Like any other construction, vinyl flooring starts with a properly prepared foundation. If you don’t take the time and possibly spend a little bit of money to get it right then you may be in for a disappointment with the end result. There are basically four different type of subfloors that vinyl planks are going to be laid over and each one needs to be prepared differently.
Let’s start with concrete. No concrete slab is perfectly straight and so it needs to be understood that there is a difference between straightening a concrete subfloor and smoothing the surface. Vinyl Planks require only a smooth finish to lay over. The reason is vinylplanks follow the floor as opposed to bridging it, which in most cases unless the floor is all over the place is satisfactory to lay over.
Once the existing flooring e.g. (carpet,tiles,) have been lifted it may only require a feather finish to smooth the floor ready to lay the planks. Glue down planks need a more exact floor finish than loose lay planks do. In most cases a feather finish coat or two should do the job.
Next we consider laying over existing particle board. While some companies may advise to lay Vinyl Planks directly over particle board to save costs we deem it too risky. Up until recently loose lay Vinyl Planks were installed glue less which was the original intent of a loose lay product which made it easier for a DIY job. We have discovered that there is a risk of the edges and ends peeling up over time unless glue is used. We now use pressure sensitive glue which allows a permanent tacky contact which allows for the planks to be lifted easily if required. The point to be made is that particle board expands and contracts with the temperature and in doing so will cause the fixedVinyl to Gap. So hardboard over the existing particle is the way to prevent this happening.
Timber floors also require hardboard for the same reasons as above.
Lastly let’s talk about laying Vinyl over Ceramic Tiles. This has become very popular of late as an easy and effective way to change your décor without lifting your Tiles. Again it is imperative that no shortcuts are taken when maybe for a little bit of extra cost the end result will be so much better. We have seen some beautiful installation jobs ruined because the right floor prep wasn’t applied beforehand. We at Coast Wide believe a flood coat as opposed to a feather finish over Tiles will guarantee that none of the slightest discrepancies between the Tiles will ever protrude up through the tiles. And in most cases two layers of Feather would be required which at the end of the day will cost nearly the same as a flood coat.
This covers the four surfaces to be covered, hopefully this information will be of some assistance to you help as a DIY or if you are employing a company to install your Vinyl Planks.
If you need more advice we are more than happy to answer any questions you might have.