Vinyl flooring, either regular or no-wax, is one of the most common materials in American homes. Vinyl is softer underfoot than some flooring options, but that softness can lead to damage like rips from moving furniture over it or pets scratching it. Repairing rips is possible in most situations, but sometimes it requires cutting out the damaged vinyl and replacing it with new.
Clean rips, with no jagged edges, are the best candidates for repair. Apply liquid seam sealer made for vinyl flooring along the rip, and wipe off any excess. Use enough sealer to penetrate through the rip to the floor below to keep the rip fused. Press the vinyl down with a weighted object like a heavy book until it dries. This method also works for sealing small cuts, according to This Old House.
If the vinyl is puckered and bent out of shape from being ripped, you still might be able to repair it. Puckers require flattening first. Cold vinyl is sometimes brittle, so use a blow dryer on a low setting to soften the area around the rip. Smooth the puckers, and press the vinyl down with a heavy object until it cools. If the vinyl stays flat, apply flooring adhesive under each side of the rip, clean off the excess, and place a heavy object on top until it dries. Apply seam sealer to the seam. If heat doesn't flatten the puckers, consider a patch repair.
Some rips begin with a small cut, then the surface layer begins peeling. If the base of the vinyl is still attached to the floor but the surface layer is peeled back, use adhesive specially made for vinyl flooring to reattach the peeled area. Adhesives not approved for flooring can show through as a stain, according to Ask the Builder. Apply a thin layer of adhesive to the exposed base, then smooth the peeled vinyl over the adhesive. Clean up any excess, then press it down with a heavy object until it dries. Apply seam sealer along the seam.
Floors with large rips or excessive damage probably require patching. If you don't have a spare piece of matching vinyl, cut a piece from a hidden area under the stove or refrigerator. Place the patch piece over the rip and align the patterns. Cut through the patch and the existing flooring at the same time with a utility knife to make patch piece. Use the flooring's natural grid or pattern lines, if possible. Pry up the vinyl from the floor, apply an even layer of adhesive to the back of the patch, and set the patch in. Roll the patch with a rolling pin to remove air bubbles. Apply seam sealer to the seam around the patch.