Can You Put Flooring over Hardwood?

If you have hardwood flooring, you may be wondering if you can put flooring over it. Wood flooring is beloved by many for its luster, character, and aesthetics. Sometimes though, it is not appropriate. Perhaps it is in such disarray, you don’t want to spend the time or money repairing and restoring it. Or, you may just want an all new look for the room.

Whatever the case, if you are wanting to cover your hardwood flooring with another kind of flooring, you’re in luck. Yes. You can put flooring over hardwood. There are some things you will want to know before doing so though.

The Type of Flooring Matters

While you can put most any flooring over hardwood, the type of flooring going in will determine exactly what needs to be done in the process. Some types can be installed directly on top of hardwood but others will require some prep work.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is one of the easiest types to install over hardwood. There is virtually no preparation that is required. If, however, the hardwood flooring underneath is wavy, you will want to level it before placing laminate over it. But, past that, you can simply lay the laminate right on top of the hardwood as long as it has an under-layer built in.

Wood Flooring

Wood over wood is often an option homeowners choose when the original hardwood flooring is too far gone to constitute refurbishing it. If your engineered or solid wood flooring is 3/4” thick or greater, you will need to build over the old floor at a 90 degree angle. If the new wood flooring is mounted or nailed down parallel to the old flooring, it may fall apart, become wavy, or gap otherwise as it contracts and expands.

In the event that you want the new flooring parallel to the old, you’ll need to install a layer of plywood underneath. It should be 3/8” thick. The separation will make it possible to run the new flooring in any direction.



Vinyl flooring is appreciated for being easy to take care of and excellent for high traffic areas like hallways, kitchens and recreation rooms. It is less expensive than most other types of floorings too. If you are wanting to lay vinyl over an existing wood floor, you certainly can do so but you will want to make sure the surface underneath the vinyl is smooth or it will jeopardize the integrity of the top floor.
Before doing any installation, allow the vinyl flooring to acclimate to the temperature of the room. Allowing it to set for at least 24 hours is highly recommended so it expands or shrinks in keeping with its new environment.

Prep the area by sweeping any dirt or debris out. Then, use a level tool to make sure the floor is level. Measure the space and figure how many planks you’ll need and the trimming that will be required. Use a carpenter’s square to mark the lines. Use a circular saw to cut the planks accordingly and then install them.


Preserving Your Original Wood Flooring

Even if you are thinking you will never want to expose the original wood floor that lies beneath, you should take care to preserve it because…you never know. Furthermore, you might sell your home in the future and the new homeowners may want to use the original flooring.

Getting the Job Done Right

If you want to lay flooring over your wood floor but feel the DIY project is too much for you to take on, you can always call on a professional. Laying a new floor is worth doing right so no matter how you go about it, make sure to take the time and make the effort to do it the right way.

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