3 tips for repairing your own floors

July 28, 2015

You've done your best to keep your floors damage-free, but with wear and tear, problems arise. Here are three common issues you should be able to fix yourself. Why pay a professional when you don't have to?

3 tips for repairing your own floors

1. Nail polish can fix floor nicks

  • No matter how careful you are, small nicks and scratches on your wood floor are an inevitable fact of life.
  • As long as the damage has not penetrated through the finish, you can make these small blemishes disappear by filling them with clear nail polish.

2. Make deeper gouges disappear

  • If the scratch is lighter in colour than the floor, it means it went through the finish and any stain to expose bare wood.
  • In this case, dab the gouge with a furniture touch-up marker (from a home centre) in a colour that matches your floor.
  • Stain from a can will work too, although it is less convenient.
  • Cover the repair with polyurethane, using two or more layers to build it up flush with the existing finish.

3. Patch a vinyl floor

Got a rip or an indelible stain in your vinyl-sheet flooring? No problem, you can easily patch it. No extra flooring put aside? Steal a piece from inside a closet or under the fridge. Here's how to make the repair.

1. Place the patch piece over the damage, line up the pattern and tape it in place. Use a straightedge and utility knife to cut a rectangle through the patch and the damaged area simultaneously. Pull up the damaged piece, using a hair dryer to soften the adhesive, if necessary. Scrape up the old adhesive.

2. Test-fit the patch. Put new adhesive on the subfloor with a floor-adhesive spreader, wait the length of time recommended on the can, and then put the patch in place. Press it down with a rolling pin, and use a rag, water and detergent to clean up any adhesive that squeezes out. Weight down the patch for a day while the adhesive cures.

Tip: You can reuse those vinyl scraps. Cover plywood utility shelves with leftover scraps of vinyl flooring to create a durable, easy-to-clean surface. Attach the flooring to the plywood with leftover flooring adhesive.

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