Preparing a Subfloor for Vinyl Floor Covering

Dear NH,
We have just installed a plywood subfloor in our kitchen. Is it necessary to do anything to the seams between the sheets before we install vinyl composition tile? Thanks for your time.
CH from Mohawk, New York

It is most important that the floor is flat with no raised defects, nails or screws. Also, there should be no gaps of more than 1/16" between the plywood sheets. Either of these conditions could cause failure in the floor. The reason for this is that vinyl tiles tend to follow the contour of the floor below. Over time, tiles over gaps may crack or break along the line. Unfilled holes will be weak spots that may over time be visible as the tile settles into them.

If there are gaps, use a floor leveler to fill them. This product is available at hardware or home stores. Follow the mixing instructions, apply it to the floor and allow to dry. Use the same product to fill nail and screw holes. Sand smooth when dry.

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Be sure that the floor is absolutely dry and dust free before applying the tile.

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