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Do I need underlayment to install vinyl plank flooring?

Do I need underlayment to install vinyl plank flooring?

When installing new flooring, it is important to know if you need underlayment.  Unlike laminate flooring, most vinyl floors are designed to lay right on the subfloor. But there are a few exceptions to the rule, but with all flooring installations, there are a few things that are required no matter what floor you install.

Before you install vinyl floors, always make sure your subfloor is:

  • In good condition
  • Free of damages
  • Smooth
  • Clean & Dust free

Not all vinyl floorings are installed the same way. Take a careful look at what you purchase so you know if you need underlayment or other accessories to make you install last for years.

Vinyl Flooring Underlayment Differences:

Click Lock Vinyl Plank Flooring

Click Lock Vinyl flooring has a locking system that is similar to laminate flooring. It is recommended to use a vapor barrier underlayment, especially with a concrete subfloor. If you are looking to increase the height of your floor, or have more cushion, an underlayment can be used, but is not necessary.

Appalachian Luxury Souffle click lock vinyl plank flooring

Appalachian Luxury Souffle click lock vinyl plank flooring

Glue Down Vinyl Plank Flooring

Glue Down Vinyl will only require a subfloor that is debris free. Because you glue this floor to the subfloor, minor imperfections or sloped flooring is no problem!

Feather Lodge Knock Out Del Mar Plank glue down vinyl flooring

Feather Lodge Knock Out Del Mar Plank glue down vinyl flooring

Loose Lay Vinyl Plank Flooring

Loose Lay Vinyl is the easiest to install. These can be installed without glue or a locking system right above the subfloor. While this floor does sit on top of the subfloor, it does not need an underlayment. This vinyl flooring is designed to be cut to fit perfectly against the wall. No expansion gap needed!

Feather Lodge Quick Lay Barnside Plank loose lay vinyl flooring

Feather Lodge Quick Lay Barnside Plank loose lay vinyl flooring

Have you installed a Click Lock Vinyl with underlayment? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

Learn more about vinyl flooring:

*This post was updated from 2015 to give you a better reading experience!

2 comments

  1. I want to glue locking vinyl planks to avoid the transition strip between rooms……………….normally these planks float but I have had different advise on whether I can glue them………….

    I can not find many gray planks in glue down vinyl…………..

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Don! Thanks for the question. With any floating floor installation, you should not glue the planks down. These floors can contract and expand, which gluing can restrict and cause buckling or cupping. Also, going against the manufacturer instructions will void your warranty. I hope this helps. We are looking to introduce more grey vinyls very soon! Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

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