Vinyl flooring is cheap, cost effective and perfect for areas such as kitchen or bathroom that have to deal with high levels of humidity. However, after a few years it is likely that you will need to replace your old flooring… if you choose to try your hand at laying vinyl floor over old vinyl read this article first so you get the best results possible from your new floor.
Problems When Installing Vinyl On Vinyl Substrate
There are two common issues when installing new vinyl flooring on top of old one:
- The texture of the old vinyl is still visible on the newly installed one
- Marks, pokes and bubbles from the old flooring show up instead of being covered by the new vinyl layer.
These two common problems with installing vinyl are caused by the same reason: vinyl sheets or tiles are very thin and will show any imperfections in the substrate, no matter how small they are.
How To Install Vinyl on Vinyl Substrate Like A Professional
The first thing you need to do when installing vinyl flooring over old vinyl is preparing the substrate. Remove all the furniture and the base board moulding, and make sure there is nothing in the way.
Once you have cleaned the area it’s time to check the old vinyl flooring for bubbles, holes, dents and areas that are loose or loosening up from the substrate. Use a razor blade to cut out and remove all these areas. Don’t worry, the next step will fill in any holes or gaps.
Vacuum the floor and remove all dirt and debris, so you are ready for the next step: applying a skim coat. Skim coating is often used in walls, before painting, in order to achieve a perfectly smooth surface. But you can do the same to prepare your floor so the new vinyl flooring will have a perfectly even surface to adhere to. A thin layer of joint compound suitable for indoor use spread over the old vinyl floor, will patch up any gaps or dents and the holes left by removing the broken bits of the old vinyl floor.
Follow the instructions of your chose skim coat product and mix it with water, and use a masonry trowel to spread it all over the entire floor. This will ensure the texture of the previous vinyl cannot be transferred to your new flooring. In areas where there are deeper gaps or dents use a thicker mixture of skim coat and water. Pay attention to this bit and make sure to do it right: skim coating the old vinyl floor is the secret to install vinyl on vinyl flooring like a professional.
You will need your skim coat to be as perfectly flat and even as possible, so after waiting for it to dry (which can be 14 or 18 hours, particularly if the room has poor ventilation) go through it with the trowel and gently scrape off any drips or lines left when spreading it. Some people even suggest lightly sanding any imperfection, particularly if you are installing the flooring on a room with very intense lighting. Spend time doing this, and your new floor will be perfect.
Once this step is complete, you can continue installing vinyl flooring as with any other substrate. While there are different types of flooring you can choose (vinyl planks, luxury vinyl, vinyl tiles or even wrap vinyl) using a skim coat to even the floor surface is the secret to laying vinyl floor over old vinyl successfully.