I ruined my luxury vinyl plank flooring (and here’s how I fixed it!)

I’m driving, turn a corner, and I hear a box fall over. Oh well… until I hear “pshhhhh,” an aerosol can is spraying out of control. I pull over and open my slider door to find 3M Super 90 spray adhesive jetting down my walkway.

I soon found out that this adhesive ruins luxury vinyl plank flooring on contact. Wiping it away, a layer comes with it, and I’m left with ugly white patches on my floor. No way around it, I have to replace parts of it. In the end, it was relatively simple. All but one of my planks were readily accessible and not under any furniture or cabinetry. Here’s what I used:

Of course, you’ll need some replacement planks as well. I used Allure LVP from Home Depot and I’ve been satisfied with it, though it is prone to scratches from sliding heavy objects around. The heat gun uses about 1500 watts, so you will probably want to be on shore power for this repair, assuming you’re working on a camper van and not a house!

I highly recommend you stick a couple planks together and then simulate what you’re about to do on your live floor. If you have a big area to replace, go wild, but if you’re only replacing a few planks — you’ll want to get your technique in order before you get started.

  1. I identified the damaged planks to be removed and then started heating the first seam. Working the scraper underneath the lip and slowly peeling it upward. Do not slide the paint scraper against any pieces you’d like to leave, any scrapes will be bright white and require removal of additional planks. The first plank will be the hardest and riskiest as far as damaging surrounding planks. Be very patient with your heat, too much direct heat will leave a strange “glossy” surface on the existing planks – I have one such glossy area now that I can’t stop noticing.

  2. I was lucky – all but one of my planks were fully removable without going under furniture. For the one that did go under a secured cabinet, I made a straight cut with a razor blade and removed the damaged section. Tip: don’t be like me, use a straight-edge of some sort.

  3. I heated up the remaining glue strips and scraped off any debris, as well as swept and vacuumed where the new planks would be installed.

  4. I took a new plank and cut it to match the length of the removed section. I secured it in place as close to the old plank as I could. Unfortunately, this is a bump that I feel whenever I step on it barefoot. I didn’t get the cut perfectly straight, so I had a small visible white gap.. I’ve since filled it with hardening dark wood filler – this is important not just for appearance, but to keep things (and liquid) from getting underneath the floating floor.

  5. Laying the new planks was the same process I’d gone through on the original install, with the exception that you’ll be tetris-ing them into place toward the end. I heated up the new AND old glue strips as I installed the new planks. Remember to roll the seams – you can rent a 100 lb roller, or I walked along each seem with all my weight on one heel. Crucial for proper adhesion. Good luck!