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How to prepare your subfloor for vinyl flooring

Is your flooring worn, stained or simply out of date? Then it may be time to consider an upgrade – but where do you start? If you’re thinking of installing vinyl flooring in your home, then you have come to the right place. Here at WJD Flooring, we specialise in high quality vinyl flooring, as well as the accessories needed to create the perfect finished job.

What is Vinyl flooring?

Vinyl flooring has been around since the 1920s and has remained one of the most popular choices for residential and commercial flooring thanks to its versatility and high resilience.

Made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and additional compounds which make the material durable, coloured and hard, vinyl flooring offers a number of benefits for any homeowner. Despite its relative affordability, it can still be a luxurious addition to your space.

What are the benefits of using vinyl flooring?

  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Versatile – you can get a huge range of colours and designs to fit any taste
  • Flexible – vinyl flooring is great in any room, from the bathroom to the living room
  • Easy to clean – great for homes with children or pets
  • Reduces noise
  • Waterproof
  • Softer and more comfortable underfoot than tiles and hardwood flooring

How do you fit vinyl flooring?

Vinyl flooring is considered to be one of the easiest to fit, however in order to get the best finished product, there is still a level of preparation required.

There are a few different kinds of vinyl flooring you can choose:

Regardless of the type you go for; you will need to ensure that the area is ready for application. Failure to ensure the proper steps have been taken at these early stages can be costly and damaging to your new floor.

At WJD Flooring, we always recommend getting your vinyl floor professionally fitted, however if you want to do this yourself then our tips below on prepping your subfloor should help!

Tip 1: do you need underlay for vinyl flooring?

Not every vinyl floor is the same, and some will require different levels of preparation. Once you have emptied your space of all furniture, you will need to ensure your subfloor is  clean of any grease, dust or dirt.

The best and most popular type of subfloor is plywood – however, other good options include:

  • Wooden planks
  • Oriented strand board (OSB)
  • Concrete

More often than not, vinyl won’t require underlay as it is usually cushioned enough on its own. However, if you aren’t sure whether your vinyl flooring requires underlay, take a look at the following points:

  • Is the floor even and smooth? If so, underlay should not be required
  • Does the vinyl flooring you have bought have an attached underlayment? If it does, then no additional underlayment is necessary
  • Are you fitting glue down vinyl plank flooring? With this option  you do not need an underlayment

Tip 2: using screed and primer for your subfloor

Depending on the type of subfloor you use will determine what you do next. Some subfloor materials are highly absorbent and will require extra attention before being ready to receive vinyl flooring.

Due to the type of material vinyl is, any lumps and bumps will be very evident if your subfloor has not been properly tended to. That’s where screed and primer can help.

  • Screed is essentially a specialist concrete. Made from cement, it is ideal for patching repairs in your subfloor. You can level out an uneven subfloor easily by applying the mixture and leaving it to dry for up to 24/48 hours before walking on it. For the best results, leave your screed to dry and fully cure for around 28 days, however a minimum of 7 days should suffice if you don’t have time to spare.
  • Primer is used on subfloors to essentially reduce the levels of absorbency. There are a variety of different primers, and it is always wise to first check with a specialist that you are picking the best product for your flooring type.

Tip 3: do you need damp proof membrane for vinyl flooring?

Even the most water-resistant subfloor can fall victim to damp. One of the most harmful elements for any type of flooring, there are a number of different types of damp:

  • Rising damp – this is most common in basements and ground floor rooms
  • Penetrating damp – moisture from the elements that finds its way in through windows, cracks, doors and roofs
  • Condensation – moisture in the air, this is the most common type of damp and is hardest to remove.  

To avoid damp destroying your new flooring, we advise applying a damp proof membrane to the subfloor. This will work to waterproof your subfloor by creating a surface which can suppress moisture and dampness.

Why use WJD Flooring to fit your vinyl?

Since we started back in 2008, we have worked with some of the best specialist flooring providers to give our customers the highest quality service. Some of our most popular vinyl floorings are the Tarkett Luxury Vinyl Tiles, non-slip vinyl flooring and Altro vinyl flooring. However, our support doesn’t end with the flooring alone.

We also offer a range of subfloor accessories including the widely popular F44 adhesive, Laybond damp proof membrane, Fball screen and Ardex primer – amongst many more!

If you would like to find out more on how we can help with your vinyl floor fitting, contact us on 01744 885514.K





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