Luxury vinyl planks are the most expensive vinyl flooring among all the vinyl flooring solutions. So, protecting them from scratches is significantly important. It is very easy if you know how to protect vinyl plank flooring from scratches.
Vinyl planks are the most strong vinyl flooring solution. That is why it is easier to save them from scratches, compared to other types of vinyl flooring. Still, it requires your awareness and continuous attention to keep your vinyl planks free from scratches.
I have been in the real estate business for the last 20 years. I have installed vinyl planks in innumerous houses. In this article, I will share all the secrets to fight against scratches for vinyl plank flooring. I will also teach you how to repair scratches from vinyl planks.
9 Sure Practices To Protect Vinyl Plank Flooring From Scratches:
Saving the vinyl plank floor from scratches is at the same time easy and difficult. It is easy because it does not require extra skill, time, or investments. It is difficult because you have to keep doing it every day around the year.
It is even harder in the basement area, where you keep all sorts of sharp and heavy objects. Here is the list of the practices that I am sure will save your vinyl plank flooring:
1. LIft Heavy Furniture Before Moving Them:
Moving around heavy furniture is a troublesome job. Every time you do that you will feel the same tense. Still, if you want to save the vinyl plank from scratches, you must always remember that you cannot drag heavy furniture over the vinyl plank floor.
Heavy furniture is considered the biggest threat for vinyl planks. They are most dangerous while they are carried over the vinyl planks without being lifted.
Get help from others or use forearm forklift straps or furniture lifters. But never drag down heavy furniture over vinyl plank flooring.
2. Regularly Apply Protective Coating:
Never underestimate the power of protective coating. Any kind of vinyl flooring is incomplete if you are not applying a protective coating over them.
Apart from other functionalities, protective coating saves your vinyl plank floor from scratches. It works as a shield against scratches.
When any sharp or heavy object gets in contact with the floor, the coating takes the scratch itself and saves the costly vinyl plank floor.
Use an effective protective coating over the vinyl planks and be vigilant to notice any scratch on the protective coating. Take immediate action to recover the protective coating.
3. Use Slides And Glides:
A simple but wonderful invention to protect the vinyl plank floor is slides and glides. Both are used at the bottom of heavy furniture to make them bearable for the vinyl flooring solutions.
Slides or glides are cheap and easy to use. Do not hesitate to attach them with all the heavy furniture and utilities of your house.
Slides are attached with adhesives and glides need to be hammered in the furniture. All the wooden furniture can be made safe for vinyl planks by attaching glides with them. All other heavy objects can be made harmless with slides.
4. Clean Vinyl Planks Regularly:
The durability of vinyl plank floors diminishes when you let layers of dirt and dust take refuge over them. The chemical structure of vinyl planks gets compromised and they become weak when they come into constant contact with dirt.
A weak vinyl plank receives scratches much easier. The solution is very easy. You have to clean the vinyl plank floor regularly and consistently. If you can make it a habit, it is a very easy job.
Regularly vacuum-clean and mop vinyl planks. Do it more frequently if there is high traffic in the floor area. Call a professional for a deep clean after every six months.
5. Avoid The Rolling Casters:
Rolling casters – the small rotating wheels at the legs of some chairs, tables, and trolleys pose a great risk of scratch on a vinyl floor. I would suggest not using them over vinyl plank floors at all.
If you have to use rolling casters anyways, place a floor mat over the place where the rolling casters can move. Because rolling casters create the ugliest types of scratches over vinyl planks.
6. Use Doormats:
If you do not use a doormat already, you will be surprised to know how helpful they can be to fight against scratches. They work like a gatekeeper for small particles that can cause scratches.
With the sole of our shoes, we bring home a lot of particles like small bricks, rocks, etc. They may not look that harmful but they can cause serious scratches on the vinyl planks when pressed hard over them.
Make sure all the vinyl plank floor area is covered with doormats on every entry point. Designer doormats will even enhance the aesthetics of your house.
7. Separate Playroom For Children:
If you notice the toys of the children of the house, you will see most of them have sharp and pointy edges. This is very alarming for vinyl planks.
Most of the time children will want to play with their toys on the floor of the family room. Randomly they throw their pointy toys with force onto the floor, resulting in unwanted scratches on the vinyl planks.
The solution is to prepare a separate playroom or play area for the children. Decorate the space with vibrant colors and different toys. Children of the house will thank you for that. So will the vinyl plank floor.
8. Keep The Sharp Shoes Out:
You will find many shoes which have a very tough bottom. Some of them even have sharp spikes for a better grip. And there are sharp high heels!
All of the above can cause big scratches on the vinyl planks. The solution is being a bit impolite.
To save the vinyl plank, politely ask your guests to leave their shoes outside. I am sure they will start understanding your stance after a while.
9. Use Floor Rugs:
Floor rugs can be a great decor for the living room. At the same time, they can be a lifesaver for your vinyl plank floor.
You can lay floor rugs in the high-traffic corners, under heavy furniture, or chairs and tables in the dining space. This will ensure that the underneath vinyl plank floor will be spared from any kind of scratches.
4 Steps To Remove Scratches From Vinyl Plank Flooring:
Despite all the precautions and good practices, your favorite vinyl plank flooring can still get scratches. There is a remedy for the scratch if it is not too deep. Follow the 4 easy steps mentioned below and you will feel like a magician:
Step 1- Clear Dirt And Dust:
Before you can start removing the scratch from the vinyl plank flooring, you have to get all the dirt and dust away from the scratched area.
First, vacuum-clean the area for all the loose dirt and dust. Then use a mild detergent-mixed warm water solution to mop the scratched floor area.
When you are satisfied with the cleanliness of the damaged area, leave it to get dried up.
Step 2- Rub Sandpapers Over The Scratch:
You will need sandpapers of three types of sandpapers with different densities of grits. Get sandpapers of P300, P500, and P800 grit.
Start making the scratch smooth with the sandpaper with low-dense grit, which is P300. Gently rub the sandpaper in the direction of the scratch only.
After a while, use the sandpaper with medium-dense grit, which is P500. Now rub the scratched area in a circular motion. You will notice the wax layer getting off the floor.
Finally, use sandpaper with high-dense grit. Rub it with a little force in a circular motion. Do not stop until you are sure that the scratched area is as smooth as the rest of the vinyl plank floor.
Step 3- Clear The Mess:
After the rigorous sanding, you will notice a lot of debris on the floor area. Again vacuum-clean the space and mop the floor area with a warm solution of water and detergent. Wait until the area is dried up after the moping.
Step 4 – Apply Wax:
When the floor is dried up, you will notice that the scratch is gone. But something is off in the previously scratched area. They are not shining like the other parts of the floor.
While rubbing the floor area with sandpapers, the protective coating of the floor also came off along with the scratch. Now you have to wax the damaged area to make it look similar to the other parts of the vinyl plank floor.
Take a little wax on a clean and dry cloth and gently apply it to the damaged floor area. Stop polishing the area when it shines as much as the whole vinyl plank floor. Give the previously damaged area rest for two hours.
Commonly Asked Questions:
Is Vinyl Plank Flooring Scratch-Proof?
Vinyl planks, especially luxury vinyl planks, are resistant to scratches. That means they put up a good fight against scratches. But they are not scratch-proof.
To make them safe from scratches you still need to take all kinds of cautionary measures.
Is It Easy To Protect Your Vinyl Plank Flooring From Scratches?
Compared to other types of vinyl flooring solutions, it is easier to protect vinyl plank flooring from scratches. Because the chemical structure of vinyl planks is harder than other vinyl materials.
The methods and practices to protect vinyl planks and other types of vinyl flooring are almost the same. You need to be aware and cautious all the time.
You have to prohibit interaction with all kinds of heavy and sharp objects with a vinyl plank floor. For that, you have to use furniture protectors, doormats, and floor rugs. You have to avoid rolling casters, children’s toys, and spiky shoes from vinyl plank floors to save them from scratches.
Using a good quality protective coating is also very helpful to prevent possible scratches on a vinyl plank floor.
How Can You Repair Scratches From Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Repairing scratches from vinyl plank floors is not that hard as it sounds. You can do it yourself.
There are mainly three procedures involved in repairing the scratches from vinyl planks. The first one is, cleaning the scratched area thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner and warm detergent-based water solution.
Then you need sandpapers of three types of grit-density. They are P300, P500, and P800. You have to start with the less dense sandpaper and finish with the highly-dense one. It is the sandpapers that clear the scratches from the vinyl plank floor and make it smooth.
After removing the scratch, you need to clean the mess from the floor and apply wax to get the protective coating back.
How To Replace Deeply Scratched Vinyl Planks?
As the name implies, vinyl plank floors are divided into long planks. If any particular area of the floor has received scratches that are beyond recovery, you have to replace the planks with new ones.
Before starting to remove the scratched vinyl planks, you need to try to remove the scratches with sandpapers. If it’s still there you have to replace the damaged planks only.
First identify which planks are affected by the scratch. Then you have to remove them from the floor. First, try to remove them with a scraper. If the adhesive is too strong, you have to use a hammer, pry bar, and chip to get off the damaged vinyl planks.
Now get new vinyl planks for the open space on the floor. The new vinyl planks must be of the same size and outlook as the damaged planks. Now place the new planks on their exact location.
Do not forget to apply adhesive to the new vinyl planks appropriately. Finally, wax up the new planks and let them rest for 2 hours.
Which Is More Scratch Resistant Laminate Or Vinyl Plank?
So far fighting scratches is concerned, vinyl planks do much better than laminate floors. With a good protective coating, the vinyl plank can surprise you with its toughness.
That is why vinyl flooring is installed in most of the houses, which have pets with paws.
You cannot protect your vinyl plank flooring from scratches all by yourself. All other residents of the house need to be the same kind of aware and alert to do it. It is always a good practice to get all the family members involved in adopting and implementing plans to save your vinyl plank flooring.