Vinyl Plank flooring with a uneven subfloor

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by chris7471, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. chris7471

    chris7471 New Member

    I posted in the forum about looking for an expert. If you are a flooring installer in the Northern Virginia area experienced in vinyl plank flooring (we have not chosen a brand) please read that message and respond.

    While I am waiting with crossed fingers for someone to respond to that. I have a few questions for the experts here. Its a long winded message.

    I have not been satisfied with the "experts" I have spoken with so far at the local independent flooring or big box stores.

    I currently have installed a 12 year old engineered 12" tile system called Madera. The company went out of business soon after we purchased the product. It has performed well - other than around the kitchen island where the stools have taken off the wear layer. In any case - we want a new floor. Total to replace is about 800-900 sq feet.

    The issues:

    We have a badly crowned joist right in the middle of the main traffic area. This joist causes a 1" bubble over 4 feet. It is noticeable to the eye but the existing tiles can work around that discrepancy without causing tile failure. The floor in general is uneven but this is the only spot that is terrible. The plank flooring would need to run parallel to the joist in question.

    House is on a crawl space (averages 24" height to joist bottom) that has been "encapsulated" or sealed with 12" of sprayed foam on the inside of the foundation walls walls with a 22mil moisture barrier on the ground.

    The goal:

    We want to remove the Madera tiles, scrape off the glue residue, floor level compound what we can and then add 1/4" plywood (the existing subfloor is 1 1/2" thick, 2 layers of plywood). Our goal is to use a laminate plank product either with the snap lock or the adhesive system. This is our choice because of the durability, moisture resistance (kitchen) and he availability of styles and colors.

    1. Is it possible to get our floor level enough with compound to make it acceptable for vinyl plank flooring installation?
    2. In one spot, down a connecting hallway, can we run vinyl plank perpendicular to the main room, if so how do you secure on section to the other without an ugly transition?
    3. I am pretty sure the answer to this question is no, but can you make a pattern in the center of the room with these products. Think an area underneath a kitchen table where the pieces are mitered at 45*, possibly a contrasting color?
    4. If the answer to the above is no, can you make a pattern in the center of the floor with a vinyl tile product of the same thickness. Its a large area and we want something cool looking.

    I appreciate you reading and responding to this long message.

  2. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I don't know much about the vinyl but i have heard of cutting that high joist and letting it settle in with the level joists and sister in 2x? whatever your joists are along side of the cut joist. But I would check with a carpenter before trying it or even if it is feasable.. That would take care of your high spot problem.

  3. stullis

    stullis Charter Member Senior Member

    1) Yes it is possible.
    2) Yes
    3) Yes
    4) is also a yes.
  4. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    So you have a 1" bubble. Is that in the tile? Meaning is the tile loose a bowed up an inch or is the subfloor heaved up an inch? If the subfloor is raised it needs to be addressed one way or another. That is a ton of floor filler to level that and dropping the heave is maybe the best way. Find someone who can address this that knows how houses are built.
  5. chris7471

    chris7471 New Member

    Bubble is caused by a pier under the main beam that lifted or was never straight to begin with. It has not moved since we bought the house, ie the floor is stable in a crooked way.

    I believe this will have to be remedied with floor compound. I read that floor leveling compound can be spread up to 1" but wasn't sure how practical that was in the real world.
  6. chris7471

    chris7471 New Member

    Could you direct me to an example of a pattern or a butt made of the vinyl plank flooring - I have not been able to find a single picture.

    Maybe just an explanation of how you would connect the two if no pictures available.
  7. Carpetkid

    Carpetkid A Floor Geek

    1 yes
    2 yes
    3 yes
    4 yes

    Check out They have more design features than you can imagine.
  8. Steve Olson

    Steve Olson Hardwood/Laminate Guru Charter Member Senior Member

    The vinyl plank flooring does not have a tongue and groove like hardwood floor. The edges just butt together.
  9. Jeff Needham

    Jeff Needham Pro Member

    Chris, did I not understand you to say you wanted to use a "Konecto" style plank flooring with glued edges or possibly a Mannigton Lock Solid with locking joints/no glue? Or, when you said "glue system" did you mean, simply, a glued down vinyl plank.
    I think one might be able to adapt the glued edge of a Konecto type to accomodate a pattern element, though my installer thinks it would be extremely difficult. I don't see using the lock solid to make a pattern as you couldn't adjust the locking joints.
    So, if you wanted a floating vinyl plank with design element in the center, you'd need to use congoleum Underfloor, or Mannington Mul, both vinyl backed felt underlayments taped together and otherwise loose laid, and then fully glue the non locking type planks to that. then you could create all the design you want to. Otherwise you'd need to glue direct to your underlayment.
    Have I got that right, guys, or do you know a way to do it that I haven't thought of?
  10. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton Senior Member Published

    Anything constructed like Konecto can be custom cut in any fashion wanted. Not the easiest...but not the most difficult custom install either.
  11. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor Senior Member

    Check out this tool, you can make new tongues on konecto by cutting through only the backing layer and using a heat gun to peel the backing off. Voila, you can customize konecto almost endlessly with it. Oh, and I think they want you to use super glue under the tabs.

    Taylor Tools -Provinol Seam Cutter
  12. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton Senior Member Published

    Since the tabs got wider the glass cutter is more versatile.

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