Repair Linoleum Kitchen Flooring

Linoleum flooring lasts a long time, but even with the best care, it may develop scratches, pits or even tears. Repairing your linoleum is something that you can do if you have some matching linoleum. Even if you don’t have a spare piece of linoleum lying around, you probably can remove enough for a repair job from underneath the refrigerator or range where a piece won’t be missed.

Things You’ll Need
  • Putty knife
  • Linoleum adhesive
  • Soft cloth
  • Vacuum
  • Wood glue
  • Sharp knife
  • Masking tape
  • Straightedge
  • Brush
  • Liquid sealer

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Loose Edges and Seams

  1. Wash any dirt and grime from the curled, loose edges of the linoleum.
  2. Scrape off old adhesive from the back of the curled edges and from the subflooring underneath it. Vacuum up any debris.
  3. Spread linoleum adhesive on the subflooring. Push the cleaned edges of the linoleum flooring into the glue. Wipe off any glue that seeps out around the edges, using a soft cloth.
  4. Set something flat and heavy on the repaired area for 24 hours to allow the glue to dry.

Pits and Scratches

  1. Wash any dirt and debris out of the pits and scratches in the flooring. Allow the surface to dry.
  2. Hold an old piece of linoleum in front of you vertically. Point the blade of a very sharp knife away from you. Run the blade along the vertical edge of the linoleum to create short pieces of shavings, roughly the size of coarsely ground pepper, or slightly larger. Create enough shavings to overfill the pit or scratch in the linoleum.
  3. Make a thick paste of wood glue and the linoleum shavings. Mix 3 parts shavings to 1 part glue. Add another drop or two of glue to the mixture if it is too thick to easily fill the hole.
  4. Press the mixture of glue and shavings into the pits and scratches with a putty knife. Smooth the top of the mixture so that it’s level with the rest of the floor.
  5. Allow the mixture to dry for 24 hours before walking on it.

Replacing a Damaged Section

  1. Locate a piece of matching linoleum large enough to replace the damaged section.
  2. Set the replacement linoleum on top of the piece you will be removing. Align any patterns on the floor with those of the replacement piece. Secure the replacement piece into place on the floor with masking tape.
  3. Place a straightedge along one side of the replacement linoleum. Make a vertical cut with a sharp knife along the straightedge, slicing through the replacement linoleum and the existing linoleum underneath it. Do not cut into the subflooring. Repeat the cut on all four sides. Remove the tape and set the replacement piece aside.
  4. Pry up the old piece of linoleum with a putty knife. Discard the flooring.
  5. Scrape away the old floor adhesive on the subflooring, using the putty knife. Vacuum the area.
  6. Place floor adhesive on the subflooring in the opening where you removed the old tile. Work some adhesive underneath the surrounding linoleum if possible.
  7. Set the replacement tile into the opening. Press it firmly into position. Wipe up any adhesive that oozes from the seams.
  8. Brush liquid sealer along the joints of the replacement patch.
  9. Cover the new piece of linoleum with wax paper. Set a heavy object on the replacement tile for at least 24 hours to keep the flooring flat while the adhesive dries.

Tips & Warnings

Another method of creating shavings is setting the linoleum scrap on a solid surface that a knife can’t damage, such as an old cutting board. Cut small pieces from the edge of the linoleum with the knife.
Handle a knife with care and always cut away from your body.

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