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How to Repair Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

How to repair luxury vinyl plank flooring yourself, with only a few tools and products. It’s easier than you might think!

Vinyl Plank flooring is one of the best things since sliced bread. It comes in amazing colors, styles and finishes. You can get commercial grade versions for high-traffic areas. It’s waterproof and virtually indestructible. And it’s affordable. What more could you ask for in a flooring product?!

We put luxury vinyl plank (LVP) in our latest flip house, which also functioned as an AirBNB property, and it performed amazingly well. The only problem was a few pieces were not installed correctly, and they started lifting up after several months of wear and tear.

Naturally I wanted to know how to fix it myself rather than calling our handyman. It turned out to be a lot easier than I thought, so I’m passing on what I’ve learned, in case you find yourself in the same boat someday.

How to repair luxury vinyl plank flooring

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How to Repair Glue-Down Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

The great thing about LVP flooring is if something happens to one of your planks, you can simply peel it up and replace it. (It should take a lot to destroy one of these planks, but in my experience, there’s always that one kid who can destroy the indestructible. That kid is my kid.)

When you’re purchasing and installing LVP, make sure you order a little extra, so you’ll have a few planks leftover for emergencies down the road.

Bad LVP Install job and how to fix it

This type of repair is for glue-down LVP. There are other types that float on your floor and click together, but that would be a different process.

Here’s how easy it is to repair your own LVP.

For your Luxury Vinyl Plank repair project, you’ll need:

  • Henry PlumPro flooring adhesive – I haven’t tried other adhesives, but after researching several this seemed like the easiest one to apply. After using it, I was impressed with just how easy it was, and how well it performed afterwards. I’m a big fan of Henry products, ever since I made a concrete countertop with their feather finish concrete.
  • Scraper – You can use a floor scraper for larger areas, but I like my 14-in-1 painter’s tool. The scraper on the end is just the right size for cleaning a 6″ wide plank size.
  • Small Paint Roller and/or brush – I like the cheap foam brushes so you can just toss them afterwards instead of trying to clean them.
  • Heavy Roller – when you’re installing an entire glue down floor, you need a big roller to make sure the planks all adhere to the subfloor. In this case you can get away with a much smaller version, saving money and your back. I used an ink roller from my block printing supplies, but this carpet roller would probably work even better.
Vinyl plank flooring repair -using a scraper to lift up the plank needing repair.

Start by carefully peeling up the affected plank. If it’s in perfect condition, you can save it and simply glue it back down. If any of the corners are chipped or damaged, or if there is heavy glue residue on the bottom, discard it and use a new plank.

Scrape the old glue off the subfloor with a floor scraper or painter’s tool.

Scraping old glue from the subfloor while repairing vinyl plank flooring.

Vacuum well. Be sure the back of the plank you’re replacing is clean also.

Repairing vinyl plank flooring - vacuuming under the plank you are replacing.

Using a small paint roller or foam brush, roll a thin layer of Henry’s PlumPro onto the subfloor. (Other types of flooring adhesives are applied with a trowel, which seems a lot harder to me. I believe this was why our floors were lifting up, because the installers applied too thin of a layer of adhesive.)

Painting Henry PlumPro glue onto the floor to repair vinyl plank flooring.

You want to end up with an even coat of adhesive, with neither empty spaces nor puddles.

Don’t lay the glued plank down yet!

Allow the adhesive to dry for a few minutes. (You can move on to other planks during this time if you have several to repair.) After 5-8 minutes, test the adhesive by gently touching it with your finger. It should feel tacky but not wet. If any of the glue comes off on your finger, it’s not dry enough yet.

Once the glue is dry/tacky, lay the plank down in place and smooth out from the middle to the edges with your hands. Then use your heavy roller to press the plank down into the glue.

Using a roller to adhere vinyl plank flooring to the subfloor.

Using as much downward pressure as you can muster, roll all over the plank several times, paying special attention to the edges and corners. (We even went so far as to stack books on our planks for a few minutes afterwards, but I’m not sure that did any good. It made me feel better though!)

Using a clean damp rag, wipe off any adhesive residue that may have seeped out from under the plank. (It’s purple so it should be easy to see.)

If you clean up at this stage, all you need is water and a paper towel or rag. If you wait till after the adhesive has set, it’s a whole different story, and you’ll need mineral spirits. 

Luxury Vinyl Planks After Repair - nice smooth wood look flooring

That’s it, your floor is good as new! The adhesive has an 8 hour working time, meaning you have plenty of time to spread it and then work with it.

That also means you wouldn’t want to move anything heavy over it for about 8 hours after gluing down your planks. We walked all over ours immediately, but I wouldn’t suggest pushing a fridge over it!

How to Repair Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

I hope this helps you with your luxury vinyl repair project, and let me know if you have any questions below in the comments!

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Teri P

Tuesday 20th of October 2020

What if there is a thin foam liner underneath versus concrete below?

Meredith

Monday 26th of October 2020

Hi Teri, do you mean it's not glued down to the subfloor? That's a product I don't have experience with, so I'm not sure the answer to that one.

First Floors

Tuesday 10th of December 2019

This is very is useful. The guide you shared is helpful for us on how to repair luxury vinyl plank flooring. I really appreciated your blog.

Thomas Clark

Friday 30th of August 2019

A clear and easy steps of repairing luxury vinyl plank flooring. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Meredith

Tuesday 10th of September 2019

Thanks Thomas! It's a pretty easy process!

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ABOUT MEREDITH


Creating a color-filled life. Conquering my little world one DIY project at a time. With lots of coffee and chocolate. Albuquerque NM. Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Facebook