Vinyl plank flooring is durable and is an ideal choice for homes with pets and kids. Plus, it is affordable, robust, easy to maintain, and versatile. However, vinyl plank flooring can buckle in extreme moisture and temperature conditions.
You can and should fix a buckling vinyl plank flooring by replacing a section of the flooring or repairing the affected area. The vinyl floor may experience buckling if it is not properly maintained or installed. Excess moisture and extreme heat can also cause buckling.
In this article, you will learn more if you can and should fix a buckling vinyl plank flooring, its causes, and how to fix it. Additionally, you will learn about ways to keep your flooring from doing so.
Can You Fix a Buckling Vinyl Plank Flooring?
You can fix a buckling vinyl plank flooring by fixing the buckled area or removing a section of the vinyl flooring. Moreover, vinyl floors will last longer as long as you pay attention to the factors that lead to buckling.
Should You Fix a Buckling Vinyl Plank Flooring?
You should fix a buckling vinyl plank flooring as soon as possible to help to avoid a major repair and to avoid more damage. Furthermore, with the right maintenance and installation, buckling can be prevented.
The most important thing to keep in mind about caring for your vinyl floor is to keep moisture away from it. You should clean up any spills immediately and remove dirt from the vinyl floor by vacuuming or sweeping.
Causes of Buckling
Glue-down floors, loose lay floors, and click-together floors can buckle in extreme conditions. There are a plethora of reasons buckling can occur. You need to know what causes buckling to help avoid it from occurring again.
Not Providing Space for the Expansion
It’s worth knowing that vinyl flooring contracts and expands in the cold and heat. Therefore, you should stop the vinyl floor around ⅓-inch of the wall to make space for the natural expansion. The vinyl floor can buckle easily in summer if there is no space for expansion.
Excess Moisture on the Subfloor
Buckling can also happen due to moisture. If there is excess moisture on the subfloor, it can weaken the adhesive. You can help avoid buckling from moisture by running a vapor barrier under the flooring during installation.
Also known as a vapor retarder, a vapor barrier is a plastic sheet that opposes moisture diffusion through the floor. And if you are using vinyl flooring in your washroom or kitchen, it’s important to get the waterproof vinyl plank flooring.
These high-traffic areas of your home are vulnerable to more water, and spending some extra cash will save you hassle in the long run.
Contraction and expansion of the material are one of the causes of buckling in vinyl plank flooring. When the material gets warmer, it swells a little bit and buckles the vinyl floor. On the other hand, the vinyl floor contracts when the weather is cold and leaves gaps between the planks or tiles.
Buckling happens in areas that are directly exposed to sunlight. The less expensive tile floors are more likely to buckle than the expensive vinyl materials.
Moving Heavy Items Over Flooring
All vinyl plank floorings are not installed through a glue-down procedure. Loose lay vinyl flooring is easy to install and does not need any glue. Plus, it is long-lasting. However, loose lay vinyl flooring can buckle if big, heavy objects are pushed across the floor surface.
Hence, when moving heavy furniture, lift it to help restrict the damage to your floor. On top of that, you can also place felt pads under heavy objects to protect your vinyl floor from any damage.
How to Fix Vinyl Plank Flooring Buckling
There are some things you can do to resolve the buckling problem. Sometimes, repairing the buckled area will take care of the issue. And sometimes, replacing a complete section of the vinyl flooring may be essential.
Repair the Buckled Vinyl Planks
Here is how you can repair the glue-down vinyl floor planks that have buckled:
- Softly remove the vinyl planks that have buckled.
- Remove existing adhesives. Use a mineral spirit if you need to soften the adhesive.
- Apply the new adhesive.
- Put the vinyl plank back into place.
- Use a roller to ensure good adhesion and to smooth out the buckled area.
- Put some bricks on the vinyl plank and let the adhesive dry completely.
Replace a Section of the Flooring
Here is how to replace a section of loose lay or click-together flooring:
- Remove the tiles that are buckled. Use these tiles as a guide to cut new tile pieces that are a similar size.
- Put the new tile pieces into place with the help of a rubber mallet.
Tips to Protect Your Vinyl Plank Flooring From Buckling
You can do a few things when installing vinyl plank flooring to prevent buckling completely.
Hang Blackout Curtains
Direct sunlight and excessive heat are some of the reasons for the buckling of vinyl plank flooring. Fortunately, you can prevent this from occurring by protecting parts of the flooring from adjacent windows.
You can hang blackout curtains to block light and heat entering from outside.
Other than that, you can apply a glass tint or an ultra-violet film to your window to restrict the transfer of light and heat through the adjacent window.
Use a Roller
After laying glue-down vinyl flooring, roll a 100-pound roller uniformly across the whole floor. This will help to secure the adhesive and vinyl plank floor to the subfloor. Using a 100-pound roller at the initial installation will help to prevent the buckling from occurring in the future.
Use High-Quality Adhesive
Some vinyl plank floors are installed through a glue-down method. So, you should ensure to use the correct adhesive type for this installation process. Cheap adhesives and of poor quality can cause buckling of vinyl floors. Therefore, you should always opt for high-quality adhesives.
It is also essential to apply adhesives correctly in addition to using good quality adhesives.
Besides, you need to know that adhesives have working time. The adhesive will not work if you are using it after that time has gone by. Therefore, follow all the instructions given on the packaging to get the desired results.
Using high-quality adhesives for your floors will make them look great. There are a variety of adhesives out there for repairing or laying floors. You can use the Henry, WW Company Vinyl Adhesive that is easy to use and lasts long. The adhesive is resistant to water and has a long working time. It is made in the United States and comes with a warranty of 10 years.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vinyl Plank Flooring
- Can you place vinyl plank flooring in your basement? You can put waterproof vinyl flooring in your basement. You can install waterproof vinyl flooring over uneven subfloors and in areas that are susceptible to moisture.
- Do you need a protector on your vinyl plank floor for your rolling desk chair? You should use a mat under your rolling desk chair. However, it is important to note that over time this chair might cause some scratches.
- Are vinyl planks durable? Vinyl plank flooring is highly durable and can last more than 10 years. It is ideal for homes with high foot traffic thanks to the wear layer on the surface. The wear layer helps to prevent wear and tear from everyday use.
- Can you place vinyl plank flooring on a floor that is not even? You can use vinyl planks for complete coverage if the floors you are working with are a little bit uneven. On the other hand, if you have completely uneven floors, you should choose laminate sheets or tile.
Vinyl plank flooring is a durable option for your office or home. Sometimes, buckling can happen, particularly near wet areas and windows. However, you can fix vinyl plank flooring buckling by replacing a vinyl plank section or repairing the buckled area.
Moreover, you can avoid buckling with some preventative measures and the right installation. Some of the preventive measures include using a roller, hanging a blackout curtain, and using a top-quality adhesive.