Can I Install Vinyl Tiles Over Sheet Vinyl?


Vinyl tiles are an inexpensive way to update a drab floor. Installation of vinyl tiles is a much simpler process than installing vinyl sheets, so more homeowners are choosing tiles in order to save the cost of professional installation. A common concern is whether new vinyl can be installed over the existing vinyl floor. The answer is yes, but only if certain conditions apply and if the homeowner properly prepares the floor for installation.

Assess the Condition of the Existing Flooring

  • Check the existing sheet vinyl to ensure it adheres completely to the subfloor for the entire area to be tiled. If areas of the sheet vinyl are lifting from the subfloor, glue the lifting area back to the subfloor. Wait a minimum of a couple of days to a week to see if the floor lifts again. If the floor continues to lift, either replace that section of the floor before laying the vinyl tile or completely remove the floor.

    Check the existing flooring for deep scratches, cuts, pits and holes in the surface. All of these imperfections will transfer through to the new vinyl tile if they are not corrected prior to installation. If the imperfections are vast, it might be easier and more efficient to simply remove the flooring.

    If the existing vinyl sheeting is pitted by design such as to mimic stone or other natural substances, each pit would have to be filled and leveled before you can apply new tile. In the case of heavily pitted sheeting, it will likely be easier and more efficient to remove the flooring.

Repair Imperfections

  • If the vinyl sheeting is secure and has minor imperfections, then repair each imperfection to achieve a perfectly flat floor. Use an embossing leveling solution to fill the holes, and smooth with a straight edge. Use a fine piece of sand paper to remove any rough areas resulting from the embossing solution.

Clean and Prime the Floor

  • The vinyl sheeting must be completely free of wax, dirt, cleaners and soap before priming. Mop the sheeting with a good floor cleaner that does not contain wax. Rinse the floor with a clean mop, and rinse the mop in clean water for every couple of feet covered. Dry the floor with towels to ensure no soap residue remains. Allow the floor to dry completely, then apply a coat of primer directly to the vinyl sheeting. Primer creates better adhesion between the existing vinyl sheeting and the new vinyl tile. When the primer is dry, you are ready to begin installation of the vinyl tile.

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