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Can You Lay Vinyl Floor Over OSB?

Vinyl floor can be cost-effective, it is durable, it is easy to clean, and it comes in just about any style to fit the wants and preferences of those who are putting it down. When it comes to installation though, can you lay vinyl floor over OSB?

Yes, you can lay vinyl flooring over OSB (Oriented Strand Board), but it’s crucial to prepare the surface properly for a successful installation. First, ensure the OSB subfloor is clean, flat, and smooth. Repair any damaged or uneven areas. Lay down a layer of underlayment or a moisture barrier if recommended by the vinyl manufacturer. Finally, install the vinyl flooring following the manufacturer’s guidelines, which may involve adhesive or click-and-lock methods for a secure and attractive finish.

Vinyl floor planks

OSB (or oriented strand board) is a type of material that is very similar to that of plywood. It is an engineered wood that is created through the adding of adhesives to multiple players of woodstrands while those layers are all pressed together to form one solid unit. This material is a great subfloor option for when you are looking to install vinyl flooring within a space. Continue reading to find all you need to know about vinyl floors and OSB.

Can You Put Vinyl Floor (Tile or Sheet) Over OSB?

Construction worker with arms crossed

When it comes to installing vinyl flooring, whether it be tile vinyl or sheet vinyl, you must have a subfloor that the vinyl can be laid onto. The term for this varies, but you will either need a subfloor or an underlayment that the vinyl can attach to, but also as the means by which any traffic is supported (vinyl is thin, so it needs a bit more girth to withstand use). This is where the question of whether or not OSB is good for going beneath vinyl flooring.

You can put tile or sheet vinyl flooring over OSB so long as you ensure that the surface of the OSB is completely smooth without any major knicks, knots, or bulging staples. With vinyl being as thin as it is, it must have a smooth base so that the appearance of the vinyl remains very smooth. If imperfections are left on the OSB, they will transfer to your vinyl flooring and create an interruption in the smoothness of its surface.

Should You Put Vinyl Floor (Tile or Sheet) Over OSB?

Handyman nailing floor

If you find yourself in the position where OSB is either already laid down as the underlayment in the area that you plan to install vinyl or you don’t have any other option than to put down OSB, it is a fine option for going beneath vinyl. However, although OSB will work beneath tile or sheet vinyl, this does not mean that it is the best underlayment option out there. This is where the conversation of whether you can or should install vinyl floor over OSB comes in.

Although you can easily install vinyl floor, whether it be tile or sheet vinyl, over OSB, there are better options out there that may offer less trouble long-term such as K3 proboard or even gypsum fiber panels. Each of these offers a smoother surface for installation (gypsum fiber panels) which is crucial to having a completed floor that is smooth and without surface imperfections.

Can You Lay Vinyl Planks Over OSB?

Hard helmet, hammer and gloves on plywood

Tile and sheet vinyl flooring offer individuals the ability to create a look that mirrors high-quality floors without the high-quality price. Stepping up just a bit in the vinyl world, however, is vinyl planks. This product is designed to mimic the most beautiful tiles and woods while having an installation process that is easy and incredibly time-efficient, but can you lay vinyl planks over OSB?

If you have OSB as your subfloor, you can install vinyl planks over them. Vinyl planks are much thicker, therefore, any inconsistencies on the surface of the OSB will not transfer as easily over time. Be sure though that the surface of the OSB is as smooth as possible and if you are applying a skim-coat, be sure that it is solvent based.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on April 27, 2021.

Should You Lay Vinyl Planks Over OSB?

OSB sheets

One of the great things about vinyl planks is their thickness. This may seem rather strange to note, but due to the thickness (which varies depending on what you purchase), there is less trouble when it comes to installation like you would have to worry about if you were to install vinyl tile or sheet. Because of this, the options for a subfloor beneath your vinyl planks are rather large, but also include OSB.

If you are laying vinyl planks and have OSB as the subfloor, this is a fine underlayment for your vinyl flooring. Although imperfections in the OSB will be less obvious, still be sure that you sand down any spots that are raised and pull any staples that are bulging from the surface to ensure that you have the smoothest underlayment possible before installing. This will help the floor to wear more evenly over time.

How To Install Vinyl Floor/Planks Over OSB

Man using a saw on an OSB sheet

Now that you know it is possible to install vinyl floors and planks over OSB, you may be looking for ways in which to start this seemingly intimidating process. Lucky for you though, installing vinyl flooring and planks is really quite easy and such a user-friendly process as long as you have the proper tools, the correct prep, and adhere to any special handling requirements for vinyl planks, tiles, or sheets.


For vinyl tiles or sheet flooring, the tools that you will need include a trowel, tape measure, pry bar, straight edge, and a utility knife, making the prep process as far as tools go rather simplistic. If you are installing vinyl plank flooring, you will need a utility knife, carpenters square, a jigsaw to cut pieces to fit tighter spots, a mallet, and a pry bar.


Vinyl Tile and Sheet

For vinyl tiles or sheet flooring, you need to prep the floors by removing the floor trim molding from the area as well as any trim nails. You will then install the OSB underlayment and cut through the bottom edges of the door molding to allow space for the OSB. Nail down any old flooring with ring shank nails then install the new OSB while leaving a 1/32-inch gap between panels to allow for expansion and a ⅛-inch gap along the walls.

Once you have the proper space measured, be sure that you level the floor by either using a ready-mix floor leveler or a cement patching compound that will smooth any areas where the underlayment panels meet (just sure that this is solvent based). Once this has been applied and has primed, your preparation will be complete and you can move on to the installation phase of getting in your vinyl flooring.

Vinyl Plank

For vinyl plank flooring, you need to go about preparing your floors in the same manner that is required for vinyl tiles and sheets (see the previous paragraph). The OSB should be clean, level, and free of any cracks to ensure the most seamless installation. Always be sure to remove baseboards and any nails from those areas so that your baseboards will fit right on top of your vinyl plank floor once it has been installed.

When you are going to purchase the amount of vinyl plank floor for your room, first measure your room and then buy around 10 to 20 percent more material than you think you will need. This will leave plenty of room for any mistakes that are made during installation, will allow you more material for cutting when having to install in odd areas, and will also give you boards for replacement. Once you have your materials and the OSB subfloor is prepped, you can install.

Special Handling For Vinyl Plank

Vinyl floor installation

When transporting vinyl planks, be sure that you keep the packages kept squarely positioned and flat to avoid any distortion of the product, and be especially mindful to never store the cartons on their edge. Once transported, be sure that they are kept in a dry, temperature-controlled interior environment. The temperature when stored should go now lower than 65 degrees Fahrenheit and no higher than 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Special Handling for Vinyl Tile

Vinyl floor installation

Vinyl tile should be handled very similarly to vinyl planking. It should never be stored on its edges, should never be stored outside, and should be transported flat rather than traveling upright in the boxes. For specifics on how to store and what temperatures to store vinyl tile in, see the previous section “Special Handling for Vinyl Plank.”

Special Handling for Vinyl Sheet

Vinyl floor installation

When transporting vinyl sheets, you want to be sure to keep the material upright and on its ends to ensure that no damage is done to the surface of the material. Once you have it transported to where it is going, you will need to store it in a controlled temperature environment that is no cooler than 65 degrees Fahrenheit and no hotter than 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on April 27, 2021.

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