How to Repair Vinyl Floors

What some folks still refer to as linoleum is mostly vinyl. It’s beautiful, sturdy, is mostly water- and stainproof, and is practically maintenance-free.

This flooring is available as tiles or as sheet goods. Sheet good often means an entire room can be covered with no seams. With a vinyl tile floor, the room is a checkerboard of seams.

We start with seams because this is a common vinyl floor problem. With sheet goods, you need to warm the flooring, as the heat often reactivates the adhesive underneath. Use a heat gun, hair dryer, or even an iron. Hold the iron close to the material without touching and keep the iron moving. When the edges are flexible, they should once again lie down flat. Then, by placing weights over the floor along the seam, the newly activated adhesive should hold it in place.

vinyl floor repair How to Repair Vinyl Floors

If that didn’t work, heat the edges again but this time peel them back so you can scrape out the old adhesive and apply new glue. Press the edges in place and wipe away any excess adhesive. Place wax paper over the seam in case more glue gets squeezed out.

The permanent way to cure the seam problem is with a product called seam sealer. It is applied to the edges and chemically welds the flooring edges together.

Scratches

Often a scratch will heal itself. To help this happen, take a penny or nickel and press hard as you rub it along the scratch. Seam sealer can also close cracks. Or, hide the

Gouges

Small holes can be filled with a patching compound you can make. Take a scrap piece of the flooring and use a food grater to create a fine powder. Mix this in lacquer to form a putty-like baste that will match the color of the floor to form a perfect patch.

Larger gouges may require patching. If the floor is tiled, just remove the ruined tile and replace. Use a heat gun or even a propane torch in the center of the tile. Heat will soften the adhesive and allow you to go to work at the gouge with a chisel or putty knife to rip up the old tile. Be careful not to damage the edges of surrounding tiles. With the old tile out of the way, scrape up the old adhesive, apply new glue, and press the replacement down. Put weights on it overnight. If the floor is sheet goods, cut out a square or rectangle and use the same heat treatment to get the old vinyl up. Lay this piece on a scrap of the flooring and line up the pattern. Carefully cut out the patch and set it in place over new adhesive.


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