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We are preparing a rental kitchen floor for sheet vinyl or VCT tiles. We currently have exposed 3" wide fir strips as the sub-floor. We were told we needed to lay 3/8" plywood over the fir for durability, but the plywood and the thickness of the vinyl raises the floor more than we would like. A second opinion suggested we use 1/4" Lauan, which appeals to us more. Does anyone know if this product is as durable as plywood?

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Well technically it is plywood, it's just not very good plywood. Having said that I've seen flooring guys use a product that looked very much like luan that was no more than an 1/8 of an inch thick to get the level they needed. This was in a hospital remodel so it was definitely up to code and it went under a commercial grade thermo-sealed floor so it should be good for just about any application unless your subfloor is really atrocious. Ask around at a dedicated flooring supply store and they should be able to point you in the right direction.

  • We will seek the advice of a local professional, and have them look at our situation. Thanks. – RET Sep 19 '14 at 22:22
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If your sub floor is stiff enough, you can get by with 1/4 plywood. If it bounces, flex's between the joists or creaks when you walk across it you will need a thicker plywood on top to help stiffen the floor.

But in general, vinyl is very forgiving as long as the floor it is going over is smooth.

  • The floor does squeak in several places. We will ask a local flooring store to come to the site and assess it for us, since there is ambiguity regarding our situation. – RET Sep 19 '14 at 22:21

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