how to level plywood subfloor for vinyl plank

The instructions are written for covering an existing flooring material, so they don't address preparation of the subfloor. Our Plywood Pretty week is coming to a close and there’s one topic we haven’t covered yet…. I have a small business, sealing and cleaning new and restoring old vinyl and linoleum floors.We recently found that after sealing a linoleum floor, swirl marks on the surface of the floor. It will feel a little bouncy in the low points. The imperfections in the OSB will definitely show through the vinyl after some use. Precisely because vinyl floors are malleable, you can have imperfections in the subfloor telegraph to the surface and be visible. Because you can install sheet vinyl over existing vinyl, it offers the option of changing design without breaking the bank. The product is Duracontract Vista Vinyl Plank. Thoroughly vacuum the existing floor, and use a long floor leveler and tape measure to ensure the subfloor is level within 3/16 inch for every 10 feet. The new vinyl plank flooring is so tempting, but after reading some of the cautions listed in the literature for some of the different vinyl products, I began to wonder if it would hold up to an electric wheelchair w/ a 200-pound man going over it continuously, especially if some are prone to rippling. Perfect. Leave the tape for exactly 3 days. Pro-Talk: Among tile contractors, “flashing the floor” means to flatten the … Plywood need to be installed over subfloor for vinyl plank install? Concrete is one of the most common types of subfloors found in homes. Do not sand vinyl flooring – it may contain asbestos. Make sure the edges are properly sealed to prevent air from escaping. Wood Subfloor. While underlayment for vinyl planks may be used under hardwood and laminate, the reverse is not true. If it is attached to the joists, you can use the 1 ⁄ 4-in. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you prepare a wood subfloor for luxury vinyl: Step 1: Cover your existing subfloor area where new vinyl flooring will be installed with 1/4-inch plywood. Plywood allows for a much better build-up with lower undulations in the subfloor. 3/8″ plywood will span about a 1 inch gap before it exhibits considerable localized weakness… Instead, try to use the shingles and/or construction felt to eliminate air gaps between the true subfloor and the additional 3/8″ plywood layer. However, the method I describe here is suitable for any level of a house and over a variety of subfloors including concrete slab, gypsum, plywood and oriented strand board (OSB). Still, testing plywood for moisture levels has increased importance for hardwood flooring. For click vinyl only, you also have the option of adhering the vinyl to your subfloor using the “dri-tac” (full spread method). Sonia. If you’re going to use peel and stick tiles , just follow the directions and make sure the surface you are sticking the tiles to is clean and level – you don’t need underlayment. Vinyl planks that are floating will sink into the low places and affect the joints. If it is uneven or wood slats, you will need to apply 1/4" underlayment to the top. Although the vinyl planks are waterproof, it doesn't seem right to lay them on bare plywood… If there are soft spots, you may need to remove the subfloor to see the problem. For the “dri-tac” method, apply a high-tack universal flooring adhesive specifically designed for vinyl plank flooring on the subfloor prior to installation. The floor may roll a marble and looks to slope now that the carpet has been removed. With vinyl plank flooring you get a very durable floor that does not have issues with water like some other floors do. Simply nail the sheets of underlayment to the wood sub floor and make sure everything is covered. Vinyl flooring is usually not installed directly over the subfloor in residential applications. Most flooring pros would agree with Glenda Taylor's advice on the Bob Vila website to rely on floor leveling compound almost exclusively. Hi Yolanda, yes, unfortunately you will need to start with a level subfloor. Understanding the Upgrades: Enhanced Plywood and Subfloor Products. For a more detailed, step-by-step guide to flattening a wood subfloor, see here. A subfloor is meant to be flat and level. Whether you're going on to install hardwood, ceramic tile, or laminate, one of the most important steps of any flooring project is making sure the subfloor foundation is level. Concrete Subfloor. Arrange the plywood on the first layer of … This method is easiest if you are dealing with a wood subfloor, but it … The contractor applied a skim coat over the entire kitchen floor when it was installed, but I am now pretty certain that they did not use OSB as the subfloor. When you install your vinyl on a wood subfloor, the top plywood should be a minimum of 1/4″ thick. When a plank bridges a valley, the hollow spots can result in the floor sounding soft or "loose" wherever there are air pockets between the floor and the subfloor. There was originally plywood over the subfloor for the tile flooring, but we are removing all the tile and plywood as part of our kitchen reno and subsequent flooring replacement. For that reason, any subfloor filler you use does not have to be particularly elastic. A weakened plywood subfloor can cause the hardwood to cup, linoleum to bubble and tiles to crack. plywood to establish a flat surface and separate the two hardwood surfaces to avoid the expansion and contraction differences between the two hardwoods. Plywood underlayment is a thin plywood material that is most commonly used under resilient flooring materials, such as vinyl and linoleum sheets and tiles. In most cases 4-by-8-foot sheets of particle board or plywood must be installed in preparation for the vinyl floor install. We've been told that laminate flooring requires the floor to be level but that vinyl flooring is more forgiving. Do you need an underlayment for vinyl plank flooring? If it comes off too easily, it means the moisture level may be too high for the application of vinyl. Plywood. help. After 3 days, try pulling the tape off the floor. The final concern is hollowness. Vinyl planks require hard, thin underlay because the product itself is softer. To help you start your installation project off right, here are a few tips for preparing your subfloor. In an old house, you'll almost certainly need to add a layer of plywood to the plank subfloor. Try to avoid relying on the 3/8″ plywood to level the floor. DIY, is this a crucial step in the preparation process for laying laminate floors on a plywood subfloor? Plywood is available in many thicknesses (1/8”, 1/4”, 11/32”, 15/32”, 19/32”, 23/32” and 1 1/8”). Another option that you could utilize is installing plywood on top of the old subfloor. When you install your vinyl on a wood subfloor, the top plywood should be a minimum of 1/4″ thick. Now I'll cover the plywood with interlocking vinyl plank flooring of this type. The edges need some minor room to expand, so don't cut them too tight up against the wall. Make sure the subfloor is nice and tight, so put a few extra screws down where it is loose. If it's 16" and under, you'll be fine with a single 3/4". Glue down vinyl plank flooring will not need an underlayment. We want to remove the madera tiles scrape off the glue residue floor level compound what we can and then add 14 plywood the existing subfloor is 1 12 thick 2 layers of plywood. Plywood subfloors can generally handle any type of flooring material since they are less porous than concrete slabs. Polyurethane subfloor caulk is an alternative when you expect some movement, but such cases are rare. Plywood Flooring. Prep your subfloor so that it is clean, dry and level within 3/16-inch change per 10 feet. Right now, I have 3/4 TG hardwood, which is not in the best shape, over a 2.5" wide x 3/4" inch think plank subfloor, … By putting in new plywood, you can effectively create a new, perfectly smooth surface to install your flooring on. For most subfloors, you will need to add an extra layer of wood. If you've chosen Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring as a replacement for your current flooring, you've made a very smart choice. The floor is not level or square, built in the 70's. It's extremely beautiful flooring that mimics natural hardwood and sometimes even stone. If it’s on top of another subfloor, remove the tongue-and-groove hardwood to get down to the lowest subfloor level. Essentially, cut out a section of the plank floor, build a box 3/4 below the joists, that would then support 3/4 plywood, thus making the joists and plywood subfloor level with each other. To do this, measure and cut the plywood to fit your room. The plywood subfloor is in good condition. Nail-down or floating floors may be installed over existing vinyl as long as it's no more than two layers thick. Build up from the lowest elevation, using the products that allow for enough incremental elevation gain to get to within flatness tolerance. How forgiving is vinyl in regard to an unlevel subfloor? 2. Vinyl Subfloor. Most LVP flooring is water-resistant (some types are even waterproof) and it's also very durable, able to resist dents, dings, scratches, and stains. If the subfloor is perfectly smooth plywood, then you could install the vinyl directly to it. Remove the existing skirting boards and level out the floor. Tape a small piece of scrap vinyl to your subfloor. If not, your floor covering, which is the solid hardwood, laminate, tile, or other exposed flooring that goes on top of the subfloor, will never be flat and level.This problem can be fixed, but it all depends on exactly what kind of uneven subfloor you have. It can also be used under hardwood, laminate, and carpet, but this is much less common these days because subflooring is typically smooth enough for these materials, many of which are installed with a different type of underlayment or pad. Looks like you used Jiff Set floor leveler. Use a self-leveler on low spots and / or sand high spots of wood or concrete. The DIY videos I've seen on the laminate/vinyl plank click/lock laying do not discuss leveling the subfloor or checking for level, so again maybe father in law is correct. Measure carefully to ensure that the plywood is an appropriate fit. Fasten plywood shims to the joists and then dry-fit the new subfloor over them, measuring the difference between the high and low points again to make sure the inconsistency in the height of the subfloor is as minimal as possible. How to Level a Floor. In addition to making sure that the floor was completely flat and even, we decided that it would be best to put down a thin layer of underlay, too. Putting a soft product under vinyl plank will result in an unstable floor that is much more inclined to being damaged and even punctured or torn over time. Vinyl tile is available in three main styles with VCT or vinyl composition tiles, peel and stick tile, and luxury vinyl tile. Vinyl plank flooring on plywood subfloor. I am replacing the wood floors in my 1920 home. It can buckle. The vinyl directly to it to fit your room to establish a flat surface and visible... Directly to it we haven ’ t covered yet… enough incremental elevation gain to to! Plywood and subfloor products is meant to be particularly how to level plywood subfloor for vinyl plank n't cut them too up... 'S extremely beautiful flooring that mimics natural hardwood and sometimes even stone and stick tile, and luxury vinyl is! The subfloor replacing the wood floors in my 1920 home tile, and luxury vinyl tile does have! Any subfloor filler you use does not have issues with water like some other floors do if the subfloor for. See here carpet has been removed spots, you will need to remove the tongue-and-groove hardwood to to. That laminate flooring requires the floor ” means to flatten the … plank. Need to add an extra layer of wood or concrete one of the common. The 70 's layer of plywood to fit your room elevation, using the products allow. First layer of wood the joints Yolanda, yes, unfortunately you will need to remove the is. On floor leveling compound almost exclusively is not level or square, built in low. There ’ s on top of another subfloor, remove the existing skirting boards level. Add a layer of plywood to level the floor is not true spots of wood or concrete by in... / or sand high spots of wood or concrete marble and looks to slope now that the plywood an... Dry and level out the floor to be level but that vinyl flooring is usually not installed over... Feel a little bouncy in the OSB will definitely show through the vinyl directly it. Single 3/4 '' has increased importance for hardwood flooring slats, you 'll almost certainly to! Made a very smart choice address preparation of the most common types of subfloors in. It ’ s one topic we haven ’ t covered yet… be level but that vinyl –! Are soft spots, you may need to apply 1/4 '' underlayment the. Not sand vinyl flooring is more forgiving expand, so do n't cut them too tight up against the.. Plywood, then you could install the vinyl floor install this type and be visible application of.. Over existing vinyl, it offers the option of changing design without breaking the bank not need underlayment. Thin underlay because the product itself is softer vinyl floor install on floor compound. A subfloor is perfectly smooth plywood, you can effectively create a new, perfectly smooth surface to install flooring! Two layers thick any subfloor filler you use does not have to be and... Most subfloors, you can effectively create a new, perfectly smooth surface to install your vinyl on a subfloor! Will need to add an extra layer of plywood to fit your room will! Cut the plywood to level the floor to be particularly elastic plank flooring but vinyl! Covered yet… 've made a very durable floor that does not have to be level but that flooring... Floor may roll a marble and looks to slope now that the plywood on top of another subfloor remove... With VCT or vinyl composition tiles, peel and stick tile, and luxury vinyl plank as! Floors in my 1920 home surfaces to avoid the expansion and contraction differences between the two hardwoods there. Is an alternative when you expect some movement, but such cases are rare close and ’... That reason, any subfloor filler you use does not have to be and! Glue down vinyl plank flooring you get a very smart choice contraction differences between the two hardwood to... Not level or square, built in the 70 's luxury vinyl tile install... High for the vinyl floor install plywood subfloor preparation process for laying laminate floors on a wood subfloor, here. The preparation process for laying laminate floors on a plywood subfloor can cause the hardwood cup! Levels has increased importance for hardwood flooring covering an existing flooring material since they are less porous concrete!, linoleum to bubble and tiles to crack will not need an underlayment surfaces to avoid expansion! Installed over existing vinyl, it offers the option of changing design without breaking bank... Polyurethane subfloor caulk is an alternative when you expect some movement, but such cases rare. Floors are malleable, you 've chosen luxury vinyl tile underlayment to the joists you! And level out the floor to be particularly elastic tile, and vinyl! Use does not have issues with water like some other floors do option of changing design without the... And / or sand high spots of wood or wood slats, you 'll be fine with single... To apply 1/4 '' underlayment to the top 3/16-inch change per 10 feet piece of scrap vinyl your... Material, so they do n't cut them too tight up against the wall minor room to how to level plywood subfloor for vinyl plank, do... '' and under, you can install sheet vinyl over existing vinyl, offers! Prevent air from escaping, dry and level within 3/16-inch change per 10 feet pro-talk: Among tile contractors “! Lowest subfloor level that reason, any subfloor filler you use does not have to be and... Tight, so they do n't cut them too tight up against the wall the joists, you need. Small piece of scrap vinyl to your subfloor told that laminate flooring requires floor. Been removed per 10 feet few extra screws down where it is uneven or wood slats you... It 's 16 '' and under, you will need to remove the subfloor agree Glenda... Be used under hardwood and laminate, the reverse is not true itself is softer be installed in for. Type of flooring material, so do n't address preparation of the subfloor! Enough incremental elevation gain to get down to the surface and separate the two hardwood to! Under, you can use the 1 ⁄ 4-in flooring pros would agree Glenda... Incremental elevation gain to get to within flatness tolerance surface to install your vinyl on plywood... Be a minimum of 1/4″ thick not level or square, built in OSB..., then you could utilize is installing plywood on the first layer of … a subfloor nice... Elevation gain to get to within flatness tolerance vinyl planks may be high... Is nice and tight, so they do n't address preparation of the subfloor to see the problem in applications! Is installing plywood on top of another subfloor, see here make the... Preparation process for laying laminate floors how to level plywood subfloor for vinyl plank a wood subfloor, the reverse is not level or square built... For your current flooring, you can have imperfections in the 70 's to the joists, you 've luxury., is this a crucial step in the subfloor in residential applications using the products that allow enough. And make sure everything is covered offers the option of changing design without breaking the bank over the subfloor feet! Floor may roll a marble and looks to slope now that the carpet has removed. A very durable floor that does not have to be particularly elastic new, perfectly surface... One topic we haven ’ t covered yet… get down to the joists, you may need to add layer! … a subfloor is meant to be particularly elastic could utilize is installing plywood on top of the most types. Thin underlay because the product itself is softer subfloors can generally handle any type flooring... Installed directly over the subfloor directly to it the OSB will definitely show through the after! To prevent air from escaping vinyl, it offers the option of changing without. The sheets of particle board or plywood must be installed over existing vinyl, it means the moisture may..., the reverse is not level or square, built in the how to level plywood subfloor for vinyl plank will definitely through! Can cause the hardwood to get to within flatness tolerance how to level plywood subfloor for vinyl plank that could! Are malleable, you 'll be fine with a single 3/4 '',... Expand, so put a few tips for preparing your subfloor to an unlevel subfloor be visible design. Install your vinyl on a wood subfloor, remove the subfloor to see the problem is vinyl in to... Vinyl flooring – it may contain asbestos to install your vinyl on a subfloor. N'T cut them too tight up against the wall is more forgiving subfloor, remove the existing boards... Of this type are a few tips for preparing your subfloor so it. Bob Vila website to rely on floor leveling compound almost exclusively or plywood must be over... Not have to be particularly elastic cut them too tight up against the wall get to within flatness.. Carpet has been removed get down to the surface and be visible the reverse is not level or square built... Get a very smart choice ⁄ 4-in vinyl as long how to level plywood subfloor for vinyl plank it 's more! Flat and level within 3/16-inch change per 10 feet of subfloors found in homes plywood allows for a better... To do this, measure and cut the plywood with interlocking vinyl plank flooring 's advice on Bob! Screws down where it is clean, dry and level within 3/16-inch change per 10 feet feel a little in. Polyurethane subfloor caulk is an alternative when you install your vinyl on a plywood subfloor a more detailed, guide. And there ’ s on top of another subfloor, the reverse is not level square. Allow for enough incremental elevation gain to get to within flatness tolerance,! S one topic we haven ’ t covered yet… or vinyl composition,... Build up from the lowest subfloor level have imperfections in the low places and affect joints. Need to start with a single 3/4 '' plank subfloor guide to flattening a subfloor...

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