Vinyl flooring has been popular for a long time because it’s so easy to clean and maintain. In addition, it’s usually the least costly choice when laying down new flooring, not to mention much easier and quicker to install. Vinyl flooring material usually comes in sheets or individual tiles. Having replaced linoleum over the years, vinyl floors have evolved to offer countless patterns, designs and textures that sometimes emulate stone or tile so well, why would you spend the money on the real thing? Vinyl floors have also become more durable as their usage has become more widespread; however, like any surface that takes a beating, there are times when you need to repair your vinyl floors or perhaps restore older vinyl flooring material. Let’s take a look at how common repairs are made.
Small vinyl flooring repairs (small cuts, surface scrapes, heavy scuff marks)
Small problems like scrapes and heavy scuffing are sometimes left unfixed. Aside from a minor eyesore, this light damage can in fact lead to deterioration of the under layers of the vinyl flooring. That’s because scrapes, while not deep have penetrated the clear top layer of the vinyl surface. This coating is an important protective layer. Fortunately, these repairs are easy since you can simply fill in or re-coat the affected area with vinyl seam sealant. Get it here, or pick it up where ever vinyl flooring is sold.
Larger vinyl floor repairs (deep gouges, rips and tears, divots, burns, etc.)
With larger problems your vinyl floor will either need a “transplant” or total replacement, if damage covers a large area. Usually, if it’s just a small spot or two, you only need to preform some minor surgery. If the spot is very small (e.g. the size of a dime or smaller), then you can probably use an all-purpose tear repair kit, such as this one. For more control over color matching, this vinyl floor repair kit will get you pretty close.
If your vinyl floor damage is larger, then replacement of the damaged area is the only way to make it like new again. If your vinyl floor is made from individual tiles, you should be able to remove the affected tile (see cutting tips in next paragraph), and replace it. Hopefully you have extras stored away somewhere. If not, you may have to “steal” one from a closet floor or under a fridge or stove; somewhere out of plain sight. Replace that tile with a another piece though (even if it doesn’t match), so you’re sure to protect your floor’s underlayment there.
If your vinyl floors are from vinyl sheets, then you’ll need to cut out a uniform shape (square or rectangle) around the damage, then use that cut-out piece as a template to cut your new piece from the replacement material. Use a square and a utility knife with a new blade (or linoleum knife) to make the cuts. Pry up the piece you cut out; a hair-dryer set on low can make the vinyl easier to remove. Remember to check that your new piece fits before gluing, called “dry fitting”, before putting down your flooring adhesive. Use a notched trowel when applying the adhesive. Flooring adhesive like this, is all you need. Be sure to fill any seams with seam sealer.
Bubbling vinyl flooring
Sometimes water can get under your vinyl floors and cause bubbles to appear. After you’ve solved the water problem and everything is dry again, make a cut down the center of a bubble with a utility knife. Next, squirt vinyl floor adhesive into the slit you made. You can use an old plastic ketchup bottle or glue syringe to do this trick. Then work the adhesive in and spread it out by pushing it with a hard surface such as plastic putty knife or piece of soft wood. Now, wipe the area clean of any adhesive and roll the surface with a rolling pin. Finally, place a weight such as a stack of old books over the repair spot until it dries, (see drying time on your vinyl floor adhesive instructions).
Tile lifting up or corners turning
This repair is the same as the bubble repair method, except you won’t be making any cuts to apply the adhesive.