Installing a new floor can be an exciting experience. While vinyl flooring is an appealing option due to its relatively low cost and longevity, you may encounter a few problems over the years if it isn’t maintained properly. This article will review the three most common problems you’re likely to encounter with vinyl flooring and how to mitigate the effects. 

Room with vinyl floors

How to Deal with Peeling & Cracking Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is a durable, sensible option for any home however, over time the material can peel and crack. Rather than replacing the floor entirely, there are steps that you can take to extend the life of the vinyl. Before you begin searching the web for tips on how to remove vinyl flooring, it may be worth it to find ways to mitigate possible damage and get the most out of vinyl flooring. 

Peeling and cracking of vinyl surfaces generally occurs when the adhesive at the edge of the material begins to lose its ability to bond the materials together. As a result, the edge of the vinyl will begin to curl upwards, not only creating an unpleasant aesthetic but allowing dirt to collect beneath the flooring. 

Fortunately, even if a number of edges have begun to curl, you can fix this by following the steps below. 

  1. Tear off a piece of aluminum foil slightly larger than the affected tile and place it on the tile. Using a standard iron, apply heat to the tile; this softens the remaining adhesive and makes the tile more pliable.
  2. Peel the corners of the tile back far enough so that you can apply a new, thin layer of adhesive. Be mindful that using too much adhesive may cause a ripple to appear beneath the tile so it is advisable to only use the necessary amount of adhesive.
  3. Use a rolling pin to press the tile down to the edges. This will allow the vinyl to uniformly adhere to the subflooring and force out any extra adhesive.
  4. Using a damp cloth, clean any excess adhesive. Take extra care that no adhesive remains on the surface of the tile or any of the adjacent tiles.
  5. To ensure a strong bond, place a piece of wax paper over the tile and stack several heavy books on top of it. Leave the books on top of the tile overnight so that the adhesive has plenty of time to dry. 

If the flooring is damaged beyond repair you may need to replace the flooring entirely. If you’re set on undertaking the task yourself, know that answers to the questions about how to remove vinyl tile from a plywood floor and how to remove vinyl flooring from concrete may require you to alter your approach. It’s therefore best to do a bit of research ahead of time, or seek out the advice of a professional.

How to Remove Stains, Paint & Discolouration From Vinyl Flooring

It may come as a surprise that spills of food and drink, if left unattended for too long, can absorb into the vinyl, making it difficult to clean. When it comes to messes that could stain, the best practice is of course to clean it up right away. Some messes however, can go undiscovered for some time. If you’ve discovered a mess in your home that threatens to stain your vinyl flooring, try the following: 

  1. Mix together a solution of one part bleach to four parts water.
  2. Soak a clean rag in the mixture, lightly ring it out, then place the cloth over the stain.
  3. Leave the cloth in place over the stain undisturbed for one hour (taking special care to keep children and small pets away). During this time the bleach will soak into the stain and lighten it.
  4. Once an hour has elapsed, rinse the stain with water and dry.

Given that discolouration of vinyl flooring can occur after prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays,  the best way to combat this is to keep the shades drawn when the sun is intense. Of course, it isn’t always practical to open and close the shades numerous times a day to protect the contents of your home from harmful UV rays, but doing so when you can will go a long way in preserving the bright and vibrant colours of your vinyl.

How to Remove Scratches From Vinyl Flooring

Warping, stains and discolouration may sound easy enough to fix or prevent, but you might be wondering exactly how do I remove scratches from a vinyl floor? Everything from furniture to dropped utensils to dirt tracked in from the outside can scratch your vinyl floor, so it’s safe to say that scratches are fairly common. To reduce the likelihood that you’ll need to repair a scratch in your kitchen, bathroom, entryway, or hallway, take a few moments each day to sweep the surface clean. Ask guests to remove their shoes upon entering your home to prevent small stones from scratching your floors. If the scratch already exists, you’ll want to attempt to fix it as soon as possible to prevent it from worsening with the following:

  1. Combine warm water and some mild dish soap in a bucket.
  2. Soak a sponge in the solution and gently clean the area of the floor that contains the scratch.
  3. Allow the tile to completely dry. Using a high grit sandpaper, sand the section of the tile with the scratch. Note that this step must be completed very carefully so as not to damage the non-scratched surface of the tile. Take your time and only sand the section of the tile that contains the scratch.
  4. Gently wipe away any sand that may be left on the tile. Apply wax to the tile using a clean cloth.

There are many advantages to choosing vinyl flooring for your home, but like anything else you install, it will take some effort to keep it looking its best for as long as possible. If your home currently has vinyl flooring, you may consider upgrading to a more long-lasting and higher-quality flooring option, such as luxury vinyl or other tiles made from natural materials.

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