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How to Repair Vinyl Flooring

You probably remember what your vinyl floor looked like after installation – it was spotless, vibrant and all-around beautiful. However, after years of foot traffic, dropping objects and spilling drinks, your vinyl flooring may have lost some of their luster. Fortunately, it’s not gone for good. With a little elbow grease and these tips, you can repair and restore your vinyl floors:

How to patch vinyl flooring

Vinyl tile flooring: Vinyl tiles come in smaller squares that are often easy to replace. If one of your tiles is discolored or scraped, all you have to do is remove it and replace it with another matching tile. Use a putty knife to dig into the seam. Then, tap its back end with a hammer to help the tool shimmy under the tile. Carefully lift the tile, using the knife to scrape areas where it’s stuck. Once the tile is gone, remove the glue with a floor stripper. Apply the new tile.From stains to dents to lifted seams, vinyl flooring can sustain some damage over time. Luckily, it’s all rather simple to fix. The techniques you can employ to administer repairs depend on what the damage is and the kind of vinyl flooring you have.

Patching: Sheet vinyl is a little more difficult to repair than tiles, which are smaller. Sheets have a bigger surface area, so simply replacing them isn’t always an option. Instead, you can use the patching method. First, identify the damaged area and box it in with tape. Then, find a piece of vinyl not attached to your floor (leftovers from your installation) and look for a section that matches perfectly to the damaged area. Cut a square out of the floor and the replacement. Adhere the replacement in the hole you cut out. Make sure the patterns match up perfectly, or you’ll notice the patch. Additionally, use a very sharp knife and straightedge to do all the cutting.

How to restore vinyl flooring

When the finish on your vinyl flooring no longer shines, it’s time to give it a facelift. This is an easy fix, as you only have to apply new finish to your floors. Here are a few ways to revitalize your vinyl:

Refinish: If your vinyl floors have a finish on top, you can bring its shine back to life with a suitable finishing product. Floors with five or more layers of finish need to be stripped. Use a stripping solution made for vinyl floors, following the instructions verbatim. Most products will have you mop with the stripper and let the floor dry. Then you’ll scrub the vinyl with a stripping pad, apply stripper again and rinse. After that, vacuum your floors with a wet vac​, then a dry vac. Mop the new finish on your floors and let the product dry. Buff the floors between each coat.

Floor shiner: Most newer, luxury vinyl floors won’t require a drastic facelift, like refinishing. Instead, you can purchase floor products meant to deep clean and restore the surface. If your floors lack shine, you might need to adjust your maintenance habits. Stick to a pH-neutral cleaner, as alkaline solutions strip vinyl of its wax finish. Proper cleaners should help floors retain their glossy finish.

(4) Comments

  1. I did a careful job of installing my vinyl tile and it looked beautiful. Unfortunately, a little after installing it, our ice maker spilled water onto the floor and it all had to be removed to repair the subfloor. I hired a carpenter to reinstall it after repairing the subfloor, and even though he claimed to know what he was doing , I am now seeing several gaps between the short ends of the planks where he obviously didn’t lock them properly, Of course, they are in different areas, not just near the wall. Short of ripping up all the flooring and doing it over, is there anything that can be done?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team

      Hi Karen,

      I’m sorry to hear about your floor! Unfortunately the only option would be to remove everything and re-install. This is a risky option though because some vinyl floors are not supposed to be taken up and then re-installed. I would highly suggest checking with the manufacturer of the floor or your warranty and installation instructions to see if this is possible with the floor. If not you will need to replace everything. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  2. My Mom’s flooring has been etched from previous owner. FLOOR has severak dull spots compared to the rest of the flooring. What is the product name we need to purchase ?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team

      Hi Joyce,

      Thank you for getting in touch! Unfortunately if the floor is vinyl there isn’t a product that will bring back the finish of the floor, the individual planks would have to be replaced. Please let us know if there is anything else we can help out with!

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