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Can You/Should You Put Vinyl Planks Over Linoleum?

Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring Over Linoleum

These days, there are options of either removing old linoleum floors or laying new vinyl planks on the linoleum floor itself. But there are a few things you need to consider so that the floor thickness does not get doubled, and it does not raise the floor level too high for the doors and threshold.

In order to install vinyl plank flooring over linoleum, you will need to prepare the floor for installation by removing any furniture, dirt, or debris. You will then need to take the floor space measurements before finally installing the vinyl planks cut to fit in rows.

Keep on reading to find out if you can and if you should install vinyl plank flooring over linoleum. The article also explains in detail the tools you will need to install the vinyl planks and the process you can employ for effective installation.

Can You Install Vinyl Plank Flooring Over Linoleum?

Can You Install Vinyl Plank Flooring Over Linoleum?

Installing vinyl flooring is a popular DIY project that many take upon themselves rather than enlisting the help of professionals. The method of installation is quite similar to linoleum; however, linoleum sheets are a tad more difficult to work with. Once the linoleum flooring is installed, putting the vinyl plank flooring on over the linoleum is relatively easy.

Different Ways to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

Using Glue or Adhesive

While vinyl sheets can be glued to the floor with the seams welded in solvents, vinyl planks will either need to have an adhesive material applied to it that allows you to use it with a peel and stick method, or you may have to glue it down separately. Usually, the manufacturers will provide instructions on the installation method and the correct type of glue that you may use.

Click in Place

There is also the click in place vinyl planks that do not have pre-applied adhesives or the need to apply any glue to them before installation. In this method, one plank locks in place with an adjacent one creating a floating floor where even though the vinyl planks are on the floor, they are not attached to the linoleum subfloor.

It is especially useful in cases where the subfloor expands and contracts with the vagaries of the weather and changing seasons. The top remains unaffected in such cases. In order to attach the edges of the flooring to the baseboards, you can use quarter-round molding.

Should You Install Vinyl Plank Flooring Over Linoleum?

Should You Install Vinyl Plank Flooring Over Linoleum?

Vinyl was first developed around the 1950s and is principally made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is a petroleum-based product. Today it is extensively used across homes for renovation and building projects. Many manufacturers of vinyl were earlier manufacturers of linoleum as well. Now vinyl flooring is available in sheets, tiles, as well as planks and, are often used to lay over linoleum.

Layers in the Vinyl Plank Help in Waterproofing the Linoleum Underneath

Most of these vinyl plank floorings consist of several layers, which make it a good material to withstand wear and tear.

Top Layer

It makes the floor resistant to damages caused due to high traffic and lends longevity to the floor. In fact, the top layer also has a waxed polish on top, which makes the product resistant to damage.

Image Layer

The next layer – called the image layer – lends design to the product and adds to the general look and aesthetic of the product. The image layer is not only responsible for the ultimate color of the planks but can also be designed to represent natural stone or wood flooring.

They can be treated to showcase a distressed look – a style that is increasingly gaining popularity these days. The bright colors are a welcome change on top of the more subdued colors of linoleum.

Strength Layer

Below the image layer is the strength layer, which is considered the core of the vinyl product. It gives the flooring rigidity and durability. Some of these planks even have a cushion at the back to absorb sound. 

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While sheet vinyl products tend to be a bit flexible, vinyl planks are sturdy and robust due to their substantial core. This core also makes the vinyl planks completely waterproof, thereby protecting the linoleum underneath.

Linoleum Provides a Sturdy Base on Which the Vinyl Planks Can Be Laid

Most vinyl plank flooring materials are thin yet robust. Because they are also waterproof, they do not need anything to be laid under; however, if it is laid on top of linoleum, then that too is okay. 

Because vinyl planks are so thin, it is likely that you may feel any unevenness in the floor underneath through the vinyl planks. So, it is important that the subfloor is flat and smooth. Linoleum layers beneath vinyl will help achieve this.

How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring Over Linoleum

How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring Over Linoleum

In order to install vinyl plank flooring over linoleum, you will need a set of tools handy. This will help you get about your project swiftly and efficiently.

For this project, you will need:

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on September 13, 2020.

  • Hand broom
  • Mop
  • Tape measure
  • Chalk
  • Floor roller
  • Utility knife
  • Vinyl plank cutter

Note that vinyl plank and tile cutters, as well as floor rollers, can be rented from your local hardware store.  

For the process of installation, simply follow these steps:

Prepare the Floor for Vinyl Plank Installation

Give at least a couple of days to the new vinyl plank before you install it. Keeping the plank in the room helps it to adapt to the temperature and humidity levels in the room.

Next, you will have to clean the linoleum layer well so that it is rid of any debris or any uneven texture.

Measure the Floor

Mark up a starting line to ensure you can have a clean square in the room. Start by measuring from the center to the starting wall and subtract 0.31 inch (0.79 cm) as an expansion gap. Mark this same distance from each wall.

Next, take chalk and draw a line between the two marks to get a straight line against the wall. Do this for each wall till you have formed rows of lines parallel to the wall. Now calculate the width of the last row. Supposing it comes to less than a third of the width of the plank, then cut a third of the plank for the rows.

Lay Out the Rows

Using a utility knife like the Red Devil Inc. 4608, cut out the vinyl planks and set it in place to start the installation process. Hold down the next plank at the edge of the first plank and then bring it down to click it into place.

The last piece of the row may need some cutting where your vinyl plant cutter will come in handy. Finally, use a floor roller to aid the bonding of the vinyl with the linoleum underneath.

Finishing Touches to the Installation

You may also like to replace the baseboards with additional trim pieces and nail them to the wall instead of the floor for greater stability. In this video, you can see the installation process from beginning to end:

Final Thoughts

Vinyl flooring usually comes with a protective layer on top. Using a damp cloth soaked in soap water will help remove dirt, dust, any spillage, and even stains to an extent. If properly taken care of, vinyl plank floors can last for years, even when they are used over linoleum or any other subfloor.

Check out our Vinyl Plank Flooring Project Estimator to estimate your project.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on September 13, 2020.

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