Remove oak floor before vinyl planks?

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dborns

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We bought an older home and are updating everything. The floors and cabinets are the yellow oak. In our last home, we had the floors re-stained, but my wife has decided she wants vinyl plank flooring instead. We’ve done a lot of research, and have decided to do the project.
My thought was to go right over the oak flooring, but when she was at a flooring store, the owner recommended ripping the oak out and then putting the vinyl down. His reasoning was so that the floor could be made level if it isn’t.
I would think going over the oak would make for a more sturdy floor, and I haven’t seen any low or high spots anyway. Plus, the oak is thicker than the vinyl, so all my door jambs would be high at the floor unless I laid subfloor down over the current subfloor. That seems like a lot of extra work and money too me.
What’s the consensus?
 

havasu

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I'm in the same boat myself. They want to charge me $3k to demo out the existing ceramic floor tile, which will leave my floor about 5/8" too low. If your wood is in good condition, as my tile is, there is no reason to do this UNLESS your bedrooms have carpet and you plan on placing vinyl in the bedrooms as well. If this is the case, you would need to built up that lowered flooring so as to prevent a trip hazard.
 

nealtw

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The vinyl will do no damage to the hardwood and the hardwood is still good, I don't see removing would be any advantage except for the guy charging for doing it.
 

dborns

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Thanks for the replies.

The only reason I can see taking up old, would be if there were high/ low spots, cupping, etc., but we have none of that.
Maybe during the discussion, he asked my wife the age of the house, (which is around 25 years), he may have thought that it could be old enough to have damage, I don’t know.

Havasu, you are correct, we do have one room that is carpet that has wood currently butting up to it in both doorways, so I will have to build that floor up after removing the carpet. I don’t know what thickness oak floor is, but hopefully it’s not some weird size that I can’t make the transitions flush with some underlayment. We don’t want the transition pieces in there.
 

havasu

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I will gladly trade you predicaments! Just measure the carpeted floor, add same thickness plywood, and go to town.
Oh, please post pics for us as inspiration, because I too need to get off my butt and do this project soon.
 
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