You have two basic choices:
1) Lay 1/4" plywood over the linoleum and glue to that.
You can use flooring nails but it's better to use screws
and fill with wood putty. Nails don't sit perfectly flat.
They can show through self-stick or vinyl tile and can
crack vinyl composite tile.
2) Pull up the linoleum. If the underlying subfloor is very
clean you can use it. If not you'll need to replace it or
go over it.
The bottom line is that you need a solid, clean surface
to glue to. Method #1 is fine if there isn't a problem with
raisning the floor about 3/8", in terms of meeting thresholds,
baseboard heat, etc. (Or more if you're using thick tiles.
Typical HD tile will add about 1/8" plus plywood. Some
more expensive vinyl tile might be thicker.)
| > I have a linoleum floor that is probably 25 years old. I've chosen a
| > vinyl tile to replace it and have three estimates from reputable
| > flooring stores. Two of them say the Lino needs to be pulled up and
| > the plywood subfloor replaced. The third says they can put the new
| > vinyl over the existing floor. Who is correct?
| I think it would be hard to say without more information.
| When you say "vinyl tile", do you mean VCT (Vinyl Composition Tile), or do
| you mean peel-and-stick vinyl tiles?
| It also depends on the condition of the existing linoleum floor and
| subfloor. Posting a few photos using a website like http://tinypic.com/
| might help.
| Another option could include just putting down luan on top of the existing
| floor and then tile over that. But, that depends on what is there now,
| condition, etc.
| I once had a kitchen that I was re-doing that had an old linoleum floor
| was glued down. It was old and worn, but it was strong and flat, with
| one or two seam areas that needed a little attention. I had a local
| flooring company install a new one-piece sheet vinyl floor on top of the
| existing linoleum and it worked great. They did a little floor
| repair/filler routine to prep the small seam area issues, then put the new
| floor down with a newer kind of adhesive that sticks but also allows the
| floor to be peeled off at a later date if needed. It came out great.
| I wanted a one-piece new floor with no seams, and the room was something
| like 12 feet 6 inches by 15 feet. Most sheet vinyl in the U.S. comes in
| 12-foot wide rolls, so that was a problem. But, I bought a brand of sheet
| vinyl called Flexitec (I think) which is made using the metric system and
| 4 meters wide instead of 12 feet wide. 4 meters is about 13 feet 2
| so that meant that they could do the kitchen with all one piece and no
| seams. Looks good. It is in a rental and it has been there for about 4
| years now and still looks brand new. I may have photos somewhere that I
| could post, but I am not sure.