How to Lay Vinyl Tile Over Particle Board


Replacing a subfloor that is made of particle board is expensive and time consuming, but the alternative might be a floor that weakens over time due to water damage. You can use the particle board as the subfloor beneath vinyl tile and have a lasting, stylish floor.

Things You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Wet/dry vacuum cleaner
  • Bleach
  • Bucket
  • Scrub brush
  • Paint brush
  • Wood lacquer
  • Floor adhesive
  • Underlayment material
  • Putty knife
  • Measuring tape
  • Utility knife
  • Vinyl flooring tiles

Clean the floor

  • Use a broom to sweep any particles from the subfloor that have accumulated in the corners. Clean the entire particle board floor with a wet/dry vacuum to remove all loose matter.

  • Mix 1 cup of chlorine bleach with one bucket of water. Use a scrub brush to apply the bleach water over the floor. This will remove any odors trapped in the subflooring material. Allow the floor about two hours to completely dry.

  • Paint the particle board subflooring with a thin layer of lacquer using a paintbrush. This will help repel any future moisture that seeps down through the vinyl tile floor. Allow a day for the lacquer to dry.

Installing Underlayment and Vinyl Tiles

  • Measure and cut the underlayment material with a sharp utility knife. Lay out the strips in installation order.

  • Apply floor adhesive directly to the particle board and spread with a putty knife. Press the underlayment down firmly and allow the appropriate drying time recommended on the label.

  • Pull the backing off the self-sticking vinyl tiles and lay them, one by one, in a long row. Carefully align the next row to be square against the previous row. For tiles needing adhesive, spread a thin layer of floor adhesive on the back of the vinyl tile and stick it down onto the underlayment. Use the utility knife to custom fit the vinyl tiles around cabinets. Allow 24 hours for the floor adhesive to dry before using.

Tips & Warnings

  • Allow plenty of time for the lacquer to dry before adding the underlayment or vinyl tiles. Applying underlayment too quickly will compromise the water repelling effect of the lacquer. gives detailed information regarding cleaning the particle board to reduce already existing smells.
  • Keep the room well-ventilated to avoid being overcome by the lacquer fumes.


  • Photo Credit Verdia Bolster
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