How to Fix Curling Vinyl Tile

Curls in your hair may look great, but when they’re in your vinyl flooring, they can lead to bigger problems. Curling vinyl occurs at seams and edges. The adhesive that’s supposed to hold the vinyl flat is no longer doing its job and, thus, the vinyl curls up and away from the underlayment.

Aside from being unsightly, this condition presents a trip hazard. It’s also a catchall for dirt and grime. Plus, it exposes the surface below to water damage and makes the area especially susceptible to tearing. What’s worse, left unrepaired, the condition will only get worse, which may turn a mole hill into a mountain.

To fix this problem, you have to remove the old vinyl tile and replace it with a new one:

  1. Use a warm iron over a towel to heat the vinyl and soften the adhesive.

    Make sure to warm the entire tile, including the edges and middle.

  2. Peel out the tile and then scrape out the old adhesive.

    A thin scraper is effective.

  3. Apply vinyl tile adhesive all over the empty space.

    Use a notched trowel if you have one, or apply a thin, even coat using your scraper.

    In the case of vinyl floor adhesive, less is more. Too much adhesive can cause the tile to ripple.

  4. Place the replacement tile carefully into the hole and press on it with a block of wood

    The weight of the wood ensures good adhesion.

  5. Remove the glue that squeezes out around the edges with soft white cloth.

    Use a solvent like lacquer thinner or whatever the glue label suggests.

  6. Lay a sheet of wax paper over the repair and then place a couple of books over the tile.

    Leave the weight on it until the glue fully dries (usually 24 hours).

  7. Apply a clear vinyl seam sealer around the edges.

    Keep traffic out of the area for a day until the seam sealer has had a chance to set up.

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