Install Vinyl Tiles

Can Vinyl Tiles be Installed over Linoleum Flooring?

By Mark J. Donovan

Question: Mark, I am in the process of getting ready to install vinyl tiles on my kitchen floor and have a question. The floor is currently covered in Linoleum. My question is can I install vinyl tiles directly over the Linoleum floor or should I remove the Linoleum first? N.D.

Answer: N.D. Vinyl tiles should be installed on a well prepared surface for maximum life. Installing vinyl tiles over Linoleum can be done, however I do not recommend it. In order to install vinyl tiles over a Linoleum floor, the Linoleum needs to be in perfect condition, e.g. no curling, cuts, ridges or bumps.

It is my personal opinion that if the Linoleum flooring is in such good shape there is little reason to install vinyl tiles over it, except maybe for aesthetics.

In most cases, if there is a desire to cover the existing Linoleum floor with vinyl tiles or some other flooring product, chances are the Linoleum is in rough shape. In addition, if the Linoleum flooring has a deep pattern, the pattern could transmit through to the installed vinyl tile surface and make the newly finished floor unsightly.

Many diy homeowners elect to install vinyl tiles as they are easy to install. Installing vinyl tiles can be as simple as peel and stick, however with any good flooring product it is important that the subfloor be first properly prepared.

For best results for installing vinyl tiles, either remove the Linoleum and install ¼ inch thick plywood underlayment over the subfloor, or install the ¼ inch plywood underlayment directly over the Linoleum. If the Linoleum was installed prior to 1979 you should have it checked for asbestos. If there is asbestos in it, then you will either need to hire a licensed asbestos abatement contractor to remove it, or you can leave it in place and cover it with the plywood underlayment.

You may also want to check with your local building inspector if indeed the Linoleum has asbestos in it.

Fasten the plywood to the subfloor using ring nails or drywall screws. Make sure the nails or drywall screws are slightly dimpled or countersunk into the plywood to prevent damaging the vinyl tiles. It is also wise to have the nails or screws fasten into the floor joists.

When installing the plywood underlayment make sure to stagger the seams. After installing the plywood underlayment apply self leveling compound over the seams using a drywall knife or wide putty knife.

Finally sand the seams with a coarse grit sandpaper to prevent the seams from transmitting through to the installed vinyl tile surface.

To conclude, installing vinyl tiles is an easy DIY homeowner project, however it is important to take the time upfront and prepare the subfloor properly.

Wood Flooring Installation Bid Sheet

By taking the time upfront to prepare the subfloor, you can improve your chances of achieving a professional vinyl tile installation and have a floor that holds up for years to come.

For help on finding a wood flooring installation contractor, see’s Wood Flooring Installation Bid Sheet. It will help ensure that you find and hire the right flooring installation contractor for your wood flooring project. In addition, it will help to ensure that your wood floor installation is completed on time and on budget.

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