Repair Resilient Flooring Vinyl Floor

Repair Resilient Flooring Vinyl Floor

Repair Resilient Flooring: Vinyl Floor


Vinyl flooring in sheets and tiles is everywhere; it holds up to a lot of hard wear, which is probably why its known as resilient. Cork and asphalt tile are also known as resilient flooring, but vinyl dominates.

The routine for maintaining a resilient floor is fairly simple: regular sweeping, vacu­uming, damp-mopping, and occasional waxing to renew the surface when its factory-applied wear layer starts to wear thin. But sometimes, bad stuff happens to perfectly good floors.

At our house we had a bad habit of bringing home the pizza and putting it in the oven on a low setting to warm it up, still in its box. One day, my son was home alone and tried to warm up the pizza Id left on the counter. It was still in the box; I dont know the oven temperature he set.

The box caught fire, my son threw it on the vinyl floor and doused it with water and baking soda. No one was hurt, and the only damage was a nice, 2 square burn mark in the middle of the kitchen floor. You can be sure that no one in my house ever put a pizza box in the oven again! My heart still beats fast when I think of the dumb exam­ple I set for my children.

We were years away from renovating the kitchen, but fortunately I had some leftover tile. Heres how I made the repair.

Replacing a Vinyl Tile

You must have a replacement tile for this one. Bring your replacement tile to the floor or hardware store and get the right adhesive and solvent.

Youll also need the following:

  • Kitchen towel
  • Steam iron
  •  Putty knife
  • Notched trowel
  • Adhesive for the tile
  •  Appropriate solvent to clean excess adhesive
  •  Clean rag to apply the solvent

1. To soften the tile, place a towel over the damaged piece and iron it on a medium setting until the tile (and underlying adhesive) is very warm and begins to soften.

2. Remove the damaged tile by prying it up at one corner with the putty knife; gradually and carefully pull it up and off. (If you need to soften it more, lay it back down and apply more heat with the iron over the towel.)

3. Let the adhesive cool and harden, then scrape up the dry adhesive with the putty knife until the subfloor is smooth, clean, and flat.

4. Using the notched trowel, apply the adhesive to the clean, dry, flat subfloor. If any adhesive settles on the adjacent tiles, clean them up with the solvent, accord­ing to the directions.

5. Position the replacement tile above the adhesive-covered opening; make sure youve got the pattern, if there is one, going in the right direction.

6. Set two adjacent edges of the new tile against two adjacent tiles surrounding the repair; again, make sure the pattern matches. Press the tile into place.

If any adhesive comes up between the new tile and the adjacent ones, clean it with the solvent according to directions. Set the new tile level with the surrounding pieces; if its too low, pull it up and add more adhesive.

If its too high, press it down hard, and clean up any excess adhesive that squishes up at the edges with the solvent. Dont walk on the floor until the repair dries completely (check drying time on the adhesive container).

Patching Sheet Flooring

If you look at the illustrations for patching a hole in wallpaper. this repair is done in a similar way, just with a different material. Again, youll need a left­over piece of flooring, enough to cover the damage and match the pattern.

Youll also need the following:

  • Utility knife
  • Straightedge
  • Painters or masking tape

Many floor patterns have imprinted seams in the shapes of blocks, bricks, or other geometric forms. Try to make your patch so the edges fall within the patterns seams; it will be less noticeable.

1. Cut a piece of the leftover flooring with a utility knife and a straightedge. Work on a protected surface so that the utility knife doesnt damage bare wood (or the good portion of your floor!).

2. Position the replacement piece over the damaged area and match up the pattern. Secure this piece to the surrounding floor with painters or masking tape. Cut a patch large enough to cover the damaged area by using the straightedge and utility knife to cut through both the replacement flooring and the old flooring, around the damaged area. Set aside the replacement patch youve just cut. Now youre ready to remove the damaged piece of flooring.

Removal and replacement are exactly the same as the fix for replacing a tile. Use the same tools and materials, and follow Steps 1-6 for Replacing a Vinyl Tile, described earlier. Youll be substituting your patch for the replacement tile, but the procedure is the same.

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