An Illustrated Step-by-Step Guide
The Visqueen Vapor Barrier PE Film is a very thin, durable, and affordable underlayment solution used as a moisture barrier for laminate flooring, hardwood, and vinyl floors. Also known as Moisture Block, it is suitable for installation over cement subfloors or any other subfloors where moisture is an issue.
It can also be installed under laminate with a pre-attached foam underlayment. If you are installing vinyl click plank flooring, Visqueen is the ideal solution. This sturdy vapor barrier film is made out of polyethylene (typically 6mil thick) and comes in rolls. The size of the roll can range anywhere from 100 to 1,000 square feet.
DIY projects give homeowners great opportunities to save. Just by installing your own laminate flooring, you can save up to 50% on your project! In this illustrated step-by-step guide, you will learn how to install Visqueen Vapor Barrier without any problems – complications free!
Alright, Are You Ready? Let’s Get Started!
Before you even begin thinking about the Visqueen Vapor Barrier, first prepare all your supplies and tools. Without good organization, your project will be scattered and take much more time.
- Visqueen Vapor Barrier PE Film
- Broom or Vacuum Cleaner
- Measuring Tape or Ruler
- Utility knife
Step 1: Clean Your Subfloor
Remove existing flooring so you are left with a clean subfloor. The surface you will be working with must be perfectly clean. Take your broom and sweep up all dust and debris before continuing on to the installation of your Visqueen Vapor Barrier.
Step 2: Inspect Your Subfloor
Once you clean your subfloor, take some time to inspect the surface you will be working with. Look for loose, wet, cracked and uneven areas. Faulty areas should be repaired to have the best results and a smooth laminate surface. In the case that you find faults in your subfloor, take time to address all the issues. Your subfloor is what supports your laminate floor, so it must be in good condition.
Step 3: Repair Damaged Subfloor
The surface of the subfloor must be flat to properly support your floor. Remember, your original flooring warranty is only valid as long as you floor is properly installed. The subfloor must not slope more than 1 inch in 6 feet. Fill excessive gaps or low areas using Portland cement or latex-based leveling compound. Allow it to dry before moving forward with your installation. High areas can be sanded, ground down, or floated over with a leveling compound.
Step 4: Lay Your First Row of Visqueen
Once your subfloor is prepared, you are ready to roll out your first row of Visqueen PE Film. Begin by unrolling one width of the film to keep your work area under control. Remember to roll parallel to the direction of the laminate flooring planks; work from left to right.
Step 5: Seal Out The Moisture!
When you are rolling your Visqueen, remember that it is being put down as a vapor & moisture barrier. In order for it to work as it should, you need to create a moisture-proof enclosure. Overlap your underlayment 2 inches up the wall. This will create a seamless moisture seal.
Don’t worry about this overlap now, once your flooring is complete you will trim the vapor barrier by the wall and the remainder will be covered by your moldings.
Step 6: Work Row By Row
Lay your Visqueen PE Film section by section. Doing so will give you full control of your project and seamless, moisture-resistant connections between each of the sections.
Step 7: Overlap Rows
When unrolling your rows, overlap each section about 4-6 inches to ensure a tight moisture lock.
Step 8: Seal The Deal
Use tape to seal the rows together – this will keep your underlayment in place and assure the functionality of the vapor barrier.
Step 9: Flooring Time!
Install your wood flooring over your newly installed Visqueen Vapor Barrier. Follow instructions and enjoy your new floor! Don’t forget to leave expansion space around the perimeter of the room and all fixes objects.
Do you have additional tips that you think we should include in this guide? Please share your tips and experiences in the comments below.
More About Underlayment:
- Underlayment 101
- How Much Underlayment Do I Need to Buy?
- Why do I need underlayment for laminate flooring installation?
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Hi Tim, thanks for the question. I do believe it can be used with walls.You can review more details here: https://www.visqueen.com/products/vapour-control-layers/vapour-barrier
Hi Alana – I am building a wine cellar. Almost everything I read about this product refers to flooring applications. Can the Visqueen 6 mil Vapor Barrier also be utilized as an effective vapor barrier for wine cellar walls and the ceiling? Thank you.
Hi Carol, thanks for the question. Before you do anything with the underlayment, make sure you fix the moisture issues causing the mold. A vapor barrier underlayment is usually installed with the vapor barrier side down, so yes, it can be install upside down. If you used this vapor barrier film mentioned in the post, it doesn’t have a top or bottom and can be installed on either side.
We had a click vinyl floor installed over concrete. It started buckling, and when pulled up there was mold. Can an underlayment be upside down? The person who investigated said it was put in upside down, but the company said there is no upside down. Thanks
Hi David, thanks for the question. Yes, for a concrete subfloor, we always recommend the moisture barrier. For you, you simply need the moisture barrier film!
I am installing laminate floor with pad attached to a concrete floor with radiant heating. Will I still need a moisture barrier?
Hi Ipe, the manufacturer of the vinyl you bought will recommend which glue to buy. It’s best to go with the manufacturer suggestions for warranty purposes. Best of luck on your project!
What is the best glue for installation of vinyl flooring on pvc board subfloor?
Hi Sandra, thanks for your question. We would not recommend using this in your crawl space. It is typically only used on concrete or wood subfloors.
Can this be installed on the ground in the crawl space of a house to successfully seal out moisture? If so what adhesives are best for plastics lying on the ground and to seal around the piling sand block outside foundation wall?