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Can I install laminate flooring over vinyl flooring?

Many homeowners ask whether or not they can install laminate flooring over vinyl flooring. The short answer is yes, you can install laminate flooring over vinyl flooring. However, there are special things to consider.

How To Do It Right

Laminate flooring can be installed over vinyl as long as:

  • The vinyl is level
  • The vinyl is in good condition
  • The vinyl is cleared of all debris and cleaned
  • You use underlayment on top of the vinyl subfloor

Special Considerations

You may want to consider pulling up the vinyl flooring if:

  • If your vinyl is not perfectly smooth and level
  • If the vinyl was glued down
    • When using a glue-down vinyl as a subfloor, it must be level and in good condition. If there is any peeling, gaps or damage, you should not use this as a subfloor. An underlayment will still be required over top of a glue down vinyl subfloor.

The subfloor underneath the vinyl should be in good condition and level as well before tying to install laminate flooring on top of it.

How to choose laminate flooring underlayment

If you decide to install laminate flooring over vinyl flooring, remember to first clear the vinyl of any debris and obstacles. It is important to have the floor as flat and well prepared as possible to allow the laminate to be smooth and seamless when installed.

If you have any questions, please write them in the comments below or call us at 1-800-520-0961 and our sales representatives can help you with your purchase!

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*This post was updated from 2014 to give you a better reading experience!

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Bestlaminate’s blog is dedicated to you by making the home improvement process easier and more affordable. We hope to make your home remodeling and maintaining a more positive experience.

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  1. I have a vinyl that is not attached or glued to the sub flooring material. When you lift it up, there is an old hard plastic sheet (1970s stuff) of previous flooring,that is glued to plywood, glued to cement sub flooring. The vinly sheet lays flat on top of that stuff. Could we just take the vinyl off and leave whats under there, then, lay in laminate on top, as long as its flush? What substance would we use between the old plastic sheet and the new laminate to make it work?

    • Viena Swierczek

      Hi Sharon, thank you for reaching out! Based on what you described to us, you can go ahead and install laminate flooring over the old vinyl that is glued to the subfloor. First, uninstall the existing vinyl and clean off the subfloor, making sure it is flat, smooth and dry. The old vinyl will act as a moisture barrier, and you will need to install underlayment to allow your laminate floor to float. Below is a link to an underlayment we would recommend. You can go ahead and install laminate flooring of your choice on top of the underlayment. Please let us know if we can answer any other questions or help you find the perfect laminate for your projects. Best of luck!

  2. I see that to the question “Can I install laminate flooring over vinyl flooring?” you answer yes with some caveats (good condition, level, clean vinyl). My floor meets all these conditions. However you also say that (i) it is not recommended if the vinyl has been glued and (ii) that an underlayment is needed. I have the following questions:
    1- In general, does well laid, level, clean and old vinyl flooring provide a moisture barrier?
    2- Why cannot laminate be installed over vinyl tiles that have been glued?
    3- In the latter case, instead of pulling up the vinyl tiles (a major, messy piece of work) can I put plastic, then foam underlayment and then laminate?
    4- Can I install rigid foam insulation over the vinyl floor, then laminate on top, or do I still need underlayment on top of the insulation?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Eduardo! Thanks for the question.
      1. Yes, your vinyl flooring will provide a moisture barrier, however, you will need to installed a foam underlayment on top.
      2. Laminate can be installed over glue-down vinyl. There are some things to keep in mind with this – all planks need to be firmly glued (no peeling, gaps, etc.) and the floor needs to be level. If there are some planks that do not meet this, or there is an un-level subfloor, you must fix it or un-install the planks.
      3. I would recommend using an underlayment that has thermal properties, such as Floor Muffler or Kronoswiss ProVent, which includes a moisture barrier and insulation.
      4. You should not install foam insulation over your subfloor. To install the laminate, you must have a solid base (subfloor) to put the laminate on top of. A foam insulation would provide an unstable, cushioned surface which can cause stress to the floating floor joints.

      I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

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