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Old 12-04-2013, 04:03 PM   #1
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Vinyl Flooring with or without luan?


I am replacing my kitchen floor. I have plywood subfloor. I am putting down sheet vinyl (seems to not only be the cheapest but the most logical thing to do with a 4 yr old). The fella that we've hired for the job says that Interflex vinyl can be perimeter glued with no luan. Lowe's tells us they recommend luan under all vinyl...they say without it, eventually we'll be able to see the subfloor seams through it. Luan not only increases material cost but also labor cost. I'd love some opinions on whether or not we should use a luan underlayment or if it can be done without it. I want to do it right but can't shell out 1000+$ right before Christmas.
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Old 12-04-2013, 04:08 PM   #2
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Vinyl Flooring with or without luan?


No luan, Underlayment grade plywood only. Luan can have voids in the plys which can collapse, it also can contain resins which will stain the floor from underneath. And why would you use interflex? It is not a very good product. Once the underlayment is down, you can use any sheet vinyl.
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Old 12-04-2013, 04:27 PM   #3
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Interflex is what he recommended to keep cost down. I've never done this before so I wouldn't know what that material even looks like. Why would I need plywood on top of my subfloor? Just to give the vinyl a smooth surface to be applied to? The floor I tore up was sticky tile on top of floating sheet vinyl. If it was level enough to put the sheet vinyl down when the house was built in 2000, why isn't it now? The people that bought the house turned around and put the sticky tile down on top of the vinyl (I would assume to make it look more cosmetically appealing).
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:49 PM   #4
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I guess, just do whatever the "installer" says. All I can tell you is, there was so many failures with interflex that most stores no longer sell it. As a pro, I will pass up a job rather than use it. I will not install on luan for the same reason.
But if you trust this "installer" then do what he says.
And I hope it works out.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:30 PM   #5
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Vinyl Flooring with or without luan?


$1000.00 for the proper underlayment!
Some things very wrong with that price!
Must be one huge room at that price.
I totally agree with no Lauan!
Any vinyl company I know will not even warranty a floor laid of it.
Not that it's going to do you any good, but get everything in writing so when it fails you have 1/2 a chance.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:54 PM   #6
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$1000.00 for the proper underlayment! Some things very wrong with that price! Must be one huge room at that price. I totally agree with no Lauan! Any vinyl company I know will not even warranty a floor laid of it. Not that it's going to do you any good, but get everything in writing so when it fails you have 1/2 a chance.
1000$ (only a guesstimate based on the quote we got for interflex perimeter glued with no luan) for material + labor. This "installer" works for a reputable company that's been in business for 50+ years and is a close family friend so yes, I trust him. That's not to say that I don't value someone else's opinion which is why I started a thread here...for professional advise. I'm just confused as to why this fella is telling me that they lay luan regularly and have no issues with it...if there's a flaw in the luan, it's easily noticeable.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:13 PM   #7
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Vinyl Flooring with or without luan?


"if there's a flaw in the luan, it's easily noticeable"

No it is not. Luan can have missing voids that you cannot see. If fact most luan has these voids. It can collapse over time and sink in. I have ripped up almost new vinyl floors because the voids collapsed. The use of luan voids the warranty for all vinyls. Call around about the interflex. None of the stores that I work for sell it. It was a big thing 20 years go, but there was so many failures that most stores dropped it. You have to make the final decision, but as an installer of 40 years and a certified vinyl installer, I would not use luan or interflex.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:18 PM   #8
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Interflex is one of the easiest products there is to install. Problem is, when it shrinks to fit, it tends to ripple around the edges and seams will open. Neither of which are repairable. And it can take weeks to months for the problems to show.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:24 PM   #9
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Fair enough. So let's say I decide to go with a more durable vinyl, full glue, and underlayment (especially since this is going in a kitchen where heavy appliances could potentially need to be moved for whatever reason). Is plywood the only option? How much more costly and labor intensive is laying plywood underlayment compared to luan?
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:30 PM   #10
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Also, why on earth (I'm not doubting you in the least, just sharing my thoughts) would Lowe's recommend luan if it's such crap? I would like to think that they would be held responsible for replacing/repairing any bad materials. So if they were back out having to rip up floors because of luan, wouldn't they stop recommending/installing it?
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:43 PM   #11
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Google complaints about Lowes, HD or any big box. See how often they take care of complaints. They usually blame most failures on the installer.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:47 PM   #12
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Vinyl Flooring with or without luan?


A box store is for sure one of the last places I'd be looking for advice on anything.
Another wonderful thing about Louon is it can cause glues to release, and color bleed through.
There also still selling particle board for subflooring, paper thin remnant vinyl flooring does that make it ok?
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:49 PM   #13
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Is plywood underlayment the only option? How much more costly and labor intensive is laying plywood underlayment compared to luan?
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:56 PM   #14
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Vinyl Flooring with or without luan?


Luan is crap or just about anything. It's the seal of certain disappointment for a flooring underlayment.

If your budget is limited, why not do they plywood, seal it, and then DIY some type of snap together vinyl plank. You could do a little bit at a time and save all of the labor costs.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption
A box store is for sure one of the last places I'd be looking for advice on anything. Another wonderful thing about Louon is it can cause glues to release, and color bleed through. There also still selling particle board for subflooring, paper thin remnant vinyl flooring does that make it ok?
I didn't necessarily go there for advise...just went to look at the vinyl. I want to do what's best, plain and simple. Like I said, I've never done this before. This is our first home and our first home improvement project. We don't want to put an incredible amount of money on the floor because frankly, the house isn't worth any additional investment but we want to do it right. Do you consider particle board underlayment at least better than luan?
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