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How To Remove Scratches From Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is popular for its durability and ease of maintenance, but it’s not immune to scratches, especially in high-traffic areas or homes with pets. Fortunately, there are several effective methods for repairing scratches on vinyl flooring, ranging from simple DIY fixes to more comprehensive repair techniques. This guide will walk you through various ways to repair scratches on vinyl flooring, ensuring your floors continue to look their best.

Understanding the Severity of the Scratch

Before deciding on a repair method, assess the depth and severity of the scratch:

  • Light Scratches: These are superficial marks that haven’t fully penetrated the wear layer of the vinyl.
  • Deep Scratches: These scratches go beyond the wear layer and into the vinyl beneath.

DIY Methods for Light Scratches

1. Cleaning

Often, what appears to be a scratch is just dirt trapped in the vinyl’s texture.

  • Method: Clean the area thoroughly with a vinyl floor cleaner or a solution of apple cider vinegar and water to ensure the mark is actually a scratch.

2. The Tennis Ball Trick

A tennis ball can be surprisingly effective at removing light scuff marks and minor scratches.

  • Method: Rub the scratch gently with a tennis ball. The friction and soft texture of the ball can buff out light scratches without damaging the finish.

3. Pencil Eraser

A simple pencil eraser can remove minor scratches.

  • Method: Rub the scratch gently with a clean, white eraser until the mark fades.

Commercial Products for More Noticeable Scratches

1. Scratch Repair Kits

Specifically made for vinyl flooring, these kits usually contain a filling compound and a finish solution.

  • Method: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, you’ll apply a small amount of the compound to the scratch, allow it to dry, and then apply a finishing coat over the area.

2. Vinyl Floor Sealants

These products can seal the scratch and restore the look of the floor’s surface.

  • Method: Clean the area thoroughly, apply the sealant according to the product instructions, and allow it to dry.

Professional Techniques for Deep Scratches

1. Vinyl Floor Patch Kits

These are ideal for deeper scratches or gouges.

  • Method: These kits generally include a clear vinyl adhesive and some type of colorant that matches your flooring. Clean the area, mix the adhesive and colorant, apply it to the scratch, and smooth it out. Allow it to dry completely.

2. Replacement of the Damaged Planks or Tiles

If the scratch is too deep to fill, replacing the plank or tile might be necessary.

  • Method: This involves removing the damaged piece and installing a new one. It’s best done by professionals, especially for glue-down or underlayment vinyl floors.

Preventive Measures

  • Use Protective Pads: Attach felt pads to the bottoms of furniture legs to prevent scratches.
  • Regular Cleaning: Keep the floor clean of dirt and grit that can cause scratches.
  • Rugs and Mats: Use rugs and mats in high-traffic areas to minimize wear.

Conclusion

Scratches on vinyl flooring can detract from its appearance but are generally fixable with the right approach. For light scratches, DIY methods like the tennis ball trick or a pencil eraser can be surprisingly effective. For deeper scratches, consider a repair kit or, in severe cases, replacing the damaged section of flooring. With proper care and maintenance, your vinyl flooring can continue to look pristine for years.

Easipay Carpets can help you get brand new flooring without the high up-front cost – by simply letting you spread the cost of the flooring over time instead. There’s no interest on our plans so you aren’t spending a penny more than you would buying it outright and we include underlay, door trims, carpet grippers and laminate beading for free. Prices start from just £10 per week! 

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Still Got Questions? Here's 10 FAQs!

Most types of vinyl flooring can be repaired if scratched, including luxury vinyl tiles (LVT), vinyl sheets, and vinyl planks. However, the repair method may vary depending on the type and severity of the scratch.

DIY methods can be quite effective for minor scratches. Techniques like using a tennis ball or a pencil eraser can remove or significantly reduce the visibility of light scratches. For deeper scratches, more specialized products like repair kits may be required.

Complete removal of a scratch depends on its depth. Light scratches can often be buffed out or filled in to the point where they are no longer noticeable. Deep scratches may not be completely removable and might require patching or plank replacement for a seamless look.

Vinyl floor sealants or finishing products designed specifically for vinyl flooring are best. These products will match the sheen of the floor and offer protection against further damage.

Drying times vary by product. Typically, a sealant or filler in a scratch repair kit can take anywhere from a few hours to overnight to fully cure. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific drying times.

 

While car wax can be used to add shine and reduce the visibility of very light scratches, it’s not a long-term solution and is generally not recommended for deep scratches or as a substitute for proper vinyl floor repair products.

Regularly sweeping or vacuuming to remove dirt and grit, using doormats to minimize debris being tracked onto the floor, placing protective pads under furniture legs, and using area rugs in high-traffic areas are effective preventive measures.

Avoid using abrasive cleaners, steel wool, or any sharp objects that might exacerbate the scratches. Stick to soft cloths and pads and use only cleaners specified for use on vinyl flooring.

Home remedies like olive oil or jojoba oil can temporarily fill in small scratches and improve the appearance of the floor, but these are not durable solutions and will require frequent reapplication.

For deep scratches, using a vinyl floor patch kit is usually more cost-effective than replacing entire planks or tiles, especially if the affected area is small. However, if the damage is extensive, replacing sections of the flooring might be more economical in the long run.

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