How to Repair a Scratched Vinyl Floor Tile

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  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • $0-60
What You'll Need
Warm water
Dishwashing liquid
Car rubbing compound
Clean cloths

Floor tiles go through a lot of wear especially in the kitchen. It doesn’t matter how scratch-resistant they might be; scratches will still happen and these can come from a number of sources. Scratched vinyl floor tiles look unsightly, but it’s not difficult to repair them. If a gouge is really bad, you can always replace the vinyl tile if you have spares or swap with one from under the refrigerator.

Step 1 - Cleaning

Put 1/4 cup of dishwashing liquid into a bucket of warm water, and mix it together thoroughly. Soak the sponge and methodically clean the scratched floor tile. It is important that you remove everything from the inner layer of the scratch and have it sparkling clean before proceeding. Give the tile time to dry before continuing.

Step 2 - Sanding

You will need to use three different types of sandpaper on the floor tiles in order to get the best results. Be sure to only sand lightly with each grit type, as you want to remove the scratch without ruining the finish of the whole tile. If you rub too hard, you run the risk of scoring the tile, and you’ll have no choice but to replace it. This also means you'll need to use your hands rather than attaching the sandpaper to an orbital or disc sander, which would move too quickly.

Start with a medium coarse P320 grit sandpaper and rub in a straight line along the scratch. You essentially need to try to rub out the edges of the scratch and smooth them down. You should be able to rub out most of the scratch with this grade of paper.

From here, move to a finer P500 grit sandpaper. You will need to use a circular motion within the immediate area of the scratch. This works on the surrounding area by removing the wax on the top of the tile to prepare it for waxing later. Once again, rub lightly and gently. It’s better to take your time than to ruin the tile.

Finally, graduate to a very fine P800 grit sandpaper and rub along the scratch of the floor tile again. The important thing with this is to make the edge of the scratch is smooth and level with the rest of the tile. Be gentle and keep feeling the tile with your fingertips to check how even it is. Keep going gently until the scratch feels completely evened out.

Wash the tile with clean water and a fresh cloth. This will eliminate all the dust that will have developed while you’ve been sanding the floor tile. Clean thoroughly and allow to dry completely.

Step 3 - Waxing

To wax the tile, you will need a good quality car rubbing compound. Put a little of the compound onto the clean cloth and lightly wax the tile, especially along the scratched area. Rub in a circle around the scratch and the area you have sanded until it buffs the tile back to a perfect shine. If any compound has spread beyond the area you are repairing, wipe it off carefully. Rub the tile once with another piece of clean cloth and stand back to check your work. You should no longer be able to see the scratch or the area you’ve sanded.