Looking for a DIY tutorial on how to hide that ugly linoleum? Here’s how to install luxury vinyl tile to get a brand new look that you’ll love!
We are in the process of making over our basement kitchenette.
And the one thing I couldn’t wait to tackle were the floors.
After we finished our Basement Family Room Remodel, I was definitely done with having the floors not match up.
In the basement, we ripped up the nasty old carpeting and replaced it with luxury vinyl flooring. We chose a flooring made for high moisture environments that installs directly onto the concrete floor.
You can read all about that transformation in this tutorial post.
But when we replaced that floor, we only had enough material to cover the main room and the hallway. That left the bathroom, 2 bedrooms and kitchenette with the original nasty carpet.
So that means we have lived with mismatched floors for over 2 years.
And it was long overdue!
After a long search that took a lot of patience, I finally found a store that was selling the same flooring at a deep discount.
And they had just enough to cover the remaining floor in our basement.
Last year, we updated our small home gym which included our floors.
We then continued the flooring into my son’s bedroom.
And the bathroom in the basement also had carpeting that I couldn’t wait to get rid of. So we installed this tile in that room as well.
But when we started replacing the flooring in our kitchenette, we ran into an issue.
We found outdated linoleum flooring hidden beneath the floating floor.
It was a blow to the group, friend! I thought we were in trouble since our vinyl plank flooring should be installed directly onto a concrete subfloor.
So what did I do?
I immediately went to the flooring’s website to see the installation specifications.
Luckily, it would work over the existing linoleum floor!
Here’s how to install luxury vinyl product over old linoleum flooring.
Install Luxury Vinyl Tile over Linoleum
(Some affiliate links are provided below. Full disclosure here.)
The main thing to consider when installing floor coverings over existing flooring is ensure the floor is prepped properly and that you have all the right materials.
Here’s a list of supplies you’ll need for this project:
- New Flooring – We installed Tarkett, but our pattern is discontinued
- Utility Knife with lots of blades or a vinyl tile cutter
- Straight edge – we found a metal ruler to be the best option
- Hard cutting surface
- Optional: floor roller (you can rent these)
- Transistions if there is a door threshold
- TSP for cleaning the old linoleum
How do you prepare linoleum for vinyl tile?
Most existing standard sheet vinyl are installed on a level subfloor. So you shouldn’t have to take an extra step to make your floor level.
But if you find that there are significant low spots in your current flooring, you may want to use a self-leveling compound to fix those spots.
Our existing linoleum floor was not in excellent condition, but we found it to be in good condition for this small area.
It’s a good idea to prep the floor to make sure there isn’t a layer of wax or grease spots on the linoleum which may cause the adhesive to not stick.
So the first thing to do is give the floor a good scrub with TSP – or Trisodium Phosphate.
This is a strong chemical, so make sure to wear gloves and eye protection, but it should do the trick!
Removing any oils, or grease if it’s an old kitchen floor, will give you better results!
We gave our old vinyl flooring a good scrub and rinse.
Also check with the manufacturer’s guidelines to see if they recommend any additional steps to prep your existing subfloor.
Do I need to remove linoleum before laying vinyl tile?
If your old flooring is in good shape, then you should be able to place the new vinyl tile flooring directly over it.
Depending on the age of the linoleum, it may contain asbestos and you definitely don’t want to rip that up if you don’t have to!
Once you have the floor prepped and cleaned, you are ready to begin the installation process.
Installing the Floors
We have installed 3 different types of floors, and each time, the manufacturer gives detailed steps on where to place that first plank in a room, but it does vary with the type of floor and with each manufacturer.
If this is the start of any peel and stick vinyl flooring in your home, you will want to go to the center of the room and create lines for you to follow. You then install the first row from the center point working your way out to the walls.
The reason you want to do this is to ensure that you have a straight line when you lay that first tile.
Since we are continuing this floor from our Basement Family Room, we could continue our vinyl plank floors from the last row that we installed.
After we pulled up the rest of our floating floor, we found that the linoleum did not cover all the concrete slab in this room.
So we had to do some additional prep work to get it ready.
We scraped and sanded the old extra adhesive the old installers applied to the concrete many moons ago.
After that was done, we vacuumed and wiped up any residual dust.
Then it was time to continue the peel and stick floor tile into this kitchenette.
TIP: If the backing of your new vinyl flooring is a strong adhesive like ours, wearing rubber gloves helped control how much adhesive got on your hands.
We opted not to use a floor roller, and found that using painters tape worked great for a few tricky tiles.
But you can rent a floor roller from the big box hardware stores.
It is such a quick process!
We put all the flooring down in this room in just one evening.
The next step is to clean up any glue residue.
Our floors have quite the adhesive backing. We found that we had to take some denatured alcohol to remove where the adhesive transferred from our fingers to the top of the vinyl tiles.
What a beautiful floor!
Now there are no more mismatched floors! And now the living room flows nicely into our kitchenette.
It really does make a difference knowing this last piece of our flooring puzzle is complete.
You can’t even tell that there are old linoleum floors underneath these new vinyl planks!
Let’s answer some frequently asked questions!
Can you put LVT in a bathroom?
Yes, as long as it says it would work in high moisture environments.
But if you are planning on installing peel and stick tiles in a kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room where lots of water is used, make sure to get flooring that is rated for these types of rooms.
Can you lay groutable vinyl tile over linoleum?
So this isn’t our first rodeo with installing floors.
In our Tennessee home, we installed groutable peel and stick vinyl tile over top of linoleum flooring.
If this is a look you like, we have a full tutorial on how to get this type of flooring with the grout lines.
Click here to read how we were able to change our kitchen in 3 days for less than $400 by installing a new floor.
We also installed floating laminate flooring in our Music Room.
Click here to see our Music Room Reveal.
Are there any issues when you install Luxury Vinyl Tile over linoleum?
We have had a few issues with the tiles shifting or telegraphing showing a gap. And we are searching for ways to stop this from happening. We may need to use additional adhesive on a few planks if it gets worse, although the manufacturer does not suggest this.
Even though we don’t like seeing those tiny gaps, it’s still much better than the previous flooring!
TIP: Make sure you have add a 15% overage when you get the square foot of the room you plan to install. It’s better to have a bit too much instead of coming to the end of a diy project and not have enough materials!
I hope this helps you if you are in the same predicament we were in.
It feels so nice having all the same flooring in our basement.
And more importantly, we love the results!
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below, email me, or reach out to us on social media!