Repair Vinyl Flooring: Patch Damaged Flooring

Make ugly scars in your floor disappear

Holes and burns in vinyl flooring look impossible to repair, but if you can cut a small patch from a closet or under an appliance, you can make a repair that looks as good as the original floor.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Cutting in a patch

You don’t have to live with unsightly holes, burns or worn-out spots in your vinyl floor. If you can find a hidden spot on the same floor to steal a little flooring from, you can cut out the damaged area and make a nearly invisible patch.

Inside closets and under appliances are good places to look for matching flooring. Or, if you’re really lucky, you’ll find some scraps left behind by the flooring installer. The replacement piece should match the pattern of the damaged one and extend about 1/2 in. beyond these pattern lines. Keep in mind that the patch will be less conspicuous if you make the seams along grout lines or other divisions in the pattern. With a utility knife, cut a square from the floor in a hidden location. Loosen the adhesive in one corner with a hair dryer and lift the corner with a putty knife. Then work the piece loose by applying heat to the old adhesive while gently pulling up the vinyl (Photo 1).

To install the patch, you’ll need vinyl flooring adhesive, a 1/16-in. notched trowel or notched putty knife for spreading the adhesive, and a seam-sealing kit. You’ll find all these items at home centers or flooring stores. Patch the floor as shown in Photos 2 and 3. Follow the instructions on the label for spreading and drying time. Finish up by applying seam sealer according to the kit instructions.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Framing square
  • Putty knife
  • Utility knife

You'll also need a hair dryer and a 1/16-in. notched trowel.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Vinyl flooring adhesive
  • Seam-sealing kit