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How To Fix Vinyl Plank Flooring That Is Lifting

Vinyl plank flooring is becoming more and more popular. It is a durable and beautiful option for any home. There are also times, however, when the flooring can lift. What can be done?

For glued down vinyl floors, you can use a scraper or similar tool to pull up the affected plank. After removing the plank and thoroughly cleaning the area, you can glue a new plank in place.

Vinyl floor plank

That option is available if it is glued down but there are many floors that are floating. These can either be tongue and groove or they may be a drop and lock style floor.

These also have options for repair when they begin to lift. If you follow the instructions and take your time, you can replace the damaged portion of the floor and it will look as good as new.

Vinyl floor repair is something that I was called on to do many times as a flooring contractor. Most jobs were the same and went well if my workers just followed the basic steps. The only time we had problems is when someone tried to skip a step.

We will provide specific instructions on how to handle the damaged floor when it is a floating vinyl plank.

Regardless of the tendency to lift from time to time, vinyl plank floor is a very durable option. Most homeowners choose it because it is less expensive, but it can be aesthetically pleasing once it is down as well.

That is because vinyl plank floors can mimic almost any other type of material, from stone to hardwood. Sometimes, it may be difficult to tell the difference between what is real and what is not.

Once you have the vinyl plank floor installed, you need to care for it properly. This includes avoiding some of the issues that could cause it to lift and get damaged. We will refer to those later.

Once the plank begins to lift, it can result in additional problems. You may find that the issue is growing and other planks may get involved.

In addition, if it lifts or peels, it could create a tripping hazard. Obviously, that is something you would want to avoid.

In the end, you just need to arm yourself with the knowledge and tools necessary to get the job done. You will have the floor looking perfect in no time if you follow the instructions.

What Causes Lifting In Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl floor plank

There are a number of things that could cause a vinyl plank floor to lift and get damaged. Understanding those issues can help you to avoid them in the future. Here is a short list of things to avoid.

Moisture: Although you don’t have to worry as much about moisture and water with a vinyl plank floor, that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t get damaged. If the floor is exposed to excessive moisture, it could damage it directly or it may cause damage to the subfloor.

As the moisture begins to affect the vinyl plank and related subfloor, it could eventually separate and warp. That is why it is best to be extra cautious in rooms where moisture is more of a problem, such as the bathroom and kitchen.

Installation: Unfortunately, this is a problem that must be addressed from the very start. If the vinyl plank floor is not installed properly, it will be prone to damage and lifting.

This is especially a problem if you have a glue-down vinyl plank and the wrong adhesive or not enough adhesive is used. It can also be if you don’t quite get the seams tight enough in a tongue-and-groove vinyl plank.

Heavy Furniture: When you have heavy furniture in the room, it will not be much of a problem if it is sitting in one place. Most of the damage will occur if the furniture is moved across the room without lifting it.

If you do have to move heavy furniture, use a furniture mover or dolly.

At the same time, you could have some lifting of the vinyl plank if the furniture is put with a foot right on the seam. Try to position the feet of the furniture so they don’t affect the boards in that way.

You can purchase coasters or furniture pads that will help to distribute the weight of heavy furniture so it is not concentrating that weight in one area.

Humidity and Temperature: As the humidity and temperature change, the vinyl plank floor will also change. It expands and contracts, leading to occasional problems with separating or lifting.

Tools And Materials Needed For Repairing Lifted Vinyl Planks

Vinyl floor plank

When you are doing any type of construction job, it is important to have things set up in advance. This is true of large flooring companies and homeowners alike.

One thing you can do to prepare in advance is to have all of the tools necessary within arms reach. This will save you time, as well as make it easier to get the job done.

Gather these tools together in advance:

Utility Knife

Utility Knife Blades

Tape Measure

Straight Edge

Marker and Pencil

Circular Saw

Vacuum and Broom


Flooring Adhesive

Safety Glasses


Dust Mask

Knee Pads

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on June 29, 2023.

Do you have other tools that you enjoy using? Personally, I use a five-in-one tool for every job and am never far from it.

Having these other tools makes it easier to get the job done.

Step-By-Step Guide To Repairing Lifted Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl floor plank

In this section, we are going to discuss the step-by-step method of replacing a damaged piece of vinyl plank floor. Primarily, this method is used for tongue and groove but a variation would also work for drop and lock or glue down.

Go through each of the steps individually and don’t rush any of it. You have one good chance of repairing the damage and doing so without adding additional damage to it.

Step 1: Isolate the Area – The plank you plan on removing should be isolated. Move any furniture out of the direct area and ensure that any small damage is marked so you replace the proper piece.

I can tell you from experience that not isolating and marking the plank is a big problem. You can get in the middle of a project and suddenly realize that you are working in the wrong location.

Step 2: Mark the Plank – Next, mark the plank at the damaged area and then draw a straight line just off-center from one end of the plank to the other. Move over a few inches, depending on the size of the plank, and mark a parallel line.

These marks don’t have to be perfect, because they will be used to remove some rough material and get to the subfloor.

Step 3: Set Your Saw – The blade of your saw should be set so that it almost cuts through the vinyl plank but doesn’t cut entirely through it. If you set it too deep, you could damage the subfloor or you may damage the blade.

Step 4: Remove the Vinyl Plank – Run the circular saw down the lines you marked on the damaged vinyl plank. You can then finish the cut with a utility knife, as you should only have a very thin piece of material.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on June 29, 2023.

Run the circular saw close to the ends of the plank but be careful you don’t cut entirely through it. The last thing you want to do is damage an adjacent piece of vinyl plank.

At this point, you can use a five-in-one tool or scraper to remove the vinyl plank in pieces. The entire piece should have been removed at this point.

Step 5: Remove Tongue and Groove – It is best to remove the tongue and groove on the replacement piece. Trying to snap the plank down in place from directly above will likely break the edge and look worse than the damaged piece.

You can remove the tongue and cut it into the groove using a utility knife. Carefully run it along the edge, angling it back toward the board and running over it a few times until it cuts through.

Be careful you don’t cut your hand in the process.

Step 6: Drop – Next, you should be able to drop the new piece directly into the area where the old piece existed. If you did things right, you can attach it using the ends of the plank or you can glue it down.

Step 7: Clean – The final step in the process is to clean the replacement plank and surrounding area. The easiest way to do this is to put a little denatured alcohol on a rag and wipe the area thoroughly.

At this point, your floor should be repaired.

The easiest way to fix vinyl plank flooring that is lifting is to scrape up the old plank and put a new plank in place. Use flooring adhesive to hold it in place and then clean it to remove any residual material.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on June 29, 2023.

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