I'm adding some Vinyl down in a shower room and nailed down the underlayment. But the nails keep popping up a little evey time I add more nails.

I'm concerned these will be felt under the vinyl.

The vinyl does have a felt backing though.

Should I be using a different type of nail?

And now that I've nailed it all down how do I get them out without damaging the floor assuming they need to be changed? I've managed to pull 2 out.

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This is the vinyl. It does have a slight cushioning with the felt backing. I do think some of the nails didn't go firmly in. They might have gone between the joins in the tongue and groove. But I'm not certain.

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  • what are you nailing it into? they should not be coming back out since those are ring shank, unless your floor material is pressboard or old plywood, additionally, you are probably missing the floor joists. Can you go into the basement and push them back up? I would use flooring glue not nails. Or I'd use cement backer board, or luan. You'd have to use floor leveler and the nails would have to be flush, otherwise, they will show through.
    – noybman
    Nov 2, 2019 at 22:42
  • It's being nailed into old hardwood flooring from the 1950's! One thought is perhaps I'm going between the tongue and groove not into the floor. Not all the nails are popping.
    – hookenz
    Nov 2, 2019 at 22:43
  • Unfortunately I can't get into the basement or crawlspace below to check.
    – hookenz
    Nov 2, 2019 at 22:52
  • It shouldn't be being nailed down. It is usually taped or glued down, even left to float in some installations. What did the instructions advise for the product you bought?
    – noybman
    Nov 2, 2019 at 22:55
  • I bought the vinyl as offcuts from a flooring place. They gifted me the underlayment and tools me to nail it down. She did say something about nail type and was going to show me what nails they use. I forgot to remind her to show them to me
    – hookenz
    Nov 2, 2019 at 23:01

1 Answer 1


Unless installing a rigid material such as new plywood, luan, cement board, etc - you generally do not nail it down. When you do, ring shank is the right type of nail. But it has to be a decent quality nail vs. the cheapest bidder, also, the condition of the flooring it is being nailed into is quite important. Just nailing into plywood isn't going to cut it because it is multiple layers of glued sheets, and the glue dries over time and plywood separates. This gives very little for the nails to bite into.

Most underlayments are cut into place and taped down (example: installing underlayment) or glued with flooring glue. Even most nowadays don't use that. Depending on the product you buy, many have self-adhesive backings. While many many products have gotton cheaper in design, thickness, etc. over the years, engineering has been thought out for the full product installation. (sometimes for the worse). Your product should have guidance on the methods to be used.

Once you have divots, dimples, nail heads, or other imperfections in the underlayment which almost always happens, you will need floor leveler. Its a simple cement product you add water to, spread it, dry, clean and sand as/if necessary, then you can add the new flooring. If this is not done, the nails will show through even in many thick flooring products. (Here is a quick googled example on youtube: floor leveling)

  • I agree tape the seam and allow the underpayment to do its job. You are putting in some type of floating floor I hope, you mentioned vinyl, if this is standard vinyl a cushioned underpayment is not normally used although I have seen vinyl that was cushioned.+
    – Ed Beal
    Nov 2, 2019 at 23:58
  • @noybman in the end I ripped out the underlayment. Then bought a new piece for around $10 and glued it down with lots of weight on top. To be sure it'll stay in place with movement of the house I also put a few screws in. As the wood floor boards were so hard and dry I predrilled them. It's heaps better. Thanks for the advice.
    – hookenz
    Nov 23, 2019 at 3:05
  • The nails didnt stay down properly because some went in between boards into the tongue of the timber. And some split the board opening it enough so it didn't grab. By screwing I don't have this problem. And the glue holds it tight.
    – hookenz
    Nov 23, 2019 at 3:07

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