You can install laminate flooring over vinyl (glued down) as long as the vinyl flooring is level, in good condition and you use underlayment. If your vinyl floor is a floating floor or loose lay you should remove it before installing laminate.
If you are planning to install laminate over a pre-existing vinyl floor you should follow these steps:
How to check that your vinyl flooring is level and in good condition
1. Carefully survey the room’s vinyl flooring to ensure that all the planks are firmly stuck to the subfloor.
If there are loose planks or gaps in the vinyl you should remove the flooring down to the subfloor before installing laminate. You will also need to remove as much of the adhesive of the subfloor as you can before continuing with your installation.
2. Check that the vinyl floor is level
A good method of checking whether your flooring is level is to place a 4-6 foot beam level (Amazon Link) on your floor and repeat this many times across the whole room.
If the bubble indicates that the flooring is level you can move on to the next area. If the bubble indicates that the flooring is not level adjust the spirit level until the bubble is centered. If the gap between the raised spirit level and the floor is under 1/8th of an inch (approximately 3mm) you can consider your floor level – any more than this and you should consider lifting the vinyl flooring before continuing with your laminate floor installation.
Remember that once you have removed the vinyl it will be important to determine if your subfloor is also not level. If it’s not level you will have to level your subfloor before continuing with the installation.
If the vinyl floor is level and in a good state of repair you can move onto the next step.
3. Carefully vacuum and clean the vinyl flooring.
Make sure your vinyl flooring is free of dust and debris and has been thoroughly cleaned before you begin installing your new flooring.
4. Start installing your underlayment.
If installing over a pre-existing vinyl floor it is important that your use an adequate underlay so the vinyl plank and floating floor are not directly in contact with one another. This underlay will prevent your laminate floor from rubbing and potentially loosening the vinyl planks underneath. It will also prevent any possible squeaking noises that may otherwise be present.
While it is always advisable to remove any flooring that is not in perfect condition before installing a floor directly on top of it, if your flooring is in good condition installing laminate over a previously installed glued-down vinyl floor will not cause any future issues.