Vinyl flooring adhesive coverings are available in an assortment of colors and designs, which make it the top choice for kitchen, bathrooms, utility rooms, and garges. When you install vinyl flooring, it should form a tight bond to the surface below, however if sometimes it's possible that it will show uneven patches or bumps. To fight against this use, Luan, which is a thin underlayment that is actually pretty lightweight and easy to install. While luan will provide a nice surface for you to install the vinyl flooring over.
Plywood Underlayment is 1/4 inch thick and it comes in 4-by-8 sheets. Made from mahogany, luan is made by layering thin strips called vaneers of mahogany which are sealed tightly together with adhesive glue. When layed together and under pressure to form large panels, which is a type of sheet plywood panel. Each luan panel has a rough side and a smooth side. Use the smooth side which should faces upward when installing luan as an underlayment, for you vinyl flooring project.
Installing the underlayment for your vinyl flooring requires certain shop tools, including a staple gun and a circular saw. A utility knife comes in handy for cutting the luan to fit around corners. You should ensure you have a good supply of staples of the 1/4-inch crown staple variety, that are 1 inch long. Plywood underlayment installation does not usually require an adhesive between the subfloor and the luan, but if an adhesive is called for, choose a subfloor adhesive. Use a measure tape as well as marker to make lines which will ensure the accuracy of your cuts in the panels.
Plywood Underlayment should be installed on the top of the subfloor as plywood underlayment panels sheets are not strong enough and can not replace the use of a subfloor. Start the project in one end of the room and then lay a full sheet out, starting in one direction. Leave a 1/16 inch spacing to the walls and the plywood underlayment. Use a staple gun to insert 1/4-inch crown staples every 6 inches across the plane of the luan panel and every 2 inches along the edges. Install additional plywood underlayment in the same manner, and space each panel with a 1/16-inch gap for expansion between the plywood sheets.
Using a pencil or a piece of chalk mark a line as a guide on the backside of the plywood underlayment. Cut the plywood underlayment with a circular saw from back to front to ensure that the plywood underlayment panels and sheets do not crack or split when cutting. Plywood Underlayment is lightweight and thin so that you should be able to cut areas from the front side with a small camping or jack knife.
Continue to make cuts in the same groove instead of trying to cut through the panel with one strong cut. Because the vinyl flooring shows every bump and depression, it is very important that any staples which you insert into the panels are flush with, or slightly below, the surface of the plywood underlayment. One way to make sure of this is by inserting the edge of a large metal taping knife into the surface of the plywood underlayment. If any staples are sticking up – you’ll hear the clicking sound of metal hitting metal. Tap extending staples lightly with a hammer to drive them flush with the luan surface. Before installing the vinyl, sweep and vacuum all dust and small particles from the luan underlayment.
When you use plywood underlayment for vinyl flooring, it’s better to use sheet vinyl flooring as opposed to vinyl tile. Although plywood underlayment does offer a nice and smooth surface, it does will not withstand moisture, unless it has been waterproofed and it also tends to swell and deteriorate when wet. The seams between vinyl tiles allow water from spills or mopping to soak into the luan, which can result in swollen plywood and lumps that are visible on the surface of the vinyl floor.