I wanted to quickly lay vinyl sheet down. I will put hardboard subfloor on top of floorboards at a later date however right now I'm happy to loosely lay it over the carpet. As I mess around with the floors I noticed the vinyl looks quite smooth on the carpet underlay.

So I'm wondering now should I temporarily lay the vinyl sheet on the floorboards(which I know are uneven), on the carpet underlay or even on the carpet??

It will just be temporary but is even so is there a reason to prefer one temporary subfloor aesthetically and functionally speaking?


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  • The wood floor under the carpet padding looks very nice. Or is that your sheet of temporary vinyl? If that is original wood floor you should do everything you can do to reclaim it and not bear the expense of the vinyl and replacement wood floor. Wood is a limited resource and we should all be working to preserve as much as possible. I think you should
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 19:56
  • @MichaelKaras it's vinyl. Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 21:01

1 Answer 1


Vinyl flooring will fail in short order if laid over something soft like carpet or carpet padding. It's not designed to flex and stretch as it will under foot traffic and furniture, and more concentrated point loads will simply tear it. It'll also wrinkle as it moves and stretches, creating trip hazards.

It must be laid, even temporarily, on a hard surface.

  • I forget to mention it is cushion vinyl. does that make a difference? thanks. Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 21:24
  • Nope. It's still not going to tolerate more cushion than it provides itself.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 21:26

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