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Can Vinyl Flooring Be Installed On Top Of Old Laminate Flooring?

When considering a flooring update or renovation, one of the questions homeowners often contemplate is whether vinyl flooring can be installed over existing laminate flooring. This can be a cost-effective way to achieve a new look without the need for a complete overhaul. However, there are important factors to consider to ensure the installation is successful and the flooring performs well over time. This blog post will explore the feasibility of laying vinyl over laminate, discuss potential challenges, and provide practical tips for those looking to make this kind of upgrade.

Understanding The Basics

What Is Vinyl Flooring?

Vinyl flooring is a versatile and popular flooring option that comes in sheets, tiles, and planks (LVT – Luxury Vinyl Tile, and LVP – Luxury Vinyl Planks). It is well-known for its durability, moisture resistance, and the ability to mimic other materials like hardwood and stone.

What Is Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is another popular choice among homeowners, composed of multiple layers including a durable photographic applique layer, a wear layer, and a core board made of compressed wood particles. It offers the appearance of real wood or stone at a more affordable price point. We’ve decided that laminate is the best flooring for kitchens however it does have its down sides, the main one being prone to water damage which makes vinyl flooring a superior alternative.

Can Vinyl Be Laid Over Laminate?

The Short Answer:

Yes, in many cases, vinyl flooring can be installed over laminate flooring. However, there are several crucial considerations to take into account before proceeding.

Key Considerations

1. Condition of the Existing Laminate

The existing laminate flooring must be in good condition. Any damage such as warping, buckling, or large gaps must be repaired or the laminate should be completely removed before installing vinyl over it. The surface should be flat and smooth to avoid irregularities showing through the vinyl over time. A lot of common damages to laminate can be repaired however, which would be a cheaper option.

2. Height and Thickness Issues

Consider the thickness of the vinyl flooring in addition to the existing laminate. Adding layers could raise the floor’s height significantly, potentially affecting door openings, appliances like dishwashers, and transitions to other types of flooring.

3. Adhesion Concerns

Vinyl planks and tiles may need a smooth and adherent surface to bond correctly, especially if they are peel-and-stick type. The textured surface of some laminate flooring might prevent proper adhesion, in which case an additional underlayment or adhesive might be necessary.

4. Moisture and Underlays

Check for any signs of moisture under the laminate flooring. Moisture can cause both laminate and vinyl to degrade, so any issues must be resolved prior to installation. Additionally, consider the need for a new moisture barrier if the existing one is not adequate.

Installation Tips

Preparing The Surface

  • Ensure the laminate is thoroughly cleaned and free of debris.
  • Fill any gaps or depressions in the laminate surface to ensure it is completely level.

Choosing The Right Vinyl

  • Opt for thicker vinyl planks or tiles as they are more forgiving over minor imperfections in the laminate.
  • Consider using a vinyl product that includes a built-in underlayment for extra stability and moisture protection.

Installation Method

Floating vinyl floors (those not adhered to the substrate) are typically a better choice over laminate compared to peel-and-stick tiles or sheet vinyl that requires adhesive.

Potential Pitfalls

  • Risk of Flooring Failure: If not properly prepared, the new vinyl flooring might not adhere properly, which can lead to shifting, peeling, or cracking.
  • Aesthetic Issues: Imperfections in the laminate may eventually telegraph through to the vinyl surface, impacting the look and feel of your new floor.

In Conclusion

While installing vinyl flooring over laminate can be a viable option for many, it requires careful consideration and preparation. Ensuring that the existing floor is in good condition and properly prepared is crucial for a successful installation. Additionally, selecting the right type of vinyl and considering how the additional floor height will impact your space are important factors. By following these guidelines, you can achieve a beautiful, durable new floor that meets your home improvement goals.

If you’re still on the hunt for new flooring, why not give us a try? Easipay Flooring offers great prices on high quality flooring, including laminate, vinyl and carpets. We also offer free underlay for carpets and laminate, and to make buying your new flooring more manageable we’ll also let you split the cost into instalments over time too, interest free! Tap the button below to get started.

Still Got Questions? Here's 10 FAQs!

Inspect your laminate flooring for any signs of damage such as warping, buckling, or peeling. The floor should be flat and stable without large gaps or raised edges. If you notice minor imperfections, consider using a leveling compound to create a smooth surface.

Thicker vinyl planks or tiles are generally best as they can better bridge minor gaps and unevenness in the laminate flooring beneath. Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) or planks (LVP) with a built-in underlayment are ideal choices.

Yes, adding another layer of flooring will raise the overall height of your floor, which could affect door clearances, appliances under countertops, and transitions to other types of flooring. Measure the combined thickness of the laminate and vinyl to assess any potential issues.

It depends on the type of vinyl. Some vinyl flooring options come with a pre-attached underlayment, making additional underlayment unnecessary. However, if moisture is a concern or if the existing floor is uneven, an underlayment can help create a smoother, more stable base.

Before proceeding with installation, ensure there are no moisture issues with the laminate floor by checking for mould, mildew, or warped panels. If moisture is present, it must be addressed first—possibly by installing a new vapor barrier or correcting any underlying water leaks.

Use a floor levelling compound to fill any dips or cracks in the laminate floor. Apply the compound according to the manufacturer’s instructions and allow it to dry completely to achieve a flat surface.

While possible, extra caution should be taken due to the high moisture environment. Ensure that both the laminate and vinyl are moisture-resistant and consider using a 100% waterproof vinyl. Always check manufacturer guidelines to confirm suitability and warranty coverage.

Yes, removing baseboards before installing vinyl over laminate is generally recommended to ensure a cleaner installation and proper floor expansion gaps. Baseboards can be reinstalled after the vinyl is in place.

Yes, there is a risk of shifting, especially if the underlying laminate is not perfectly level or if it is very smooth, reducing friction. Ensure that the laminate is properly prepared and that you choose high-quality vinyl planks that lock securely.

Vinyl flooring can be cut with a utility knife or a vinyl tile cutter. Measure the area carefully, mark the vinyl where it needs to be cut, and then score it deeply with the knife before snapping it along the line. For more precise cuts, especially for complex shapes or corners, a vinyl tile cutter is recommended.