How to repair gaps between vinyl flooring planks

How to repair gaps between vinyl flooring planks


Q: Our vinyl flooring has produced two widening cracks. Is there a way to repair this to right the look and to prevent even more widening, which could grow to be a tripping hazard?

A: Certainly, you ought to be capable to nudge the planks together to shut the gaps. Vinyl planks, like a ton of other flooring these times, are generally put in as a floating ground. The plank edges interlock, so the flooring functions as a single unit that “floats” about the subfloor but is not hooked up to it.

All setting up supplies, vinyl flooring bundled, grow and deal as temperatures improve. To permit for that motion without the need of resulting in the planks to buckle as they increase or slip aside as they shrink, installers are supposed to leave an enlargement gap all-around the perimeter of the area. (The measurement of the hole must be what is advisable by the maker.) Baseboards, quarter-round molding or cabinets deal with the gaps — but it is significant to fasten these to the wall, not the ground, so the hole stays unencumbered.

A single downside to the floating-floor strategy is that gaps do from time to time open up concerning planks, as you have seasoned. Occasionally a gap is easy to close, in some cases it’s trickier and occasionally it is impossible, simply because a little something, such as a cupboard, was screwed by way of the flooring and into the subfloor. In most circumstances, nevertheless, you can shut the hole by pushing the piece that is closest to a wall toward the heart of the home, which will set the expansion gap back again at the perimeter of the space, wherever it belongs.

Start by cleansing the crack, so no debris keeps it from closing. Vacuum it, then go over it with a thing sharp, these as a toothpick or knife blade, to loosen any caught gunk. Vacuum once more.

If you are fortunate, you may be equipped to kick the errant plank into area. Place on shoes with grip. With your back again toward the wall that is closest to the hole, stand with one foot on an adjoining plank and kick ahead on the plank that desires to move. At times which is all it will take to tighten the gap. If the plank is not the a person upcoming to the wall, the following gap could open up. Repeat until you are at the wall.

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If that does not work, or if your footwear skid over the vinyl when you kick, get a piece of rubberlike rug pad, this kind of as the nonslip really hard-surface area rug pad ($6.34 for a 2-by-3-foot piece at House Depot). Also get a quick, thick piece of wooden, these types of as a 12-inch length of two-by-four, and a rubber mallet. Area the pad on the plank you want to transfer, top rated that with the wooden, then brace the wooden with your ft and hit the finish of it with the mallet till the hole closes.

And if that doesn’t work? As an alternative of making use of the carpet pad, try a Floor Hole Fixer ($51.99 on Amazon), a bar about two inches extensive and 10 inches long with a sticky facet. The maker suggests it grips even to textured vinyl and is reusable and washer-friendly. Or you can use double-adhere carpet tape with a wood block. (Trazon carpet tape, which claims to depart no residue, is $9.97 for a 12-property roll that is two inches broad on Amazon.) You almost certainly will not be ready to pull up the Floor Gap Fixer or the block of wooden you tapped towards with your fingers by yourself. Use a trim pry bar. The moment you get the bar a very little little bit underneath, slip a vast putty knife beneath the pry bar, so when you lever it, the bar presses against the putty knife blade, decreasing the danger of gouging the flooring.

And a remaining possibility, if your vinyl flooring is smooth: Rapidly-forward to a solution that a flooring installer would most likely use. Grip the plank even though you faucet it into spot, and use a suction device, these kinds of as the FCHO floor-gap-fixer tool ($21.99 on Amazon with a mallet involved).

Regardless of what remedy you use, if the plank closest to the wall is too shorter to depart swing area for kicking the plank or tapping towards a block or suction tool, you will want a Z-condition metal bar that hooks in excess of the outside the house edge of the flooring and that has a tip on the other finish that extends upward for you to pound versus, this kind of as the Roberts 16.25-inch pro pull bar ($14.57 at House Depot).

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