Cracked, old vinyl booths can degrade a restaurant's image if not reupholstered.

How to Repair Vinyl With a Hot Iron

by Kim Blakesley

A full sheet or tile vinyl floor is durable and long-lasting. No matter which vinyl floor you have -- full vinyl sheeting or vinyl tiles -- it is susceptible to damage. Improper installation can cause adhesion problems along the edges or air bubbles in the main body of the flooring. Another possible problem is a vinyl tile that completely comes loose. A simple and effective way of correcting these problems uses a clothing iron. The heat from the iron is sufficient enough to activate the adhesive and stick the vinyl to the subfloor.

Clean the area. Sweep and remove all visible debris. Clean under the tile's corners if the tiles are peeling in that area. Brush or sweep away the debris. Remove stuck-on items by dipping a cotton swab in mineral spirits. Rub the tip of the swap over the debris and surrounding area. The mineral spirits will loosen the debris for easy removal. Allow the area to dry before continuing.

Puncture the center of air bubbles, using a hot needle. Hold the pointed end of the needle in the flame of a lighter or a match. Remove the flame and immediately push the hot end of the needle through the center of the air bubble.

Center a 12-inch square of aluminum foil, shiny side down, over the peeled corner or air bubble area and place it on the tile.

Turn on your iron and set it to the "Cotton" setting. Allow the iron to heat two to three minutes.

Place the iron over the air bubbles or peeled corner. Press down for 15 seconds to 30 seconds depending on the thickness of the vinyl as thin vinyl takes less time to heat than thick. It is only necessary to warm the vinyl all the way through to activate the adhesive.

Remove the iron and roll over the area with a rolling pin, pressing firmly.

Remove the aluminum foil and inspect the area. If the air bubbles are still visible or the corner of the tile is still loose, repeat the process.

Items you will need

  • Broom
  • Dustpan
  • Metal putty knife
  • Mineral spirits
  • Cotton swab
  • Rag
  • Needle
  • Lighter or match
  • Iron
  • Aluminum foil
  • Rolling pin


  • Keep the face of the iron on the aluminum foil during the heating process. If the face of your iron touches the exposed vinyl, the vinyl will melt. Melted vinyl on the face of your iron will ruin the iron for any other use.

About the Author

Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images