LVP over Existing Hardwood

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by Tommybluez, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. Tommybluez

    Tommybluez Member

    Hey Everyone,

    I have a house that was built in 1904. It currently has the original (I think Douglas Fir) floors over the old style diagonal plank subfloor.

    Overall, the floors are pretty flat/level but have a few spots with squeaks. The previous owner painted over them with dark, dark brown almost black paint. Yep. The entire 1700sq ft.

    There are several places where the wood has split or it looks like there's a narrow filler strip (think like the bowling alleys)... because of this the paint is down in the cracks. I've had several refinishers come and tell me it's going to be near impossible to get all of this paint out and I'm going to end up with streaks because I'm trying to go much lighter.

    I found a great deal on some LVP flooring that looks good with the wood trim that is not painted. It's Feather Lodge H2 ZERO Platinum w/ a 20 mil wear layer and a built in 1.5mm underlayment. I've attached a picture showing the breakdown.


    I know the ideal thing would be to remove the hardwood and put down plywood, but I'm really not wanting to remove all the baseboards and open a can of worms of fixing plaster as well and potentially damaging the old baseboards. I had to remove some in a bedroom to do some electrical work and they didn't come off very easily.

    My question is - can I lay this over the original hardwood floors? If this is an option... I have some questions:

    1. Do I need to go perpendicular to the original flooring?
    2. I don't want to remove the baseboards, so I was hoping to be able to remove the 1/4 round and do new shoe moulding or quarter round to allow for the expansion gap. I shouldn't have any issues with the doors hitting the floor, as they once had carpet here and already cut doors to fit that. The only exterior door that swings in has a marble threshold and is raised about 1/2" above the current floor so it's not an issue. I would just need to undercut the jambs to allow flush installation. Would this be ok?
    3. There is one area in my dining room where two boards are popping up - "tented" if you will. Also there are areas of squeaking. How do I solve this? Do I just screw the floor down to make it more solid?

    I would greatly appreciate any tips, tricks, information, etc. you can provide.

    Thank you!
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2018
  2. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    You pretty much got it right. Screw the floor down, fill in any voids, sand down any crowns and float away. Barring telling you that a solid 1/2 inch sheet of ply screwed to the subfloor would make it better I dont see a problem with your plan. Of course this is all without seeing your existing floor so really one never knows. There should be no need to be concerned with direction in relation to the installation of the hardwood below.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  3. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    I edited the first post to include a picture of the product.
  4. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    The product is rigid so that helps. Floor flatness May be an issue, not easy to rectify. Movement in your subfloor should be corrected, I don’t believe this product will appreciate the deflection.
  5. Tommybluez

    Tommybluez Member

    I'd like to add plywood - but between the thickness of this product and thickness of plywood - I'd be adding too much height at that point.

    Any certain type of screws to use? just something that will sink slightly below? or should I get those snap off kinds -- or not worth it? This is my first home so I'm learning as I go. :)

    I will try to post a few picture of the flooring as well when I get home. Thanks guys!!
  6. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    anything long enough to get into the subfloor with free shank heads. That will get ya there!
    If you notice the heads are snapping off... reevaluate.
  7. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    You'd be 10 times better off installing some premium grade 1/4" underlayment plywood and then a 3MM glue down vinyl plank or tile.

    You're working backwards Sir. You found a flooring you like and you're now trying to fit the square peg into the round hole.

    Good luck with that but ANY good retailer or experienced installer could steer you to flooring products better suited to the conditions.
  8. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I prefer deck screws fastened with an impact driver. Drywall screws can snap, they’re too weak. The screw pattern can either keep the gap separated or if threads are minimal on top portion of screw and head is wide enough it can pull down plank into joist.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Tommybluez

    Tommybluez Member

    I'm re-evaluating the first floor... I don't want to fool w/ the pocket door (not enough space to open and close w/ the new floor) - I have a feeling trying to do anything with a pocket door that's probably 150+lbs and 110 years old is just going to open a can of worms.

    I think maybe now I may remove the original flooring and do plywood followed by the new floating floor. Can anyone tell me what the "average" thickness (I realize this can vary) -- of old hardwood flooring. The house was built in 1904 and I believe it's Douglas Fir. The boards are 2" wide flooring. I poked around the basement and see the diagonal floor joists are 1.75x9.5, (a little beefier than 2x10's?) and the diagonal boards are about 7" wide and appear to be T&G. I've attached a few pics. Poking around in the basement it looks like there's actually hardwood in the kitchen as well, I can see it through a knot hole that popped out. I didn't think there was as next door didn't have it when I renovated the kitchen. (Side by side duplex, mirror layout).

    Anyways - if I pull up the old hardwood flooring - 1/2-3/4" Plywood as subfloor over the Diagonal acceptable? From what I've read I want to attach that to the T&G only, not the joists, to create a "slip", correct?

    Also, if I pull out the hardwood that's going to leave a gap under the the baseboards... do I put the plywood under or do I leave a gap for expansion? Do I butt the plywood together or leave any sort of gap between sheets as well for expansion?

    Thanks again to everyone for the replies to what may seem like dumb questions. I'm a newbie when it comes to flooring.

    Attached Files:

  10. Tommybluez

    Tommybluez Member

    One other quick question - I have one area in my dining room where two boards have popped/tented up -- what typically causes that?

    Attached Files:

  11. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Expansion, in general when a Floor expands and there’s no longer room to expand laterally it goes vertically. Ceramic is notorious for this.

    Reason for specific spot?
  12. Tommybluez

    Tommybluez Member

    Have you ever seen floors with this? I'm not sure how to describe it other than "strips" some areas between boards where there are narrow pieces or gaps.

    To add insult to injury, the previous owner painted all the flooring. There are a lot of areas in the house like this which makes me feel like it's not going to refinish well... I"ll end up with paint down in those gaps that I can't get out or sand out ending up with streaks. (I want to go quite a bit lighter/medium shade.)

    The floors are (believed to be) Douglas Fir - about 2" wide and 3/8" thick. (I was able to pull up a board by the fireplace tile. They are laid over about 7" wide diagonal T&G plank subfloor original to the house that is laid over 16" OC 1.75"x9.5" Joists. There appears to be a layer of some kind of pinkish/yellow paper underneath that just disintegrates when you pull it up. Would that be original (house was built in 1904) - or does that mean these were "new" floors put in some time - when would that paper have been used?

    I purchased LVT flooring to replace it all but am now struggling with using it. The main reason is a full width single pocket door approx. 5' wide that I can't even begin to imagine removing to shave down or raise. That seems like a whole big can of worms. If I shore up the current hardwood and install the new LVT over it - it will be too high and the door will not open. I may have a problem with my front entry door also.

    thinking about other options, what if any would work trying to stay closest to my original height.

    I could get 3/8" Hardwood or Engineered click lock flooring, pull up the original hardwood, shore up the diagonal and just install like a replacement. Would a floating work in this situation or would I need to do glue or nail down?

    I really don't have the space to add plywood - I"m assuming 1/4" is useless.

    Alternately, should I remove the diagonals and have plywood put down as a new subfloor? Does that open up a new can of worms as I'm assuming the diagonals run under the floor boards and walls?

    Thanks in advance. Sorry if these are dumb questions - I'm new to flooring DIY

    Attached Files:

  13. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    So I cannot recommend this as a professional, but as a crazy person who has done it... get yourself an undercut saw, put it by your door.... pull your door open and cut off as much as you want. Works like a charm... problem solved :)
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Tommybluez

    Tommybluez Member

    haha I won't tell anyone. I actually just found some info online and I think the door is adjustable. I have to figure out how to remove the stop on the meeting end so the door can open past where its supposed to so I can access the adjustment screw on the hidden side. I'm *hoping* there will be enough able to adjust so I wont have to cut it.
  15. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    I’ve used my undercut saw to cut pocket doors just as mark says. Brand new blade and some blue tape just to be safe. Works like a charm.
  16. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I’ve done it also, long ago and I think I used the oscillating tool for the end. We adjusted a few, sometimes just pull the top trim on the new ones.
  17. Tom Potter

    Tom Potter I Support TFP

    Done that myself. An oscillating multi tool will get the last 1-2" the jamb saw won't reach.
  18. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    A piece of wide laminate will allow the saw to glide over finish floor.

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