the best underlayment for vinyl tile

greybirdFebruary 9, 2011

I am about to install vinyl tile in my old kitchen. The subfloor is half hardwood tongue-and-groove plank, and the other half really old looking plywood. I think what previous owners did was to take in the porch, thus the different subfloors.

The floor is quite sturdy and pretty much level, maybe a 1/16"-1/8" difference in the two subfloors. I have completely removed the old linoleum.

My question is what underlayment to use? Would 1/4" or 11/32" b-c plywood be adequate, in terms of smoothness and sturdiness? I live in a rural area and not much else to choose from. The guy at Home Depot suggested 1/2" OSB, but I am a little leery of OSB for vinyl tile.

Thanks in advance for advice.

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No OSB! Home Depot and Lowes ought to have for sale plywood panels manufactured in Brazil or another South American source. However, do NOT use Meranti or Luaun plywood...junk. You want a multiply panel of either arctic birch or a close-grained equivalent from South America.

Unfortunately, domestic plywood panels...even those rated for underlayment use...are not suitable.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 11:32PM
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Thanks for the reply!

I looked on the Home Depot site. They have something called "Araucoply", only available in 3/4" and $40+ a 4'x8' sheet. Looks like my underlayment might be more pricy than the vinyl tile I bought!

Might be more economic in the long run to return the tile and put down ceramic...

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 1:25PM
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You can get underlayment panels that are thinner and are priced in the $19 to $25 range.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 3:32PM
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