How to Remove Scratches From Vinyl Tile

Updated February 21, 2017

Vinyl floor tiles provide for a tough, durable surface, and when covered with a protective finish, can take a tremendous amount of normal use before showing the slightest signs of wear and tear. Eventually, the tiles will begin to show the effects of use, developing scratches over time. These scratches not only mar the appearance of the tiles but can set the stage for additional damage. Removing the scratches while they're still light can prevent this from occurring. The process requires only a light amount of effort and a bit of sandpaper. After the repair though, your tiles should look and function as good as new, restoring your tiled surface to its former glory.

Clean the vinyl tiles using a solution consisting of 1/4-cup dish washing liquid combined with 1 gallon of warm water in a large bucket. Apply the mix to the damaged tiles with a sponge, removing all traces of dirt and debris from the tile's surface. Allow the tiles to dry before continuing with the repairs.

Sand lightly along the scratch using medium-grit sandpaper to remove the edges of the scratch and level the scratch edge with the surrounding vinyl surface. Switch to a fine-grit sandpaper and sand the scratched area using a small circular motion to remove wax build-up or any finish layer from the surface of the scratch and area immediately surrounding.

Use the fine-grit sandpaper to sand along the line of the scratch after removing the wax and finish to smooth the scratch out so that its level with the tile. Sand along the scratch until it's no longer visible or detectable to the touch.

Wash the tile with a clean cloth dipped in water to remove any of the sanding residue. Wait for the floor to dry after cleaning.

Level deeper scratches with the surrounding tile by filling the scratch with liquid seam sealer. After sanding the edges away from the scratch place a bead of the seam sealer into the scratch. Wipe the top of the scratch with a clean cloth to level the sealer and allow the sealer to dry for two hours.

Wax the repaired area using a wax formulated for vinyl floors. Place the wax onto a clean cloth and then apply the material to the scratched area. Rub the wax into the surface with a circular motion. Buff the applied wax until you obtain a shine to the tiles to your liking to complete the repairs.

Apply a layer of vinyl floor finish to the repaired tiles using a squeegee to spread the finish in place. Choose a finish that matches the same type used on the rest of the floor. Use a matt finish for a slight shine to the tiles, and a high-gloss finish for a wet-look to the shine on the tiles. Wait 30 minutes for the finish to dry and then place a second coat of finish atop the first. Wait an additional 30 minutes and apply a third and final coat. Allow the final coat to dry overnight before walking onto the tiled surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish washing liquid
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Sandpaper
  • Cloth
  • Liquid seam sealer
  • Floor wax
  • Floor buffer
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About the Author

Larry Simmons is a freelance writer and expert in the fusion of computer technology and business. He has a B.S. in economics, an M.S. in information systems, an M.S. in communications technology, as well as significant work towards an M.B.A. in finance. He's published several hundred articles with Demand Studios.