Is It Possible To Install Vinyl Floor Over Existing Floor?

Install Vinyl Floor Over Existing Floor

Is it possible to install vinyl floor over existing floor? Before we go exploring the answer, let’s see how homespure vinyl flooring is in general.

In the world of flooring, any types of vinyl are the considered the best option for remodeling wet environments such as kitchen and bathrooms.

While other flooring must avoid the high moisture, vinyl proves its good resistance over the spaces with the high level of moisture and temperature.

Furthermore, vinyl is both economical and durable. It doesn’t stop there. Vinyl comes with the easy installation feature.

You can even expect to install this flooring type on your small spaces within 2 days only.

Is it possible to install vinyl floor over existing floor?

This question reminds us to the basic way of flooring remodeling projects at which the preparation is a major part.

In this case, the correct installation is highly critical to result a long-lasting and beautiful floor.

This is the time when the thin floor coverings like vinyl comes into play.

Now let’s explore more to find whether or not vinyl can be installed over the other flooring.

Some Well-Known Vinyl Reflooring Projects

There are some well-known reflooring projects of vinyl, allowing us to explore and find out whether it is possible to install the vinyl over the existing floor.

Vinyl Flooring Over Wood Flooring

If you have already had an old, worn-out wood flooring in your home and you want a new flooring to install over, vinyl can the one type that is much considerable.

However, if you find any gaps on the wood, make sure you fix them first before installing the vinyl.

Old solid hardwood usually swell easily overtime, causing you to install the vinyl difficultly.

Thus, laying the underlayment is much recommended in order that you can install the vinyl well.

Vinyl Flooring Over Laminate Flooring

Laminate tile can be a perfect substrate for vinyl flooring.

Due to the fact that laminate flooring can also swell because of water, it is very necessary to fix the broken laminate first before you finally go on vinyl projects.

Don’t forget to prepare other wet areas such as around the dishwasher, refrigerator and dishwasher.

So make sure you fix any problem on your existing floor prior to vinyl installation.

Vinyl Flooring Over Ceramic Tile

Luckily, vinyl flooring can also be installed directly over the porcelain tile and ceramic flooring.

If there is any missing or cracked tiles, make sure you fill them in first before installing the vinyl over.

If not, the vinyl flooring will be so depressing due to the wide seams between the tiles.

In this case, using an underlayment is a good idea as a preparation before you finally apply the vinyl directly on the tile.

Criteria for Proper Vinyl Flooring Substrate

Is it possible to install vinyl floor over existing floor?

The answer is definitely yes. Usually, there is always something to do to make sure that the floor covering’s material has the proper substrate for vinyl flooring. As long as the substrate meets the requirements, well, you can use it.

Remember the thinness, softness and flexibility of vinyl flooring now.

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So you cannot it over the smooth substrate. It would be good to install over the thicker and inflexible floor coverings.

For example, both solid hardwood and engineered wood can bride the holes, gaps and seams as well as smooth surface.

If you use vinyl flooring, you can simply apply the vinyl above. However, the large holes can form craters on the vinyl flooring over time.

If you insist on installing vinyl on your existing floor, you can use underlayment in ¼-ich thick, 4-foot by 8-foot plywood and MDF particle board sheets.

This is a kind of substrate added to the subfloor. Believe it or not, using the large format underlayment is much of advantage in adding some strength along with the few seams and bridge over surface trimming and small holes.

Sturdy and Solid

The first criteria for proper flooring substrate is the sturdiness and the solidity of the substrate. This is aimed to make sure that the subfloor condition is good.

Thus, you can remove the floor coverings to see if there is any parts or the floors that cracked or rotted.

If you are already sure that the subfloor (in this case, as a substrate for reflooring) is in a good condition, you can install any possible underlayment and apply the vinyl over.

Seamless or Tightly Seamed

The second criteria for vinyl reflooring is finding out whether the substrate is seamless or tightly seamed.

In this case, a few seams are available in a large-format boards for an installation surface.

For kitchen with the size of 16 feet long by 12 feet wide will need six underlayment boards, meaning that only a few seams needed.

On the contrary, a solid hardwood floors which are as a base for vinyl substrate require hundreds of seams.

If there is any issue with the hardwood such as the gaps, so you are not recommended to refloor using vinyl flooring.

No Holes or Other Imperfections

Is it possible to install vinyl floor over existing floor?

There is always possibility that you can do it as long as it meets the criteria.

One of the criteria of proper substrate to install the vinyl over is to make sure that there is no holes or other imperfections.

High spots might cause the substrate need to be sanded down while the low spots must be surely filled. In most cases, the small imperfections usually stay on the substrate.

When they are not immediately transfer to vinyl flooring, they will gradually form a low craters on the vinyl surface.

No Embossing

So you insist to install vinyl floor over your existing floor, then you have to make sure that there is no embossing though only in a little amount.

The surface embossing is just one of the most-wanted visual qualities expected to exist in tile, laminate and vinyl.

In this case, the embossing comes with the highs and lows to make the floor realistic.

Little embossing would not be mean but make sure that it doesn’t intervene the way you are installing the vinyl over it.

Embossing usually exists on the flooring surface with 6.5mm thickness. Thus, it is necessary to install the vinyl on the embossed flooring with 3.5mm thickness.

On the other words, the existing floor must have the thinner boards in 3.5mm or less.


Other criteria of proper vinyl flooring substrate is the dryness of the substrate.

In the flooring issues, mold and mildew can be caused by the trapped moisture between the vinyl flooring and its substrate.

That’s why, ensure that the substrate is clearly dry before you finally lay the new vinyl flooring on the top.

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Acceptable Height

Height is always be one of the issues of flooring installation.

If your existing floor has an acceptable height, will the new flooring you will install on top be high, too?

In this case, installing vinyl flooring as a top layer is just a better solution due to the fact that vinyl will make the new floors look less high.

In short, whenever you want to install a floor over an existing floor, look at the height of the floors.

How to Install Vinyl Floor Over Existing Floor

Now that you have clearly read that it is always possible to install vinyl over an existing floor, it is time to check out how to do the projects.

Check them out all below to see which one would be suitable with your preference.

Before carrying out the reflooring projects, preparing the tools after the materials is a must.

Now the tools you must make them ready beside you are the mop, hand broom, tape measure, chalk line, pencil, framing square and utility knife.

If those tools are already there for you, all you need to do is to start with the first row against the left or right of your installation areas.

You can start with a half planks and continue by the taking to full planks to install the rest of rows. Do this project until all the planks are finished.

Alternatively, you can do this installation by cutting off one-third of the first plank and two-third of the second plank and so on.

Use your utility knife to cut the planks. If you want the best results, using utility blade is also a good idea to cut the vinyl planks.

Is it possible to install vinyl floor over existing floor?

Due to the tips on how to do the projects above, it is clear that the installation is pretty easy.

Even you are only a DIYer, you can do it as long as you go with the installation guidance provided by the manufacturer.

Or you can find it online since most of the manufacturers have official website at which you can search information as detail as possible.

Things To Consider

Before you make a final decision of installing vinyl floor oven an existing floor, there are several things to consider dealing with the preparation.

This preparation is much related with the existing floor. Now lat’s have a look at the following sections to check out.


The use of underlayment in much critical to provide the vinyl flooring with the smooth and flawless surface.

It is also the simplest way of preparing the existing vinyl floor for the new vinyl tiles. Underlayment is constructed to be the thin plywood.

It is pretty easy to get such underlayment since it is mostly available in the stores of home improvement and flooring.

To apply this underlayment, firstly you need to remove the baseboards and doors.

Apply the sheets of underlayment by rolling on adhesive for the plain vinyl tiles. Next, you can place the peel-and-stick tiles onto the underlayment.


Why should a floor be clean?

Remember, adhesive will never stick to dirt, grease and small debris unless the baseboard is clean. If not, there will be an issue in the way you are installing the new vinyl flooring.

So you had better scrub the existing floor using only 3 tablespoon of good cleaner mixed with a gallon of water.

The recommended cleaners that are much recommended are Trosodium phosphate and dishwashing liquid.

When you have mixed the cleaner with the water, you can start cleaning the floor and wipe it down using the dry towels.

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If you don’t have the towels, you can alternatively use chop cloths.

Later, leave about overnight or at least 8 hours to make sure that the floors are dry completely.

This cleaning action must be performed no matter you use an underlayment or not.


Usually, vinyl flooring is designed with the urethane top coat to keep them look new and shiny as well as feels smooth.

However, you cannot use adhesive since it doesn’t stick to floors with this coating.

In order that you can use the adhesive, a chemical floor finish stripper must be used to remove the urethane layer especially when you will not use any underlayment.

It is pretty easy to gain the stripper. It is mostly available in most home improvement and flooring stores either online or on the market in the town.

Apply about a little of the stripper to your floor and leave for 2 to 3 minutes. Wear a rubber glove and scrub the floor using a plastic scrubbing pad.

Make sure you strip the floor in a small sections to make all the shines gone. Then, use the warm water to clean the floor and let it dry completely.


Scarifying is also one things to consider if you still insist in installing the vinyl over an existing floor.

Scarifying will help the adhesive stock to the flooring surface better through the addition of tiny pits.

This way, if you use an underlayment, you can use a pole sander to rough up the existing floor’s surface lightly.

One thing to warn you is that you are not allowed to use a power floor sander since it can cause a damage to the floor.

To make sure that all the sanding dust is removed completely, you can sweep the dust ip and pin around a dust mop.


Is it possible to install vinyl floor over existing floor?

Well, it is always possible. Levelling is one of the things to consider dealing with the way you are filling the cracks, depressions and the patterns of dimples of stamped floor.

You can purchase the levelling product in term of powder or an easy-to-use compound which is about a mortar consistency.

Start levelling by applying the compound 24 hours before you lay down the new vinyl.

A flat-edged trowel must be held at 45 degree angle to the floor, allowing to smoothen the embossing leveler over the old, worn out existing floor.

In this case, make sure you work quickly to avoid the drying after 10 minutes applying.

Applying Vinyl Tile Over Existing Floor

So, once again, is it possible to install vinyl floor over existing floor?

Why not?

Just find the centers of the two walls in the opposite position and mark the both spots using a pencil.

Draw the line across the floor or underlayment from one mark to another one. Repeat this part of project on the other two opposing walls.

Later, apply the adhesive of the thin layer of tiles to the underlayment.

If you use tiles with no adhesive on their backs, you can just fully dry the layer of embossing leveler. Start at the sections where the two chalk lines meet.

In this case, you can firstly go with the small room in applying the adhesive and the tiles. Do this process fast since the adhesive can dry very quickly.

Then, you can start laying the peel-and-stick tiles over the center mark. Peel off and take out the paper backing.

Make sure the tiles are cut along the walls at which they will be less visible.