If you’ve ever had to fix a crack or gap in your vinyl flooring, you know it can be a huge headache. These simple tips will help you get your vinyl plank flooring looking brand new.
Vinyl plank flooring is an inexpensive alternative for those who want the high-end look and feel of hardwood floors. What’s more, vinyl planks can be installed in any room of the house, including living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. Since they are easy to clean and maintain, they are a great option for even first-time homeowners.
Vinyl plank flooring provides the same luxurious look that you can enjoy, and it’s much easier to maintain than traditional hardwood. It’s easy to install with a few different options — like click-together, glue-down, or loose lay.
Vinyl floor gaps are a problem, but they can be prevented with great preparation, attention to detail and an expert perspective. Be sure to measure twice and cut once, and know that a small gap can quickly become huge with time, as the vinyl expands and contracts depending on the weather.
Most people think that fixing flooring gaps takes a lot of time and effort, but it doesn’t. Vinyl plank flooring is the most popular type of flooring in the world and it is durable, affordable, and looks great once installed. The only problem with plank vinyl floors is their tendency to bow out over time. At some point, the floor will need to be adjusted to keep it from bowing out and to keep it looking great.
Vinyl plank tends to develop gaps between boards over time, which can be unsightly. Gaps also allow moisture and other small particles to fall into the crack and collect in the void. This can cause mold or rot if left unattended, which will damage your floor further. This is something that you can fix easily, and it’s not even a difficult effort.
In this article, you will learn how to properly repair gaps in vinyl flooring. The process is simple and straightforward, doesn’t require a complete hole replacement, and will leave your floors looking great.
How to Fix Gaps in Vinyl Plank Flooring – Step by Step Guide
When vinyl flooring is manufactured and installed, it should fit together perfectly without gaps. Vinyl flooring doesn’t need to be grouted, it doesn’t need filling, and it won’t leave gaps.
However, with just about any installation of a floor covering — even a sheet of paper — there will be gaps that need to be filled. Whether it is the installation process itself, or foot traffic from moving in and out of the house, there will be gaps.
Glued or Clicked-In Floors
When you have a laminate flooring set with click-together tiles, replacing a tile can be difficult without breaking other pieces. Here’s a guide on how to address the gaps:
Clean any plank floor with a mop and some warm water. Warm water opens the floor’s pores and helps slough off stuck-on dirt and debris. Use a special cleaner on the gap between planks to remove any leftover debris from missed spots or floor cleaning. Vacuuming and mopping is a good way to ensure that your floors stay clean.
Give the floor a day to dry. Then, check if there’s any left-over dirt in the gap. Use your finger to feel if the gap is dry. If it feels damp, wait another 12 hours and try again. Once it’s dry, your floor is ready for use.
Reducing the gap between your floor planks is relatively simple. First, run a thin bead of caulk along the bottom of the plank and across the gap. Next, press down on the caulk with a putty knife to get it fully into the crack. After waiting for it to dry, sand off any excess caulk that might have oozed out. Scrape off excess caulk and let it dry (about an hour).
After repairing the vinyl plank flooring, it is essential to wait at least 24 hours before any heavy activity is done over the spot. The best way to test if the glue has dried completely is to check with your foot. If you applied too much glue, the surface of the flooring can be saturated for a period of up to two weeks before cracking appears.
Note: You can use enamel to fix gaps in the same way you would use caulk.
Loose Lay Floors
When you have a gap on your vinyl floor, it can be just as quick and easy to fix it. All you have to do is use the loose lay rubber mallet from the end of the row. If you need a little help, there are also tools that will fix the gaps on your floor. Two types of tools are double-sided tape or a rubber mallet.
It may seem complicated, but closing a vinyl plank floor gap is actually very easy. All you need is double-sided tape and a small piece of 4 X 4 lumber. Stick the tape in the vinyl plank floor gap, place the wood over top, and hit it with a rubber mallet to force it together until the gap closes.
Other Vinyl Plank Floor Types
If you’re unhappy with the flooring in a particular spot, and that section can be easily separated from the rest of your flooring, then replacing just that piece is a good option. Vinyl flooring permits this by breaking down into smaller pieces, so this fix is perfect for small spaces under furniture or around doorframes.
If you have extra vinyl planks, consider using them to cover the spot where the gap is. Vinyl flooring offers flexibility because it can be used to fill in gaps without having to replace the entire floor.
What Causes Vinyl Plank Flooring Gaps?
There are many causes of gaps that occur in vinyl plank flooring, ranging from human-made to environmental. Here are some of the most common causes of vinyl plank gaps and their solutions.
Dampness and moisture can cause gaps inside your floors. Moisture happens when dry air comes in contact with water vapour, which is why it’s recommended that you use a dehumidifier when possible. This will eliminate the amount of dampness in the air, reducing the chances of gaps forming in your flooring.
As soon as water gets underneath a vinyl floor, it can weaken the integrity of the material. That’s why you should treat any gap — or crack — with care.
Waterproof vinyl is a must for all surfaces that will see everyday use and moisture. You can expect high-quality, waterproof results from ABC Vinyl that are sure to last. In areas where moisture is a constant, durable PVC can be the best option for a long-lasting floor covering solution.
Water can damage your floorboards, and the moisture levels aren’t the same in every room. One of the easiest ways to protect them is by measuring where they are going to be placed, and double checking that they are suitable for certain environments.
Moisture can occur in any room. A leaky canister, a vase of hydrangeas, or even condensation from a windowpane. When left unaddressed, this moisture can wreak havoc on your vinyl plank floors. This could lead to buckling, warping, and graying, as well as mold growth and staining.
Vinyl planks are designed to withstand constant foot traffic, but that doesn’t mean they can’t develop gaps. Common causes include hot and cold temperatures, which can expand and contract vinyl planks over time. Gaps are also more likely to appear in heavy traffic areas like hallways and kitchens, near windows and vents, or in rooms with a lot of fluctuation in precipitation.
Being ready for a vinyl flooring gap is crucial. When it happens, you will be able to fix it as quickly and easily as possible. Vinyl gaps occur due to a change in heat or cold, which can be caused by a number of factors, including broken doors and windows, temperature changes and a number of other things.
Gaps in vinyl plank flooring will occur for a variety of reasons. It could be due to weather changes, moisture, or simply moving furniture around. The good news is that you don’t have to replace the entire floor when small gaps occur. There are simple ways to fix gaps in vinyl plank flooring with the tips given in the article.
If you have gaps between the vinyl planks in your home, some of them can be easily filled with a gap filler and others you can fill with adhesive. If neither of these options work, consider replacing the flooring altogether.