Vinyl flooring is a long-lasting, waterproof, scratch-resistant, easy-to-clean product that is ideal for specific spaces in the house, such as bathrooms and kitchens. But you must ensure it’s installed properly if you want to get the most out of it. When you do a vinyl installation, you should first carefully examine the old flooring. Later on in the procedure, any lumps or irregularities in the subfloor will be problematic. So, we advise allowing plenty of time for careful planning.

Appropriate subfloor

The final installation result is greatly influenced by the type of subfloor, its quality, and its preparation. Take the necessary steps if the subfloor cannot support the installation of Quick-Step Vinyl. Keep in mind that unevenness in the subfloor may leave a mark and may cause gaps in your Quick-Step Vinyl floor. The subfloor must be solidly fastened and stable. It also cannot be soft, damaged, or loosely set or floating. Both concrete and wood subfloors require different subfloor preparation techniques.

Wood flooring

Are your floors made of wood? Make sure the wood’s moisture content is under 10% and look for signs of insect or mould infestations. Get in touch with a qualified installation if your wooden subfloor has a crawl area. He’ll be able to provide you with more details.


You can put sheet vinyl flooring over concrete as long as the concrete’s surface is clear, smooth, and dry. Just make sure that the surface’s holes and cracks have all been fixed before you start the procedure. Use a grinder to reduce high places, then remove any little bumps with a masonry chisel and a small sledgehammer.

Materials Required For Vinyl Plank Flooring Subfloor Preparation

Prior to beginning the subfloor preparation, gather the following materials:

  • Duct tape: Use this duct tape to test the moisture in the air.
  • Moisture meter: This straightforward tool will assist you in estimating the moisture content of your subfloor.
  • Vinyl scraps (optional): Cut a tiny bit of vinyl from your new record.
  • If your subfloor has excessive moisture levels, you will require a moisture barrier, such as a polyethylene sheet for underlayment.
  • Choosing between an electric sander and sandpaper will depend on how much sanding you need to do. It is better to rent an electric sander if you are working on a sizable area.
  • Use a large container or a common cleaning bucket.
  • Broom: Use a broom to remove any debris from the floor, including dirt, rocks, sawdust, and other particles.
  • Mop or old rag: Any of these can dry the floor neat and clean it thoroughly, saving you from having to wait a long time for it to air dry.
  • Use dishwashing powder or your regular household floor cleaner as a detergent.
  • Use a scrub brush to remove stains from the floor.
  • Water: Depending on how unclean the floor is, this. I recommend getting two buckets.
  • Gloves: Work gloves should be worn to protect your hands.
  • Facemask: Wearing one while floor-sanding will keep dust out of your eyes and lungs.
  • Patching compound: Fill and smooth holes, cracks, and grout lines with patching compound.
  • Staples: The best method to secure the underlayment to the subfloor will be recommended by the manufacturer, but it is a good idea to have a box of staples on hand just in case.

How to Prepare a Subfloor for Vinyl Flooring in 5 Easy Steps

The following instructions will work for almost all subfloors even if the preparation technique may vary depending on the type of subfloor.

Step 1: Check For Moisture On The Floor

The moisture level of the subfloor that the vinyl will be laid over is one of the factors you should consider while installing vinyl flooring. To stop the growth of mould and mildew, you want the surface to have as little moisture as possible.

The majority of the time, a moisture barrier needs to be installed before installing the vinyl in order to prevent floor damage because moisture issues are most common in concrete subfloors.

Utilizing a moisture meter is the simplest and most efficient approach to checking for dampness in a subfloor. You must place a polyethylene sheet over the flooring if the moisture content is greater than 5% in order to prevent your new flooring from absorbing the moisture.

Step 2: Repair holes and cracks

Your vinyl flooring may feel rough underfoot if the subfloor has any pits, holes, fractures, dents, or other irregularities. Look for any low spots on the floor, and fill them in with patching material.

Check the size of the grout lines if your subfloor is made of ceramic tile; if they are too big, use a patching compound. Check for additional missing tiles and add them.

The same situation holds true for hardwood floors. If there are any low spots, fill them in with caulk, and if a panel is broken beyond repair, think about replacing it.

Prior to moving on to the next procedure, give the patch adequate time to dry. The typical drying time for patching materials is 20 minutes. To find out how long your particular one takes, check the label.

Step 3: Smooth Out bumpy Areas

All protrusions on the surface must also be sanded down in order for your vinyl to sit correctly on the subfloor. These include any imperfections that can make the vinyl appear bumpy after installation, such as bumps, humps, bulges, adhesives from a prior floor, and other things.

Even though it seems straightforward, this step is crucial, especially if you’re installing sheet vinyl. Sandpaper can be used for this task, but if you’re covering a large area, we advise using a floor sander.

Step 4: Subfloor Cleaning

Any subfloor must be cleaned before putting vinyl, regardless of the type you have. This is necessary in order for the boards to properly cling to the ground while putting glue down vinyl flooring, in particular.

Having said that, start by brushing any debris out of the space. Keep your doors and windows open to let dust escape while doing this. Additionally, it will hasten the drying process once the space has been cleaned.

Once all the trash has been removed, wipe the floor with a pail of water. If the floor has odorous stains from a former owner, you might want to clean the area with a soapy solution and scrape the stains with a brush.

Allow the floor to air dry for about 15 minutes. If your subfloor is made of concrete, you might want to give it a little more time to thoroughly air dry.

Step 5: Set up the Underlayment (Optional)

Subfloor underlayment is an excellent addition, especially for subfloors with a lot of moisture. Polyethylene sheeting is the best material for underlayment. As was already said, these underlays will serve as a water barrier to keep your new floor dry and prevent the growth of mould and mildew.

A bit more cushioning may be used in underlayment made for subfloors with hardwood or ceramic tile, making the floor feel softer underfoot.

Observe the manufacturer’s instructions for your product because there are several underlayment installation methods.

A moisture barrier underlayment is typically installed by simply unrolling it, laying it out so that the seams overlap by about 8 inches, and then stapling the corners to prevent the sheets from peeling up.

Levi Huang

Levi Huang, a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design with a degree in Furniture Design, has been a guiding voice in home furnishing and interior solutions for over 16 years. He became part of our editorial team in 2021, focusing on ergonomic furniture design, space planning, and material innovation. Previously, Levi worked in custom furniture creation and as an interior design consultant. He enjoys woodworking and contributing to sustainable living initiatives.

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