Repairing Damaged Vinyl Flooring
By Pamela Cole Harris
So you got the perfect refrigerator. For the perfect kitchen.
Miles and miles of virgin stainless steel. Perfect width. A virtual soda
fountain in the door. And as your husband (just a shade less than perfect) pulls
it across the floor to that perfect spot wayyyyy on the other side of the
kitchen, you hear a slight ripping sound. Can stainless steel rip? Not likely.
Your husband gives it another pull. The same sound. Looking down to investigate
(as any perfect homeowner would), you discover that your perfect vinyl flooring
now has a wide, perfectly-jagged tear. Yikes!
Here is how you can make the perfect repair:
1. Measure the extent of the damage. Width? Length?
2. Is your vinyl flooring relatively new? You should be able to
find the pattern at your local home-improvement or flooring supply store. If
your pattern is unavailable, you may have to replace the entire floor.
3. Buy enough of the flooring to repair the damaged area and a
little extra to save for future repairs.
4. Cut a piece of the new flooring a bit larger than the damaged
area. A sharp utility knife should do the job (handle with care!). Use a
straight edge or ruler to help keep the blade vertical.
5. Match the pattern of the new piece with the old at each edge
of the damaged area.
6. Take out your handy dandy duct or masking tape and tape the
new piece to the floor below. You don't want the new tile to slip, so make
certain you have taped it securely.
7. Ok. This is tricky. Use your knife to cut through both layers
of vinyl. Cut around the damaged area (make certain you cut it just a bit bigger
so that you will remove all the damage).
8. Now remove the new vinyl on top and the piece of damaged
vinyl beneath. If you have difficulty removing the old vinyl, a hair dryer works
great to soften the adhesive!
9. Scrap away all of the old gunk (Gunk. That's a technical
term!) with a putty knife or an old mismatched table knife (not a steak knife!).
Be sure to sweep clean!
10. Using your putty knife, apply adhesive to the back of the
new piece of vinyl. Make sure your kitchen is well- ventilated. That stuff can
11. Press the new piece into place. It's best to start at the
center and work towards the edge to make certain all those little air bubbles
are worked out.
12. If you have excess adhesive around the edges, wipe it up
with a clean, damp sponge.
13. This is the fun part! Take your rolling pin (you DO have a
rolling pin, don't you?) and roll the patch firmly. You will have to wipe the
excess adhesive again.
14. Now you can let the adhesive dry (no dancing on it for about
Zowie! Now your perfect kitchen has returned! Wait! Is that a
perfectly awful footprint I see?
Pamela Cole Harris is an editor and writer with 35 years experience.
Visit her website,
http://www.homeandgardenmakeover.com, for a free newsletter with
remodeling, home improvement and decorating ideas for the financially
challenged, creatively deficient and technologically illiterate.