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How To Repair Damaged Vinyl Flooring

If you have a vinyl or an old linoleum floor, you probably know that the material is soft and fairly easy to damage. Gouges, dents and tears are an unfortunate fact of life with vinyl. Drop a can in the kitchen, walk across the floor in heels, slide a heavy piece of furniture and you risk damage to the floor. Vinyl floors can be repaired, ideally in small sections, by cutting out the damage and gluing in a new piece.

First, you will need a piece of scrap to use as the replacement material. If you don't have a scrap piece, and cannot buy more of your pattern, then you may be able to remove a piece from an inconspicuous location. You may be able to scavenge material from a closet, under the fridge or under the washing machinel. The problem is that if it is well glued down, you may not be able to get a usable piece. Cut out a piece a little larger than the damaged area. Warming the material may make it easier to remove (pour boiling water into a cool pot and place the pot on the vinyl until the vinyl has warmed. Cut around the area, through to the floor. Peel up a corner and use a sharp bladed putty knife to gently lift the vinyl. If you cannot obtain a matching piece, another option is to use a colorful or patterned piece to create an accent in the floor. If you place a few accent pieces around the room, you will hide the repair and add an interesting feature to the floor.

If the flooring has a pattern, align your patch piece so that the pattern matches the surrounding area. To hide the cuts, make them in the pattern or embossed depression along lines and depressions. Tape the patch piece in place. Use a new, sharp blade in a razor knife to cut through both pieces at the same time. In order to control the knife, make initial cuts lightly through the top layer then go back over the cuts to slice all the way through to the floor. By cutting both at the same time, the patch should be the same size and shape as the piece being removed. Hold the knife straight up and cut through both pieces all the way to the floor. If the blade is held at an angle, the pieces will not be the same size. Use slow even pressure to avoid the knife going off the mark. Use of a straightedge or carpenter's square will help to control the knife.

After making the cuts, move the patch out of the way. Peel up a corner of the damaged vinyl, insert a putty knife and pry up the material. Avoid lifting the surrounding vinyl. Scrape any residue to leave a smooth floor exposed.

Test fit the patch, and make any trimming adjustments until it fits snuggly in place. Apply vinyl adhesive to the floor using an application tool. Use too much adhesive and it will squeeze out and may leave lumps under the vinyl, use too little and the edges of the vinyl may curl or tear. If you use too much, clean the excess, cover it with wax paper and place a flat, heavy weight on the patch. Do not step on the patch or you may squeeze out too much adhesive and leave a depression. Remove the weight after a couple minutes and clean the surface of all adhesive.

To complete the repair, apply seam sealer around the seam of the patch. The sealer will help to hide the repair, fill the seams and keep it looking good.

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