How to Repair a Small Tear, Scratch, or Gouge in Your Vinyl Floor

Published On: December 27th, 2023Categories: Featured, Press Releases

This article was first published in LifeHacker on December 27, 2023

While vinyl flooring is known for its durability, that doesn’t mean it’s completely damage-proof. Between everyday wear and tear and occasional mishaps, you may begin to notice some minor blemishes on your once-pristine floors. The good news is that repairing a small tear, scratch, or gouge in your vinyl floor is often a pretty simple task. I enlisted the help of three experts in flooring and home maintenance to walk me through the steps involved in these vinyl flooring fixes.

How to repair surface scratches, tears, and gouges in vinyl flooring

While major vinyl floor repairs are usually best left to professionals, scratches, tears, and gouges on the surface of a vinyl floor can be relatively easy to fix on your own. The damage may be minor, but, as Sean O’Rourke, a 30-year veteran of the flooring industry and the national director of merchandising for Floor Coverings International points out, it “can be unsightly, because it will usually be in a conspicuous area.”

Repairing deep scratches, tears, and gouges often requires removing and replacing the damaged section of vinyl flooring. But if you’re only dealing with shallow, surface blemishes, consider trying one of these methods:

Buff it out

Brett Labeka, a building maintenance expert at the home improvement app Frontdoor, recommends applying a small amount of WD-40 or jojoba oil to the scratched area, then using a cloth to gently rub it in, using a circular motion. “Wipe away any excess oil, then allow it to dry completely,” he says.

Add a light layer of lacquer

O’Rourke recommends repairing a minor tear ore gouge with some lacquer: “Something as simple as a light coating with a clear acrylic lacquer around the torn edges should suffice,” he says.

Use a hair dryer

Rotem Eylor, CEO and Founder of Republic Flooring, suggests using a hair dryer to repair light scratches and tears in vinyl flooring. “Turn the hair dryer on, hold [it] a couple inches away from the scratch, and wave it back and forth,” he says. “Heat softens the vinyl and helps it expand, which can reduce visibility of the scratch.”

Get a kit

Repair kits are also available online, and they come with the backing fabric, colorant, and lacquer you need to fix the scratch.