The Homeowner’s Guide for Residential Floor Repairs in Wichita
Scuffs, scratches and dents, oh my! There are many reasons that homeowners need floor repairs in Wichita. The surfaces you walk on are tougher and more durable than many other areas of your home, but they're not indestructible. Many types of flooring are susceptible to damage, and in many cases, that damage can be fixed.
No matter which material you choose to walk on, you'll likely need Wichita floor repair services at some point. Different materials have different levels of durability, but it's natural for all types of flooring to suffer from scratches, dents and other issues over the years. Fixing that damage is often a simple home improvement project that will greatly improve the look of your home—and your peace of mind.
There's nobody more knowledgeable about floor repairs than your local Wichita handyman. As your local flooring experts, our team at Mr. Handyman of the Wichita Metro Area is here to help you learn about the common types of Wichita floor repairs that you may need to complete. Of course, if you're lacking time, tools or confidence for this type of home repair project, we also offer professional flooring services to help with repairs and replacement.
Wichita Hardwood Floor Repairs
When it comes to Wichita floor repairs, hardwood is often the first material that homeowners need information for. One of the benefits of hardwood flooring is that it's possible to continue repairing and maintaining it for many years. In fact, that routine maintenance is often a requirement.
The name hardwood might make it sound like this material is strong, but wood is actually vulnerable to many types of damage. Moisture is a particular problem for hardwood that leads to issues like warping and buckling. Scratches and gouges are also common types of damage that affect hardwood in Wichita homes.
Engineered VS. Solid Hardwood
It's also important to know the difference between engineered hardwood and solid, natural hardwood, since both types are used in Wichita. Solid hardwood is made from a single source. It's one solid piece of wood. Engineered wood looks similar, but it's actually a thin layer of natural wood that's been bonded over a plywood core.
The differences in the manufacturing process for engineered hardwood result in a product that is much more resistant to warping, but which can only be refinished once or twice before it must be replaced. It's also generally less costly, but it doesn't last as long either. With routine maintenance and proper refinishing, a solid hardwood floor could last for 100 years in Wichita homes. Engineered hardwood will generally only last about 40 years before replacement is required.
Common Hardwood Wichita Floor Repairs:
Moisture damage: Water and humidity damage the finish of hardwood, cause discoloration and lead to issues like warping and buckling in solid hardwood. Warped boards must be removed and replaced. It's not always possible to find exact matches for older boards, so many homeowners in Wichita often opt for replacement instead. For stains and discoloration, it's possible to sand and refinish the area to restore it.
Scratches: It's possible to fix small scratches in hardwood by buffing them with steel wool or by hand-sanding them. If your polyurethane finish is scratched, you may have greater success with a scouring pad dipped in mineral spirits or a sanding screen. It's also possible to fix scratched hardwood with paste wax and wax sticks, but you should avoid using wax if you have a polyurethane finish, as it will make it impossible to re-coat again without sanding first.
Gouges and dents: For small dents in hardwood, it's sometimes possible to fix them by adding a few small drops of water and allowing the material to swell back to shape. Sometimes, using an iron over a thick cloth or using a heat gun on the affected area will help that process. For larger gouges and dents, it's possible to fix the issue with wood filler and a matching stain.
Should You Use a Professional for Hardwood Wichita Floor Repairs?
In most cases, getting professional service for your Wichita hardwood floor repairs is the best choice, especially if you have engineered hardwood—because of the higher cost of hardwood and the limited number of times that many types can be refinished. Using an experienced professional will ensure that your beautiful floors are not ruined by amateur mistakes, and that they receive the proper care they need.
Wichita Laminate Floor Repairs
Laminate flooring is a popular choice for flooring installation in Wichita because of its ability to mimic the appearance of hardwood, its easier installation process and its slightly higher resistance to moisture. However, its higher durability does not translate to damage like scratches and dents.
There are generally only two options for laminate floor repairs in Wichita. Light scratches and small cracks can often be fixed with a floor repair kit. If damage is severe, you may need to replace entire planks. Much like other materials, it's often hard to find direct matches for existing planks, so full replacement may be a better option for particularly severe damage.
Common Laminate Wichita Floor Repairs:
Scratches, cracks and dents: Surface damage on laminate floors can sometimes be repaired using a chisel and the correct color-matched floor repair kit. Matching the grain in your laminate will require multiple colors of filler, and can be a tricky process for those without experience.
Damaged Planks: If you have spare planks or don't mind a slight mismatch in your floors from a new plank, then it's possible to replace a damaged plank. Replacing planks is a more complicated procedure, and the exact process varies based on the location of the damaged plank, so it's best to leave this job for an experienced professional in Wichita.
Wichita Vinyl Floor Repairs
Vinyl has always been a popular choice because of its affordability. Vinyl is often used by homeowners in Wichita as a blanket term, but there are two distinct varieties of vinyl which are both susceptible to common types of damage. There are also distinct repair techniques required based on the type of vinyl you have. Of course, poor installation or severe damage may cause the need for total replacement for both styles.
Sheet Vinyl VS. Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)
If you're familiar with older vinyl floors from the early 90s, then you may have a negative view of vinyl, but you also don't have the full picture. Vinyl comes in two different styles, separated by their unique manufacturing process. Sheet vinyl is the cheaper variety commonly used in some Wichita homes because of its low price. Luxury vinyl tile—also sometimes called luxury vinyl plank—is a high-tier, durable type of vinyl flooring that has many benefits over sheet vinyl.
LVT is generally more durable and stable than sheet vinyl. It's also available in a greater variety of styles and customization options, and it lasts longer than sheets in most Wichita homes. The one benefit that sheets have over tiles is that they're less expensive, although there are other specific advantages that come into play for certain commercial applications, such as in healthcare facilities.
Both varieties are susceptible to scratches and scuffs. However, where scratches in tiles or planks will simply leave ugly marks, the same types of damage in sheets could actually tear right through the vinyl, and that damage could be caused by something as simple as a chair or table leg sliding across older vinyl. That's why the methods required for fixing damaged sheet vinyl are so different from those required for tiles.
Sheet Vinyl Floor Repairs:
Using Seam Sealer: For small scratches and cuts, it's possible to repair sheet vinyl using a product called seam sealer, a clear compound that's often sold wherever vinyl sheets are sold. The process isn't too complicated, but may present some challenges for those without previous flooring experience.
Using a Patch: For larger holes, tears or burns, you'll have to cut out the damaged area and replace it with a patch. This type of vinyl floor repair requires a method called the double-cutting technique, which involves lining up your patch with the damaged area to create a perfect match during the cutting stage. Patching vinyl sheets is a more complicated process that should be left to Wichita flooring repair experts.
Luxury Vinyl Tile Floor Repairs:
In most cases, the simplest way to repair vinyl tile is to remove the damaged tile or tiles and replace them. Fixing LVT is much simpler and easier than fixing sheet vinyl. The process involves using a heat gun to soften the adhesive below the damaged area, removing the sections and then replacing them with new tiles. This type of repair is why it's always important to keep spare tiles or planks around after a new installation for LVT or LVP.
Wichita Ceramic Tile Floor Repairs
Ceramic tiles—and other similar tile materials like stone or porcelain—are a common choice for some bathrooms and kitchens in Wichita. These types of tiles are chosen for their high durability, high water resistance and generally low maintenance requirements. However, they are not indestructible.
Ceramic tiles are often chipped or scratched, usually as a result of falling objects or sudden impacts. Worn grout and caulk are also common problems encountered by homeowners in Wichita with ceramic tile. When it comes to ceramic tile flooring repair, getting the job done as soon as possible is often recommended. Because of the areas where those tiles are used, it's possible for that damage to cause additional complications.
Cracks and chips can scratch the feet of anyone walking on damaged ceramic tile, but there's an even more important reason why you should complete those repairs. Damaged tiles are no longer effectively water resistant. That means water from your nearby fixtures or from spills could seep into cracks, chips and scratches. Eventually that water buildup could cause issues with the subfloor beneath your kitchen or bathroom. That also applies to grout and caulk, which are meant to seal out water and moisture. If those seals are worn or broken, water could seep into your home's subfloor, resulting in serious water damage.
Common Ceramic Tile Wichita Floor Repairs
Chips and cracks: Much like LVT and other types of tile, fixing damaged ceramic tiles usually involves replacing the damaged sections with new tiles. For ceramic and similar materials, that process involves removing the surrounding grout and regrouting as well. If you have replacement tiles from your installation, this is a basic repair that will look almost seamless. However, it's important to remember that your existing surrounding tiles will have slightly more wear than the fresh replacements you put in, so they may still stand out. If you don't have replacements on hand, you could replace other nearby tiles with a new style or color to create a pattern that makes your replacements blend, although full replacement may also be a simpler choice for some Wichita homeowners.
Grout repair: Removing and replacing worn grout doesn't require any special skills, but it does require a trained hand for best results. This type of work also requires specialized tools like a grout removal blade or grout removal tool. The process itself is simple enough; remove old grout, clean the area, add new grout and remove any excess. However, to handle specific stages, like manually removing small traces of grout and removing any haze after your new grout is dry, experience makes all the difference.
Caulk repair: Caulk will generally wear down around the tile floor of a shower or near the bottom of a bathtub. Removing old caulk and re-caulking is a delicate job. Much like grout repair, it doesn't require any specific skills, but the experienced, trained hand of a professional handyman makes all the difference when it comes to avoiding scratches during the removal process and getting perfectly straight caulk lines.
Do You Need Wichita Flooring Repairs?
The experts at Mr. Handyman of the Wichita Metro Area are here to help. We'll take care of your flooring repairs, tile replacement and any other home repairs that you need help with. Our expert handyman team provides guaranteed workmanship and excellent customer service for all home repairs, maintenance and remodeling projects.