3 tips for repairing vinyl flooring

Repairing a gash in vinyl flooring

If you have an ugly gash or piece of discolouration on your vinyl floor, don't worry. It can be fixed. Just follow these three tips.

3 tips for repairing vinyl flooring

1. Repairing damaged vinyl

  • Put a matching piece of vinyl that's larger than the damaged spot over the area. Align the patterns and tape it firmly in place. Cut through both pieces at the same time with a sharp utility knife guided by a straightedge. Set the upper piece aside for use as a patch.
  • Heat the damaged area with a hair dryer, and pry it up with a putty knife, being careful not to mar the surrounding area. Scrape up the old adhesive. Test-fit the patch and sand or trim the edges if necessary.
  • Apply multi-purpose tile adhesive to the floor, clean up any excess, and let the floor dry. Put the patch in place, weigh it down with a board, and let it sit overnight.
  • To fuse the seams and make them unnoticeable, treat them with seam sealer, available at flooring stores. Make sure you buy sealer that has a gloss that matches the one on your floor — high gloss or low gloss, for example.

If you can't find matching vinyl

  • If you can't find a matching piece of sheet vinyl to replace a damaged area in a visible location, borrow a piece from an inconspicuous place — like under the refrigerator. You can cover the new "hidden" bare spot with an inexpensive vinyl tile of any kind.
  • Note: Vinyl tiles with a printed pattern all have a factory-applied pressure-sensitive glue on the back and can be easily removed, but old solid or swirled colour tiles are held down with stronger mastic glue and are virtually impossible to remove.

Worn vinyl flooring

  • Does your vinyl floor have a small black spot that won't wash away? Look closely. Chances are the colour in the vinyl has worn away, exposing the dark inner material. The cause of this wear is a chunk of dirt, a small stone, or a nail head underneath the vinyl that has raised the spot just enough that foot traffic has worn through the top. With large damaged areas, the only cure is to replace the tile or patch the sheet vinyl. Repair kits are available for smaller areas.
  • The process involves mixing special paints (supplied in the kit) to match the floor colour, painting the damaged area, and drying it with a hair dryer. Next pour the filler powder and bonding agent over the damaged area, level it, then let it harden for 15 minutes. Finish by brushing the clear acrylic finish over the repair. Kits are available at home centres and hardware stores.
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