Preparing Subfloor for Vinyl Tile

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Old 06-08-16, 04:01 PM
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Preparing Subfloor for Vinyl Tile

Hello everyone! Extremely new DIY'er here!

We purchased our home in Dec 2014, and this was my first DIY I decided to tackle - a tiny mudroom that did not see much love in its life.

After 2 layers of nasty carpet, and a layer of old peel and stick, I am left with this subfloor. As you can (hopefully) see, the room is very slanted/unlevel. I am hoping this will not be a concern, the entire house is pretty wonky. (House built in 1887, however, I am positive the mudroom is an addition - unsure of year built)

Here are some photos of the room. I have since removed the wood trim along the bottom.

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My main question is what is my next step in order to properly prepare this floor for vinyl tile? I purchased groutable peel and stick vinyl tile from Lowe's, and I do plan on grouting. My first thought was adding a thin sheet of plywood ontop of the existing subfloor, is this necessary? If so, how would I go about doing this with such an unlevel floor? I would prefer not to level the floor if at all possible, as the entire room is slanted and I feel this would cause the room to look worse than it already does. Is anything needed at all? Any input is greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
 
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Old 06-09-16, 04:51 AM
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You need flat, not necessarily level. You will add 1/4" underlayment grade plywood (not luan) and skim the seams in advance of the tiles. Screw down the existing plywood now while it is open to eliminate squeaks.
 
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Old 06-09-16, 04:59 AM
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Perfect, thank you! What do you mean exactly when you say to skim the seams? Thanks again.
 
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Old 06-09-16, 07:46 AM
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What do you mean exactly when you say to skim the seams?
Nail holes and seams between plywood gets filled with a cement patching compound and smoothed out with a putty knife so the whole floor is perfectly flat with no bumps, dips, nail holes, or seams to telescope through the vinyl.
 
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Old 06-09-16, 08:13 AM
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no bumps, dips, nail holes, or seams to telescope through the vinyl
Vinyl is very good at showing you what's beneath it so you want to make sure that's nothing but a perfectly flat floor.
 
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Old 06-09-16, 10:29 AM
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Makes sense, I feel much more confident now. Thank you!
 
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Old 06-09-16, 03:37 PM
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Why not ceramic tile? A lot more durable and forgiving and just as easy to put down.

I used peel and stick once in a mud room - never again. I ripped it out after a couple of years.
 
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Old 06-10-16, 05:44 AM
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I'm not sure the subfloor can handle the weight of ceramic, and honestly I'm not a fan. My first thought was slate, but went with vinyl in the end as it's easier to install, lighter weight, and more forgiving with cuts/mistakes/repair. I'll be happy if the floor lasts 5 years.. And with the reviews I've read about vinyl I'm pretty confident it should last.. Guess we'll see!
 
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Old 06-10-16, 03:16 PM
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So I sent my boyfriend to get the plywood and he ended up getting 3/16".Will this work just as well or is 1/4"necessary? Thank you!

Edit; come to think of it, the plywood has a reddish tone to it. Is this the luan you advised not to get? I wish I had a larger vehicle so I can get this stuff myself!
 

Last edited by MudaVenom; 06-10-16 at 03:19 PM. Reason: Adding info
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Old 06-10-16, 04:22 PM
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Most likely luan based on the color. UNDERLAYMENT GRADE plywood (those words will be on the product upc sticker) is a more solid product and is not full of voids and other undesirables found in luan. Many lumber produts cheat the ruler, so 1/4" product many times will measure 3/16".
 
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Old 06-10-16, 04:35 PM
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Thank you. I'll return what we got and make sure it is specifically underlayment grade. What a waste of a day. Oh well! Thanks again for coming back and answering all my ridiculous questions!
 
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