Linoleum: Sub-Floor Preparation

Are you thinking about installing linoleum flooring? Take the time to prepare your subfloor properly to avoid any unpleasant surprises after the installation is complete. Unlike preparing a subfloor for tiles, there is no need to solidify the structure for linoleum. Since linoleum is flexible, even if the subfloor has some give, it will adapt to the structure. However, this doesn’t mean that the subfloor doesn’t require any preparation; on the contrary, it is important to have a very smooth, clean surface so that defects don’t appear over the longterm.

 Flexible flooring, such a linoleum, can be installed on various surfaces such as:

  •  concrete;
  • plywood;
  • existing linoleum flooring;
  • existing tiles.

 If you are looking to install your linoleum flooring in the basement, or on a concrete base, it is essential to ensure that the concrete has no moisture-related problems. Linoleum installed on damp concrete creates mold-related problems, which can cause a lot of damage. There are base sheet membranes that can be installed directly on concrete to prevent this. The membrane’s role is to control and stabilize the dampness under the flooring, and it is a type of moisture barrier that is resistant to mold. However, if you suspect a possible moisture problem, ask for professional advice. This type of problem isn’t to be taken lightly, since the damage it can cause can be very costly. 

As previously mentioned, preparing a subfloor for linoleum flooring isn’t very complicated. The main thing is to have a healthy, clean surface, with the least amount of residue from any type of glue or other adhesives. It should also be as smooth as possible. 

Regardless of the type of installation surface, if it is cracked, be sure to smooth it out with a cement-based underlayment. This step will ensure that any screw holes or cracks will be invisible once the linoleum is installed. 

When your surface is smooth, you can install your linoleum flooring, whether it is in a roll, click, or one piece. If you decide on glued linoleum, the preparation is the same. However, on a painted cement floor, or one that has epoxy, additional preparation is required. In this case, there are two options: 

  • Sand the cement and add a layer of cement to make the surface smooth;
  • Install an underlay on which the glued linoleum will be installed.

As you can see, preparing a subfloor for linoleum flooring isn’t very complicated.

 Here’s wishing you a successful installation!