Remove underlayment or not?

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  #1  
Old 10-11-16, 08:33 AM
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Remove underlayment or not?

I'm in the process of installing engineered hardwood flooring on the first floor of my house. The areas where it is going were previously carpeted (living room and dining room) AND had vinyl (kitchen).

Here's my dilemma: The vinyl floor in the kitchen has an additional 1/4" underlayment. That apparently leaves me with the option of either trying to remove that underlayment, or adding equivalent underlayment to the rest of the floor to even things out.

The house was built about 20 years ago. I am concerned that if I start trying to remove the underlayment, I am going to end up with a mess. At least around the edges, it seems to be glued down.

Any thoughts here?
 
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  #2  
Old 10-11-16, 08:41 AM
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Removing the 1/4" is the way to go and often is easier than removing the vinyl from it.
 
  #3  
Old 10-11-16, 11:43 AM
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I agree, remove the 1/4" ply. Do you know if the cabinets were installed before or after the vinyl?
 
  #4  
Old 10-11-16, 03:08 PM
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It looks like the cabinets were installed before the flooring, although it doesn't matter much because we are replacing them too.

I am struggling to see how I am going to get that 1/4" stuff up. I tried a few test patches, and it appears that the installer glued it wall to wall.

When you guys are advising pulling it up, is that based on it being nailed down? I could see that. But unless there is a trick I don't know about, I'm not seeing how I am going to get this up without tearing the subfloor apart.
 
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Old 10-11-16, 03:46 PM
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You're not going to get it up
I would cut out and replace the kitchen subfloor.
 
  #6  
Old 10-11-16, 06:50 PM
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That's what i thought. Under the circumstances, I think I'll just add underlayment to the rest of the floor. That will certainly be cheaper and easier.
 
  #7  
Old 10-12-16, 03:17 AM
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1/4" underlayment means the hardwood won't be nailed as securely to the sub floor. I don't know personally how big of a deal that is but have always heard that was to be avoided.
 
  #8  
Old 10-12-16, 05:04 AM
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Hmm, I'll have to check into that with the flooring manufacturer. Given the layout of the floor I am working with, taking the kitchen down to the joists would be a huge job.

Maybe the answer here is to glue down the new subfloor.
 
  #9  
Old 10-12-16, 08:48 AM
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You should never glue down 1/4" underlayment. It should be stapled.
 
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