rip carpet out and install floating vinyl.
    – DMoore
    Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 19:06

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