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How to Repair Your Floors

repairing floors graphic overlaid on stock photo of puppy falling asleep on floors

When you consider the amount of traffic that your floors endure, it’s surprising that they last even as long as they do. It can be disappointing when eventually they do start to show the wear and tear, but you do have to keep in mind that (a) your floors are the most affected surface in your house and (b) you likely won’t have to replace the entire floor if you notice certain issues. In this article, you will find solutions to some of the most common flooring problems and how to fix them. You may be surprised to find that these floor repairs are much simpler than you thought.

Repairing Tile

You might not expect it but repairing tile is relatively simple because you only have to remove or repair the affected tiles. If a tile is loose, you can pull it up and glue it back down with floor tile adhesive. If just one corner or edge is loose, you’ll have to start by removing the old adhesive if it is no longer tacky enough to hold. You can do this by heating the loose part with an iron set to medium heat to soften up the old adhesive and rebind the tile. Once the adhesive is softened, put weight on top of the entire tile and let the adhesive set for several hours or overnight. 

If you find that the old adhesive is no longer strong enough to hold the tile, you will have to apply new floor tile adhesive. Start by heating the tile as we described previously, scrape off the old adhesive using a paint scraper, and apply a thin, new coat of adhesive then again allow it to set and cure with weight overtop of the whole tile. 

If the tile is damaged or cracked, remove the tile by prying it loose with a paint scraper, removing the old adhesive to make for a clean base for you to insert the new tile. Now, before you insert the new tile, you should make sure the size fits. If the tile is too large, no worries! Simply sand the edge or use a sharp utility knife to cut off the excess until it’s the perfect size. Apply the tile adhesive to the opening and lay the tile, placing weights on top as you allow it to cure. 

Repairing Hardwood

We won’t go into too much detail in terms of repairing hardwood floors because we’ve covered in depth how to refinish hardwood floors and how to repair squeaky floorboards

But what if it’s just one or two planks that need repair? You’ll want to start by removing the damaged planks using a plunge saw or circular saw to cut the plank lengthwise right down the middle. Use a pry bar to remove half of the cut plank which will allow you to also remove the remaining half. Be careful that you are preserving the tongue and groove of the adjacent planks. Remove any remnants with a chisel.

Continue these steps until you’ve got all the damaged planks removed. 

Now, working one board at a time, measure and cut new planks to fit the spaces that have been left vacant. Tap and slide those new planks into the tongue and groove openings using a soft mallet and a nail gun to fasten them in once they’re in the proper position. 

Repairing Carpet

Professional carpet repair is not a small expense so when it’s just a small stain or burn that’s ruining the look of your carpet, it’s best to fix the damage yourself than to call in the big guns. 

If it’s just the tips of the carpet fibers that are burned, use a pair of small, sharp scissors to cut off the charred ends then clean with a mild detergent and water. Once the carpet dries, it won’t even be noticeable. 

If the burn or stain covers a larger area, you will need to replace the burned area with a patch cut and replace it with a scrap piece of carpet. Start by finding a remnant piece whether it be a piece leftover from installation or a small piece cut from an unnoticeable place like the back of a closet. Measure the size you will need around the burn or stain using a can or other circular object then use the same unit of measurement to cut out the spare piece of carpet with a sharp utility knife. Make sure to identify the direction of the carpet’s nap - the direction in which the fibers “go” - and match it to that of the area surrounding the damaged carpet. Use double-sided carpet tape to stick it down and scissors to trim any fibers that are longer and appear to not match. And voila!