How often should vinyl flooring be replaced?
How to Know When it’s Time to Replace Your Flooring
The floors in your home bear the brunt of the wear and tear it receives. Daily, they’re put to the test of handling dirty shoes, spills, and scratches from furniture, pet claws, sweepers and more. So it’s only a matter of time before they need to be replaced. The question is: how long?
Thin laminate or vinyl tile clearly displays when it’s at the end of its life. Whether the floor has seen water damage or just simple wear and tear, if it’s peeling up that means it’s time to replace it. This shows that the adhesive is starting to fail.
If any of your flooring is due to be replaced, it’s the perfect time to consider adding in-floor radiant heating. A radiant heating system is installed between your new flooring material and the subfloor and is a great way to add value to your home.
How to patch vinyl flooring
Vinyl tile flooring: Vinyl tiles come in smaller squares that are often easy to replace. If one of your tiles is discolored or scraped, all you have to do is remove it and replace it with another matching tile. Use a putty knife to dig into the seam. Then, tap its back end with a hammer to help the tool shimmy under the tile. Carefully lift the tile, using the knife to scrape areas where it’s stuck. Once the tile is gone, remove the glue with a floor stripper. Apply the new tile.From stains to dents to lifted seams, vinyl flooring can sustain some damage over time. Luckily, it’s all rather simple to fix. The techniques you can employ to administer repairs depend on what the damage is and the kind of vinyl flooring you have.
Patching: Sheet vinyl is a little more difficult to repair than tiles, which are smaller. Sheets have a bigger surface area, so simply replacing them isn’t always an option. Instead, you can use the patching method. First, identify the damaged area and box it in with tape. Then, find a piece of vinyl not attached to your floor (leftovers from your installation) and look for a section that matches perfectly to the damaged area. Cut a square out of the floor and the replacement. Adhere the replacement in the hole you cut out. Make sure the patterns match up perfectly, or you’ll notice the patch. Additionally, use a very sharp knife and straightedge to do all the cutting.
How to restore vinyl flooring
When the finish on your vinyl flooring no longer shines, it’s time to give it a facelift. This is an easy fix, as you only have to apply new finish to your floors. Here are a few ways to revitalize your vinyl:
Refinish: If your vinyl floors have a finish on top, you can bring its shine back to life with a suitable finishing product. Floors with five or more layers of finish need to be stripped. Use a stripping solution made for vinyl floors, following the instructions verbatim. Most products will have you mop with the stripper and let the floor dry. Then you’ll scrub the vinyl with a stripping pad, apply stripper again and rinse. After that, vacuum your floors with a wet vac, then a dry vac. Mop the new finish on your floors and let the product dry. Buff the floors between each coat.
Floor shiner: Most newer, luxury vinyl floors won’t require a drastic facelift, like refinishing. Instead, you can purchase floor products meant to deep clean and restore the surface. If your floors lack shine, you might need to adjust your maintenance habits. Stick to a pH-neutral cleaner, as alkaline solutions strip vinyl of its wax finish. Proper cleaners should help floors retain their glossy finish.
How to replace vinyl flooring
A new floor is the answer if your vinyl is past the point of no return. For example, a replacement is needed if there are noticeable rips in various areas of your floor. Or if your floor has undergone water damage which makes it more susceptible to further tears. However, the installation process for vinyl floors is relatively easy.
- Start by removing your existing vinyl, cut it into manageable strips and pull away from the corner, using a scraper to separate the flooring from the adhesive. For especially stubborn areas, it’s best to heat the section beforehand with a heat gun or even hairdryer. This softens the adhesive making it compliant.
- Once you’ve reached your subfloor, thoroughly clean it by sweeping away any dust or debris and allow it to dry for at least 24 hours, during this time take your new vinyl out of its packaging and allow it to acclimatise.
- When ready, start by cutting your new vinyl to the size of your room, allowing an extra 15 cm just to be safe.
- Then lay over the floor. The installation method depends on the room’s size. Smaller rooms can get away with a simple loose installation without glue. For rooms between 12 and 25 metres squared, use double-sided tape, we offer this in our Adhesive Section. For larger rooms, spread adhesive on the subfloor before laying.
- Finish by adding beading with glue or a hammer and nail.
How to repair vinyl flooring
Although Vinyl flooring is one of the most durable types of floors, it sadly isn’t immune to damage. A simple repair is recommended if your problems are just minor rips or tears with smooth edges. This repair is easy to carry out yourself by simply using a vinyl floor adhesive and putty knife. But if your tear happens to be larger, have jagged edges, or be in a noticeable spot, it’s best to replace that section of flooring.
How to fix vinyl flooring minor tears
- To fix smooth and minor rips or tears, start by cleaning up any debris or dirt. This could otherwise lead to further damage and rips after the repairs.
- Next, gently wash the damaged area with warm water to get rid of any surface film on your floor, then dry thoroughly. At this point, you should open your windows to properly ventilate the room.
- Next, get out your vinyl flooring adhesive and using a putty knife, spread a little under the edge of the rip. Place firmly down on the area and then cover the rip with tape to allow it to dry properly. It’s helpful to add something heavy on top of the area to hold it all in place.
- Then leave the rip to dry for the length of time recommended on your chosen adhesive. After this, gently remove the tape and your vinyl floor should be as good as new!
How to fix larger tears
For the sections with the bigger tears with jagged edges, this isn’t easily fixable by simply glueing down and you’ll have to replace that section of flooring.
- To do this, start by finding a larger part of vinyl that matches your floor perfectly, either remnant from the installation or parts taken from a hidden section.
- Tape this piece over the damaged section, ensuring the patterns align. Then use a utility knife to cut through both layers of vinyl. Try and cut so the lines will go unnoticed, for example, if it’s a tile print, cut around the edges of the tile.
- Next, remove the damaged layer of vinyl, you may need a putty knife to break the vinyl away from the adhesive on the subfloor. Scrape off the old adhesive and then use the putty knife to apply a fresh, even layer of vinyl floor adhesive to the area of the floor.
- Finally, firmly press your new layer of vinyl on and leave for the recommended drying time of the adhesive. It’s also recommended to use a seam roller to allow the edges to blend perfectly.
How to clean vinyl flooring
Cleaning your vinyl using only water will usually suffice. However, the best way to clean vinyl floors is to use a mild cleanser designed for vinyl floor care. Use this with a mop and water to add extra sparkle. However check the label before using, as different vinyl will require different products.
While it may be tempting to go overboard with your mopping, the best way to clean vinyl floors is to try to use water sparingly. Although vinyl flooring is not as prone to damage as solid wood, too much liquid does not benefit it. An overly wet mop could work its way into the seams of the vinyl and loosen the adhesive, which could cause bumps or curling.
After cleaning, ensure your flooring is completely dry by going over it with a soft towel. Vinyl is non-absorbent so any leftover liquid will otherwise just sit on the surface in puddles.
For tougher stains, bicarbonate of soda can also be handy with warm water. For even more stubborn stains, for example, wine, a small amount of bleach diluted with water will do wonders. After the product is applied, wipe away with a damp mop or cloth. Any leftover soap scum will develop a film and collect more dirt, so ensure you wipe away thoroughly. Whatever you do, always be gentle while scrubbing and don’t use abrasive cleaners or scourers which could mark the surface.