how to prepare a floor for vinyl flooring

How to Prepare a Subfloor for Vinyl Flooring

If you have plans to purchase any style of luxury wood effect vinyl flooring, there will need to be some precautions taken before installing it. In this article, find out how to prepare a floor for vinyl flooring. Most of this preparation involves smoothing out your subfloor.

Whenever you choose vinyl flooring you will be presented the opportunity to either have it installed by a professional or to install it yourself. If you have a professional then this knowledge will already be in consideration and applied, but if not then you need to consider these variations in working conditions or special requirements.


Once you have your flooring delivered you should unwrap it and leave it rolled loosely and stand upright for around 24 hours to acclimatize to the room temperature.

Make sure to fully inspect the vinyl to ensure there are no defects and that all of the rolls are the right size and colour. Your subfloor will need to be smooth and level, ensuring that items such as nails or holes in the subfloor are levelled straight or filled in smoothly. Be sure that all dust, wax, grease, paint and dirt is thoroughly cleaned away. Any of these left on the subfloor can cause several bubbling or inconsistency with the flooring.

If the subfloor is uneven you can use a recommended rapid-drying compound and skim over it until even.


If you are laying vinyl over a wooden subfloor, be sure to remove all existing floor coverings and secure any loose boards. Be sure to look at any protruding nails and hammer them down or saw into a level with the floor.

Ideally, you would use plywood as a layer underneath the vinyl to help with any unevenness with the wooden floor. Another product may be the use of chipboard. Either will provide a smoother surface to lay vinyl on top of as well as stability.

Existing Tile

Whilst we recommend that all existing floor coverings be removed for vinyl flooring, we understand that it is not always the most practical choice. It is, therefore, possible to install on top of existing tiles if required.

The tiles will need to be securely fixed and in a good state. Thoroughly clean and prime these tiles first hand, being sure that any holes and gaps are fixed with a suitable repair compound followed by a levelling compound in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines. Be sure that these are skimmed with a recommended finishing agent before undertaking the vinyl layering.


When layering over concrete, be sure that you have a damp proof membrane as laying vinyl over new concrete can take upwards of 6 months to fully dry. If you have had new concrete put down within the room you are planning to install your vinyl, it is best to consult with your builder to be sure not to layover expansion joints.

Whatever you plan on covering with luxury vinyl flooring such as Luvanto luxury vinyl flooring, you will need to check on certain guidelines from the manufacturer, as well as your supplier to be sure you have all of the important information to hand. If in doubt on how to prepare a floor for vinyl flooring, consult with the team at Floorbay for a full guide on several top name brands of luxury vinyl flooring.