How to Prepare a Wood Floor for Vinyl

Updated March 23, 2017

Vinyl flooring is relatively easy to put down, but the initial preparation is one of the keys to a quality job and a good-looking floor. Vinyl is thin and must have a solid, level, clean sub-floor. The slightest flaw in the sub-floor can show up as a huge flaw in the new vinyl floor. Taking the time to prepare a wood floor properly will definitely pay off. Preparation involves fixing any loose boards, any gaps between boards, driving in any nails or screws that are sticking up and levelling the floor.

Screw down any loose boards to the joists at twelve inch intervals. Drive all screws and/or nails in slightly below the wood surface.

If any gaps between boards with latex wood filler. If the gaps are large enough cut pices of wood, the same thikness as the wood in the floor, to fit in the gap(s) and screw them down to the joists securely. Let the latex wood filler dry inaccordance with the manufacturers instructions.

Clean the wood floor by vacuuming and then damp mopping to get up all dirt dust and residue.

Prime the surface with the special latex primer that is made for self levelling compound. Apply the primer just like normal paint with a paint brush and roller. There will be areas the roller wont get, such as, deep in the corners and along the edges. A paint brush will be needed for these areas.

Mix the self levelling compound in accordance with the manufacturers directions. It needs to be thin enough so that when poured out on the floor it flows to any low spots. If it is to thick or lumpy it won't do it's job.

Pour the self levelling compound onto the lowest spot(s) on the floor. If you need to mix up more you have about ten minutes working time or you will have bad results between the two batches. When the compound stops flowing from the low spots feather the edges with a trowel.

Clean up your tools and equipment with water before the compound dries or it will become difficult to clean later. The dying time recommended before walking on the levelling compound is twelve hours, but once it is fully cured the floor is ready for the vinyl.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Hammer
  • Nail punch
  • Latex wood filler
  • Putty knife
  • Wood
  • Vacuum
  • Mop
  • Primer
  • Roller
  • Pain brush
  • Paint pan
  • Self-levelling compound
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About the Author

Drew Nelson is a Certified Public Accountant with over 20 years experience. As a professional he has written dozens of reports, presentations and manuals. His articles appear on various websites, covering finance, economics, politics and health topics.