How to Replace Damaged Vinyl Tile Flooring

A vinyl tile flooring installation is a common choice in most American homes. It has gained that much popularity because it’s very affordable and durable. In fact, its design usually goes out of style long before its surface wears out. However, vinyl flooring isn’t indestructible. Sometimes, sliding back pieces of furniture such as a center table or chair may tear it apart, while a dropped pair of scissors can easily dent or scrape the material. And at times, even as seemingly harmless as high heels can notoriously puncture the toughest flooring if there’s even the smallest amount of void in the sub-floor underneath it.

flooring-installationFortunately, replacing broken vinyl tile flooring is easy, and needs little more than a hair dryer and utility knife. It’s just a matter of cutting out the damaged tiles with a utility knife and glue in a spare tile. It couldn’t get any easier than that, right? Although this would require an extra piece of similar flooring so, I hope there are a few scrap pieces which your installer before left behind for this kind of situation. Otherwise, you may purchase an identical piece at the same flooring dealer where you initially bought the tile flooring.

On the other hand, before you get on with replacing the damaged area, let me orient you about a thing or two on the cons of vinyl tile flooring. This kind of flooring can’t stand up to ultraviolet rays, thus under prolonged exposure to sunlight the patterns and colors will start to fade. And because of this, the vinyl tile flooring replacement could be visibly different than your current flooring. I say this now to save you from getting the shock of your life when after doing the project and you see that the vinyl tile replacement with identical in design would be significantly different in color than your current flooring. But if you’re okay with this then let’s get this project started and gather the things you will need, such as:

  • a utility or putty knife
  • heat gun or you may also use a hair dryer
  • a rolling pin
  • adhesive remover
  • replacement tiles

Step 1: Start by using a heat gun on the damaged tiles to warm and soften the adhesive underneath.

Step 2: Next, pry out pieces of the tile with a putty knife. Be very careful on doing this step so you won’t cause any further damage to the surrounding tiles.

Step 3: Once you’ve removed the affected tile, scrape the subfloor clean of any remaining adhesive or broken tile bits

Step 4: Then peel off the adhesive shield from the back of the replacement tile if it’s a new adhesive-back tile or put on mastic to the subfloor if you’re using a tile you lifted from somewhere else.

Step 5: To finish, press by running a rolling pin over the replacement tile to ensure the adhesive tape sticks firmly onto the subfloor. Be sure to wait at least 24 hours before letting anyone step on the newly repaired flooring. I recommend putting a chair or any warning sign on the replaced area so that you and the rest of the household members would be reminded not to traverse it.