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Making A Vinyl Patch

Sometimes a hole, gouge or stain is big enough that a minute repair is not enough. If you have a ding, crack or hole in your vinyl sheeting but don’t want to lay down a whole floor (and, frankly, who does?), you can make a patch out of a matching piece of vinyl and replace the damaged section.

If you don’t have an extra matching piece, you can elect to remove a section from an area that doesn’t see as much daylight, such as inside a closet or under an appliance. Find a section, say, under your washing machine that matches the area you want to replace and cut out a patch using the forthcoming instructions.

Note: You will have to make a patch using a comparable-grade vinyl to replace the section you’re removing so that the underlayment isn’t left exposed to moisture.

For this project you’ll need:


  • A sharp utility knife
  • A piece of matching replacement vinyl
  • A metal framing edge (an "L" shaped ruler)
  • A metal putty knife or paint scraper
  • Mineral spirits (if adhesive on old section remains)
  • Liquid flooring adhesive
  • Liquid seam sealer

1. Measure the section of floor you intend to replace and cut a piece of new vinyl that extends beyond the hole, stain or other damage. Make sure the piece you cut contains the same pattern as the area you’re replacing.

2. Align the patch over the damaged section so the pattern is just right and tape it in place.

3. Use a metal framing edge to guide your utility knife (use a sharp new blade or you’ll have jagged edges) as you carefully slice through both the patch and the old vinyl beneath.

4. Remove the patch and set aside. If needed, score the square around the damaged section again, making sure to keep your edges clean. Use extra care as you reach the edges so you don’t cut into the surrounding floor.

5. Pry up the damaged section. If the section has tight adhesive behind it, you may need to scrape it away from the subfloor with a paint scraper, metal putty knife or other applicable tool. If adhesive remains, loosen its hold with mineral spirits and scrape again to create a clean, level platform for the replacement patch. Thoroughly clean away any spirit residue and allow the area to dry completely.

6. With a brush, putty knife or spatula, apply a thin, even coat of adhesive to the subfloor. Install the patch and smooth with a clean damp sponge. If any adhesive oozes out the sides, make sure to wipe it off immediately. Once you have it seated perfectly, cover it with a layer of wax paper and place something flat and heavy over the top (a couple dictionaries or hardbacks by Tolstoy, Proust or James Joyce will suffice).

7. Allow the patch to dry for at least 24 hours. Then apply a thin line of liquid seam sealer (available at home improvement and hardware stores) to the four edges to keep the corners flat and to make the patch disappear within the rest of the floor.

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