Floating Vinyl Floor Basement Tips

A floating vinyl floor can be installed almost anywhere in your home, and overtop almost any surface. It’s relatively simple and can be done over a weekend, especially in places like the basement and bathroom.

After all, it’s highly likely that with a floating vinyl floor, basement flooring that’s already down won’t allow for self-adhesive tiles to stick down. Floating vinyl also tends to have its own moisture barrier system that prevents water seepage and eventual mold growth.

Getting Rid of Old Flooring

- Using a floating vinyl floor in your basement or bathroom can work wonders, since the floors also tend to be warmer than tile or regular vinyl that doesn’t have a moisture barrier. That’s because the barrier will insulate from the concrete base in your basement, and it will typically be composed of foil or foam. You can determine which kind of barrier to use when you remove your old flooring, if you so choose.

- The type of flooring that was initially installed in your basement will give you an idea of which route to go. If the adhesive for the previous floor was ‘cutback’, which is a black, petrol-based tar, you’ll want to reactivate it with solvent and remove it from the cement, or use a self-leveling compound that can be applied overtop. This is a very important step, as the self-leveling compound will actually seal the old cutback and ensure that it doesn’t seep through and stain your new flooring.

- Instead, you want to hope that the old glue was thinspread latex, since that can be reactivated with heat. That will allow you to simply pull off the old tiles, and then apply a new layer of the latex thinspread overtop the old glue, allow it to dry to the point where it won’t stick to your fingers when you touch it, and then you can place down new vinyl. Then, all you have to do is check for waves or ridges in the flooring and level it off as needed.

Laying Down the New Floating Floor

- When you’re set to begin laying the floating floor, whether or not you’ve chosen to remove the old flooring from your basement, you’ll have to lay down your moisture barrier insulation first. Once that’s done, you can begin the vinyl installation.

- As you move through the installation process, one thing that people often forget is perimeter adhesion. This allows the flooring in all the unadhered areas to float overtop of the imperfections in your floor. If there was roughness in the floor that you’re covering, this will mask the area perfectly. Of course, you’re going to want to talk to the store where you purchased the vinyl, since there are various types of vinyl flooring that may have different instructions – however, the adhesive container will also help you out with using the right type for your floor.

- Another tip to consider is that your floating vinyl floor, if the moisture barrier is laid down correctly, will not need room to expand and contract. Whereas cork and wood floating floors need this consideration, vinyl doesn’t react to weather and heat in this way – only the edges need to be secured so that they don’t curl or come loose.