How to prepare the subfloor for your vinyl floor

FAQs on vinyl flooring

How to prepare the subfloor for your vinyl floor

The first thing to do when installing a vinyl floor is to thoroughly inspect the existing floor. Any bumps or irregularities in the subfloor will cause problems later on in the process. We therefore recommend taking plenty of time for a thorough preparation.

First of all, remove all existing soft floor covering such as carpeting, felt and vinyl. Hard floor covering, such as tiles and linoleum can stay in place, unless there are too many irregularities. We also recommend removing any laminate. Are you uncertain about what to do? Don’t hesitate to call your distributor. He will be able to give you professional advice.

Do you have a wooden floor? Check for any traces of mould or insect infestations and make sure that the moisture content of the wood does not exceed 10%. If there is a crawl space underneath your wooden subfloor, contact a professional installer. He will be able to give you more information.

The ideal moisture content for a subfloor must be less then 2.5% CM if the subfloor is cement screed, and 0.5% CM if it is an anhydrite subfloor. If you have underfloor heating, this should be 1.5% for cement screed and 0.3% for anhydrite subfloors. Use a moisture meter and keep track of the moisture content.

Underfloor heating incorporated into the subfloor will not create any problems as long as the contact temperature does not exceed 28°C. Remember to switch off your underfloor heating 24 hours before and after installing your flooring. We do not recommend installing a vinyl floor on top of a floating underfloor heating system.

It is absolutely essential that the subfloor is completely level. Cement joints measuring more than 1 mm in depth must be levelled out. The same applies to any differences in height exceeding 2 mm over a length of 1 m. Using a simple wooden plank, you can easily detect any differences in height.

Use a levelling compound to smooth out any minor irregularities. Using the right underlay will help you overcome many problems.

We’re almost ready for the next step now. As soon as the subfloor is completely level, make sure that it’s also perfectly dry and clean. Remove all traces of grease, chemical residue and glue. Make sure that there are no stray nails left anywhere and sweep and vacuum the floor. We recommend removing your old skirting boards. As soon as the new vinyl floor is in place, you can install new skirtings.

To summarise: before you start, make sure that your subfloor is level, smooth, clean and dry. This is the foundation for a good result.

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