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Can You Put Sheet Vinyl Flooring on Wood Subfloor? (How To)

Are you looking to give your wood floor a new look and feel? You are probably wondering what material to use and whether sheet vinyl will perform well on wood subfloor or not. Well, here we provide answers to all questions on sheeting vinyl flooring on wood subfloor.

You can install sheet vinyl flooring over wood subfloors since sheet vinyl can stick to any wood surface. Ensure that the surface is clean and smooth, and check that there is a plywood underlayment over the subfloor.

Clean wood floor

This article will explain to you the steps that are needed when putting them in place, while providing insight on possible issues to look out for during the installation process.

Can You Put Sheet Vinyl Flooring on Wood Subfloor? (How to)

You can lay sheet vinyl flooring on wood subfloors. In fact, we believe they are an excellent base choice. It doesn’t matter if the surface is of solid hardwood or wood composite. Sheet vinyl would adhere to it as long as it is free of dust, debris or uneven areas.

Should You Put Sheet Vinyl Flooring on Wood Subfloor?

Man putting roll flooring

We recommend you put sheet vinyl flooring on a wooden subfloor because of its functionality, low cost implication, dust and moisture-resistant features, and relative durability. Not to mention that it delivers a new look and feel to your floor in general.

Problems to Look Out for When Using the Sheet Vinyl Flooring

Some of the issues associated with sheet vinyl flooring, caused by poor installation, are as follows:

  • cracks, gaps or creaky floors;
  • inaccurate measurements;
  • inappropriate adhesive;
  • incorrect patching;
  • open joints or poorly fixed joints;
  • little or no subfloor preparation;
  • wrong underlayment material;
  • uneven subfloor surface.

These issues can be avoided if you install the sheet vinyl with suitable materials and employ accurate measurements. Also, allow the adhesive enough time (< 24 hours) to set in and seal thoroughly before using the room. Avoid moving heavy objects like furniture over the new floor for at least five days after installation.

Other problems related to installing sheet vinyl flooring on wooden subfloors include loss of sheen, due to poor cleaning, discoloration in the room’s walkways, doorways, and other high-traffic areas, and damage and dents from accidents.

What Tools Do You Need to Put Sheet Vinyl Flooring on Wood Subfloor?

Tools used for floor

Here are the tools you need when installing sheet vinyl flooring over a wood subfloor:

  • Vinyl sheet;
  • Sandpaper and a sander;
  • Underlayment materials such as ¼”of plywood sheets, plywood or lauan boards, or any appropriate material;
  • Vinyl cutter or utility knife;
  • Grease pencil or chalk;
  • Measuring tape, preferably construction-length;
  • Pry-bar to remove trims or baseboards;
  • Wood filler or putty, if required;
  • Straightedge;
  • Flooring roller or rolling pin;
  • Seam rollers;
  • Adhesives;
  • Notched trowel if spreading glue;
  • Personal safety equipment like a face mask, knee pads, and gloves;
  • Wet cloths and mineral spirits, like vinegar, to wipe off glue residue or spills.

What Preparations Do You Need to Install Sheet Vinyl Flooring On Wood Subfloor?

Clean wood floor

Like several other DIY projects, flooring installation requires proper preparation and planning. There are preparatory steps to ensure it is correctly done.

The room you’d be installing the flooring has to be prepped, as follows:

Step 1: Clean the Room

Carry out all furniture, appliances, and removable items to another space in the house. Clean the room so the surface is free from dust, dirt, or debris that may prevent firm adhesion of the sheet vinyl to the floor. Remove any trim at the base of the walls, even before measuring the room.

Step 2: Select Appropriate Materials and Tools

Contrary to popular belief, not all kinds of sheet vinyl can be used with the same underlayment, adhesives, nailing patterns, and seam-sealers. Not only must the materials be of good quality for a correct installation, they must also be compatible with the type of sheet vinyl you use. You can tell this based on the manufacturer’s instructions on the vinyl.

Whether you’re doing full or perimeter bonding, use adhesives suitable for the wood subfloor and flooring. Avoid using water-based adhesives since you’d install the flooring over wood. This is because wood is prone to warp, rot and other moisture-related damage.

Keep all the tools and materials you’d need close by for convenience and accessibility. If you have children or pets, ensure they are kept out of the room whilst the project is underway so they won’t be exposed to the toxic fumes from the adhesives.

Since you’d be working on your knees for most of the installation time and using adhesives that release toxic fumes, you should wear knee pads, a face mask and gloves to protect yourself.

If you follow the above, you’re halfway to having a properly installed vinyl floor. The other half of the project is based on how well you install it. .

How to Install Sheet Vinyl Flooring on Wood Subfloor?

confused man standing

Here’s how to install vinyl flooring sheets on wood subfloors:

Step 1: Ensure the wood subfloor is level, firmly bonded, and thoroughly sealed. If there are gaps in the surface, fill them using wood putty and then sand down. If there are raised spots, sand down to level the surface.Remove any trims or baseboards if present. These can be reattached after installation.

Step 2: To make the wood subfloor smoother, and increase the adhesion of the vinyl sheets, you can lay ¼” plywood sheet, plywood boards or lauan boards over the subfloor. This helps when the wood subfloor is damaged or you cannot get a perfectly level surface.

Step 3: Using a tape measure, or any other measuring tool, measure the dimensions of the room you’re putting the sheet vinyl in. You can measure the entire length, breadth and alcoves if present.

Alternatively, measure from the center of the room, including the alcoves and doorways. Whichever method you adopt, add extra inches for any trimming and cutting after installation.

Ensure you measure accurately, as the measurements determine the quantity of sheet vinyl you need.

Step 4: Unroll the sheet and allow it to acclimate in the room you’d be putting it in for about 24 hours before installation. Also, turn off any underfloor heating you may have 20 hours before installation.

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Roughly lay the sheet in the room in the best-fit position. If there are obstacles like a toilet, sink pedestal, bathtub or even a pillar, cut the sheet to fit around them using an appropriate cutting tool.

After this, trim the edges of the sheet around the obstacle, any alcove, and the room where necessary.

Step 5: All types of sheet vinyl need to be firmly bonded to the floor using a suitable adhesive, but the methods differ for each. The non-cushion types need complete bonding, while cushion types only require bonding at the perimeter and any joints of the sheet. There are glue-less and glued options too.

Check the guide on the sheets for instructions and how to properly install it.

If using a glue-less type, trim any excess off the edges after unrolling the sheet. Replace the trims and baseboards.

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If using a cushion type, fix a double-sided masking tape to the floor. You may need to use a spray adhesive before attaching the masking tape if the floor isn’t completely smooth or even. Ensure it is firmly bonded by running a small piece of wood over the duct tape around the room.

From one corner of the room, lift the edge of the sheet, remove the backing paper from the tape and firmly fix the sheet to the floor.

If installing a non-cushion type, you can use a spray adhesive, or spread the adhesive using a notched adhesive trowel. Begin from a corner of the room, raise the sheet and apply the adhesive to the floor. After applying the glue, firmly stick the sheet to the floor.

Step 6: For highly humid areas, like the bathroom, apply a sealant like the Gorilla Waterproof Silicone Sealant to the joinery between the sheet and the wall to prevent water from seeping underneath the sheet and damaging the flooring. Alternatively, you can fit a trim or baseboard around the room’s edges.

For the doorways, fix a T-bar or threshold bar. Use a floor roller or rolling pin to firmly seal the flooring and get rid of air bubbles. Use a seam roller to properly close the joints or if installing more than one layer of sheet vinyl on the subfloor.

Allow the adhesive about 24-48 hours to fully set in before using the room and about five days after installation before rolling heavy objects like a table or piano over the new floor.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on December 6, 2022.

How To Prepare Wood Subfloor For Vinyl Flooring