How to Lay Linoleum on Plywood Floor

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Plywood is one type of floor onto which you can install linoleum. The type of plywood on the floor, however, is important. You need Type 1 luan plywood or underlayment-grade plywood to ensure the linoleum won't have soft spots or bubbles from adhesive problems. A smooth, even surface that will accept the adhesive is critical. This procedure can vary depending on the exact room and whether or not you're installing sheet or locking linoleum.

Things You'll Need

  • Linoleum sheet(s)
  • Brush or roller
  • Moisture barrier
  • Screwdriver
  • Vacuum/broom
  • Measuring tape
  • Utility knife
  • Masking tape
  • Linoleum adhesive

Preparation

Apply a paint-on style moisture barrier to the floor if the floor has low-grade luan plywood or a similar lesser quality plywood. You can also lay plastic sheeting, 4 to 6 mm thick, on the floor.

Store the linoleum in the room you'll install it in for a day or two prior to installation. This allows the linoleum to get used to the average room temperature.

Disconnect the hinges for all of the doors using a screwdriver, and remove the doors.

Vacuum and/or sweep the entire floor.

Measure the dimensions of the floor and add three inches to your measurements.

Installation

Lay and spread the linoleum across the entire floor -- this might take at least two people -- and make sure it covers the entire surface. The linoleum sheet(s) should curl up against the wall due to cutting it larger than needed.

Cut and trim off the excess linoleum using a utility knife until the linoleum is flush against the molding between the floor and walls.

Pull back half of the linoleum and tape it down so it stays folded over itself like one big loop.

Spread and apply the adhesive to the uncovered plywood subfloor. Check all manufacturer's instructions for the adhesive's application.

Unroll and lay the linoleum back onto the covered floor and apply pressure to the floor from the center out to paste it down. This may require a 100 lb. roller on some types.

Roll up the linoleum, apply the adhesive and paste down the linoleum for the other half.

Re-install the doors if needed.

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