Fixing soft spots in linoleum floor


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Old 04-08-12, 07:37 PM
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Question Fixing soft spots in linoleum floor

Our kitchen area has some pretty good soft spots in front of the sink and on both sides of the dishwasher. We are looking to redo the floors, but are unsure how to go about fixing these soft spots.

Is it possible to use some floor leveling compound over the linoleum, lay down a new subfloor, and then tile? Or is it absolutely necessary to rip it all up, use some leveling compound, lay new subfloor, and then proceed with flooring?

We are trying to complete this the best way possible and as cheaply as possible, but are unsure the best way to fix the soft spots for the long haul.
 
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Old 04-08-12, 08:13 PM
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Covering up rot is never a good idea so the first step is to remove the floor covering (probably sheet vinyl not linoleum) and see what is going on. If you have access from below and the rot is pervasive enough you may be able to see it from below.

This isn't a mobile home is it? Particle board used on older ones are notorious for soft spots.
 
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Old 04-08-12, 08:32 PM
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We do have access from below (it's not a mobile home) and there is no evidence of pervasive rot. There is some pretty heavy duty lumber (house was built in 1910) used for the joists, etc...and they appear to be rock solid.

It may just be the underlayment (or whatever is under the sheet vinyl/linoleum) that has weakened over time, but will that require us to remove all of it and start from scratch? Or is it possible to fix only the weak spots? And how would we go about doing that?
 
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Old 04-08-12, 10:00 PM
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It use to be common to use particle board for underpayment. Around a kitchen sink if it gets wet it will disintegrate into mush. I'd suggest first pealing back a bit of the floor covering in an area that doesn't show to see what is underneath. What you do next is a matter of judgment. Especially if I found particle board I'd want check the mushy areas by removing the sheet vinyl. Best practice in my opinion would be to rip out the underpayment though you could just cut out the mushy portions and patch.
 
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Old 04-08-12, 11:09 PM
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After you remove the floor covering if you find the spots are from water damage you would need to fix the leaks first then proceed with patching the sub-floor. Otherwise it will be soft again soon. You can always just cut out the damaged areas and replace that part. No need to redo the whole floor if it is solid.
 
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Old 04-10-12, 05:05 AM
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Just be aware that if it is particle board, you won't be able to buy plywood the exact same thickness. 3/4" particle board was 3/4" .....3/4" plywood isn't actually 3/4".
 
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Old 04-11-12, 10:57 AM
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Would it be better to just replace all of the underlayment so that it is all kosher? And what would you recommend we use?

Also, any suggestions for flooring? We don't want to spend a lot, and with the kids/pets it's bound to get ruined. What's easy to install, quick, and cheap that can also be replaced if necessary?

We considered tiling it, but I'm afraid that the kids will just drop something on it and it will break, which would result in a not so easy fix.
 
 

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