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Plywood subfloor over vinyl?

DH and I are in the process of trying to prep the kitchen for 5/16" hardwood floor installation. Floor guy recommended taking up both layers of peel and stick tile to the subfloor. We are able to get the first layer up fairly easily, but the second is really glued down to the plywood subfloor and is not coming up cleanly at all-and we have tried everything–iron/hot water soak, etc. (peeling up pieces of plywood with it and just a general sticky gluey mess. Also, original plywood subfloor is solidly screwed down, so removing that in addition is pretty much out of the question)

Are we committing a cardinal sin by laying a 1/4" plywood layer on top of one layer of vinyl + plywood subfloor? Our house is over 100 years old, so creaky floors are somewhat a way of life. I just don't want the new floors to be damaged from the start.

Re: Plywood subfloor over vinyl?

There are special tools for this exact job available at flooring shops. They scr-ape off everything effortlessly. Carefully applying some heat (heat gun?) to the squares will help.

Re: Plywood subfloor over vinyl?

dj is correct, putting some heat on it will definitley work as it will soften up the glue. it doesnt require much heat just a few seconds from the heat gun will work. even a detail torch will work though you have to be extra careful since using a flame

Re: Plywood subfloor over vinyl?

As long as it is extremely well-nailed, a 1/4 underlayment will provide a good substrate for this type of flooring. It may save you another headache too- a lot of old vinyl floorings have an asbestos content and to disturb that requires an asbestos abatement contractor and a big budget. Nail every 4" all over with ring-shank nails and use construction glue liberally then all should be OK. I've done several floors this way with no problems many years later on- the oldest is now about ten years old and still doing fine.

Yes, removing the vinyl would be best practice, but best practice isn't always called for when budgets are involved. One other thing if you use the 1/4" underlayment is possible floor elevation issues at the doorways. Adding just the new flooring alone might be as far as you want to go.

Be sure your flooring guy and the flooring manufacturer are OK with this and will still guarantee everything; I think they will buy you've got to ask to be sure.


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