Kitchen Repairs Made Easy

Home | Wiring | Plumbing | Kitchen/Bath

A kitchen’s daily ration of heavy traffic and hard use frequently leads to drooping cabinets, scratched countertops, and marred floors. Instead of replacing worn items with new ones, you can often restore them to near-original condition with the simple repairs shown below.

Mending Kitchen Cabinets

  • Squaring a Racked Frame
  • Support for a Sagging Shelf
  • Repairing the Moving Parts
  • Anchoring a Cabinet to Studs

Fixing Damaged Countertops

  • Re-gluing Plastic Laminate
  • Replacing a Cracked Ceramic The
  • A Glass Inset for a Scarred Countertop
  • An Inlay of Ceramic Tiles

Repairing Kitchen Floors

  • Replacing Shoe Molding
  • Baseboards of Vinyl
  • Securing Loose Vinyl Tiles
  • Replacing Damaged Tiles
  • Re-gluing a Lifted Edge
  • Flattening a Blister
  • A Patch for Sheet Flooring

Laying new adhesive for a loose tile.


Mending Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets are an indispensable component of any kitchen; they keep pots and pans, dinnerware, utensils, and foodstuffs close at hand but out of the way until needed. Because of their constant use, however, they are prone to a variety of ailments.

Over time, the cabinet frame can twist—or rack—under its heavy load. Inserting shims—thin pieces of wood— between the cabinet and the wall may be enough to push a racked cabinet back into square, but usually it must be taken down and repaired. While the cabinet is off the wall, the joints should be reinforced to strengthen the frame.

-- Removing Cabinets: Newer cabinets are screwed to the wail through hanging bars—pieces of wood attached to the up per, and often the lower, cabinet back. Screws will be visible inside, but the hanging bar is usually hidden behind it.

Older cabinets without hanging bars are most often nailed to the wall through the inside of the cabinet. To take them down, gently pry the outside edges of the cabinet with a pry bar until it’s inch away from the wall, then push the cabinet back against the wall to expose nailheads.

---Reinforcing Shelves: Shelves can be come bowed under the weight of stacks of dishes or canned goods. In many cabinets, the shelves are removable and need only be turned over. For fixed shelves (page 10), a wooden partition will provide permanent support, but remember that all shelves beneath it must be similarly braced or the sag will be transferred downward. In cabinets with a center stile, wooden strips attached to the back of the stile and the back of the cabinet can sup port the sagging shelf without taking up valuable space inside the cabinet.

---Drawers and Hinges: The moving parts of the cabinet are particularly susceptible to wear. Drawers are most likely to break down at points of special strain—bottoms, backstops, and guides. In many drawers, you can remove the back, slide a damaged bottom out, and replace it. If intricate joints prevent this, measure the bottom, cut a piece of 3/4-inch luan plywood to size, and glue it on top of the damaged bottom.

Door hinges can work loose, and the doors themselves sometimes warp out of shape. If not too severely bowed, the door can be straightened with an oak brace.


  • Pry bar
  • Bar clamps
  • 0.25 or 3/8-inch power drill
  • Hacksaw
  • Chisel
  • Rabbet plane
  • Block plane
  • Utility knife


  • Wood shims
  • Carpenter’s glue
  • Masking tape
  • Hardwood dowels
  • Wire brads
  • Angle braces
  • Metal center drawer glides
  • 1.25-inch dry-wall screws



1. Straightening the cabinet.

• First, remove the doors; then, with a helper supporting the cabinet, detach it from the wall, saving the screws and any shims that fall. If working alone, read the box below before removing the cabinet.

• Glue any joints that have popped open. If they are not open enough to apply glue, tap them apart with a hammer and wood block.

• Close the joints with two bar clamps set near the ends of the top and bottom rail as shown in the picture below. Protect the finish by placing pieces of scrap wood between the cabinet and the bar clamps.

• Before the glue dries, make sure that the cabinet is square. Hook a tape measure on one corner of the cabinet and measure diagonally to the opposite corner, then measure the other diagonal. If the measurements differ, loosen the clamps, and with a helper, gently push the two corners that are farther apart toward each other. Re-measure the diagonals and repeat the adjustment until the measurements are equal. Retighten the clamps and let the glue dry.

2. Strengthening the joints.


If your cabinet has protruding shelf supports on the in side frame that extend the full height of the cabinet, install metal angle braces (top of diagram) near the front and back of the cabinet. If the shelf supports are recessed or stop short of the corner (bottom of diagram), position a 1 - by 1 -inch wood block at each joint.

• Cut the block as long as the depth of the shelf.

• With the block flush against the joint, drill three pilot holes through one side of the block and into the cabinet.

• Then, without intersecting those three holes, drill three more pilot holes through the other side of the block.

• Apply glue to the remaining two sides of the block, those that rest against the cabinet. Press the block into place with the pilot holes properly aligned, then drive a 1.75-inch dry-wall screw into each pilot hole.

A shelf partition.


Always work from the bottom up. When each partition is inserted, the wood grain should be vertical to match the sides of the cabinet.

• First, measure the depth of the cabinet’s shelves and cut a 0.75-inch board along the grain to this measurement.

• At the side of the cabinet where the shelves meet the frame, measure the distance between the two lowest shelves, and cut the ¾” board across the grain to that length.

• At the centerline of the cabinet, insert a partition between the bottom two shelves, and drive three nails straight through the shelf into the top of the partition.

• Near the bottom of the partition, drive two nails at a 45° angle through each side of the partition into the shelf below.

• Working upward toward the shelf that is sagging, repeat for the remaining shelves.

Center stile cabinets.


As with the partition method described above, all the shelves beneath the sagging shelf must be supported.

• At one end of the cabinet, measure the distance between the bottom two shelves and cut two 1 -by-2 pieces of wood to that length.

• Wedge one piece behind the center stile and the other against the center of the back of the cabinet directly opposite the stile.

• Drill two pilot holes through both pieces of wood and into the cabinet frame about 1 inch from each end. Drive a 1.25-inch wood screw into each hole.

= = = =


Drilling Pilot Holes


Small pieces of wood tend to split when screws are driven into them. Drilling pilot holes first makes it much easier to seat screws properly.

A pilot hole must be slightly narrower than the screw. Hold a drill bit at eye level directly in front of the screw. The screw’s shank should be hidden by the bit but the threads should be visible (above, left). To measure the proper depth for the pilot hole, mark the bit with a piece of masking tape about 2/3 the length of the screw.

In many cases you will want to countersink the screws—that is, drive them flush with, or even below, the surface of the wood. Combination bits available in a variety of sizes, will drill the pilot hole and the countersink hole at the same time.

= = = = =


Re-drilling screw holes for hinges.


• If the hinges are loose, try tightening the screws. If a screw won’t tighten, the hole is stripped and must be plugged, then re-drilled.

• Unscrew the door from its hinges, and remove any hinge where holes in the cabinet frame need to be plugged. Save the screws.

• With a hacksaw, cut pieces of a hardwood dowel to the length of the screws, then splinter them with a chisel. Squirt glue into the stripped screw holes, and plug them tight with the hardwood splinters (inset), tapping them with a hammer to ensure a tight fit. Wipe off any excess glue.

• Let the glue dry, then drill pilot holes into the plugs and re mount the door to the cabinet with the old screws. Close it and see if it’s properly aligned with the cabinet. If necessary, loosen the screws slightly, shift the door, and then retighten the screws.

Planing an edge that sticks.


• On the inner side of the door, mark a line inch from the edge that rubs. Secure the door in a vise.

• On a lipped door, use a rabbet plane or a block plane to shave the in side edge down to the marked line.

• On a flush door, use a block plane. Take special care not to shave the out side edge to avoid creating a gap between the closed door and the frame of the cabinet.

Bracing a warped door.


• Cut a 1-by-1 piece of oak 2 inches shorter than the length of the warped edge of the door. Set the door facedown, and center the strip 1 inch in from the warped edge.

• With a combination bit, drill a pilot hole through the center of the oak strip and into the door. Countersink a 1.5-inch No. 6 screw through the strip, but don’t tighten it.

• Working toward the edges, drill pilot holes, and countersink screws one at a time at 6-inch intervals along the strip. To avoid cracking the door, attach the 1-by-1 strip fairly loose at first, then gradually tighten the screws, starting in the center.

• When the warp is removed, unfasten the strip, glue it in place, and re-screw it to the door.

New stops on flush drawers.


• First, remove the worn or dam aged stop blocks, then push the drawer in as far as it will go, and measure the gap between the cabinet face and the drawer front.

• Cut two blocks 1 inch square and slightly thinner than the measured distance, and tape them to the drawer back in place of the old stop blocks.

• Replace the drawer and test the fit. If necessary, insert card board shims between the drawer back and the wood blocks until the drawer front is flush with the cabinet face.

• Glue the stops and shims to the drawer, then gently hammer in wire brads.

Replacing wooden drawer guides.


Some drawers have grooves—or dadoes—along the sides that fit a cleat attached to the cabinet, while others slide on two cleats that form a guide for the drawer’s lower edges.

• To replace a damaged guide of either type, first trace its outline onto the cabinet with a pen or pencil. At the edge of the outline, mark the positions of the screw holes, then remove the screws. Dislodge a glued guide by gently tapping it with a hammer.

• Using the old guide as a template, cut a duplicate piece, then glue it to the cabinet at the traced position. Drill pilot holes for new screws, taking care to offset them about 0.5 inch from the old screw holes, and secure the block with screws.

A substitute for wooden bottom guides.


If a wooden center cleat breaks, replace it with metal center guides, which come in sizes to fit most drawers and are more durable.

• Gently pry off the wooden cleats from the bottom of the drawer and from the center sup port.

• Measure the drawer depth, and buy a metal center guide to match it.

• Draw a line down the center of the drawer bottom and the center drawer support.

• Attach the inner channel to the drawer bottom, and the outer channel to the center drawer support.


1. Shimming the top of the cabinet.


• Check the old screw holes in the studs to make sure they are not stripped. If necessary, plug the holes and re-drill them.

• While a helper holds the back of the cabinet against the wall, using old paint lines or other markings as a guideline, check the cabinet’s vertical and horizontal alignment with a level. If there is no one available to help hold the cabinet.

• If the top of the cabinet must move out from the wall, insert a shim (use the old ones if you have them) at each stud, and tap it down until the cabinet is plumb.

• If the cabinet is already plumb, use shims only to fill any gap at the studs between the cabinet and the wall, gently tapping them into place without moving the cabinet.

2. Plumbing the cabinet bottom.


• Drive screws into the studs through the top hanging bar, cabinet back, and shims (left).

• If the cabinet must move out at the bottom, install shims at each stud as you did for the top.

• If your cabinet has a lower hanging bar (not shown), shim any gap at the studs between the cabinet back and the wall, then attach it as you did the top hanging bar.

• Trim all the protruding shims with a handsaw or utility knife; cut almost to the wall, then snap off the waste.

TRICKS OF THE TRADE --- A Substitute for Another Pair of Hands:

If there is no helper available to steady the cabinet against the wall while you remove or re hang it, a prop constructed of four pieces of 3/4-inch plywood will serve nicely. One horizontal piece supports the cabinet bottom while the other provides a broad, sturdy base on the countertop. The two vertical pieces that bear the cabinet’s weight are screwed together at right angles for added stability. Slide the prop under the cabinet, and insert shims, if needed, until it fits snugly between the cabinet bottom and the countertop.


Fixing Damaged Countertops

Although countertop surfaces—plastic laminate, ceramic tile, or hardwood butcher block—are strong and durable, daily use and accidents eventually take their toll. But much damage to most surfaces can be repaired.

--Quick Repairs for Minor Damage: Scratches and gouges in laminate can be hidden with a matching plastic seam filler, available from countertop fabricators. Broken or lifted edges can be re-glued. Stains on butcher block can usually be scraped or sanded away.

With care, a cracked ceramic tile can be removed and replaced without marring the surrounding tiles. Scrape away old grout around the edges of the tile with a grout saw. A damaged tile at the edge of the sink presents special problems; you must remove the sink and cut the new tile to fit.

--Replacing a Section of Countertop: Extensive dam age to a laminate countertop can be cut out and re placed with an inset of heat-proof glass—available as a kit from home-supply centers—or ceramic tiles Since the metal-rimmed glass inset requires that the counter- top be cut through, check for braces or crosspieces under the countertop before proceeding.

To install a tile inset, remove the damaged area with a router and a 3/8-inch double-fluted bit. To determine the depth of the cut, add 0.25 inch for a plywood underlayment to the thickness of your tiles, then subtract 1/32-inch so that the tiles will sit slightly higher than the surface of the countertop.


  • Putty knife
  • Steel scraper
  • Orbital sander
  • Saber saw with laminate blade
  • Router
  • 3/8-inch double-fluted bit
  • C-clamp
  • Electric drill with 0.25-inch bit
  • 0.25-inch masonry bit
  • Utility knife with laminate blade
  • Grout saw
  • Pry bar
  • Cold chisel
  • Notched trowel


  • Plastic seam filler
  • 1/4-inch plywood
  • Silicone caulk
  • Grout
  • Silicone sealer
  • Ceramic tiles
  • Carpenter’s glue
  • Epoxy-based or acrylic tile adhesive

= = SAFETY TIPS --- Protect your eyes with goggles when using a hammer and chisel, power saw, sander, or router. Never start the router with the bit touching the surface to be routed. Wear rubber gloves when handling tile adhesive.

= = =

A quick fix for countertop scratches.


• Squeeze a small quantity of plastic seam filler onto a plastic plate, and work it with a clean putty knife until it begins to thicken.

• Wipe the scratch with a cloth dipped in the solvent that comes with the filler, then press the paste into the scratch with the putty knife. Immediately wipe away excess filler with the cloth. If the filler shrinks as it hardens, wait an hour and repeat the process.

Restoring a blemished butcher block.


• Set the edge of a steel scraper against the butcher block at a 60-degree angle, beveled edge up, and pull it across the blemished area.

• If scraping fails, run an orbital electric sander with medium-grit sandpaper over an area slightly larger than the stain. Keep the sander moving to avoid grinding a depression into the surface.

• Smooth the surface with fine-grit sandpaper, and apply vegetable oil or a nontoxic finish.


1. Applying the adhesive.


• First try reviving the old adhesive by placing a cloth over the area and heating it with a cool iron, then press the loose piece down with a roller.

• Alternatively, lift the loose edge gently and scrape out dried glue with a utility knife. Blow out any loose debris with a straw.

• Using a toothpick, spread carpenter glue sparingly on the exposed countertop core.

• Press the laminate back into place and wipe off excess glue.

2. Clamping down the repair.


• Lay a piece of wax paper over the repair, then cover it with a scrap of wood. With another scrap protecting the underside of the countertop, clamp the repair tightly.

• Wait 24 hours for the glue to set, then release the clamp.


1. Removing the tile.


• With a grout saw, scratch the grout from the joints on all four sides of the tile, then attempt to dislodge the tile with a pry bar, protecting adjacent tiles with a piece of cardboard.

• If the tile resists prying, drill four holes near the center with a masonry bit, then chip out the tile with a cold chisel and hammer.

• Scrape any old adhesive or grout from the opening in the countertop with a putty knife or a cold chisel, making the surface as even as possible. Wipe away dust with a damp cloth.

2. Applying the adhesive.


Use the flat edge of a notched trowel to coat the back of the replacement tile with adhesive, then comb the adhesive with the notched edge, leaving visible ridges.

3. Setting the tile.


• Place the tile in the opening, and gently set it into place with a slight back-and-forth twisting motion.

• Remove any adhesive from the tile surface with a damp cloth.

• Lay an 18-inch length of 2-by-4 on the replacement tile. Tap the board with a hammer to bring the surface of the replacement tile even with the surfaces of the other tiles.

• Allow the adhesive to cure, then grout the surrounding joints with your fingertip (inset).


1. Cutting the hole.


• Set the rim of the inset or the tem plate provided by its manufacturer over the damaged area, and mark a cut line on the countertop.

• Loosely bolt a piece of scrap lumber to the countertop to support the cutout as you saw (left).

• Just inside a corner of the marked area, drill a starter hole for a saber saw. Cut out the opening, rotating the board ahead of the saw as you go.

• Lift out the waste piece with the board, and test-fit the metal rim in the opening. If necessary, enlarge the opening slightly with a coarse file.

2. Preparing the inset.


• Set the rim of the inset upside down and squeeze a thin bead of silicone caulk around the inside flange (left).

• Turn the glass piece upside down and press it into the rim of the inset. With a screwdriver, bend the metal tabs along the rim outward to hold the glass in place.

• Apply a heavier bead of caulk to the outside flange of the rim, then set the assembly into the countertop.

3. Fastening the inset.


• Underneath the countertop, hook one of the lugs provided by the manufacturer over the edge of the metal rim, insert the lug bolt and thread it into an anchor pad, then screw the pad against the underside of the inset piece.

• Repeat this procedure on the lug and bolt diagonally opposite, then on the remaining bolts.

• On the countertop, use a putty knife to scrape off excess caulk around the edge of the rim.


1. Measuring the area.


• Draw a rectangle on the countertop inch larger in each dimension than the area that is to be tiled.

• In each corner of the rectangle—and touching its edges—drill a 0.25-inch hole to the depth of the router cut you plan.

• Measure between the router bit and the base plate edge. Double the measurement, and add the result to the dimensions of the rectangle. Make a jig for the router (photograph), using these figures as inside dimensions.

• Clamp the jig in place. After adjusting the router to cut half the planned depth, place the router base against the jig.

2. Routing the inset area.


• Turn on the router, lower it into the countertop, and move it to the center.

• To ensure support for the router, cut a clockwise spiral to the edge of the jig, then rout along the perimeter. Set the bit to the full depth and retrace the spiral.

• Beginning in the center, finish routing the remaining countertop inside the jig.

• To remove small countertop remnants in corners around the drill holes, score the laminate with a laminate blade in a utility knife, then chisel away the under lying wood.

3. Laying the tiles.


• Cut a piece of plywood to fit the routed area, and glue it in place.

• With a notched trowel, spread adhesive over the plywood. Then set the tiles in the inset, and let the adhesive cure according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

• Grout and seal the joints between tiles as described.

• After the grout has cured, caulk the 0.25-inch space between the tiles and the countertop with silicone caulk.


Repairing Kitchen Floors

Kitchen floors are high-traffic areas that take a beating in normal every day use. For this reason, most are made either of durable, resilient vinyl—laid in sheets or square tiles— or of tough, rigid ceramic tile.

Rugged as they are, these materials can still be damaged by common household accidents. Dropped utensils can gouge resilient flooring or crack ceramic tile, and hot liquids can blister a vinyl surface.

Fortunately, such flaws can usually be patched, and it’s not necessary to tear out the entire floor. Re placing a broken ceramic tile is described above. Before undertaking any repairs on resilient flooring, read the information on asbestos below.

Sometimes vinyl tiles or sections of sheet flooring work loose from the plywood underlayment to which they are bonded. This problem should be corrected immediately, before the flooring becomes dam aged or kitchen spills seep through to the underlayment and subfloor.

---Damaged Wall Base: Also prone to nicks and splits from accidental blows is the wall base—either quarter-round wooden lengths called shoe molding or flexible vinyl strips—which conceals the joint between the kitchen floor and the walls. Sometimes a section of undamaged wall base must be re moved in order to repair the adjacent flooring. If shoe molding is removed carefully, the same piece can be remounted afterward.

Vinyl molding usually needs to be replaced, because it’s not practical to try to remove the adhesive from the old piece. New molding in various widths and colors is avail able at any building-supply center. If you buy it in one long roll, cut it into workable lengths—4 to 6 feet- before installing it.


  • Utility knife
  • Linoleum knife
  • Putty knife
  • Pry bar
  • Nail set
  • Heat gun
  • Hand roller
  • Notched spreader
  • Glue injector


  • Wood filler
  • Vinyl-tile adhesive
  • Seam sealer


• Heat guns heat a stream of air to between about 250° and 1,100° F. The lowest temperature setting on the gun will usually suffice to soften the adhesive under kitchen flooring. Always wear thick work gloves to protect against burns.

• Wear rubber gloves when mixing, removing, or applying flooring adhesive. Open all doors and windows in the room, and avoid inhaling the fumes.


1. Loosening the molding.


• First, run a utility knife between the molding and the baseboard to break the paint seal.

• Starting at a door or an outside corner, work the blade of a wide putty knife into the seam. Gently lever the piece of molding far enough from the baseboard to allow the insertion of a pry bar into the gap.

2. Removing the molding.


• Using a piece of wood or cardboard to protect the baseboard, work the pry bar along the molding, levering it out slightly at each nail. When the entire piece is thus loosened, return to the first nail and repeat the process. Work slowly; don’t try to force the piece out all at once.

• If you are replacing damaged molding, save the old pieces as a guide for cutting strips of new molding.

3. Installing new molding.


• Lay the old pieces of molding against a strip of new molding, and mark the proper lengths. Cut the new pieces with a backsaw. Use a miter box to achieve accurate 45-degree angles where two pieces meet at a corner.

• Install the new pieces in the reverse order from which you removed the old molding, ending at a door or an outside corner.

• Lay a piece of cardboard on the floor to protect the finish, then drive a 1.25” finishing nail through the center of the molding 1 inch from its end. Drive a nail every 12 inches along the length of the piece.

• Place a nail set against the head of each finishing nail in turn and, with a hammer, tap the nail set until the heads are below the surface of the molding.

4. Filling the holes and gaps.


• Use a putty knife to work wood filler into nail holes and any gaps between molding pieces.

• When the filler is dry, sand the wood and the filler, then finish the shoe molding with paint or stain.


1. Removing the wall base.


• Hold the nozzle of a heat gun a few inches from the end of a section of wall base, and sweep it back and forth for about 15 seconds to soften the adhesive.

• Work the tip of a putty knife behind the heated wall base, and separate it from the wall. Continue moving down the length of the section with the heat gun and putty knife until the entire strip comes off.

• Soften any adhesive left on the wall, and scrape it off with the putty knife.

2. Installing new wall base.


• Use a notched spreader to coat the back of the wall base evenly with adhesive to within 0.5 inch of its edges.

• Press the section into place on the wall, making sure the bottom edge touches the floor.

Where a strip must fit around a corner, warm the strip with the heat gun so that it bends easily.

• When the entire section is in place, run a hand roller back and forth over it several times to bond it to the wall (above).

= = = !!! CAUTION !!! = = =

- - - -Asbestos- - - - -

If your resilient kitchen floor was installed before 1986, the flooring or the adhesive underneath may contain asbestos. When damaged, these materials can release microscopic asbestos fibers into the air, creating severe long-term health risks. Unless you know for certain that your floor does not contain asbestos, assume that it does, and follow these precautions when making any repairs:

Always wear a dual-cartridge respirator. Asbestos fibers will pass right through an ordinary dust mask.

Never sand resilient flooring or the underlying adhesive.

Try to remove the damaged flooring in one piece. If it looks likely to break or crumble, wet it before removal to reduce the chance of raising dust.

When scraping off old adhesive, always use a heat gun to keep it tacky or a spray bottle to keep it wet.

If vacuuming is necessary, rent or buy a wet/dry shop vac with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration system.

Place the damaged flooring, adhesive, and HEPA filter in a polyethylene trash bag at least 6 mils (.006 inch) thick, and seal it immediately.

Contact your local environmental protection office for guidance as to proper disposal.

= = =


Resealing tiles.


• Tape sheets of aluminum foil over the adjacent tiles to protect them from being damaged by the heat gun.

• Lift the loose corner of the tile with a putty knife, and move the heat gun back and forth until the adhesive on the underlayment and the bottom of the tile is tacky.

• Press the tile down firmly, cover it with a cloth, and place several thick books or some equivalent weight on the cloth. After 30 minutes, remove the cloth and check the tile. If it lifts again, the tile must be removed and re-glued.

Re-gluing tiles.


• Soften the adhesive with the heat gun while gently lifting the tile with the putty knife until it can be pulled off.

• Using the heat gun and putty knife, re move the old adhesive from the back of the tile and the exposed underlayment.

• With a notched spreader, coat the underlayment evenly with vinyl-tile adhesive, leaving visible ridges in it.

• Let the adhesive set according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then fit the tile into the opening and press it down firmly with a hand roller.


1. Removing tiles.


To remove a damaged tile that is still securely bonded to the underlayment, lay a straightedge across the tile about 1 inch from its edge to protect the adjacent tile from the heat gun. Cut through the tile along the straight edge with a linoleum knife.

• Sweep the nozzle of the heat gun back and forth along the slit until the adhesive is soft enough to allow the insertion of a putty knife under the edge of the tile, then work the tile loose and remove it. Remove adjacent dam aged tiles the same way.

• If any damaged tiles were cut when installed to fit against a wall or around an obstruction, use them as templates to make matching replacement tiles.

2. Spreading the adhesive.


• Remove the old adhesive from the underlayment with a heat gun and putty knife.

• With a notched spreader, coat the underlayment with vinyl-tile adhesive, leaving ridges, and let it set according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

3. Installing the new tiles.


• Fit a replacement tile in a corner of the opening where it abuts two existing tiles.

• Lay whole tiles first, and finish with those that have been cut to fit.

• With a hand roller, firmly press down all the new tiles flush with each other and the surrounding tiles.

• With a damp cloth, immediately wipe up any excess adhesive. Don’t walk on the replacement tiles until the adhesive has dried completely. This usually takes 24 hours.


1. Removing the old adhesive.


• Raise the loose edge with a putty knife, then use an old toothbrush moistened with undiluted liquid floor cleaner to scrub under it.

• While the old adhesive is still wet, use a sharp knife to scrape it from the area along the seam.

• Wipe the area clean with a cloth, and let it dry.

2. Applying the adhesive.


• Raise the lifted edge again, and use a small putty knife to spread a thin layer of adhesive on the underlayment. Let it set for the specified time.

• Pressing firmly, run a hand roller along the edge to bind it to the adhesive.

• Immediately wipe up any excess adhesive with a damp cloth, then cover the seam with a dry cloth and place several thick books on it.

3. Sealing the seam.


• Let the adhesive dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then seal the edge using a commercial seam sealer recommended for your type of flooring.

• Working from one end of the edge to the other, hold the applicator at an angle and gently squeeze out a continuous bead.

• Keep traffic off the edge until the sealer is dry.

CAUTION---Seam sealer is toxic and flammable. Follow all safety precautions on the label.


1. Injecting the glue.


• Use a syringe-style glue injector with a metal needle, available from a flooring supplier.

• Insert the needle into the center of the blister, preferably at a point on a pattern line.

• Press gently on the plunger, injecting 0.25 ounce of glue for every square inch of blister.

2. Spreading the glue.

• Roll a hand roller back and forth over the blister to spread out the glue underneath.

• With a damp cloth, wipe up any excess glue around the needle hole, then cover the blister with a cloth and place several books on it until the glue dries.


1. Making a patch.


• Place a matching, slightly larger piece of flooring over the damaged section, and carefully align the pattern.

• Secure the replacement piece to the floor with masking tape.

2. Cutting out the damaged section.


• Use a utility knife and a straightedge to cut the replacement piece and the damaged section simultaneously, following pattern lines wherever possible.

• Lift off the replacement piece, and dispose of the tape and cut edges.

• If the damaged section remains adhered to the underlayment, work the tip of the knife between the upper wear layer and the backing, and peel off the upper layer.

• Wet the backing with a solution of dishwashing liquid and water, and scrape it off the underlayment with a putty knife.

3. Installing the replacement section.


• With a notched spreader, coat the underlayment with an even layer of adhesive.

• Let the adhesive set according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then fit the replacement piece into the hole.

• Press it firmly into place with a hand roller, and immediately wipe up any excess adhesive with a damp cloth.

• When the adhesive is dry, seal the edges of the patch with seam sealer.

Saturday, March 15, 2014 4:28 PST