Can You Install Vinyl Plank Flooring over an Uneven Floor

Vinyl flooring is popular for being budget-friendly, long-lasting, and easy installation. It features a wide range of colors and patterns, which are ideally great for different decoration styles.

Flooring planks need to be installed on an even floor. This is because the flooring planks can easily be damaged by an uneven one, making them experience quicker wearing and tearing than the expected time. So, for those interested in installing vinyl flooring in their homes, you may want to ask if you should do such on an even or uneven floor. Nonetheless, it’s claimed that vinyl flooring can work perfectly on both even and uneven surfaces.

Can you install vinyl plank flooring over an uneven floor? Yes, you can for a slightly uneven floor. But you must ensure that for the installation of vinyl flooring, the subfloor is clean and debris-free flat (level). Besides, the process may involve using a self-leveling or sanding compound. However, you may want to install laminate flooring if the surfaces are highly uneven.

Can You Install Vinyl Plank Flooring over an Uneven Floor

Should You Install a Vinyl Plank Over an Uneven Floor?

It may be considered unprofessional to install vinyl plank over an uneven floor. Nevertheless, the process is still applicable if your floor is slightly uneven.

Vinyl Planks can be installed on uneven floors due to how they are sturdier types of flooring planks. With this, they can still offer complete coverage on the floor and make it look even if installed on a slightly uneven floor.

Nonetheless, you should note that vinyl plank flooring needs a completely leveled floor surface, which is more debris-free. These are the basic requirements when it comes to the vinyl plank flooring installation process.

Therefore, if you have a slightly uneven floor, you must ensure that such a floor is well cleaned and free of debris before you install vinyl plank flooring.

How Can You Install Vinyl Plank Over an Uneven Floor

Since it’s possible to install vinyl plank flooring on uneven floors, let’s go through the steps you can follow for the installation process.

Step 1: Prepare your floor

For a concrete floor, the first thing you should do is to find the low and high spots. After that, grind the high spot and fill up the lower spots using level compounding to return the floor to its even state. And then thoroughly clean the floor.

For a wooden floor, the first thing you should do is to cover the floor with plywood. Let there be 1/4 inch gaps between the joints and wall, and then secure the plywood. After that, find the low and high spots, sand the spots down, and use leveling compounds to fill the gaps in low spots. Then clean the floor thoroughly.

Step 2: Remove all baseboards

Remove the baseboards, base shoe molds, and doorcase moldings after preparing the floor.

Step 3: Do the cleaning again

In order to ensure that no dirt, dust, debris remain, you need to give the floor a second cleaning.

Step 4: Measure the vinyl planks

You should take the measurements of the vinyl planks by following the planned flooring direction and the room’s width. Do this by using the vinyl plank width to divide the width of the room. With this, you will be able to tell the number of planks that can fit in your room.

Step 4: Cut the vinyl planks

By following the measurements you’ve already taken, cut the planks using a cellular saw.

Step 6: Install the vinyl planks

To install the planks, you need to start from the room’s left corner. Put the first row of the planks but ensure there is a 3/8 inch extension gap between them and the wall. For the extension gap, you can place a spacer in between them.

As you’re installing the planks, ensure the groove is facing outside and the tongue is facing the wall. This must be observed because the tongue planks will go into the grooves of the first row when installing the second row. With this, the planks will lock with each tightly. Use the same steps to install all the vinyl planks. 

Note: Ensure you do not start a row using leftover cut planks that are not less than 7 inches tall. And after a complete installation, make sure you remove the spacer.

Step 7: Install the baseboards again

Ensure you reinstall all the baseboards using a brad nailer after completing the installation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Check below some of the frequently asked questions about installing vinyl plank flooring. Please, review them with their answers for further knowledge

How long should vinyl flooring last?

When compared to other floors, the lifespan of vinyl is longer. It can be used for up to 10 to 30 years. But for it to last longer than 25 years, users must give it proper care and maintenance.

How often should vinyl flooring be replaced?

You should replace vinyl flooring every 10 to 20 years. The floor is less prone to natural damage since it is made of non-organic elements.

Should a floor need to be ideally level for vinyl plank flooring?

The existing floor must be clean, dry, be in perfect condition, and, most important, level. To avoid vinyl plank flooring having varying heights, you must ensure that the existing floor is flat and level.

How soon can you walk on vinyl flooring?

You need to wait for about 24 hours before you can start working on vinyl flooring. You should also ensure that the newly installed floor is cured. This is because under the vinyl flooring are glue, adhesive, or sticky materials which must dry. You may damage the floor if you start walking when it’s not yet time.


For an uneven floor, laminate flooring planks or tiles will be the best recommendations. This is due to the flexibility and durability of the laminate flooring, which makes it adjustable with any uneven floor.

Other best flooring options apart from laminate flooring include vinyl planks, linoleum, vinyl sheets, and carpet. So, to install vinyl plank flooring, you should ensure that the floor is slightly uneven. But avoid installing vinyl plank flooring over a highly uneven floor.

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