I am installling new Laminate Flooring. In the Kitchen we have 25 yr
old Vinyl. I have been debating whether to remove it or install
laminate right over it.
Also, I have some spots where the floor squeaks when walked over those
Some contractors said that removing the vinyl will get rid of the
noise. Some said the subfloor is the one making the noise, so getting
rid of the vinyl wont help.
What is recommended from the experienced folks in this newsgroup?
I don't see that removing the vinyl will get rid of a squeak, but I'd take
it out so assure it does not cause problems down the road. Then I'd add
some crews tot he existing subfloor to get rid of the noises.
Vinyl does not squeak. Wood does, especially when nails are not tight.
The vinyl is probably fully glued down to a plywood underlay. Use a circular
saw with a cheap blade set to cut through the vinyl and the plywood underlay
but not the subfloor. Cut it into squares about 2 feet square and use a flat
garden spade to lift and jam under the plywood to pull it away from the
subfloor. When all that is removed, screw the subfloor tightly to the joists
with lots of screws and hammer any loose nails down tight.
Then start preparing to properly install the new floor.
A couple of years ago, our child had a local flooring store remove a glued
down carpet along with all the remaining glue on the subfloor underneath the
carpet. It cost $50 and was worth every penny. They had the right tools and
knowledge and it took them very little time to complete the task.
We had the squeaky floor problem in our home. In 2001, when we ordered new
flooring, we removed all the old carpets and vinyl and proceeded to place
either a screw (I believe my husband was told to use a carpenter screw) or a
nail where ever we stepped and heard a squeak. Sometimes the squeak was
being heard when we stepped down on the floor, but the actual problem was
several feet away. It took some time to complete the task and tame the
squeaky floor, and we were able to eliminate most squeaks with this method
but not all of them. It's been six years and none of the squeaks that were
eliminated have returned.
We were unable to tackle the problem from underneath (via a basement) since
our lower level has a drywalled ceiling. I understand that this is the
better way to do it if you have open ceilings underneath, but we didn't have
At that time, we had a laminate floor installed in our kitchen (Alloc). We
discovered that it is absolutely vital to have a level floor. The first
install didn't go well because the installer failed to ensure that the floor
was level. He had to come back and take up the floor and use a leveling
compound. The floor has performed extremely well since then. It's the
easiest floor to clean too by using vinegar and water (instead of buying
expensive laminate cleaning floor products)...we were told that vinegar is a
great cleaning agent and is known for its ability to disinfect. I've been
told it's a great way to clean actual wood flooring also.
It's always preferable, simpler and cheaper to fix squeaky floors
from above, but, if you're not pulling the floor up, you won't
Tackling the problem from underneath is considerably trickier,
even if the joists are fully exposed.
There are many methods, some requiring rather fancy hardware,
few of them work particularly well, none of them work unless
the joists are exposed, and none of them are nearly as cheap as
spending a lazy afternoon with a box of screws and a drill/driver
What this boils down to is: if you're redoing your floor, fix the
squeaks before the new floor is put in. Fix the squeaks even
if it isn't squeaking.[+] If you don't, you'll regret it.
[+] Check the subfloor over after the flooring has been removed.
If it squeaks, screw it all down. If it hasn't squeaked, but
it isn't already screwed, screw it all down.
Don't "hunt" out what squeaks and only do that, because dollars to
donuts, the squeak will move somewhere else once you've put that new
floor down. Yeah, it takes a while to screw the whole floor down.
But it's worth it.
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
If you have floor squeaks, removing the vinyl will make _no_
difference. If the vinyl is firmly glued down, removal is quite
difficult, and flooring contractors seldom bother. Usually they'll
put underlayment (eg: 1/4" plywood) overtop of the vinyl depending
on what the final covering will be.
The only reason why I've remove the vinyl in our home is because it
was loose lay (a few glue globs at most around the perimeter) and
it's shifted/buckled in places. Shaving up the glue blobs (a
grand total of about 2 square feet) took the better part of half
a day. Imagine that over the whole floor!
First, attempt to find out whether any of the noise is because
the edges of a plywood subfloor have "missed" the joists. If it has,
reinforce that with lumber. If the problem is really bad (this
also applies to lumber subfloors), you might want to put a
underlayment plywood on top of the existing floor (on top of
the vinyl if it's not being removed)
[In one instance I couldn't reinforce underneath, so what
I did was lay PL200 adhesive over the area before the flooring
contractor laid 1/4 underlayment. They just stapled the rest
of the underlay, and glued the new vinyl overtop.]
Find out where the joists are, and drive screws thru every
8-10". Decent screws (preferably #10) at least 2 1/2" long, and
make sure that the heads don't protrude. I usually use #10 2 1/2"
or 3" fast-drive deck screws.
You can drive the screws right thru the vinyl if you're not going
to remove it.
We've done this in three rooms so far, and the squeaks have
completely disappeared. Whenever a floor covering gets replaced,
there's a half day of frantic screwing ;-)
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
On May 8, 11:36 am, firstname.lastname@example.org (Chris Lewis) wrote:
Regarding whether to remove the vinyl flooring or leave it, first
thing I do is check with the directions and/or the maunfacturer of the
product you will be using. There are many different types of
material that can be referred to as "laminate." In most cases, I
would think that if the vinyl is in good shape, it can be left in
place. It's generally a bitch to remove, so I'd leave it, if the
manufacturer is OK with that.
The squeeks are most likely the subfloor moving against the joists.
This can be solved by figuring out where the joists are then using
screws spaced every 6" or so along the joists.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.