Fixing Cuts in Linoleum

Cuts in your linoleum floor can look tacky and draw attention. You can attempt to cover them up. Possibly a throw rug or artfully placed potted plant, but wouldn't you rather just repair your floor? It's less expensive than replacing it and repairing your linoleum floor is an easy do it yourself project that can be accomplished in an afternoon.

Linoleum is often confused with vinyl flooring and many people use the terms interchangeably. They are similar in that they are both low maintenance, available in many colors and styles, easy to install, come in both sheeting and tiles, and are a popular choice among homeowners. However, Vinyl is a synthetic substance and linoleum is an all natural, renewable, amalgam made from linseed oil and several other renewable resources. Linoleum is a naturally anti-bacterial substance and some use it when creating a master bedroom.

Proper Planning

There's really no way to repair the ripped or cut piece of linoleum. The best way to make it like new again is to cut out the damaged section and replace it with a piece from scraps that you have saved from the installation, or extra tiles you may have stored for just this purpose. If that's not easily done, the next best thing to do is to take a section of the same size from an inconspicuous area such as from a closet floor or underneath your appliances.

If your floor has a pattern, design or simulated grout, you'll need to match that pattern with your replacement patch. The patch will need to accommodate this so be sure to cut generously. If your floor has been glued down, you might have a difficult time getting the patch up and you may need some adhesive remover to assist you. You can purchase this at your local hardware store.

Once you have obtained your patch, line the patch up over the damaged spot so that the patterns match. Tape the patch down and use it as a template to cut out the damaged spot by cutting around the patch with your utility knife. It's not a bad idea to practice cutting through the linoleum so that you get a feel for it. If you have some extra scraps to practice on, go ahead. If you cut through both the scrap and the damaged piece at the same time, you'll have a perfect match.

Getting Started

After cutting through the damaged piece, remove it by inserting a putty knife underneath and applying pressure. As soon as the damaged portion is out, use your putty knife to clear the floor of any remaining adhesive before inserting the patch. Test your patch to make sure the fit is perfect before gluing. Use your utility knife to trim the patch, being careful not to overtrim. If this happens you'll have no choice but to start over.

Once you've made certain there is a perfect fit, simply glue the patch in place. Place an old towel folded in half over the replacement piece and press firmly, using your knee to apply pressure. Wipe away any glue that seeps out from the seam.

It's advisable to apply a seam sealant over the patch at this point. These are used on the seams of vinyl sheet flooring to prevent seams from showing under normal wear and tear. It will help keep moisture from seeping under the perimeter of the patch from showing wear and giving away your secret.

Fixing cuts in linoleum floors is something that's easily done. Give yourself an afternoon and put away that potted plant or toss that throw rug elsewhere. It's just that simple!

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