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Do I need underlayment to install vinyl plank flooring?

Do I need underlayment to install vinyl plank flooring?

Do I need underlayment to install vinyl plank flooring? This is a question we get daily! It is important to know if you need underlayment or not with a vinyl flooring installation.

Unlike laminate flooring, most vinyl floors are designed to lay directly on top of the subfloor. The type of vinyl flooring and type of subfloor you have will determine if you are able to use a vinyl flooring underlayment.

Subfloor Considerations:

Before installing a vinyl floor, you will need to make sure your subfloor is:

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

Concrete Subfloors:

If you are installing your vinyl plank flooring over a concrete subfloor, you may want to use an underlayment for three reasons. First, it will give you some added cushion to help make the floor softer to walk on. Second, you may want an extra vapor barrier above the subfloor to reduce any risk of moisture. Lastly, underlayments can provide thermal properties to help keep the flooring warmer in cold months.

Wood Subfloors:

For vinyl flooring installations over wood subfloors, you will not need to worry about a moisture barrier. You may want an underlayment for added cushion or sound reduction.

Existing Floors:

When you’re installing vinyl floors over an existing subfloor, such as tile or linoleum, you can use an underlayment for added cushion and sound reduction. Moisture will not be an issue for you in this case.

Vinyl Flooring Differences:

After assessing your subfloor needs, it is important to know the different types of vinyl installation that are available. The type of vinyl will impact your decision whether you need to purchase underlayment to install vinyl flooring or not.

Click Lock Vinyl Plank Flooring

Click Lock Vinyl flooring has a locking system that is similar to laminate flooring, but it typically has a thinner construction. With new advances in luxury vinyl flooring, options now range from 2mm to 8mm+.

With thinner vinyl flooring construction, adding a foam underlayment can effect the locking system strength. Most of these vinyl floors should be installed right over the subfloor. If you have any areas on a concrete subfloor with moisture concerns, it is recommended to use a vapor barrier underlayment that will not add any cushion to the planks.

Click clock vinyls can use a vinyl specific underlayment when they are 4mm or more in thickness. You’ll want to choose an underlayment specific to a vinyl floor, such as our Perfect Mat Underlayment or Floor Muffler. These underlayments are usually under 2mm. It is important to read the manufacturer instructions before installing an underlayment to ensure it will not void your warranty.

Using a vinyl flooring underlayment can help reduce noise, soften the feel under foot and aid in moisture protection.

WPC or SPC Vinyl Plank Flooring

Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) vinyl flooring and Stone Plastic Composite (SP) vinyl flooring is the newest innovation in vinyl flooring. WPC and SPC vinyl are more dimensionally stable and usually come in a thickness of over 4mm. For click lock WPC and SPC vinyl flooring, you can install it with a vinyl flooring underlayment, or directly on top of the subfloor.

Higher end WPC and SPC vinyl floors may come with an attached underlayment. This typically adds cushion, a vapor barrier and sound reduction to the floor. If your vinyl already has an attached underlayment, you should not add any additional cushion to the planks.

Glue Down Vinyl Plank Flooring

Glue down vinyl plank flooring will not need an underlayment. You will install these planks by glueing them directly on top of the subfloor. It is very important to have a debris free and level subfloor for a glue down vinyl flooring installation!

Loose Lay Vinyl Plank Flooring

If you’re installing a loose lay vinyl plank floor, you will not need an underlayment. These can be installed directly on top of the subfloor without any other

Still have questions on if you need an underlayment to install vinyl plank flooring? Drop us a comment below!

Learn more about vinyl flooring:

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141 comments

  1. I had a vinyl plank floor (SHAW brand) professionally installed in my living room and dinning room. The subfloor was plywood and in good condition. The installation is described as “floating” with “Versalock” planks. The problem is that two weeks after installation, GAPS started to appear between the planks. The whole floor is
    pulling apart both lengthwise and widthwise. Do you have any idea what could be causing this problem???

    • Tyler

      Hey David! Oh no! Here are a few reasons why this may be happening:

      1) There is not proper expansion around the perimeter of the room (1/4″)
      2) The floor is being run over too long of a stretch (usually 40-50 is a maximum).
      3) There is a heavy object pinning it down somewhere.

      I would recommend having your installer coming back out to check on any of these issues.

  2. HELLO

    we added an addition to our house with 3 beds. Wanting to install LVP onto the plywood subfloor

    The subfloor we have is Oriented Strand Board (Common: 19/32 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft.; Actual: 0.578 in. x 47.75 in. x 95.75 in.). Surface is rough. The corners are not all flat. What is the best underlayment should I use?

    A contractor said he only needs to sand it down and install LVP 5mm on top of it will be fine. However, I always think underlayment is better. Am I right?

    Thanks

    • Tyler

      Hey Danh, thank you for reaching out. It definitely depends! Does the LVP you are interested in have an attached pad? If it does the only thing you could put down is cork. If it does not, then you would want to use a padding made for LVP, not laminate. You can find a large selection of these over at http://www.bestlaminate.com

  3. Hi!,
    i just bought a new house and want to replace the flooring on the bottom floor with luxury vinyl. Its currently Laminate wood plank in the dining room hall and bathroom, then linoleum in the kitchen and carpet in the living room. I was to change the whole 1st floor to luxury vinyl plank for a seamless look and waterproof since it will be in the half bath and kitchen. The house is built on a concrete slab. I’ve been researching and could use some advice.
    1) do i need to use an underlayment that is a vapor barrier?
    2) do i need to use an underlayment if the planks i choose have a attached pad?
    3) if i got one with an attached pad does that create the vapor barrier?
    4) can i use a plank with an attached pad and still use an underlayment?
    5) if the price of a plank without underlayment ends up being less then with the underlayment then the plank with attached pad then which is the better option?
    6) i read you can install the vinyl planks over linoleum so should i remove the linoleum in my kitchen to make the floor even with the other rooms or can i just leave it? could that substitute as a vapor barrier?
    Thanks! know its a lot of questions but i want to do it right!

    • Tyler

      Hello Jessica! Thank you so much for reaching out to us with your questions!

      1) If the product is vinyl – it is alrweady waterproof – no vapor barrier needed.
      2) If the vinyl has a pad attached – no additional padding is needed.
      3) The pad generally has a vapor barrier – unless it is cork.
      4) No! This will generally void warranties.
      5) Pad attached does not always mean better. Sometimes the ones without are just as good – and our lvt pads are very cheap too 🙂
      6) You should install over linoleum in my opinion – saves a mess due to the glue from the linoleum.

      If you have any other questions please feel free to contact.

      • Hello
        I am installing smartcore ultra …

        1/ concrete floor with poured thinset that is sandy..I can it get all of the thinset dust off it. Very light dust/sand feeling. After I shop vac it, my dog ran across it and up comes the sand dust.. just to give you an idea in fact I dont know what this stuff is.. I believe under this 1 inch layer of thinset us either cement board or concrete.

        2/ this is a second floor condo, we need noise reduction to keep noise from going downstairs

        3/ do I need a vapor barrier on second floor condo that is concrete? There is no water issue? The floor is level, but if you run your hand across it, it is sandy

        3/ smartcore ultra ..can we add underlayment to be safe? I cant get a straight answer from lowes if we can add underlayment to already padded. One rep says you can and they sell 4 different kind. He thinks the quality of smartcore ultra would not be as good as adding seperate pad. He says add pad to the already padded product.

        4/ is padded product in general equilvant to adding underlayment in terms of softness and noise? My intuition tells me seperate pad would always be better

        5,/smartcore, has an entry level product without pad, but it seems reviews are not as good as the ultra with pad..

        Thank you

        • Tyler

          Hey Mike, thank you for coming to us with your flooring questions. A general rule of thumb would be you are not able to put an additional layer of padding under a floor that has a pad already attached. This is due to having too much give underneath it. This is something the manufacturer should be able to confirm for you. I hope this helped you out!

  4. I plan to use the click-lock vinyl planks in a bathroom. The subfloor is wood and has some areas where the planks are not level or cupped. My question is whether to simply use a leveling compound over that or if 1/4″ luan would be required. Also you mentioned earlier about using a cork underlayment as an alternative to the luan. That would be great, but would like to know more about that approach.

    • Tyler

      Hey Mark. Any high density foam meant for vinyl floors is going to help hide any imperfections. Using the cork is going to do just that as well as cork is very dense and will help any imperfections. Leveling agents should really be your last option to level the floor. Thank you for reaching out and please reach out if you have any other questions.

  5. Hi,

    My wife and I have a rental house that was originally built pre 1900. There are 4 bedrooms in which we want to install an LVP product. In every room the floor is not level and is not smooth. We were told by 1 contractor that he won’t install LVP with an attached pad on these floors. He insisted that the only option is an LVP product with no pad. His product is a Mohawk line called Luminous Beauty; thickness 5.5mm and a wear layer of 8 mils.
    Another contractor told us the exact opposite; we need an LVP product with a pad to hide the waves and unevenness. That product is also Mohawk line called SolidTech True Vision; thickness 6.5 mm and a wear layer of 20 mils.

    Who is right? Can LVP be installed on a floor that is both uneven and not smooth? If yes, which product do we need? A pad based product or no pad? Thank you.

    • Tyler

      Hey Jack, great questions. While I do not believe either of them are actually correct, neither are wrong. Any floor that has a very bad subfloor is not going to be good to install a floating floor over. The best way to keep this from effecting your floor would be to use a leveling agent or putting another layer of subfloor down. A floor with a pad attached may help some, but if it is very bad, nothing will help all that much. I hope this answered your questions!

  6. I want to install an 8mm thick floating LVT plank floor (Coretec Plus) over a plywood subfloor in an old house. The subfloor is uneven so I intend to put down 1/4” Wonderboard first to try and smooth it out. I did this before with a tile floor and put thinset down as a bed/adhesive for the Wonderboard – also screwed it. Do you think I need to prep the Wonderboard like I did for tile, or can I just apply thinset over the screws and joints so they don’t show through the LVT?

    • Hi James, thanks for reaching out! You can certainly go ahead and add a layer of Wonderboard to help even out the subfloor. You can apply thinset over the screws and joints, to ensure the subfloor is completely level prior to installing your flooring. Depending on the condition of your subfloor, another option to consider is a thick cork underlayment. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  7. Hi, I would like to install two thousand square feet of looselay LVT by karndean on my floor in my home. The lvt is going directly on top of old terrazzo floor in some areas and hn sealed concrete in others. My problem is that the terrazzo which we thought was totally flat is not. It was poured in 4ft by 4ft sections and so there is a grid likepattern wave that is coming thru the lvt when layed directly on top. The room has a lot of windows and so these waves are exaggerated when the light comes thru. We have a sample of rigid core lvt, and that is hard enough to hide the patern underneath but the looselay that we want does not come in a rigid core. Is there a rigid underlayment that could hide these imperfections? Or any other underlayment that would do the job?

    • Hi Jen, thanks for reaching out. With any floating floor, it is important to have a smooth and seamless subfloor surface for installation. With tile, if the grout line is more than 1/8″ deep, we recommend filling the grout lines with grout or a floor leveling compound to create a smooth surface. This way, the flooring installed on top will be smooth and seamless as well. Underlayment can be installed for additional cushioning and sound dampening, however it will not repair an uneven subfloor. Hope this helps!

  8. I want to put down floating CoreTec Plus Enhanced Dorado LVT over an advantech subfloor, next to 3/4″ hardwood flooring. I want to raise the level of the 8.0 mm thick Coretec up to match the hardwood and also do everything I can to reduce foot fall noise.

    Have you heard of screwing down plywood with green glue damping compound between the plywood and subfloor?

    I have a bunch of 2mm rubber underlayment that I got for free. Can I use this as a layer somewhere in the mix as well? Perhaps glue down the rubber instead of green glue compound, then plywood, then float the LVT on the plywood?

    • Hi David, thanks for reaching out. The best and easiest option will be to put down a layer of OSB or particle board on top of your plywood subfloor, glue it down or use a nail gun, and install the Coretec directly on top. This will definitely help with reducing foot fall noise. If you have any other questions, please give us a call! Thank you!

  9. We are planning to change out the carpet in our 1000 sqft condo and replace it with vinyl click-plank. So far, we are going with Paradigm Longboard vinyl click-plank, which is rated for “heavy commercial” wear and has an attached pad/underlayment. The attached pad is a black rubbery man-made material, it is not cork.

    PRODUCT STATS
    Product: WPC Flooring / Engineered Vinyl Plank with EVA Foam
    Gauge: 8.5mm With Pad (7mm w/o attached pad, I think)
    Wear Layer: 20MIL
    Finish: Urethane Ceramic Bead
    Construction: Water Proof Core With Pad Attached
    Warranty: Lifetime Residential, 15 Year Commercial

    HERE ARE OUR QUESTIONS:

    1) On about 10 of the planks (right out of the box), the attached pad appears to have been damaged. It looks like it has been scratched/smooshed in some spots on the plank. For example, on one plank it looks like the pad was pushed to the point of tearing and there is a spot of about 1″ square of the vinyl plank exposed. (The pad material is there, it is just torn and pushed back to reveal an inch of the vinyl underside)
    On another plank, it has 3 smaller nicks about the circumference of a pencil eraser, where the vinyl is exposed and the pad material is missing.
    — A) Are these planks considered “damaged,” or is this normal for some planks to be like this?
    — B) If installed, could these spots cause noise, compromised moisture barrier, or other issues?
    — C) Essentially, are these planks ok for use or should they be set aside and NOT be used for installation?
    — D) Could these particular planks be set-aside to be cut and only the intact portions used?

    2) Our condo has wooden sub-floors. However, due to building settling, our floors ARE very unlevel and also uneven. Our contractor will be using an extensive amount of self-leveling concrete to prepare our sub-floor (as well as replacing any plywood that needs it). Because (as I understand it) the wooden sub-floor will now be covered with the self-leveling concrete, does this mean that we should treat it as a “concrete sub-floor”? We don’t know the ins and outs of floor preparation but, in our instance, we are imagining that 80-100% of our sub-floor will indeed be covered with some amount of self-leveling concrete. We live in Southern California, so we have hot weather rather than rainy weather (low likelihood of weather-related flood in our unit). The vinyl flooring is NOT being installed in the kitchen or bathrooms.
    — A) Do we want to install a moisture barrier?
    — B) What product(s) would you recommend?

    3) We are on the third floor and want to be as noise-conscious as possible. Our contractor suggested adding cork underlayment under our vinyl click-plank floor. However, our particular product has an attached (non-cork) pad. It is possible our contractor has not worked with this particular vinyl product before — hence his suggestion.
    — A) When using vinyl click-plank with an attached pad, one should NOT use an additional underlayment, correct?
    — B) Do you have any idea what the attached padding might be made of? I.e. what it’s sound dampening quality may be? (Unfortunately, Paradigm only lists STC/IIC ratings for their residential 7mm planks – not the planks+pad version)
    — C) Is there anything else we can do to help our flooring be more noise dampening?

    Thanks in advance! This is a great site you have here! 😀

    • Hi, thanks so much for reaching out with your questions!

      1. If the attached underlayment is scratched or appears to be dented, it is still okay to install as long as the underlayment covers the full surface of your flooring. It is normal for underlayment to get lightly dented or scratched in transit, however if it is ripped and the flooring is exposed, that is damage and you may want to consult with the store where you purchased your flooring. We do not recommend installing planks that have holes or areas of the underlayment missing. Vinyl plank flooring is a floating floor, so it is important to have underlayment across the entire surface of your flooring.

      2. We recommend using a vapor barrier on a cement subfloor, to prevent moisture from seeping up and sitting beneath your flooring. Since your subfloor is wood, you will not need a moisture barrier underlayment. The underlayment that is already attached to your flooring will provide additional cushioning and noise reduction. Please make sure that your subfloor is level and smooth prior to installation, this is key to a long lasting floor!

      3. The underlayment that is pre-attached to your flooring will provide cushioning and noise reduction. We do not recommend installing an additional layer of underlayment beneath your flooring, as this would create too much cushioning and you would risk damaging the joints and locking system of your flooring. Unfortunately we do not carry Paradigm flooring, so we can’t provide any additional details about that specific underlayment, but generally speaking, it will provide basic cushioning and noise reduction for your project. Another option would be to install a heavy duty underlayment and flooring with no attached pad, however it sounds like you have already purchased the flooring.

      We hope this helps with your concerns! If you have any other questions, please give us a call at 1-800-520-0961. Thank you!

  10. Hello! We’ll be installing CoreLuxe 5.5mm EVP flooring (click together, not glue down) in our finished daylight basement over concrete floors. We ripped up the previous carpet and will be scraping off all glue, etc, to properly prep prior to installation. The install guide for our flooring says the following for concrete subfloor: “Moisture protection for floating floor installations should be a minimum 6mil virgin polyethylene. Seams should be OVERLAPPED 8” and taped using a waterproof adhesive tape (duct tape). This vapor barrier should be installed up the wall at least 1 inch.”

    Then, later on in the install guide it says the following for underlayment: “Underlayment padding is not required for the installation of this product. However, our Tranquility underlayments referenced below may be used to help smooth out minor subfloor imperfections, while offering insulating and sound control properties. Tranquility Ultra and Tranquility LVT underlayments are recommended for this product.”

    We definitely don’t want to buy overpriced Tranquility products so my question is do we need to purchase your Visqueen Vapor Block PE Film Flooring Underlayment in addition to your Bestlaminate Pro-Line Premium LVT Underlayment or will that be too much cushion under the engineered vinyl flooring? Will just buying one like the Pro-Line Premium LVT Underlayment provide that needed vapor barrier between the vinyl and the concrete subfloor or will only installing the Visqueen Vapor Block provide that barrier and also some warmth/cushionioning?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Sky, thanks for reaching out. When installing on a cement subfloor, we recommend using a vapor barrier underlayment to prevent moisture from seeping up from the subfloor and sitting beneath your flooring. For your project, we would recommend Bestlaminate Pro-Line Premium LVT Underlayment. It is a great choice, and will provide moisture protection, cushioning, noise reduction and help even minor subfloor imperfections. This underlayment is all in one, so you will not need any additional vapor barrier such as Visqueen. We hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions.

  11. Hi there,
    We are looking at installing either click vinyl or loose lay vinyl planks in our basement. It’s a poured concrete basement, with Delta FL membrane over the concrete and a layer of 7/8″ blue wood OSB over that. It was originally designed for carpet tile but of course changed our mind and are looking at vinyl options now. Question is is that there is a bathroom with shower with same type of sub flooring. Do we need to be concerned about moisture seeping through either the click or floating vinyl onto blue wood OSB or should be put a waterproof underlay?? is one vinyl (click or floating) better for the bathroom? Can we even just paint the blue wood OSB with waterproof deck paint and then install vinyl over it in the bathroom??

    Thanks

    • Hi Diane, thanks for reaching out. When installing on a OSB, you will not need to use a moisture barrier underlayment. You can go ahead and install vinyl plank flooring directly on the plywood subfloor. You can use underlayment if you would like additional cushioning and noise reduction, but moisture seeping up from the cement subfloor should not be a concern. Just to clarify – vinyl plank flooring is a floating and clicking floor. The planks click together, to create a floating surface. Hope this helps! Please give us a call if you have any further questions.

  12. Can self stick vinyl planks be install over slightly cupped hardwood floors. We were going to refinish the hardwood flooring but thought this to be a more inexpensive option

    • Hi Bruce, thanks for your comment. Vinyl plank flooring that is not glued down must be installed on a smooth and flat subfloor. Without seeing your existing hardwood flooring, it is hard for us to say if it is safe to install vinyl plank flooring directly on top. The main concern is the joint integrity of your flooring. If the subfloor is uneven, there is a risk that your new flooring might buckle or separate at the joints due to the uneven subfloor. Underlayment can be used beneath your vinyl to correct minor subfloor imperfections, but it really depends on the current state of your hardwood. Hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any further questions.

  13. We moved into our house about 6 months ago. Prior to moving in, we tore out this old, nasty, ripped and stained carpeting from the 1980s that was in a couple rooms. Due to being on a tight budget from just buying the house, we replaced it with roll vinyl. It made the rooms look worlds better while being fast to install and within our budget at the time. We only glued it down in the corners as that was what was recommended to us from the home improvement store we got the flooring from. Now we have these big humps in our floor where the plywood subfloor swelled. Most of these humps average 6-8 inches in diameter and average about 1 inch in height. These are bedrooms, so there haven’t been any spills or leaky pipes, or any excessive contact with water. We know that we’ll have to replace those sections of the subfloor, but we don’t know what caused it, and therefore how we can prevent it in the future. This isn’t a problem we want to deal with more than once. We live in a hot, humid area. Our house is on pier and beam (raised about 2 feet off the ground) and has insulation on the bottom side of the house. The air conditioner that also helps control humidity is running basically 24/7. Do you have any advice on what we can do to prevent this from happening again, to make sure we do it correctly this time?

    • Hi Corinne, thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately it is hard to tell what is causing the swelling in your subfloor. Generally, swelling is caused by moisture, so it might be helpful to get a home inspector to come in and take a look at what is causing the issue. Here at Bestlaminate, we do not sell roll vinyl. We specialize in vinyl plank flooring, and when installing, we recommend using a vapor barrier underlayment on plywood subfloor, as this will help prevent any moisture damage. We hope this helps, and please don’t hesitate to give us a call with any further questions.

  14. Hi, I’m considering going with LVP and see that some products have attached foam backing on their planks. Does the foam backing give a noticeable difference? I’m installing this over a concrete slab and want to make sure it will actually be warm, comfortable to stand on, and wont make a bunch of noise when I walk on it.

    Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Joe, thanks for reaching out. Generally speaking, underlayment will help with reducing noise by providing sound absorption, provide some thermal insulation, and provide a moisture barrier from your cement subfloor. Underlayment does make a significant difference, and we believe it would help address the concerns you mentioned. You can opt for a vinyl with pre-attached underlayment, or simply add underlayment beneath the flooring you are installing. You can take a look at our vinyl underlayment options here: https://www.bestlaminate.com/accessories/underlayment/#!/p=1&underlayment_use=327

  15. Hi – We are planning to install NuCore Driftwood Oak Plank with Cork Back over a concret slab. Because it has a Cork Back, is a vapor barrier recommended? We live in Fort Worth, TX, where it can get humid but are new to the state, so am not sure how that can affect flooring.

  16. We are planning to install Click and lock vinyl plank flooring over our concrete basement floor. We have had moisture, but never any water. Would Delta-FL work as a vapor barrier, and keep the floor from moving?

  17. Hi, I’m wanting to install vinyl plank flooring over our bare plywood floor in the basement. I bought my house and the previous owner did a partial finish. The original flooring in the basement is dirt, they build a plywood subfloor above it which is nicely framed. But I have no idea if there’s a vapor barrier underneath. I know not to lay vb over plywood, Would it be ok to go ahead and install the vinyl plank flooring? I know they sometimes come with a built in moisture barrier. Please advise!! Thank you!!!

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Jennifer, thanks for the question! Since your plywood is below grade and has no vapor protection, I would recommend laying a vapor barrier on top of the plywood. In most cases you can install the vinyl directly over the subfloor, but since you are below grade with plywood (usually it is cement), it is recommended to use one. Let us know if you have any other questions!

  18. Hi! I think I’ve become confused. We recently had a water line break in our basement and it destroyed the laminate. Everything has now been removed and the basement is drying, with fans and humidifiers on. The concrete looks very good, nice and level, no glue, no cracks. Of course there are water stains everywhere. The concrete had previously been primed (sealed) but we have no idea what was used.
    We want to use LVP floating floor, but do we have to re-seal the concrete? Or is a 6 mil vapor barrier sufficient? I’ve also heard that no vapor barrier may be needed at all. Very confused and looking for non-biased help so we can tell contractors what WE want rather than going by their favorite way of doing things!

    Thanks,

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Phil, thanks for the question! Concrete is porous, so it’s not surprising that you are waiting for it to dry. You will not need to re-seal the concrete, but you will need to wait until the concrete is dry and moisture emissions should not exceed 5.0 lbs per 1000 sq. ft. for 24 hours and should not exceed a relative humidity of 85%. Most LVT’s can be installed directly over the concrete, however some manufacturers recommend using a 6 mil polyfilm moisture barrier to help prevent the growth of mold and mildew beneath the planks. I would take a look at the manufacturer instructions for your LVT and see what they recommend! It won’t do any harm if you do install it 🙂

  19. Hello, we are going to be installing 7mm Copper Barrel Oak EVP and I am being somewhat pressured into buying an underlayment to keep the clicking down. This will be in our basement where we will have a pool table and media room for teenagers. I am not sure if I really need to spend the extra money or the extra time to put it down. Thoughts?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Michael, thanks for your question. With most vinyls, you do not need an underlayment. You can install directly over the subfloor. The manufacturer instructions for this particular product say you do not need it. If you want to add softness to the flooring or help with noise, then you could add the underlayment. You will be installing over concrete, so keep in mind that it will probably have a hard feel! A bit of cushion will make it feel a little softer. That said, completely up to you! Not necessary, but it adds comfort.

  20. I want to install new flooring throughout my house including potential wet areas like the kitchen & bathrooms. What would be the best solution and do I need a underlayment for cushion/sound and moisture barrier?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Heather! Great question. A vinyl is a perfect option for wet areas such as your bathroom and kitchen. We have some really stunning vinyls in our inventory…you won’t believe how the technology has changed! You can now find vinyls that are thicker, have attached padding and handscraped textures. Some vinyls can use an LVT underlayment for more cushion and sound, but you do not need a moisture barrier for vinyl. If you have a specific look in mind, I’d be happy to help find you some options! Here is a link to our selection: https://www.bestlaminate.com/vinyl-plank-flooring/

  21. Planning on using LVT. Our floor is flat except where there is a TV cable running on the floor( between room and hall – both will have LVT) If I used a pad I could place it in the seam – or is there anther way?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Jack, thanks for your question! The best way to hide it will probably be on the edges where you have an expansion gap. You can just cover it with a molding.

    • Barbara Blumetti

      We are having interlocking vinyl planking in an office over a dry cement floor. There is some residue of dry glue from the previous carpeting. Does the floor need to be sanded before the vinyl planks are installed? Would an underlayment help?

      • Alana Kane

        Hi Barbara, great question. Yes, your flooring should be level and without any bumps. Depending on how thin your vinyl is, it could be raised in the places you have glue. An underlayment will help with minor imperfections, but an LVP underlayment is only 1.5mm or less, so it will not cover much! We’d recommend trying to get as much glue off as possible for a smooth surface.

  22. We are planning on cementing down Luxury Vinyl planks. We are replacing a 3/4 inch hardwood floor. What would be a good product to raise the subfloor the 3/4″? We don’t want to replace all door jambs etc.

    • Alana Kane

      Hi John, thanks for your question. We would recommend buying a floating vinyl floor instead of cementing tiles down, and installing it on top of your hardwood.

  23. I recently had floating vinyl plank flooring installed in a new home. There are many areas where it is noises when walked on I only weigh a hundred pounds and several areas where when I walk on it it is visably moving. Put a level on it and you can see the dip in the flooring. The company that installed it said they would leave it alone and nothing will happen. Otherwise they have to pull up bad areas and fill in dips or grind others areas. Very unhappy with entire job. Makes sense if you walk on an area that dips long enough you will damage surface.

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Debbie, we’re sorry to hear about this! Properly preparing the subfloor is extremely important before you install flooring. It should be completely flat & level to start. The flooring installers should not have installed your flooring if the subfloor had this dip. We would recommend asking them to fix it to avoid any other issues, such as buckling or gapping at the joints due to constant pressure and movement. Hope this helps!

  24. I am looking to install click-and-lock vinyl plank flooring with the float built into to the planks (overall thickness is 0.315″). My existing subfloor has about 500 small staples in it due to the previous floor being installed incorrectly. I can hammer the staples down to be fairly flush, but it will never be totally flush. Can I install these planks over the subfloor with the staples being hammered down, or should I put some sort of underlay down first?

    • Hi Kevin! We recommend to have your sub-floor completely leveled before installing a new floor. Since the flooring you are looking to install already has the underlayment built into the planks, you should not use any other underlayment. If you are concerned that the sub-floor will not be level enough with the staples being hammered down, we recommend looking into a self-leveling product at your local home improvement store to level out any sub-floor imperfections. If you have any other questions or would like to discuss this in more detail, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-520-0961. Best of luck with your project!

  25. I purchased Coreluxe XD 7mm Acacia EVP for my upstairs and basement. The salesman said I should use an underlayment, the guide says you can don’t have to use it but if you want extra sound barrier etc to only use Tranquility Ultra and Tranquility LVT underlayment’s. That’s $70.00 for 100 sq. ft. I need 1800 sq ft. The ultra is only 1.5 mm thick. I have 900 sq. ft of Pergo Gold 3mm that is new never opened that I had planned to use for part of it. Is there any reason why I shouldnt go ahead and use the Pergo Gold? I cant afford to pay over $1000.00 just for underlayment. I’ve already spent over $5000.00 in flooring. I appreciate a quick response we are in the middle of this project due to a flood.

  26. We build houses and had been using laminate flooring. We plan to switch to LVP on our next projects. Friends of mine thinks that underlayment is unnecessary added expense. However, I noticed that you mention underlayment as sound barrier. If the concrete is clean and smooth, would there be a click-clack sound on the LVP?

    • Hi Elsa – We would recommend underlayment under floating vinyl planks because it adds not only a sound barrier, but insulation, cushioning, and an overall better floating surface for your vinyl. While it is an added expense while installing floating vinyl flooring, you will find it’s definitely worth it! You will find many manufacturers are seeing the benefits of adding underlayment to vinyl flooring, that they’re pre-attaching it to their vinyl – Like COREtec! You can find our selection of LVT underlayment on our website. If you would like help purchasing, please give us a call at 1-800-520-0961 or email us at support@bestlaminate.com.

  27. We installed Versa Luxury click vinyl in our motorhome only to realize after that it isn’t recommended because od temp changes.
    It does separate. Hubby wants to glue it. What issues might we have if we do thst?

    • Hi Deborah – In your circumstance, it is actually preferred that you glue down your vinyl flooring. There would be no issues if you glued your click-lock vinyl flooring. We would recommend that you purchase a flooring adhesive that is made specifically for vinyl flooring – which can be purchase at any hardware or home improvement store – and install your vinyl flooring by removing any underlayment (if you installed any) and gluing it directly to the sub floor. Be sure to follow our Glue-Down Vinyl Installation Guide for the best results. Good luck on your installation!

  28. I am selecting LVT flooring for new a construction townhome project. I wanted a glue down application. Some of these buildings will have basements, some are slab on grade and all have a main floor and second floor. In this type of new construction where would luan be needed before installing the LVT flooring?

    • Hi Tess – Excellent question! If you are installing any OSB, be sure to use luan on top of those. Otherwise, the glue down vinyl could show the bumps and dips of the uneven surface of the OBS. As for the concrete slabs, you can install glue down directly on concrete so long as it’s free of cracks and is even. If you have any further questions, please reply to this comment or send us an email to support@bestlaminate.com!

  29. I am wanting to install Versa Lock Luxury Vinyl Plank system in my basement. I previously had carpet and once removing the carpet there seems to be a lot of the old glue marks on the concrete floor. I was told that installing the planks would leave impressions from the glue over time. I would rather not bother with removing the glue and all the prep work. Will adding a felt pad with moisture barrier eliminate the need to prep the floor by removing the old glue? The vinyl planks are 0.1259 in. thick. What kind of felt pad (thickness) would I need and will this eliminate having to prep the floor? The glue is not really that terrible with the exception of a few spots.

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Brian, thanks for your question. Unfortunately, your best option is to remove the glue marks. Due to the thickness of your vinyl, an underlayment will create stress on the locking systems and joints, create an unstable floating floor. We would recommend looking into a thicker LVT floor, or a WPC vinyl option if you didn’t already purchase. With a thicker LVT, you may be able to use a thin underlayment, but we can’t guarantee that with pressure overtime, the glue marks will not make an imprint. Going with a thicker WPC vinyl would be your best bet, and should not leave an imprint overtime. Let us know if you have any other questions. Best of luck with your project.

  30. I have vinyl tile installed directly on top the plywood subfloor in my kitchen. can I install the floating vinyl plank flooring directly over the vinyl tile? or do I need to remove all of the vinyl tile first?

    • Hello Paul – It would depend on how the vinyl tile is laid down on top of your plywood subfloor. If it is glued down to the subfloor, it should be safe to install a floating vinyl plank floor on top of it. If it is a floating vinyl tile flooring, you would need to remove it before you install another floating vinyl tile flooring. Regardless, be sure your subfloor is clean and free of cracks, dips, and major structure issues. If you need further help, please feel free to email us at support@bestlaminate.com or reply to this comment!

  31. I want to install floating, click lock, luxury vinyl planks on concrete but have had a hard time finding answers to 2 questions. One, is what underlayment material is best when wanting to make sure steps are soft. Second, is what are the pro’s and con’s of attached underlayment and if attached or traditional is better? Appreciate any assistance you could provide.

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Vinh, I will be happy to answer these questions for you! When it comes to stairs, it’s not recommended to use underlayment. If you want a softer feel, we’d recommend going with a WPC vinyl that has an attached cork backing, such as COREtec. With COREtec floors, you are able to leave the cork underlayment on when you install on stairs. When it comes to click lock vinyl, underlayment isn’t required, and can often void your warranty. Since vinyl planks are not as thick as other flooring types, having cushioning under it can affects the strength of the joints since they are thin. If you want cushion and sound dampening, there are vinyl specific underlayments that are 1mm. Here are those options: https://www.bestlaminate.com/perfect-mat-lvt-acoustic-1-5mm-underlayment/; https://www.bestlaminate.com/floor-muffler-lvt-ultraseal-1mm-underlayment/. We’d recommend looking at manufacturer specifications before buying underalyment! Hope this helps…feel free to contact us at 800-520-0961 if you have any additional questions.

      • thanks for the info and reply. I should have described better but when I stated “soft step,” I was not referring to stairs but the feel of the vinyl plank when you step on it. I’ve stepped on some and it feels like stepping directly on concrete and others where it has a slight give that feels like real wood. looks like your links are foam but I see you also state cork is good. I’ve also seen rubber and felt. when worrying about a soft feel when we walk, what material is best? thanks

        • Alana Kane

          Thanks for clarifying, Vinh! For vinyl, you have to be careful with underlayment thickness. The two links I sent you are the only ones we sell that we recommend for vinyl and will provide a nice cushion for the floor. A cork can often be too cushioned for a standard vinyl. If you are looking into an engineered WPC vinyl that is thicker than a standard vinyl, you may be able to use a thin cork underlayment as COREtec does. A cork under 1.5mm would probably be your best bet. You would need to check with the manufacturer first before installing, as some brands have different specifications. Hope this helped to clarify!

  32. I have a “floating” 4.0 mm LVT plank floor (FreeFit) installed on a concrete (basement) floor that I was advised to glue down everywhere after the edges of some of the planks were not laying flat, but were slightly lifting up along at the ends of the planks. There have been no water or moisture issues. The concrete floor is relatively new and completely smooth and flat and there is insulation in place between the ground and the concrete. The recommended gluing technique was a “standard releasable method” that was designed to allow individual planks to be readily removed and replaced if they were ever damaged, not a “wet lay” installation. Unfortunately, I now have the opposite issue. The planks are now “cupping” with the center areas of a large number of the planks toward the ends having lifted off the floor. Two questions. What causes this type of “cupping” and is there any way the floor can be fixed at this point so that it will lay flat?

    • Hi Bob – Thank you for your question. We recommend getting in touch with the retailer who sold you the floor and the manufacturer of the floor. They will be the best people to help you.

  33. I want to lay LVT in my living room. I have fabricated wood flooring in there now. I have been told that the fabricated floor was glued down and will be really expensive to remove and fix the subfloor. The is an upstairs room. . One estimate suggested I leave the wood floor and float the LVT on top of it. Thoughts on this? Have you seen this done before. Thanks

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Julee, great question! As long as your current floors are level, sturdy and free of damage, you should be fine to install an LVT over top of it. I am no familiar with what a fabricated floor is exactly, but it should work as a subfloor if it is a stable material that will not be expanding or contracting. Let us know if you have any other questions!

  34. I just had a vinyl Plank floor installed over my concrete slab. Waliking on the new floor I hear a clacking or clicking noise over some of the planks. This was not mentioned to me by the sales person. Did I require a sub floor before they installed the vinyl plank? I’m not happy about this clicking sound. It sound like the Planck is hitting the concrete floor. What can be done ?

    • Hi Dan – A concrete subfloor is a perfectly good subfloor for new flooring. The noise very well could be that your vinyl flooring is hitting the subfloor when it is being walked on, creating the click-clack sound. I don’t know if you installed the flooring yourself, or if you had it professionally installed. But I would recommend having a professional come out to assess the problem and to fix the issue.

      I believe it is one of two issues. Either your subfloor is not completely level or there is no underlayment present between your subfloor and vinyl flooring. While you do not necessarily need an underlayment under vinyl, it can help with sound reduction and cushioning and filling minor subfloor imperfections. We would recommend looking into Floor Muffler LVT or Perfect Mat LVT, should you need an underlayment. I hope this helps you!

  35. What is the difference between Nucor and Cortec flooring.

    • Hi David – They look to both be vinyl + WPC floors with cork padding attached. It looks like the difference is that Nucore floors are thinner than COREtec floors. They might also have different wear layers, but I can’t seem to find this information online. Nucore is a Floor&Decor exclusive flooring, while COREtec is a reputable big name brand of flooring. If you have any questions about COREtec flooring, we would love to help you! Give us a call at 1-800-520-0961!

  36. Hi. I purchased the Vesdura 8.5mm WPC click lock flooring. I have had mixed reviews from installers on whether the ceramic tile it is going over needs to be floated before the floor is laid. With this being said the grout lines in the ceramic tile are not deep but it is a grout line so it is not a totally smooth surface. Should I float it? I also would like to find out how to do the transition from ceramic tile to the concrete subfloor? It is a noticeable drop from hallway (which is ceramic tile) to bedrooms (which previously had laminate click lock flooring but removed as per one installer’s requests) he has since become MIA, so we are now starting from square one with someone else. I am going to put the floor throughout the house in one direction. Could you help me out with this so that we don’t make the mistake of laying these floors which are expensive at the end of the day without the proper pre installation required. We don’t want to save a penny to have to pay a dime later. So the cost of what we need to do is not really an issue we just want it done right so that it stays in place with no buckling, lifting etc.. Thank you so much for your time.

    • Hi Helen – You want your sub floor to be as even as possible, so we would recommend filling in the grout lines. Make sure your installer verifies that both your concrete and ceramic sub floors are level and free of damage. As for the transition between hallway and bedrooms, I don’t have a picture or measurements, so I don’t know how big is the drop. Best case scenario, you can use a reducer molding to create a slope down between the levels. If the drop is bigger than a reducer can handle however, you may have to remove the ceramic tile and level your entire subfloor.

      I would highly recommend speaking with the person in charge of your installation to confirm what is the best for your situation. Please remember I am making suggestions based off of what I know about WPC flooring and not about what I have seen in your home so I can only make suggestions and assumptions. I do hope this helps you communicate with your installer better to get your installation finished. Good luck!

  37. We are building a berm home and I was wondering if I will need some sort of underlayment since the subfloor will be concrete? I don’t want it to sound hollow when you walk on it. I want to use hardwood, but have been told that I can’t on a concrete subfloor… do you have any suggestions on what would look and feel the most like hardwood in my situation? I’m stuck!

  38. I want to use stick-on vinyl in my laundry room where we just removed ceramic tile. The sub-floor is strand board. Do I need to lay luan first or an underlayment or both? Thank you!

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Larry, your OSB subfloor should be all you need for this installation. A peel and stick vinyl can be laid right on top of the subfloor.

  39. Hello, we currently have peel and stick vinyl on the floor that we need to take up. There are some damaged tiles. It is leaving the glue residue behind. We have purchased luxury vinyl tiles, click type. How would I prep the floor and do I need any underlayment for it? Thank you in advanced for your help.

    • Hi Cindy – We need a little bit more information to better help answer your question. Could you please provide me with the following answers and either reply to this comment on the blog or send an email to support@bestlaminate.com and we will be happy to help you!

      – What type of subfloor do you have?
      – Where are you installing your vinyl flooring?
      – Have you removed all of the peel and stick vinyl?
      – What type of damage did the peel and stick vinyl sustain (i.e. water damage, lack of adhesive, puncture marks)

      Look forward to hearing from you!

      • Thank you for responding. It’s a wood subfloor modular home. In the master bathroom. We will be removing all of it so that the floor will be even. There was water damage around the shower. Also, some of the peel and stick is coming up. It is a cheap type bought from a dollar store. Thanks for your help

  40. Hi, I going to lay loose lay vinyl on top of the current floor which is cork, my question is what sort of glue is the best to use? May the glue damage the cork a while after installation?

    • Hi Hamed – Based on our knowledge, there is no glue required for loose lay vinyl. Some people use double-sided sticky tape or Liquid Nails adhesive around the perimeter of the room and in uneven places where planks would stick up.

      However, you risk doing permanent damage to your current cork floor if you do this. We recommend uninstalling your cork flooring before installing the loose lay vinyl flooring.

      If you have any more questions, please feel free to reply to this comment or email us at support@bestlaminate.com.

  41. We need help! We just removed ceramic tile and carpet from our wood subfloor and it has a thin layer mortar/grout/glue across the whole floor. We are installing Johnson Waterfront La Jolla EVP 6.3 mm thick flooring but we are not sure if the floor is smooth enough or if we should be putting a vapor barrier or a floor muffler down before we lay the flooring. The last thing I want is our flooring looking and sounding cheap! Please help!

    • Hi Jessica – We would definitely recommend smoothing out the subfloor before you install any vinyl flooring. Most manufacturers require you to have an even subfloor before beginning any installation of their flooring. You should be able to go to your local hardware store and rent a floor sander to remove the excess glue and grout that was left behind from the tile and carpet removal.

      If you are still encountering some small imperfections after sanding the leftover grout/glue, you can definitely install an LVT underlayment! We would recommend Perfect Mat LVT or https://www.bestlaminate.com/floor-muffler-lvt-ultraseal-1mm-underlayment/ Underlayment – both are made specifically for vinyl flooring.

      If you have any other questions, please feel free to reply to this comment or email us at support@bestlaminate.com!

  42. I am building a new home and it will have wood sub floors. My question is do we need a moisture barrier under a 4mm click and lock vinyl plank? I also was wondering if I can put an under layment for noise reduction?

  43. I am installing a 4.2mm vinyl in my home, it is a manufactured home so there is a seam down the middle of the house. At one side it ant completely even. Can I just lay them? Use padding under the lower side? What do you suggest?

    • Hi Emily – great question! I am not sure how drastic of a difference the height is, so I will give you a couple different options depending on your situation.

      1. If the subfloor is only slightly uneven about 1 millimeter or less, it might be worthwhile to glue the planks directly to the subfloor. This will cover slight unevenness and minor subfloor imperfections. You will not use any underlayment. Be sure that gluing the floor to the subfloor will not void any warranties and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for a glue-down installation.

      2. If there is a drastic difference, say about 2 millimeters to an inch, you should try to see if you can hire a professional to come and even your subfloor. It would be worth it in the long run to do this. The cheaper alternative, would be to purchase a transition molding, such as a T-Molding or a Reducer Molding to cover the gap where the seam is in the moddle of the home.

      3. We would not recommend only putting underlayment on one half of the floor and not the other half. Either put underlayment underneath all of the floor or none of it. Since you mention the imperfections, we would recommend using a vinyl underlayment such as Perfect Mat, Floor Muffler LVT, or QEP Cork underlayment depending on your preference.

      If you have any other installation questions, please feel free to reply to this comment, send us an email at support@bestlaminate.com, or give us a call 1-800-520-0961!

  44. OMG nothing this lady says is true about vinyl plank flooring. No u do not need to demo, dry, and reinstall your VPF everytime it gets wet. No cork is not the only soundbarrier. No cork is not an underlayment. No VPF is not going to soak up water. Please do not listen to anything this Harriet Homeowner says.

    • Hi William, I am not sure if you are responding to someone’s comment or the post itself, but let me help clarify a few things.

      If you have a flood or substantial water sitting under your vinyl flooring, you definitely should uninstall your floor, dry the area, and reinstall the flooring. Concrete can only soak up so much water and if the subfloor is wood, there is a high risk for rotting, mold, and mildew if standing water is left for too long or not dried properly. You do not need to do these steps if your floor has been a water spill or an accident from a child or dog.

      Of course cork is not the only sound barrier. At Bestlaminate, we also offer Perfect Mat and Floor Muffler LVT, both well rated sound barrier underlayments for vinyl floors. Yes, cork can definitely be used as an underlayment. We sell it in rolls and it is attached as an underlayment to COREtec vinyl flooring.

      You are also right in that no vinyl flooring will soak up water. If it is installed over concrete without any underlayment though, there is a good chance that small amounts of moisture will be absorbed by the concrete, since it is a porous material.

      I hope this helps clarify any misunderstandings that you may have come across in this thread or post. If you have any other concerns, please feel free to replay to this response and we will be happy to help you!

    • My coretec with a cork “moisture barrier” backing warped because of very slight moisture through my slab foundation. And it’s happened twice. The first floor was replaced less than a year after installation. We were tild it was a bad batch and only the Montrise Oak was doing it. It was replaced, and within a week it started warping again, but so far only over the areas where they placed a leveling compound. That tells me it’s moisture. Which means it will likely happen again on the rest of the floor. So I call BS on the cork “moisture barrier.”

      • Hi Danielle – I am sorry to hear that this is happening to your COREtec floor. Cork is not a moisture barrier. If you are installing over a concrete slab with cork underlayment, we recommend you use first lay down a vapor barrier, like Visqueen Vapor Block before installing your floor. Cork holds onto moisture and can create mold. Whoever told you that cork underlayment was moisture resistant was incorrect. If you need help purchasing any new material or any Visqueen, please give us a call at 1-800-520-0961.

  45. hello, do I need to put something in between the planks and the concrete, if the concrete under the carpet is rough and not even?

    • Hi Marilou! How uneven is your concrete subfloor? I assume you mean you tore up carpet from your subfloor and there is adhesive left behind from the carpeting. You should remove all of the adhesive and carpeting before installing any new flooring or underlayment. Not having an even subfloor will damage the integrity of your flooring.

      Once you have an even subfloor, you do not have to put anything between a concrete subfloor and vinyl flooring. However, if you are installing in a basement, we would recommend installing a vapor barrier at the very least, such as Visqueen Vapor Barrier, which will keep moisture away from your flooring. If you are looking to add a little bit of cushioning, you could install an LVT underlayment such as Perfect Mat LVT or Floor Muffler LVT.

      If you have anymore questions, please call us at 1-800-520-0961 or email us at support@bestlaminate.com!

  46. Hello,

    We recently installed vinyl plank flooring in our half-finished basement. It’s an older home with a history of very minor water entry (through cracks in foundation, from excess run-off during snow melts or heavy storms). We went with vinyl plank for that reason, and installed floor underlayment vapor barrier underneath.

    With that said, here’s my dumb question: is it absolutely necessary to pull up, wash and re-install the vinyl planks every time the basement gets wet? Our last instance was quite severe (3-4 inches of runoff filled with sediment, but no “sewer” backup – the only drain in our basement is our sump pump, which doesn’t connect to sewer lines).

    Do we need to worry about mold/mildew between the underlayment and the floor? and between the underlayment and the vinyl planks? We have 5 fans currently running, a dehumidifier, and an in-house AC unit.

    Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Brandon – This is actually a very good question and we’re really glad you asked it!

      3-4 inches is a lot of water to have sitting on your floor, underlayment, and subfloor. You should absolutely pull up, dry, and replace your vinyl flooring everytime it floods this much.

      Now, we have a question for you: What kind of underlayment do you have? The type of underlayment choices for vinyl flooring are usually limited to cork, a special LVT underlayment, or a vapor film. If you are using cork or special foam LVT underlayment, you should immediately pull everything up and check to make sure there is no mold or mildew growing. Underlayment can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew when left wet. Your options are to let it dry out or to toss it and install new underlayment.

      Since you are having consistent water issues, we would recommend a plastic vapor barrier, such as Visqueen Vapor Barrier, which will not grow any mildew or mold since it’s plastic and you will not need to worry too much about drying it out if you have a small leak.

      For large basement floods or leaks though, you should ALWAYS pull up your flooring, dry the area, and reinstall the floor. A concrete subfloor can only suck up so much water, and fans and a dehumidifier can only do so much to dry an area as well. We hope this information was helpful and thank you for reaching out!

  47. Hello
    I just replace my two upstairs bathrooms with Armstrong Luxe Plank Vinyl in Piazza Travertine. They were installed directly over our wood subfloor without any underlayment as it was not suggested that I needed it. (My fault for not researching the value of underlayment before going ahead with the project) The install type is rigid core locking and it has an acoustic cork backing attached to the tile (8mm thickness). Unfortunately, my floors now have a slight ‘crackle’ sound when stepped on and it doesn’t feel solid like the LVT installed at the store showroom. I am disappointed to hear something other than my footsteps and the feel of walking on the floor is not the expectation I had. What causes the “crackling” sound when stepping? Do you lean towards installing underlayment on wood sub floors more than concrete? Unfortunately, I’ve learned a hard lesson….maybe others can learn from mine.
    Sincerely,
    Lisa

    • Hi Lisa, it may actually be that the subfloor was not installed properly, or the subfloor is not even and there are air pockets in between the LVT and the subfloor. Since your floor comes with a cork underlayment already attached, you actually should NOT use extra underlayment. The only thing we would have possibly recommended would be a Visqueen Vapor Barrier to protect the subfloor, should there be any moisture that seeps through the joints of your vinyl flooring. We would highly recommend having a professional come in and take a look to give their opinion to fix the problem. Good luck! If you need any other advice, feel free to visit our Help Pages or give us a call 1-800-520-0961!

  48. We currently have a floating laminate floor (glue together with foam underlayment) and I have read that you should not install vinyl planks over another floating floor. Is there any type of vinyl plank that we could lay over this? Separate question if the answer is no – could we just use a nail gun and nail down the existing laminate floor so it is no longer “floating”? I am guessing not but figured I would ask. Thanks much, David

    • Hi David! Unfortunately, the answer is no to both of your questions. We would recommend uninstalling the previous floating floor before installing the new vinyl floating floor. While it may seem inconvenient now, it will keep you from running into complications, such as buckling and warping, with your newly installed vinyl floor in the long run. If you need any additional help, you can check out our Help Pages or give us a call at 1-800-520-0961!

  49. Question- Is there any problem installing EVP directly over hardwood and ceramic tile? Both of these surfaces are in decent shape but I want to avoid a costly and messy demo.

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Gary, great question. As long as the hardwood and ceramic are in good condition, you can install over them. Just make sure the surface is flat and level!

  50. Hi Alana, I’ve found a great looking wide plank vinyl from Nucor, but I keep getting different installation advice , my plan is to lay this vinyl flooring over 16″ square ceramic tile which is flat and even other than 1/4″ grout seams, one person tells me I need an underpayment and the other tells me no, and the other tells me he’s not sure , this flooring has a cork underside and its tongue and groove snap in , I could sure use some solid advice .

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Drew, thanks for the question! If your vinyl has an attached cork backing, you do not need an additional underlayment. All you need to do is make sure your grout lines are filled in, and you have a level, even subfloor to start with. Best of luck on your installation.

  51. Why do some lvt need expansion room but the ones that come with adhesive on them don’t?? why would one expand and the other doesn’t? I want to glue my LVT to the wood floor but cant get my head around some floors expanding and others don’t,,

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Jeff! Great question. We always recommend adding a small expansion gap, regardless of the installation type. Your moldings should cover the gaps.

      One of the biggest difference between a click and a glue down/adhesive plank is that the click floors are a floating system, whereas the glue-down vinyls are not. With a floating floor system, the planks are held together by the locking system and are able to freely move with expansion and contraction. It is important for the expansion gap here, so that the floor has room to grow without buckling. Most glue-down LVT floors do not have the locking system, and are laid side by side. It’s harder for these planks to cause any serious expansion/gaps, as they are adhered and not able to move freely. Slight movement can occur with temperature fluctuations, but it will not cause locking system issues like a click lock will. I hope this helps! Let us know if you have any additional questions.

  52. Frank Alexander

    Hi, I just installed a click type WPC floating vinyl floor over concrete which is reasonably smooth and clean. I left approximately 3/16″ gap around all 4 walls so there is plenty of room for expansion. As I walk on the floor, it is very noisy as if the planks are not laying flush on the floor and they are bowed. The flooring saleman told me I did not need any sort of underlayment. Will these planks eventually settle down and lay flat or should I pull the flooring back up and lay down an underlayment.

    • Hi Frank! Sorry that you are having issues with your WPC flooring. A couple of things could be attributed to this issue.

      1. The expansion gap might not be enough. I would double check that the expansion gap that was left is the correct amount according to the installation instructions for your specific floor. If you have questions, call the manufacturer of the flooring.

      2. The subfloor is not even. Make sure that your subfloor is as level as possible, otherwise, there will be little pockets of room under your WPC flooring that could eventually cause damage, because it’s not laying flush.

      3. You can install underlayment for vinyl flooring. At Bestlaminate, we have two different types of vinyl underlayments: Perfect Mat and Floor Muffler LVT.

      If you have any other questions, please feel free to give us a call 1-800-520-0961!

  53. Hello, I have been looking at LVP for some time and really think that is the way to go for my home. Question, do I need to get furniture protectors? The samples seem very tough and could possible hold up under heavy furniture. What do you suggest?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Debbie, great question! Although vinyl is a tough material, the surface can be softer than a vinyl or wood. We would recommend using the furniture pads on the bottom of your furniture legs. This will prevent any serious denting or scratching from sharp legs.

  54. What about stairs? Is there a way to do them with the planks? Also what is benefit of gluing? Hard to remove when its time to replace…

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Kelly, thanks for your question! You will not want to use underlayment on the stairs, regardless of what type of vinyl you purchase. There’s not too much of a difference in glue down versus click vinyls. A glue-down vinyl is a great option for larger spaces and commercial applications, as it will have the strongest bond versus a click vinyl. Also keep in mind the installation can be more challenging with glue specifications and proper application. Lastly, you are correct. The glue down versions are a little harder to replace and remove. Hope this helps! If you have additional questions, feel free to reach out to us at support@bestlaminate.com or 800-520-0961.

  55. I am planning to install 5mm thick loose lay vinyl planks on first floor. My questions is, Do I need to use underlay to install Vinyl planks? (Note: it is a brand new home and wooden subfloor will be completed by the builder).

  56. I am looking to put an underlayment under our 1/8″ or 3.175mm click lock vinyl plank on concrete to help with uneven areas due to a former floor being glued down. We have scraped the floor almost clean, but a couple minor spots are not perfectly level. I thought this could help prevent the need to sand everything down and create a dust storm that will inevitably find its way onto our new carpet upstairs. Is a 2mm foam underlayment too thick for this click lock vinyl? I am concerned about weakening the locking edges. Seems like most places suggest 1.5 or 1mm underlay for vinyl. But 2mm is cheaper by a long shot.

    • Alana Kane

      Hi John, great question. Yes, you are correct. A 2mm underlayment will be too thick and soft, causing the locking system to be weak. Since vinyl flooring is a thinner product, you need a different underlayment. We carry two types of underlayment specific for vinyl planks. You can find them here: http://www.bestlaminate.com/perfect-mat-lvt-acoustic-1.5mm-underlayment/ & http://www.bestlaminate.com/floor-muffler-lvt-ultraseal-1mm-underlayment/. Lastly, be sure to check with your vinyl manufacturer instructions, as using an underlayment with your product could void your warranty. Hope this helps! Lets us know if you have any other questions.

      • Thanks for the reply. Manufacturer of my vinyl planks states that “underlayment is not required” but provides no information regarding suggestions or requirements if it is desired. I’ve also now found on another site that the manufacturer of a different 1mm LVT underlayment suggests that the vinyl planks must be at least 4mm thick. I’m wondering if I should just sand the floor after all haha…

        • Alana Kane

          I don’t see where either of our underlayments specify it, but the thicker the plank, the more stable locking system you will have. Considering vinyl is intended for installation right over the subfloor, sanding it might be the best idea! Good luck with your project.

  57. Derrick Cearbaugh

    Do i need to put down a vapor barrier when installing vinyl flooring in a basement or do i just put it on the concrete

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Derrick, thanks for the question! You can install vinyl directly over concrete. If you have any areas in the basement that tends to be damp or holds excess moisture, I would recommend laying a vapor barrier. Vinyl is waterproof, but if water begins to accumulate and sit underneath the planks for an extended period of time, mold can start to become an issue. Let us know if you have any addition questions! You can find our vapor barrier here: http://www.bestlaminate.com/visqueen-6mil-pe-vapor-barrier-block/

      • Are moisture barrier and vapor barrier the same thing?
        We had a flood in our manufactured home (We use as a rental) and are having to replace the laminate flooring and are considering LVP. The moisture barrier saved the subfloor during the water leak. Should we or do we need to put that down again if we install LVP?

        • Good question, Janee. Yes, moisture barriers and vapor barriers are the same thing. If your home is prone to floods and you are worried about your subfloor becoming damaged, we actually recommend that you use a moisture barrier.

          Vinyl flooring does require a thinner underlayment/moisture barrier than laminate flooring, because it’s generally a thinner floor. We would recommend using a moisture barrier that is 1mm thick or less, such as Visqueen Vapor Barrier. If you are looking for moisture protection and would also like some cushioning, you could also use Floor Muffler LVT, which has sound dampening properties.

          We do also carry a wide selection of vinyl flooring and we even recently launched a new line of flooring called COREtec which is 100% waterproof that might be perfect for you!

          If you have any questions or need any assistance, you can call us at 1-800-520-0961 or email us at support@bestlaminate.com and we will be happy to help you!

      • Hi Alana,

        Wouldn’t mold grow between the underlayment and concrete if your floor gets a little damp?

        • Alana Kane

          Hi Mike, thanks for your question. Prolonged exposure to moisture can cause mold between the underlayment and subfloor. This tends to happen if concrete becomes cracked, you experience a flood or some type of leak that water is stuck within the underlayment and subfloor. A properly sealed concrete subfloor should not emit enough moisture to cause mold. I hope this helps answer your question!

  58. Question:- I’m building a home and I want to put in luxury vinyl flooring. However, hard flooring gives me terrible feet pain. Could this be used for cushioning so flooring isn’t so hard on people with feet problems?

    Also, could a person still bounce a basketball on the flooring with this underlayment?

    • Great questions, Cambrie! Luxury vinyl flooring is not a underlayment and should not be used as an underlayment under other flooring. There are underlayments that can be placed under luxury vinyl flooring, such as Floor Muffler LVT UltraSeal and Perfect Mat LVT underlayment, to provide cushioning and sound dampening properties. If you have any more questions, please contact us at 1-800-520-0961 and a knowledgeable sales representative can assist you!

  59. With going on concert floors . We are thinking about the cold floor and want to put cork down first for the cold then put vinyl on top . Is this alright to do ? I know we don’t need but we are not wanting the floor to be to cold

  60. 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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