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How Should I Prepare for my Vinyl Flooring Installation?

Dear Bob and Betsy,
I’m so excited! My new vinyl flooring arrived in the mail today. I’m eager to start installing it but I want everything to go smoothly. What can I do to prepare for my vinyl flooring installation to make sure I don’t do anything wrong?
– Ben L.

Dear Ben,

Congratulations on getting your new flooring! It’s always exciting when you’re on the verge of making a major update to your home.

You’re smart to wait before jumping in blindly. Preparation is key in flooring projects! Here are a few important items to look for before you begin the installation process.

Holes or Cracks in Your Subfloor
Your subfloor is the foundation where your flooring will sit. If you’re installing your vinyl over concrete, look for any major holes or cracks. If you’re installing your vinyl over old vinyl, make sure the planks are all in good condition before you begin the installation. If there are any dents, dings, or deep scratches, repair them with a trowel before installation.

Uneven Subfloors
If you’re installing your floors over uneven or buckled flooring, you will need underlayment. Without using underlayment to smooth the flooring, you risk your new flooring resembling the same damaged subfloor you’re trying to hide. If you can, remove the damaged flooring before installation. If that’s not possible, cover it with plywood underlayment to avoid the imperfections showing through.

Dry Your Floors
Moisture and vinyl flooring don’t create a strong bond. If you install your floors over a wet subfloor, you risk damaging your floors over the long run. They could buckle or warp. Always ensure that your floors are completely dry before you begin the installation process.

For a complete guide to your vinyl flooring installation, click here.

Congratulations again on your new floors! We can’t wait to see the finished product!


  1. I would never put a hardwood in a kitchen as any moisture is going to ruin it. In this case I would put down luxury vinyl. We sell paddings made for vinyl that will reduce noise for your downstairs neighbor.

  2. I have plywood subfloor in kitchen of 3rd floor condo.

    I am considering vinyl or engineered hardwood for the kitchen.
    Do you have recommendation of one over the other?
    Do I need an underlayment? I wold like to reduce noise for unit below me?
    If so, what underlayment do you recommend for vinyl v. Eng, hardwood?
    Any other tips or pitfalls to look out for?

    Thank you<

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