Underlayment for vinyl tile in kitchen


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Old 10-15-12, 09:02 AM
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Underlayment for vinyl tile in kitchen

Hello all,
We had our kitchen completely redone in 2005. At that time we had a new plywood subfloor installed. Over that was installed 4 x 8 'lauan' sheets and finally Congoleum 'Utopia Harmony' sheet vinyl floor. Unfortunately this vinyl floor has worn thru in seveal places due to chair leg wear (we did use nylon and felt pads under the legs).

We are currently planning to have the floor redone with Armstrong 'Alterna Mesa stone' 16 x 16 vinyl tiles. We have gotten two quotes from two experienced installers. Both installers said that there is no reason to remove the existing sheet vinyl floor however one installer said he needs to install 5.2mm (1/4") thick 'Ultraply XL' underlayment between the existing sheet vinyl and the new vinyl tiles and the other installer said that he will put the new tiles directly over the existing sheet vinyl and no underlayment is required. The two quotes are quite close (~$2200) except for the underlayment on the one quote which will cost $500 ($250 material/$250 install). So the two quotes are about $500 apart due to the underlayment (~$2700 with underlayment, ~$2200 without). The kitchen is roughly 12' x 14'.

So my question is do we really need the 1/4" underlayment between the old vinyl sheet floor and new vinyl tile floor? Is it a judgement call? What are the pros/cons?

We dont want to spend more than we have to but also dont want to be penny wise/pound foolish and not get a good quuality job. We would love to hear your opinions.

Thanks
Paul
 
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Old 10-15-12, 09:18 AM
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Personally, I would rip up the existing vinyl first and then judge the condition of the underlayment to decided whether to remove and replace it as well. Vinyl is very good at showing imperfections in the surface underneath and you've said the existing layer has worn, so I would not want another layer on top of that.
 
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Old 10-15-12, 11:47 AM
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I agree with Mitch, vinyl is not very forgiving of a less-than-perfect underlayment.
 
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Old 10-15-12, 12:25 PM
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Im surprised you are recommending removing the existing sheet vinyl. Neither of the two installers that quoted the job said we needed to do that. It is only 7 years old with same age lauan under it. Perhaps I was not clear about the problem with it. It has worn thru the top layer in a few very localized areas under the kitchen chairs. Other than that its in very good condition.
 
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Old 10-15-12, 12:25 PM
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Well....these aren't typical vinyl tiles. They install more like ceramic tile. Reading through the instructions...http://www.armstrong.com/pdbupimages/193323.pdf... a lot depends on what type of flooring the existing stuff is. They also have requirements for joist spacing.

I'm kind of surprised the install that said plywood wouldn't just use an embossing leveler if needed to repair damage?
 
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Old 10-15-12, 12:36 PM
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Thanks Vic - I was picturing standard old vinyl tiles.

I'm not sure anymore, I'd have to look more into this. That said, the vinyl and luan would both need to come up with ceramic so I would have to look into why these tiles can handle having that underneath.
 
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Old 10-15-12, 12:58 PM
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What I see in the PDF Vic provided: "When installing over single layer existing resilient flooring, use Armstrong S-199 One Part Embossing Leveler or Armstrong S-194 Patch, Underlayment and Embossing Leveler/ Armstrong S-195 Underlayment Additive to fill and smooth any embossing in the old floor"
 
 

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