When you want the look of hardwood floors without the expense, vinyl plank flooring provides a great choice. Often referred to as luxury vinyl, vinyl plank flooring is a cost-effective and fashionable choice for the home or office but over time, it can get scratched from daily wear and tear. Fortunately, repairing simple scratches in vinyl plank flooring is fast, easy, and inexpensive. With a few basic supplies, it is easy to buff out scratches and restore the original shine of the flooring. If you are considering installing vinyl plank flooring in the home, it is a good idea to keep a handful of extra planks on-hand as replacement pieces in case patching the vinyl plank flooring is necessary.
What You’ll Need
A few basic supplies are all that’s needed to fix a scratch in vinyl plank flooring, all of which can be purchased inexpensively at a local home improvement center.
- Dish Detergent
- P320 Sand Paper
- P500 Sand Paper
- P800 Sand Paper
- Car Wax
- Clean Cloth
Clean the Floor
Before any repairs can be made, a deep cleaning of the floor is imperative. Any surface dirt needs lifted from the floors. A simple mixture of dish soap and warm water will cut through any dirt and grease. Add a quarter cup of dish detergent to a bucket of warm water. Use a sponge to get a deep-down clean. Any dirt left behind in the scratch will prevent a proper repair. After scrubbing the affected area, allow the floor to dry thoroughly.
Sand the Vinyl
The purpose of the sanding is to smooth and buff out the scratch without removing the finish of the floor. Start by lightly using a P320 medium-coarse sandpaper, rubbing in the same direction as the scratch. Continue with light strokes until much of the scratch is rubbed out, making sure not to damage the finish of the vinyl. Repeat the process with P500 and P800 paper to ensure a smooth result. Run your finger along the edge of the scratch on occasion to make sure that it is smooth to the touch with the rest of the title and there is nothing left to snag. Once finished, use dish detergent and water again to clean the floor and remove any dust the sand paper left behind, giving the floor time to dry completely before moving on to the next step.
In some cases, a scratch will be too deep to completely remove without wearing down the finish as well. In that case, make sure to smooth the sides of the scratch, making the whole area as smooth as possible and then continue on to the cleaning and waxing stages. In severe cases, a scratch may require the removal and replacement of a vinyl tile. If the finish has been damaged in the sanding process, a replacement of that tile will be necessary.
Wax the Floors
A little car wax acts as an effective buffing agent to restore the original shine of the vinyl material. Take a quality car wax and a clean rag, working the wax into the scratch in circles. Fill the entire scratch with the wax, carefully wiping away any excess wax from the vinyl surrounding the area. After waxing, take a clean cloth and rub it gently over the area, ensuring a smooth and consistent finish.
Prevent Damage with Floor Protectors
Fixing small scratches in vinyl plank flooring is easy but there are a few simple steps that can prevent damage to the floors in the first place. Prevent dining chairs from scratching floors as they are pushed in and out by adding felt or silicone floor protectors beneath each of the feet. Not only do they help the chair to slide quietly, they also provide protection for the vinyl flooring beneath. If you have a larger sitting area, such as a living room, using a large area rug to ground the space and provide a layer of protection for furniture feet is helpful.
The simple process of fixing a scratch in a vinyl plank floor should take a matter of minutes from start to finish and uses just a couple of supplies. When complete, the scratch should no longer be visible, the finish should still be intact, and the area should be smooth to the touch. If a piece of furniture caused the scratch in the first place, inspect the bottom of the furniture to see if a nail or rough area caused the scratch. A little sanding of the bottom of the feet may be enough to smooth out any rough areas.