Subfloor for Resilient (Vinyl) Flooring

Resilient flooring seems like one giant piece of duct tape:  it will stick to anything.  Well, it can’t.  And that’s why choosing the right subfloor is pretty important before laying resilient flooring.

In case you didn’t know–and why should you?–resilient flooring is the oh-so-sensitive term nowadays for the more hated term, vinyl flooring.  Got that?  Moving on…


Roughening a Concrete Floor Before Vinyl Floor Installation
Roughening a Concrete Floor Before Vinyl Floor Installation

Smooth, level, patched, and dry concrete subfloor can be used directly for resilient flooring.  No underlayment needed.


Plywood Subfloor
Plywood Subfloor

Half-inch or greater underlayment graded for such use by the American Plywood Association.

Existing Vinyl Floor

Yes, You Can Put Vinyl Over Vinyl
Yes, You Can Put Vinyl Over Vinyl

Sorry, did I use the word vinyl?  I mean resilient flooring.

Clean resilient flooring on a good base can be used as the subfloor for new resilient flooring.

Do Not Use as a Subfloor

  • Wood floorboards
  • Particleboard
  • Hardboard
  • Exterior-grade plywood
  • Cement-based backer board
  • Asphalt tile
  • Rubber tile

Author: Lee Wallender

For the last 10+ years, I have been a full-time content producer, consistently ranked within the top 1% of 1200 traffic producing contributors for and The Spruce, brands within IAC. I specialize in creating high quality written content and images for home-related topics such as remodeling, design, and repair.. As and The Spruce's home improvement expert I am intimately aware of renovation and lifestyle trends, and savvy with SEO and social media.

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