Keep your vinyl floor looking as good as new.

How to Repair Cuts in Vinyl Flooring

by Matt Smolsky

A rip in a vinyl floor isn't just unsightly, it can lead to a ruined floor and can even become a tripping hazard if it's deep or jagged enough. It's best to fix the rips when they first happen and are still manageable. They'll be easier to fix since dirt and grime won't have a chance to build up in the rip. It's important to examine the edges of the rip. A jagged rip is repaired differently than a clean tear.

1. Jagged Rips

1 Locate vinyl flooring that's larger than the damaged area. It can be leftover from the installation, a piece taken from an inconspicuous spot, or new, matching flooring.

2. Jagged Rips

2 Secure the patch over the damaged area with masking tape. The patch should extend about 2 or 3 inches from the edge of the rip. Using a straightedge and utility knife, cut throughout the patch and the damaged flooring. You'll need to press hard since you're cutting through two layers of vinyl, so make sure your blade's sharp. Also, be careful not to cut yourself. Vinyl flooring can be slick, which can cause the utility knife to slip.

3. Jagged Rips

3 Pull up the painters tape, the old pieces of vinyl and the newly formed patch.

4. Jagged Rips

4 Place a piece of aluminum foil over the damaged area you just cut. Turn a clothes iron on high and place it on top of the foil. Allow the vinyl flooring under the foil to soften. Check it frequently, but be careful not to burn your hands. Consider wearing work gloves.

5. Jagged Rips

5 Scrape the softened vinyl off the floor with a putty knife.

6. Jagged Rips

6 Apply mineral spirits with a rag to soften the adhesive that remains on the floor, scraping it away with a putty knife. Wear chemical-resistant gloves.

7. Jagged Rips

7 Dry the area and apply adhesive to the floor with a notched trowel. The adhesive should be about 1/8 inch thick.

8. Jagged Rips

8 Place the patch on the floor and press it down. Clean off any adhesive that bleeds through the seams.

9. Jagged Rips

9 Cover the seams in masking tape, then set heavy bricks on the seams and the rest of the patch to hold it in place.

10. Jagged Rips

10 Remove the bricks and masking tape after 24 hours.

11. Rips with Smooth Edges

1 Cut away any slight imperfections that would cause the vinyl not to lay flat. Use a sharp utility knife. Be careful not to cut away too much. If there's a large amount of vinyl that needs to be cut away, then you should use the instructions for repairing vinyl with a jagged rip.

12. Rips with Smooth Edges

2 Wash the area with dish detergent and warm water. Rinse and dry.

13. Rips with Smooth Edges

3 Place adhesive onto the tip of a putty knife and push the adhesive under the rip.

14. Rips with Smooth Edges

4 Mask the rip off with tape and cover it with a heavy brick.

15. Rips with Smooth Edges

5 Allow the area to dry for 24 hours before removing the brick and painters tape.

Items you will need

  • Extra vinyl flooring
  • Vinyl floor adhesive
  • Masking tape
  • Putty knife
  • Utility knife
  • Straightedge
  • Notched trowel
  • Clothes iron
  • Aluminum foil
  • Work gloves
  • Rag
  • Mineral spirits
  • Chemical-resistant gloves


  • If you need to replace an entire square of vinyl tile, use the steps used for repairing a jagged rip. You'll need tile that matches the rest, and you won't need to double-cut the tile.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images