How to Put Luan Boards Down on Linoleum


Luan board is a thin form of plywood veneer made from tropical wood. While luan is largely used for indoor paneling and furniture veneer, it can be used as an underlayment over existing resilient flooring like linoleum. When installing luan board over an existing linoleum floor, inspect the pattern of the linoleum. Heavily embossed linoleum will transfer its pattern to the luan underlayment over time and cause the new flooring to buckle or crease. Luan board is prone to crushing and warping, so do not use it as an underlayment in areas containing heavy furniture or excessive moisture.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Measuring tape
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Utility knife
  • Draw an outline of the room and measure each wall. Luan board is available in 2 foot-by-4 foot and 4 foot-by-8 foot panels. You will have to determine which size panel will afford you the least amount of cutting to fit the room.

  • Remove all molding from the walls. Once you place the luan board and the new flooring system, the floor will be anywhere from 1/2 inch to 1 inch thicker, and will cover over the molding if left in place. You will replace the molding after your new flooring system is in place.

  • Start by laying out the luan boards along the longest wall. Place luan boards flush with the wall and neighboring boards.

  • Use a staple gun to affix the board to the linoleum. Place staples every 6 inches along all edges and every 8 inches the down center. Do not use nails or screws to secure the luan board. The heads of both the nails and the screws will cause dimples in the luan board that will require caulking before you lay the flooring.

  • Continue until you place all whole luan boards.

  • Cut the remaining luan boards to fit. Luan board is thin and pliable enough to cut with a utility knife. Continue to staple all edges and down the center for even small strips of luan. Because luan is so pliable, it will buckle if not completely secured.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use luan board as underlayment for tile or concrete floors. The weight of the flooring will crush the underlayment.

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