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Glue Down vs. Loose-Lay Vinyl Option

If you need to replace an old floor, know that vinyl floors are one of the most simplest and easiest to install. Homeowners choose vinyl because of its low cost, resistance to moisture, durability and trouble-free maintenance. It is ideal for high-traffic areas such as laundry rooms and kitchens. Vinyl is available in sheets, tiles or you can purchase loose-lay vinyl with either glue or locking mechanisms (similar to laminate boards).


The original vinyl flooring comes in rolls that need to be glued to the subfloor with mastic. However, newer types are thicker and lay flat without having to glue them.

  • Vinyl tiles come either with or without a glued backing. If you choose the not-glued option, you will have to spread the glue yourself.
  • Vinyl planks are made to float over the subfloor like laminate flooring boards. Some are designed to have locking systems, while others have glue stripes to hold them together.

When it comes to vinyl flooring, the most common question is: To glue or not to glue down? The truth is, it all depends on the flooring you buy, the size of the room, the subfloor as well as the type of traffic you expect in that particular room.


If you are looking for a floor covering that can withstand scratches, spills and other impacts and will not lift, then you should definitely glue down the vinyl flooring. Whenever it wears out, you can easily lay a new floor over it. The main reason why many people choose glue-down rather than loose lay vinyl flooring is because it is a less expensive flooring option.



Loose lay vinyl floors are very often referred to as “floating” floors. They look more elegant and give a more cushioned feeling than the glued ones. This type has a thicker texture which makes it easier to walk on, gives it more insulation value and helps it lay flat. Loose lay vinyl floors are very easy to install, thus you can save big on contractor’s fees by laying the floor yourself. Loose lay vinyl flooring is stable in terms of dimensions, that is to say, no matter the moisture level, vinyl planks do not shrink nor expand and do not require high maintenance.

To wrap up, floors are not something we buy every day. It’s something that requires planning and extensive research. Therefore, before making your final decision, think twice before you choose. Saving a few dollars simply isn’t worth it if it means compromising on the quality. Make a wise decision and invest in high-quality flooring which will serve you for many years to come.