Fixing Bulges in Vinyl Floors

If you have a bulge in a vinyl floor in a kitchen, bathroom or storage are where a washer and dryer are kept, if could have a couple of causes. Before you start tearing up the floor, you should figure out just why it’s bulging. The first cause could be that the vinyl has become unattached from the subfloor and popped up. The second cause would indicate a moisture problem that must be addressed. Here’s how you tell the difference between the two.

How to Repair Bulging Vinyl Floors

Fixing Bulges in Vinyl Floors

Fixing Bulges in Vinyl Floors

STEP 1: Get down on the floor near the bulged vinyl and push on the bulge. If it just goes down easily and hits the plywood, the vinyl has just come loose and popped. If the vinyl bulge doesn’t push down or only moves slightly, then the plywood beneath has warped and is rotting because of a moisture problem.

STEP 2: If it’s just the vinyl that has come loose, try pulling up a corner near the wall and working some flooring mastic and push the vinyl back down. Be sure to place something heavy on the spot until the adhesive cures. If you can’t easily get to the spot by pulling up a corner, cut a slit in the vinyl and put the flooring mastic under the bulge. You can cover the slit with wax paper then apply heavy weight again until the mastic cures. If that doesn’t work then you’ll have to take up the flooring and replace it.

STEP 3: If it’s a moisture problem, it could have been caused by people showering with the curtain open, a leaky toilet, or hose in the room or a fan that isn’t removing the damp air properly. Whatever the problem, you’ll need to find it and fix it or the problem will reoccur once the flooring is fixed.

STEP 4: Beneath the vinyl there is a layer of thin plywood. There are also additional layers of plywood beneath that layer. Each layer that is damaged will need to be replaced. Take out all the bad, rotted layers and put in new, fresh plywood. Make sure that there is a clean, smooth surface where you can attach new vinyl flooring. Once the plywood is replaced, the flooring should be relatively easy to install.

STEP 5: Remember, the moisture problem needs to be addressed before installing a new floor. If the toilet needs to be removed to install the new floor, make sure to get a new mounting flange and ring before you put the toilet back in place.

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