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Dealing With Existing Floors

How you prepare the room depends on the flooring and subfloor you already have. If your existing surface floor is warped, broken, or damaged, it's usually best to remove it first. Repair the subfloor below if necessary. The chart below describes some common flooring situations. It might help you decide whether laminate flooring is the right way for you to go.


Wood flooring over concrete   Remove wood Clean and smooth concrete Test for moisture Lay down vapor barrier and underlayment or 2-in-1 foam
Flooring other than wood over concrete   Test for moisture
Lay down vapor barrier and underlayment or 2-in-1 foam
Any floor over wood   Lay Down underlayment
Carpet over anything   Remove carpet—check with
manufacturer Clean and smooth subfloor Lay down vapor barrier, if needed, and underlayment


Dirt and debris on the floor create high spots that may telegraph through the laminate. You may not notice them at first, but they can eventually cause cracks or wear spots in the floor.

* On concrete, scrape off solid materials, such as adhesive remaining from flooring you've removed, with a floor scraper.
* On a wood subfloor, scrape gently with the grain; don't dig in.
* Once everything is scraped off, clean the floor thoroughly with the cleaning product that your flooring dealer recommends.


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