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Can You/Should You Put Linoleum Over Linoleum

I’ve been doing some DIY and was thinking about installing some linoleum over some existing linoleum flooring I have. I got some advice from people in the flooring industry and here’s what I found.

As a general rule, installing linoleum over linoleum is perfectly fine. The main considerations are that the linoleum subfloor is as smooth and flat as possible. As any imperfections underneath the linoleum will be visible on the surface.

Installing Linoleum on the floor

Levelling compounds are generally used to ensure that a surface is very flat and level prior to installing linoleum.

In this article, I will cover whether it’s a good idea to install linoleum over linoleum, as well as, detailed steps about how to do it.

Should You Lay Linoleum Over Old Linoleum

Installing Linoleum

What’s underneath the linoleum is important, and so I was curious about whether you need to put anything underneath linoleum when you lay it on linoleum. And if it’s generally recommended. Based on the advice of builders and flooring experts, here’s what I found.

Overall, laying linoleum over old linoleum is a good idea. The main consideration is that the old linoleum surface needs to be flat and level. After that linoleum can be used and performs the same as other common subfloors such as concrete and plywood.

Generally a plywood subfloor is the most comfortable to walk on. However, linoleum has more give to it than a concrete subfloor. To make the floor even more comparable you can install a layer of plywood over top of the old linoleum. Flooring experts recommend a layer of plywood ¼ of an inch (6 mm) thick.

But, the old linoleum may also already have been installed on plywood. You can generally tell by the way it feels when you walk on it. If you get a bit of bounce then it has a good underfloor.

On the other hand, if it feels quite rigid and solid underfoot you may consider adding a layer of plywood over the old linoleum. It can also help if the condition of the old linoleum is quite bad. For example, if there are large pieces of the old linoleum missing.

How to Install Linoleum Over Old Linoleum

Holding Linoleum

So installing linoleum over old linoleum is a fine to do. So, then what are the steps involved in doing so?

The most important thing is to ensure the old linoleum is flat and level. This involved measuring it using a carpenter’s level. As well as, filling in any imperfections using a levelling compound. After that the linoleum should be cut, layed out, trimmed, and attached to the old linoleum.

There are a range of tools that you’ll need. So, I’ll list those below as well as exact step by step instructions for how to perform each step as well as a helpful video showing the whole process.

Step 1: Gather Tools Needed

  • Linoleum
  • Levelling compound – if the floor isn’t level
  • Carpenters level
  • Utility Knife
  • Measuring tape
  • Vinyl glue or double sided tape
  • Vinyl cutter
  • Caulk and a caulk gun for wet rooms like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry
  • Broom and vacuum
  • Filler/putty

Step 2: Prepare the Old Linoleum

The surface of the old linoleum should be dry, and clear of dust and debris. The linoleum is attached to the subfloor using vinyl glue or double sided tape. And any dust will cause the glue or tape to not stick well.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on August 9, 2021.

Take a vacuum and/or a broom and remove any dust and debris. Observe the edges of the room to identify any imperfections in the surface of the old linoleum. Also, take your carpenter’s level and check the floor to see if it’s level.

Based on what you’ll find you may need to level the linoleum or fill in divots in the surface of the linoleum. For any divots use some filler and fill any holes. You need to wait for it to dry, typically overnight or a few days before you can sand the surface perfectly smooth.

If the floor isn’t perfectly level it’s ok, but if you can visually see it isn’t level, or it feels funny to walk on, then you should use a levelling compound to make it level.

Using levelling compound

Levelling compound is a popular choice for tradespeople and DIY’ers. You simply pour it on wet and smooth it out. It then automatically levels itself. The full instructions for how to use them are listed with a pamphlet that comes with it, or is written on the side.

Step 3: Trim the Linoleum to Fit

When you buy linoleum it will come in a roll, however you need to cut it to fit your room. You will need to use multiple pieces side by side. Or, if the room is small and linoleum is big enough then you can use one piece.

The first step laying down the linoleum is to measure the dimensions of your room. Then you need to pencil it out on the linoleum. It’s best to pencil the underside of the linoleum so you don’t mark the surface that will be seen.

But, just remember that it will be the other way around when you flip it over. Allow 3 inches (7.5 cm) extra linoleum on each edge. That will leave enough so that you can make a really straight and precise edge.

Cutting around fixtures such as vanity units

In bathrooms it’s often necessary for the linoleum to go around a fixture, for example a toilet or a vanity unity. Doing that requires a special cutting technique. Once you cut the linoleum to fit around any fixtures you’re now ready to trim the entire perimeter of the linoleum.

For the walls that are long use your vinyl cutter to get a perfectly straight edge. In smaller corners such as in wardrobes use a metal rule, and your utility knife.

Attach the linoleum to the old linoleum

The linoleum will now be cut perfectly to fit the room and you can begin attaching it to the old linoleum underneath. There are two types of adhesives used to attach the linoleum to the subfloor – in this case the old linoleum. They are 1) using vinyl glue or 2) using double sided tape.

The manufacturer will say which method is to be used with the linoleum that you purchased. Apply the glue or double sided tape based on what the manufacturer recommends.

Generally, you fold back the linoleum and apply glue to the old linoleum. After that you lay the linoleum on top of the glue and press it down.

With double sided tape you fold the linoleum back on itself and apply it along all the edges, and once every 3 to 5 feet (1 to 1.5 meters). Then you peel off the backing strip on the double sided tape and lay the linoleum on top.

Step 4: Apply Caulk

If the room frequently gets wet, such as a kitchen, or a bathroom then you should apply caulk around the perimeter of the room. It will provide a seal between the wall and the linoleum and stop water from getting underneath the linoleum.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on August 9, 2021.

Simply use your caulk gun and apply one strip around the entire perimeter. Then, smooth it out using a special caulk tool. Or, simply use a wet finger.

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Can You Lay Linoleum Over Plywood

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on August 9, 2021.

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