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Can/Should You Put Vinyl Plank Flooring Over Engineered Hardwood

If you are considering putting vinyl plank flooring in your home, you need to also think about what is underneath it. Can you install it over engineered hardwood?

Any type of solid surface can act as a suitable subfloor for vinyl flooring. Provided you ensure that the wood floor is sound and free from any serious defect, you can install the vinyl plank flooring without worry.

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However, there are some things that you do need to consider carefully prior to installing vinyl plank flooring. These are things that should be done, regardless of whether you have engineered hardwood underneath it or if you have any other type of flooring that you plan on using as a subfloor.

Perhaps the most important thing to do is to look carefully at the manufacturer’s instructions. The companies that make vinyl plank flooring typically offer a warranty of some type so they want to ensure that you are not doing anything that could damage the floor unnecessarily.

In some cases, this may even mean that it is not the best idea to install vinyl plank flooring. In fact, there are certain situations that could make it detrimental or perhaps even dangerous to do so.

An example of this is if you have engineered hardwood that is glued to a concrete subfloor. This can be a problem because of moisture.

The concrete under the subfloor is going to continually put off moisture. It happens fast at first but eventually, the concrete will dry but it will never fully get rid of all of the moisture.

If you were to install vinyl plank flooring over this type of situation, you could be in for a problem. The glue under the engineered hardwood acts as a moisture barrier and traps all of the moisture from the concrete in place.

This is by design, and it is something that is beneficial when installing engineered hardwood. When you continue to pass those benefits along to vinyl flooring, however, you will find that there are problems that crop up.

That isn’t to say that in every situation you should avoid installing vinyl plank flooring but in some, you will need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions over all. Otherwise, you are taking the risk that it will not be covered under the warranty if something goes wrong.

One of the risks associated with installing vinyl plank flooring over engineered hardwood that has been glued to a concrete slab is mold. The last thing any of us want is mold and mildew in our house but you could have it trapped under the floor.

When that happens, you may not even realize that it is there. It could continue to grow and spread for many years before you will know for sure.

Of course, this would mean that we would have to tear up the hardwood floor and remove the glue from the concrete. That seems like a big job, but there are actually benefits to doing so.

We will discuss those benefits and more below.

Can You Put Vinyl Plank Flooring Over Engineered Hardwood

man putting vinyl plank flooring

The question as to whether you can put vinyl plank flooring over engineered hardwood is one that is asked by many homeowners. Read on for the answer you need to know.

Engineered hardwood can be used as a suitable subfloor for vinyl plank flooring provided it is not glued to a concrete subfloor. Since engineered hardwood is typically uniform and does not have any major gaps, the vinyl plank flooring can float over it without a problem.

You can also use glue-down vinyl plank flooring if that is what you want to do. Most homeowners will go with a floating floor because it provides some specific benefits.

For example, a floating vinyl plank floor can be installed over an underlayment that offers soundproofing, insulation, and even comfort. Since it works independently of the engineered floor below, it will simply float on top and expand/contract as the conditions in the room change.

Gluing the vinyl plank floor down is going to make it one with the engineered hardwood underneath. This is not going to be a problem and in fact, you may find it beneficial to have the vinyl glued down.

First of all, it provides a more solid floor but there is more to it. A glue-down vinyl plank floor will move with the underlying hardwood floor, acting as if it is one unit.

The bottom line is, it is absolutely possible to install vinyl fight flooring over engineered hardwood. People around the world do it every day, and many of them do it with success.

As long as you’re not doing something against the manufacturer’s instructions, it should all work out well. If you go against the manufacturer’s instructions, you will probably void the warranty and likely, will end up with problems down the road.

Should You Put Vinyl Plank Flooring Over Engineered Hardwood

man putting vinyl plank flooring

We’ve already looked into whether you can put vinyl plank flooring over engineered hardwood, and you can. Should you do it is another subject, altogether.

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Engineered hardwood provides a solid subfloor that is very stable for vinyl plank flooring. You can either glue the flooring to the hardwood or you can snap it together as it was designed to be a floating floor. As long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, there is no reason for you to avoid this combination.

Now that we have the basics out of the way, it’s a good idea to look into some of the more specific reasons why you should or should not install vinyl plank flooring over engineered hardwood. There are some reasons that could shift your decision in one direction or another.

The first thing to consider is the room where you are installing the new flooring. Vinyl plank flooring is relatively thin but it does add some height to the overall room.

If you put down vinyl plank flooring over engineered hardwood, you will need to tear up the baseboards and reinstall them slightly higher. This is something to be expected and even if you remove the hardwood, you would probably need to lower the baseboards.

If you installed the vinyl plank floor on top of the hardwood, you also need to cut around the doorjamb to allow the vinyl to slip underneath. This is not difficult to do, as you can just cut it away with a doorjamb saw but it does add another layer to the project.

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If you are only working in one room, there may be a transition from the height of that room to the height of an adjoining room. This can be overcome with transition strips but it might still produce a spot where a trip and fall hazard exists.

One other thing to keep in mind is the weight of the floor. Vinyl plank flooring is not overly heavy, but if you are already stressing the subfloor and floor joists, you may not want to add additional weight to it.

How To Put Vinyl Plank Flooring Over Engineered Hardwood

man putting vinyl plank flooring

It is not difficult to install vinyl plank flooring over engineered hardwood. Just follow the steps and you will have a beautiful floor in no time.

The first step in the process of installing vinyl plank flooring over engineered hardwood is to clean the area. Any dust or debris will have to be gone before you start installing the new floor. You should also check the floor to ensure it is level and patch any large cracks or gaps that exist.

You will next need to remove all of the trim around the room. Since you are going to be adding a slight height to the room when you install the vinyl plank floor, you will need to reinstall the baseboard at a higher level.

At the same time, you may need to cut the doorjamb with a doorjamb saw. This will raise the height of the doorjamb so that you can slip the vinyl underneath.

Vinyl plank flooring can be installed in either direction, but you will likely want the planks to run in the same direction as the wood floor. If the planks run across the room, it will make the room look smaller.

Consider the possibility of putting an underlayment under the vinyl between the hardwood and the vinyl floor. The underlayment can provide an extra cushion, adding soundproofing as well as insulation and comfort.

At the end of the job, use a floor roller to ensure that everything is bonded properly. This can work, regardless of whether you are gluing the floor down or if you decide to have a floating vinyl floor.

Engineered hardwood makes a suitable subfloor for both glue-down and floating vinyl plank flooring. As long as you are not installing over a wood floor that has been glued to a concrete subfloor, it can be done successfully. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions and follow their guidance before making any decisions about the flooring you will use in your home.

Check out our LVP Flooring Cost calculator to estimate your project.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on February 24, 2022.

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