How To Repair Scratches On Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Michael Oconnor
by Michael Oconnor

Scratches on your luxury vinyl floors are an unfortunate downside of having them. Kids and pets have a tendency to drag in small bits of dirt and gravel on the bottoms of their feet, scratching up the floor. With just a few steps though, these can be repaired.

To repair scratches on your flooring, first clean the area. If there are still scratches there, you can fill the area with a wax stick. Then, buff it with a soft cloth. If that does not take care of the scratches, you may have to refinish the area.

By following these steps one by one, you can determine how bad the scratches are. If one of the steps takes care of the problem, there is no need to move on to the next one.

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Step 1: Clean the Area

Before buffing out scratches in your flooring, try to find out if they are just on the surface or not. Sometimes, scratches can simply be washed away with a good sweeping and mopping. If this takes care of the problem, you’re in luck.

Some floor cleaners are specifically formulated to help buff out scratches in laminate and hardwood flooring. By regularly mopping with one of these cleaners, you can routinely get rid of surface scratches. This will help you identify when you have deeper scratches.

If you have thoroughly cleaned the area and there are still scratches, you may need to put in a little more elbow grease. Sometimes, scrubbing a little harder will buff out tougher surface scratches without having to be filled in. You will know if they are coming out or not.

Step 2: Fill it

If the area is completely clean and the scratches are still visible, you may need to fill them with a wax stick. Wax sticks are designed to fill in scratches on wood, laminate, and vinyl flooring. They are usually available at any hardware store.

Run the wax stick over the affected area after it has been completely cleaned. Make note of where any scratches are and apply special pressure there to fill them in. The wax will smear all over the area so it will need to be cleaned up afterward.

You can buy wax sticks that match the color of your luxury vinyl flooring. The nice thing about these is that they can be mixed to make custom colors. This makes them much more likely to be able to fix the scratches on your floor.

Step 3: Buff It

After you use the wax stick, you will have to buff the area thoroughly. What this will do is spread the wax throughout the floor and take off any edges of the scratches. It will also fill in the gaps in between any grain or texturing of the flooring.

Buffing can be done with a cloth and a whole lot of elbow grease. If you think you have buffed the floor for long enough, odds are, you have not. You can always buff for longer and it will only help take the edge off the scratches.

If you want to make sure that you are doing the most thorough buffing job you can do, you can rent an electric buffer. These will give you the most power and will be the most likely to clear up any scratches. They will also save your shoulders and elbows.

Step 4: Replace Flooring in the Area

If the scratches are bad enough that you need to refinish an area of your floor, don’t panic. It could simply mean that you have to replace some of the planks if the gouges are deep enough. While this can be pricey, it is not as bad as replacing the entire thing.

To determine if you need to refinish an area of your floor, try all of the above steps. If they do not remove the scratches, try some very high-grit sandpaper around the area as well as some of the wax stick. Repeat the above steps in reverse to polish the area after sanding.

If you do end up needing to refinish an area of your floor, you can choose to replace individual planks or sections of laminate flooring. Luckily, this does not usually mean that you have to replace the entire floor. Most types of kitchen flooring have replacement sections available.

Preventing Scratches

There are many ways to prevent scratches on your luxury vinyl floor. Unfortunately, if you have kids or pets this can be a little bit tougher. However, some general rules can help prevent scratches from appearing in the first place.

One of the ways that you can prevent scratches on the floor is to make the move to a shoe-free household. By making this rule, you can prevent scratches from the small pieces of gravel that get stuck in the soles of shoes.

It may take some getting used to, but after a while you should start to see a great improvement in the condition of your floor. Making this rule can also help preserve your carpet and other flooring surfaces.

Another way to prevent scratches on your luxury vinyl flooring is to put rubber feet on furniture. Furniture can often scratch up flooring very easily. To remedy this, cover the feet of all chairs and tables with rubber or felt to keep them from scratching.

Refinishing Your Whole Floor

If your floor is scratched up beyond repair, you can always completely refinish it. Should you decide that the time has come to refinish your entire floor, there are a couple of ways to go about it. You can try taking on the project yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.

Of course, as with any big job, it is always best to weigh your options. Refinishing an entire floor is not an easy job. You should ask yourself whether or not it will be worth it to do the entire thing yourself. On the other hand, there is nothing more rewarding than taking on a big job.

Refinishing your floor usually consists of completely removing any vinyl flooring. After the floor has been stripped, you will replace it with a new surface of your choice. It’s a big job, but has the potential to be extremely rewarding.

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Related Questions

Are scratches on floors normal wear and tear?

In general, scratches on vinyl floors are considered normal wear and tear. Usually, scratches that have this distinction can be renewed with cleaning or light buffing. They are the result of general life in a home.

Do scratch repair pens work?

Even though they seem like a good idea, scratch repair pens do not work as well as good old-fashioned buffing. They can take out some light scratches, but not nearly as well as a wax stick and clean rag can. Because of this, it is best to avoid them.

How do I fix water damage on my floors?

Depending on how deep it is, water damage to your floors can be sanded out or the floor can be replaced. Water tends to warp all types of flooring, so if it has been soaked, you may have to replace it. If it is just stained, it can usually be removed with a heavy grit sandpaper.

Michael Oconnor
Michael Oconnor

I am a writer and editor from The Bay Area, CA. When I'm not typing, I enjoy hiking, woodworking and gardening. I love sharing tips and discovering new trends in home improvement.

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