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Repairing Vinyl

If you have a hole in a small section of sheet flooring, you can get away with making a repair instead of replacing the whole floor. For small holes and bubbles, fixing the section will be quicker and less obvious than making a patch. If, however, you’re dealing with a gouge, stain or other problem across a medium-to-large area, a patch will be your best solution. For more information, see our section on Making a Patch to Vinyl Flooring.

A Simple Repair Can Save You Money
For vinyl tiles, the best repair is to replace the affected tile, since it is both an easier and a better-looking fix. If your vinyl tiles have been solidly adhered to your subfloor and are hard to remove, you can opt to use the forthcoming surface repairs instead.

Fixing Small Holes And Bubbles

If the hole in your vinyl is very small or if you’re encountering a bubble where the adhesive has failed, these fixes are quick and require few tools.

For these projects you’ll need:

1. A sharp utility knife
2. A putty knife
3. Water-based adhesive for vinyl floors

You may also need:

4. A notched (serrated-end) spreader or putty knife
5. An iron
6. A seam sealer
7. A seam roller
8. Fine steel wool
9. Wax paper
10. Clear nail polish
11. A fine cheese grater

1. Fixing Bubbles First lay down a piece of protective cloth (such as an old t-shirt) and soften the section using a warm iron. If the section isn’t getting warm you can try incrementally increasing the iron’s heat, being careful not to burn the vinyl.

Once it is warm and pliable, score the bubble from one end to the other with a utility knife with a brand new blade. Force a water-based flooring adhesive under the bubble with a nozzle or putty knife and press flat.

Wipe off any excess adhesive, cover with wax paper and weight the area with heavy books for 24 hours. Then apply a thin line of liquid seam sealer (available at home improvement and hardware stores) across your cut to make it practically invisible.

2. Filling a Small Hole or Gouge Use a piece of matching flooring to make a powder by treating it along an edge using a Dremel tool and a sanding bit, or by hand with rough sandpaper. If you have an extremely fine cheese grater, you can try that too. Note where your hole or gouge is within your floors pattern before you grate so you can pick sections that will create a powder closest to the color of the damaged area.

Apply masking or duct tape around the hole to protect the outer flooring. Use a few drops of clear nail polish to make a very thick paste of your powder and spread it across the hole with a putty knife. Once the patch is completely dry, buff it with fine steel wool or ultra fine sandpaper until it blends with the surrounding floor. Remove the masking tape and feather your sanding, if necessary.

3. Anchoring a Curled Corner or Piece of Tile Cover the corner with a piece of protective cloth and soften the vinyl using a warm iron. If the section isn’t getting warm you can try incrementally increasing the iron’s heat, being careful not to burn the flooring.

Once the corner is warm and pliable, carefully pry it away from the subfloor with a putty knife. Apply water-based floor adhesive to the backside of the vinyl with a notched putty knife or spreader and press until flat. Use a seam roller if necessary to eliminate bubbles. Wipe off any excess adhesive, cover with wax paper and weight with books for 24 hours.

Hammer Visit our Walls forum and talk to other do-it-yourselfers about repairing vinyl flooring!