Steps for Repairing Resilient Flooring

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Home Improvement

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. A damaged resilient floor can be easily repaired.

Resilient floors are a great addition to modern homes, but they tend to lose their appeal when they become damaged. Fortunately, repairing resilient flooring, whether it is a tile or sheet vinyl, is an easy process. Resilient flooring products available today include vinyl composition tile (VCT), vinyl tile and sheet flooring, linoleum tile and sheet flooring, and cork tile and sheet flooring.

Tile Floors

Tile repairs are quite straightforward, as only the affected tiles need to be repaired. If the tile is loose, it can be fixed by regluing it with floor tile adhesive. However, if it is loose at only one edge or corner, there may be enough old adhesive on the tile to reattach it. Cover the tile with aluminum foil and place a clean cloth over it. Set the iron to medium heat and heat the loose edges to soften the old adhesive and reattach it. Weight the entire tile after the adhesive has softened and let it cure for a few hours or overnight.

If the old adhesive is not strong enough to reattach the tile, use a floor tile adhesive that is suitable for that type of tile. Heat the tile in the same way as before and carefully lift the loose edges using a paint scraper or putty knife. Scrape the old adhesive off the edges of the tile and apply a thin coat of new adhesive using a notched spreader or trowel. Firmly smooth the tile from the center to the edges and weight the entire tile. Allow the adhesive to cure as directed by the manufacturer before removing the weights.

If a tile is damaged, it can be replaced. To remove the tile, heat it carefully with a propane torch with a flame-spreader nozzle, taking care not to damage the surrounding tiles. Pry the damaged tile up with a paint scraper or putty knife. After removing the tile, scrape all the old adhesive off the floor to make a clean base for the new tile. Fill any gouges in the tile base with wood filler or floor-leveling compound and let the filler dry completely.

Check the fit of the new tile in the prepared opening, even if you are using the same standard size as the old tile. If the new tile does not fit exactly, sand the edges or carefully slice off the excess with a sharp utility knife and a straightedge. When the tile fits perfectly, spread a thin coat of floor tile adhesive in the opening, using a notched trowel or spreader. Warm the new tile with a clothing iron to make it flexible and then carefully set it into place in the opening, pressing it firmly onto the adhesive. Weight the entire tile firmly, and let the adhesive cure as directed by the manufacturer. Remove the weights when the adhesive is completely cured.

Sheet Floors

If the floor is badly worn or damaged, use scrap flooring to patch it. You’ll need a piece of flooring a little bigger than the bad spot, with the same pattern.

Step 1: Position the scrap over the bad spot so that it covers the damage completely, and align the pattern exactly with the floor pattern.

To fix a damaged vinyl floor, start by cutting a rectangle through the scrap piece and the flooring below it to make a patch bigger than the damaged area. Use a straightedge and a sharp utility knife to cut along the pattern’s lines or joints to make the patch harder to see. Tape the patch firmly in place on the floor’s edges using package sealing tape. Ensure the corners are cleanly cut.

After cutting through the flooring, remove the tape from the scrap piece and push out the rectangular patch. Soften the old flooring inside the cut lines by heating it with a clothing iron set to medium heat. Cover the patch area with aluminum foil and a clean cloth and press until the adhesive holding the flooring has softened. Carefully pry up the damaged piece with a paint scraper or putty knife. Scrape all the old adhesive off the floor, and fill any gouges with water putty and let it dry completely.

Install the patch in the opening, sand the edges slightly with medium-grit paper if it binds a little. Spread a thin coat of floor tile adhesive in the opening with a notched trowel or spreader. Set the patch into the gap, press it firmly in, and wipe off any excess adhesive around the edges. Heat-seal the edges to the main sheet of flooring. Protect the floor with aluminum foil and a clean cloth, and press the edges firmly but quickly with a hot iron.

Weight the entire patch firmly and let the adhesive cure as directed by the manufacturer. Remove the weights when the adhesive is completely cured. Do not wash the floor for at least a week.


1. What is resilient flooring?

Resilient flooring is a type of flooring that is made of materials that are durable and can withstand heavy traffic and wear. This type of flooring is usually used in high-traffic areas such as hospitals, schools, and commercial buildings.

2. What are the common types of resilient flooring?

The common types of resilient flooring include vinyl, linoleum, rubber, and cork. Each type of flooring has its unique characteristics and is suitable for different environments.

3. How do I repair a scratch on my resilient flooring?

You can repair a scratch on your resilient flooring by using a floor repair kit. This kit usually comes with a putty knife, color-matching compound, and a sanding pad. Apply the color-matching compound to the scratch and use the putty knife to smooth it out. Let it dry, then use the sanding pad to smooth out any rough edges.

4. Can I repair a tear on my resilient flooring?

Yes, you can repair a tear on your resilient flooring by using a patch kit. This kit usually comes with a patch, adhesive, and instructions. Cut the patch to fit the tear, apply the adhesive to the patch and the torn area, and press the patch firmly into place. Allow the adhesive to dry completely before walking on the area.

5. How do I repair a dent in my resilient flooring?

You can repair a dent in your resilient flooring by using a heat gun and a block of wood. Heat the dent with the heat gun until it becomes pliable, then place the block of wood on top of the dent and apply pressure until the dent pops out. Be careful not to overheat the flooring or damage it with the heat gun.

6. How do I remove stains from my resilient flooring?

You can remove stains from your resilient flooring by using a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap. Apply the solution to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the stain, then rinse the area with clean water and dry it with a clean cloth.

7. What should I do if my resilient flooring becomes discolored?

If your resilient flooring becomes discolored, you can try using a commercial floor cleaner that is designed for resilient flooring. Follow the instructions on the cleaner carefully, and be sure to rinse the area thoroughly with clean water.

8. How do I maintain my resilient flooring?

You can maintain your resilient flooring by sweeping or vacuuming it regularly to remove dirt and debris. You can also mop it with a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap, being careful not to use too much water. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrub brushes that can damage the flooring.

9. Can I install resilient flooring myself?

Yes, you can install resilient flooring yourself if you have the necessary tools and skills. However, it is recommended that you hire a professional installer to ensure that the flooring is installed correctly and will last for many years.

10. What is the lifespan of resilient flooring?

The lifespan of resilient flooring depends on the type of flooring, the amount of foot traffic it receives, and how well it is maintained. Generally, resilient flooring can last anywhere from 10 to 50 years.

11. How do I dispose of old resilient flooring?

You should dispose of old resilient flooring by contacting your local waste management facility to find out the proper way to dispose of it. Some facilities may accept it for recycling, while others may require it to be disposed of as hazardous waste.

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