Covering an Old Linoleum Kitchen Floor: 4 Tips

If you have an old linoleum kitchen floor, you may be interested in covering it up with some other type of flooring. If this is the case, there are several things that you will want to keep in mind and a few things that you will need to avoid. Here are a few tips on covering an old linoleum kitchen floor.

1. Using Underlayment

If the linoleum is installed on a wood subfloor, the best way to cover it is to use underlayment. Underlayment is a piece of plywood that is either 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch thick. When you use underlayment, you can lay it directly on top of the linoleum floor. You can then use screws or nails to attach the underlayment to the wood subfloor and go directly through the linoleum. This will give you a completely smooth surface to attach vinyl, linoleum, or some other type of flooring.

2. Concrete Board

In many cases, people want to replace their linoleum with ceramic or porcelain tile. If this is the case and you are on top of a wood subfloor, you need to install concrete board on top of the linoleum. This will basically be the same idea as installing the underlayment except that it gives you a much harder surface to work with. This hard surface is ideal for installing tile so that the tile will have enough support and it will not crack. When you install concrete board to the top of the linoleum, you need to put some thinset under the concrete board. Then you can use screws or nails to attach the concrete board to the wood subfloor.

3. Emboss

Another option that you have is to emboss the linoleum. Embossing is the practice of covering the linoleum with a self-leveling compound. By doing this, you will create a smooth surface so that you can glue something like vinyl down onto it. If you do not take this step, the pattern of the linoleum could transpose up into the new layer of flooring. When you do this, you need to apply it to the entire flooring area. Then give it plenty of time to dry before moving onto the next part of the process.

4. Floating Floor

You could also potentially install a floating floor over the top of your linoleum. In today's market, you can find several types of floating flooring that will be ideal for this situation. For example, laminate is the most common type of floating floor that is installed in homes. You can also find floating vinyl planks or vinyl tiles that you will simply lay on top of the linoleum. They even make floating ceramic tile that sits in a plastic track. Any of these flooring options would work because you can simply lay them on top of the linoleum and they are not going to be attached to the surface of the floor at any point.