Vinyl Floor Covering

The floor covering in my kitchen is vinyl. It's past time to replace it. While the modern trend is to put hardwood floors in kitchens, we have an elderly dog that would destroy those floors. Therefore, we have pretty much decided to install a "felt-backed" Linoleum-type product.
The salesman said that if our subfloor is 3/4" tongue and groove, we have to install some wood is the same as or is similar to 1/4" plywood. Whatever the material is, the cost is $19 per sheet at Lowes. Adding that wood doubles the cost of the new floor. Since we are only going to have the floor for a few years, I want to spend no more than is necessary. Unfortunately, the existing floor has to be replaced. It's tearing.
He said that the present vinyl should be removed since it's floating. The new vinyl will be glued. Lowes will not remove and dispose of our vinyl. We have to do it or have it done.
Why does the new vinyl have to have the 1/4" wood addition? Can someone help me understand what the correct process is here? Don't beat up on the sales guy as I could have repeated some of what he said incorrectly.
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Assuming the existing subfloor is sound and flat, I don't see why you need to install 1/4" plywood. Did you try getting other quotes. Also, seems kind of lame that a Lowes contractor won't remove what's there. If you can do it yourself, you save money. But for those that can't, it would seem they could charge extra for that and make money instead of possibly losing the deal to someone who will do the whole thing.
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I am not sure how thick it is, but thinking more like 1/8 of an inch. Anyway the floor under the vinyal has to be smooth or anything under it will show up as lumps and bumps. They usually lay down the large sheets and fill in the cracks between them with something so the floor will be smooth all over. Doing it with the large sheets of wood may be the fastest way to do this.
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On Monday, February 11, 2013 1:17:06 PM UTC-5, Ralph Mowery wrote:
have the 1/4" wood addition? Can someone > help me > understand what the co rrect process is here? Don't beat up on the sales > guy as I > could have r epeated some of what he said incorrectly. I am not sure how thick it is, bu t thinking more like 1/8 of an inch. Anyway the floor under the vinyal has to be smooth or anything under it will show up as lumps and bumps. They usu ally lay down the large sheets and fill in the cracks between them with som ething so the floor will be smooth all over. Doing it with the large sheets of wood may be the fastest way to do this.
Lowes sells these cheap installs but then gets the money back with various conditions. Their cheap carpet install requires you to buy new pad too and does not remove or dispose of the old carpet or pad. If your subfloor is in good condition then you don't need the 1/4" luan board. But you might n ot be able to get it installed without it. At least not from lowes.
However almost all newer homes will have 1/4" luan boards under vinyl floor ing. But they generally do a sloppy job when doing the subflooring and it' s usally osb, not ply or tongue and groove. You can cover a lousy subfloor with pad and carpet and it'll be fine. Not so with vinyl.
I think the luan is about $10 a sheet if you want to do it yourself.
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About 2 years ago I had Lowes to install some carpet. The store here uses independant contractors to acutally do the work. The did a much beter job than a carpet job I had done by a place that only does floors.
The store will install carpet without the pad if you want them to. Also will haul off the old stuff,but there may be a charge for that, just don't recall.
They did everything for me, but I did remove the draws from the dressers the night before and put them back in. There was an extra charge to move the furnature. They did two rooms. Two men came out and it did not take them very long to do the job and I was happy with the results. One room had good carpet put in and a spare bed room had a cheaper carpet installed.
In a house previous to this one, I had some vinyl installed. They said they would install it over the vinyl flooring I had, but due to the gouges in the old stuff , they would not garentee it if I did not have the laun boards installed. The old vinyl was in bad shape so I went with the laun.
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mcp6453 wrote:

Any chance that you could take a photo or two of the existing floor, and peel back a section of the existing vinyl and take a photo of the floor that is underneath? If so, you could post those here using a free website like http://tinypic.com/. Then it may be easier to know what your options may be.
The salesman said that "if your subfloor is 3/4 inch tongue and groove" you would need to put an underlayment such a luan down first before doing the new "felt-backed" Linoleum-type flooring. That's so you would have a smooth surface to work with and to prevent the tongue-and-groove lines from showing through the new floor. But, if your existing flooring doesn't show those lines, you may not have tongue-and-groove underneath.
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Any irregularity of the floor under the vinyl will eventually show through. May not be the case with some thick vinyl, but those are expensive. If the tongue and groove is tight with no ridges or gaps you don't need anything else under the vinyl. I've done 2 of my kitchens with sheet vinyl. Mid-range price, which is pretty thin. The floors were tongue and groove but with minor gaps and ridges. I put this down first, using 8 flooring nails (spiral) per sheet. Sheets are just butted against one another. http://www.menards.com/main/building-materials/panel-products/plywood/1-4-x-4-x-8-hardboard-panel/p-1470088.htm Years ago and it was cheaper, but it was 1/4" hardboard. Not wood. I'm not a "professional" vinyl installer, but I'll tell you right now IMO gluing down sheet seamless vinyl is just crazy - unless you need seams. I used 12' rolls, and no seams. If the installer uses heat to connect seams, you still don't need glue. If you have a flat floor the vinyl ain't going anywhere and will lay flat on flat with no air space between. You pull the quarter round or cove around the room perimeter, cut the vinyl in leaving 1/4-3/8' space for expansion. The vinyl should be completely flat a few hours after laying it down. That's how it worked for me, and the vinyl was fine many years later. I will say the mid and lower range vinyls nick easily if you drop something sharp, like a knife. A few nicks aren't very noticeable if they're in a darker part of the pattern, and didn't detract from appearance. The price difference can make it worth using. OTOH, the vinyl floor the previous owners put in my current house is a thick vinyl. Seems too thick, hard and tough to roll well. Maybe it's rolled less and in larger diameter. Not like the cheaper stuff I used. It's probably at least 20-25 years old and shows very little nicking I can't recommend any brand of vinyl. I went with one of major companies. That's about all I know. It's pretty dated info, but I don't think vinyl flooring has changed much.
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He may be right. That is a common practice to get a smooth base for the final floor. OTOH, I'd never go to Lowe's or HD for flooring or appliances. I'd bet you have a good reputable local dealer that will do a better job at a very competitive price. They will also quite the entire job, not just the new install.
The big box stores used the lowest priced contractor. Some good, many bad.
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you have an advantage over the salesman-- you can see the vinyl floor that sat over that floor. If you can see the lines of the subfloor underneath that---- and you don't like that look. Then you need a subfloor.
Otherwise- the cushioned vinyl floor of today is more forging than that of 20 yrs ago. And besides, it is [can be] cheap.
If it is just for a few years [famous last words- like my basement floor I put in in 1990 or so] slap a $200 floor in there & it will look great for at least a couple years-- and disappear into the landscape after that.

If by 'floating'- you have a floor that is only glued at the edges, I'd *consider* removing it. not a huge job. If it is unattached at the edges-- or stapled- I'd get rid of it.
Are you talking to the guy on the floor at Lowes- or a guy who came to your house to give you an estimate?
Jim
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