Home Underlayment Visqueen Vapor Barrier PE Film – How to Install

Visqueen Vapor Barrier PE Film – How to Install

by Bestlaminate
Published: Updated: 10 comments 8 minutes read

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! So sit back, read on, and learn step-by-step how you should  approach this project.

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.

Supply List:

  •  Visqueen Vapor Barrier PE Film
  • Flooring
  • Broom or Vacuum Cleaner
  • Tape
  • Measuring Tape or Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife

Tools and supplies you need for Installation of Visqueen 6Mil PE Vapor Barrier

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.

Clean your subfloor
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.

Inspection of the subfloor before installation of Visqueen 6Mil PE Vapor Barrier

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.

[box type=”note” ]Packaging of this product will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. It is important to be aware of each manufacture’s packaging. Some types of  Visqeen come in rolls with few folded 2 or 3 layers of the plastic film . In this case we suggest to pre-cut the length and then unfold it.[/box]

Installalling first row of Visqueen 6Mil PE Vapor Barrier

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.

Seal the edge of Visqueen 6Mil PE Vapor Barrier

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.

Work row by row when installing Visqueen 6Mil PE Vapor Barrier

Step 7: Overlap Rows

When unrolling your rows, overlap each section about 4-6 inches to ensure a tight moisture lock.

Overlap each section about 4-6 inches
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.

Tape rows of Visqueen underlayment together
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.

Lay your floor on the top of Visqueen 6Mil PE Vapor Barrier

Do you have additional tips that you think we should include in this guide? Please share your tips and experiences in the comments below.


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Tim Dwyer January 14, 2020 - 3:48 pm

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.

Alana Kane January 15, 2020 - 10:13 am

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

David Cate April 30, 2019 - 2:13 pm

I am installing laminate floor with pad attached to a concrete floor with radiant heating. Will I still need a moisture barrier?

Alana Kane April 30, 2019 - 11:57 pm

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!

Carol December 7, 2019 - 5:01 am

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

Alana Kane December 9, 2019 - 7:20 pm

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.

Ipe February 22, 2019 - 7:51 am

What is the best glue for installation of vinyl flooring on pvc board subfloor?

Alana Kane February 22, 2019 - 2:41 pm

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!

Sandra Forsythe August 9, 2018 - 4:46 pm

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?

Alana Kane August 13, 2018 - 5:03 pm

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.


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