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How To Fix Gaps In Vinyl Plank Flooring: A Simple Guide For DIY Enthusiasts

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How To Fix Gaps In Vinyl Plank Flooring

A floor is the most exposed part of your house. It is the first thing you see when entering a room, and it can make or break your first impression. 

Elegant vinyl plank flooring is an excellent choice for those who want a durable and elegant flooring solution. 

The main goal of home improvement is to improve the value of your home, making it more valuable to potential buyers. Also, with your home improved, you can live in it longer – until you are ready to move on.

This article will discuss some of the most common causes for gaps in vinyl floors and the steps you can take to solve them.

How To Fix Gaps In Vinyl Plank Flooring

You can fill the vinyl plank flooring gaps with latex caulk. When you apply it, be sure to have a putty knife or putty spatula on hand. This will help you smooth out the caulk once it’s on the floor. 

After that, you can use your fingers or a small foam roller to roll out any air bubbles. Use a wet rag to wipe your hands clean of any excess caulk.

Next, apply a thin layer of paint or stain on the snow-filled gap and finish the floor with an epoxy coating.

What Are Vinyl Plank Floors?

Vinyl plank flooring is the newer version of the wood-look flooring. The appearance of vinyl plank flooring is very similar to hardwood flooring, but it comes in a few different styles and thicknesses.

The installation process is very similar to installing laminate floors or engineered hardwood floors.

They are also highly durable and offer an affordable alternative to hardwood floors. If you are in the market for new flooring, vinyl might be a perfect choice.

The term vinyl refers to the type of material that the flooring is made from. Plank refers to the style of the flooring, which usually comes as a series of large rectangular panels. 

Types Of Vinyl Planks 

  • Luxury vinyl planks( LVP)
  • Wood-plastic composite vinyl planks 
  • Stone -plastic composite vinyl planks

So How Long Do Vinyl Floors Last? 

Vinyl flooring lasts anywhere between 5 to 20 years, depending on quality, installation, and maintenance. The ideal temperature for vinyl flooring is between 18-30℃.

Vinyl flooring is the perfect choice for homes with active children or pets, as it’s incredibly durable and easy to clean.

Benefits Of Vinyl Plank Flooring

  • Inexpensive compared to hardwood flooring
  • Easy to install
  • Unmatched aesthetic appeal
  • Little and easy maintenance
  • Highly durable
  • Stain-resistant

Drawbacks Of Vinyl Plank Flooring

  • It’s not comfortable to walk on, especially when you are barefoot
  • Since it’s glued down, it’s hard to remove, especially when you want to replace it with another type of flooring 

What Causes Gaps In Vinyl Flooring?

Vinyl flooring is famous for its durability, low maintenance requirements, and ease of installation.

The biggest problem with vinyl plank flooring is that it often leaves gaps between the boards, which can be unsightly and cause your floors to feel uneven underfoot.

Three reasons can cause your brand-new vinyl flooring to develop gaps relatively soon after installation:

1. Uneven Floors

 Uneven floors or tiles that aren’t level cause gaps, among other issues.

The first thing you want to do is inspect your subfloor. If it is not flat or has settled unevenly, your flooring may develop gaps where there weren’t any before. 

2. Installation 

Another issue that can cause gaps in vinyl flooring is the installation itself. The floor has to be perfectly level to install it correctly. If there is any protrusion underneath the boards, this can cause a gap between the walls.

Incorrectly installed seams or improper application of adhesive can cause gaps between the planks.

3. Expansion and contraction 

 After several years, you will notice that the floorboards don’t line up perfectly together. That’s because vinyl flooring tends to expand and contract over time. 

Gaps between boards are typical at first, but you will need to take action if they do not close within six months.

Different Methods Of Fixing Gaps In Vinyl Plank Flooring

Fixing gaps in vinyl plank flooring is no easy task. You can make some repairs with a simple tool, but others will require the help of a professional.

1. Quick-fix method

If you have a gap in your vinyl plank flooring, use this quick-fix method to quickly and easily fill the gap from the underside of the floor.

  • Kicking the planks with your feet will slide them back into position.
  • If that doesn’t work, use a wooden block that you have glued on double-sided adhesive tape, and place it directly on top of the plank and carefully pound against it with a hammer until the gap is completely closed. Repeat the technique for any new gaps that appear.

2. Sanding and Filling Gaps Using a pre-mixed/caulk filler 

Cracks in your vinyl flooring can be uncomfortable to stand on. They also create dark lines that detract from the overall look of your floor. Fortunately, filing or sanding down these gaps is fast and relatively simple. 

It would help if you tried to fill the gap with any filler you could find. You can use wood filler or caulk to fill in the space where the plank meets the wall.

 If you find that this doesn’t work, try using a spatula to scrape off the adhesive and start again. If it has been too long since you laid your floor, you may need to replace some pieces.

When it comes to fixing gaps in vinyl plank flooring, two methods work the best. The first method is known as the “sand it” method. This means that you sand down all of the exposed surfaces until they are flush with each other.

After sanding, it comes applying a thin coat of paint and buffing it to shine.

The other method is called the “glue it” method, which involves using a pre-mixed or caulk filler to fill the gap.

Using a pre-mixed filler

A far better option is to use a pre-mixed filler that anyone can easily apply. The beauty of this technique is that you do not have to wait for hours for it to dry, as it dries very fast at room temperature. 

To fix gaps in your flooring, you will need to use a Vinyl plank gap filler, also known as Vinyl plank adhesive. 

Wipe down the plank and apply the pre-mixed filler on the gap, making sure to wipe down any excess filler. 

This filler is sold pre-mixed and only takes 30 minutes to dry to the touch. You can use it anywhere you have gaps in your flooring to fill and protect.

Using a caulk sealant

You can fill the gaps with latex caulk. When you apply it, be sure to have a putty knife or putty spatula on hand. 

This will help you smooth out the caulk once it’s on the floor. After that, you can use your fingers or a small foam roller to roll out any air bubbles. Use a wet rag to wipe your hands clean of any excess caulk.

To fill up a gap in the wall or two separate floors, use a transition strip. If you want to cover the gap with a transition strip, you need to make sure it is at least 1/32 of an inch or 0.8 mm.

Paint Finishing

Applying a thin layer of paint or stain on each sealed gap should do the trick; this will make the floor coloring even. Finish the floor with an epoxy coating and buff it to a shine.

Things To Avoid When Fixing Gaps In Vinyl Plank Flooring

Highly abrasive scrubbers

One of the most common mistakes people make is not sanding down the surface properly before applying the filler. 

You need to clean the surface by scrubbing off/sanding. Do not use highly abrasive scrubbers, though, as this can destroy the vinyl.

Using regular wood glue

One of the biggest mistakes is to use regular wood glue when fixing gaps in your vinyl flooring. This will not work and can damage your flooring in the process. 

The most effective way to fix gaps in vinyl is with a vinyl flooring filler compound. 

Tips For Future Use Of Vinyl Plank Flooring

It’s best to fix the issues as they arise. This will extend the life of your floor and prevent further problems down the road. 

Regular cleaning includes wiping down any dirt or liquids immediately they occur to avoid staining. You can do vacuuming three times a week.

Conclusion

If not repaired, gaps can lead to other problems like water damage and mold. If you’re thinking of installing vinyl plank flooring in your home or business, take the necessary steps to ensure appropriate installation. 

The task is much easier than you might think and can be done by just about anyone with a few simple tools. Hopefully, this article has been helpful to you!

Jacob Lindsey

Jacob is a home remodeling guru having worked over 15 years in construction in Reno, NV, mainly focused on home renovations. He likes taking ideas from his clients and making them a reality.

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