Repair Vinyl Flooring: Patch Damaged Flooring

Updated: Feb. 28, 2023

Make ugly scars in your floor disappear

FH08OCT_PATVIN_01-2Family Handyman
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.

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Cutting in a patch

Find a patch

Cut out a piece of flooring from an inconspicuous place. Make sure the piece you cut out has a pattern that matches the piece you’ll replace.

Cut the patch to fit

Tape the replacement piece over the damaged section. Cut through both pieces with a sharp utility knife, following grout or pattern lines. Keep the blade straight up and down.

Glue the patch in

Remove the damaged section of flooring and any backing material that may be stuck to the floor. Glue in the replacement section and seal the seam with vinyl-floor seam sealer.

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. Check out these tile repair methods.

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.

  • Seam-sealing kit
  • Vinyl flooring adhesive