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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glennsfc

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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greybird

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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glennsfc

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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