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We have "luxury vinyl plank flooring" that was installed about 18 months ago by a the previous owner. I believe it's installed over the bare concrete slab are some cracks/ridges in the slab from pictures taken prior to install.

In one heavy-traffic spot the vinyl is splitting because (I think) it's sitting over a ridge (see photo).

I'm concerned that

  1. The crack might spread/get worse.
  2. I catch the edge with my toe sometimes, which will eventually damage the exposed edge and make it more visible.

How can fix this? I had considered injecting epoxy underneath to provide support, since there's room to get a syringe in there, but I'm not sure if that's a good option.

Fixing it properly by removing the floor is not feasible: it's the middle of our house and it's a continuous run of flooring that covers every room.

enter image description here

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  • Some questions: Is this the glued down kind of flooring or the kind that "clicks" together? Do you have any extra/replacement planks?
    – gnicko
    Sep 13 '21 at 22:31
  • It clicks together. Not glued down. I believe I can get some replacements. Sep 14 '21 at 1:51
  • That looks like a joint rather than crack over the ridge.
    – r13
    Sep 14 '21 at 12:23
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The proper way is to replace the piece, but this is either laborious if you have to replace planks until you get to the damaged one, or it is very difficult and risks damaging the rest of the flooring, especially if you attempt lifting it out by lifting and wiggling the whole floor.

This assumes it's a click-in type.

If you have an extra piece for replacement, you can cut the damaged one out using a "horizontal reciprocating saw", and replace it. Don't cut at the seams, and instead cut along the diagonals so you lift it out in 4 pieces, each a triangle, leaving the edges of the surrounding tiles in tact.

To insert it you have to modify the new piece by cutting away the bottom side of any lips so that it can be dropped in place. Since it won't click lock, you'll use glue on the seams. You may be lucky that you can click it along one or two sides, and then you only need to cut and glue the remaining two or three.

Before dropping in the new piece be sure to inspect and prepare the floor underneath: remove high spots, fill if needed, and tuck in some underlayment if there is none. It's important that the floor is level and smooth at the location of the crack.

If you don't have an extra you can attempt a repair. To level the top of the tile you'll have to push one side down (easy) or lift the other. In order to lift one side, you can try by applying some tape and pulling it by the tape. Or you can tap in a thin screw and pull it by the screw head (using pliers if necessary). Once you know you can align both sides (this is your "dry run"), separate them, apply glue, re-align and hold until dry. You'll use an epoxy glue for this.

If you used a screw, remove it after the seam is dry and fill the tiny screw hole with glue.

I doubt it's necessary after the above repair, but you can stop the crack from growing by drilling a tiny hole right at each end of the crack. Then fill the hole with glue for aesthetics. The hole changes the tension around the end which helps prevent further ripping.

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  • Thanks for the options! I'd have to lift up the lower edge. The upper edge is sitting on the slab. If I do that, why wouldn't I expect the glue joint to fail in the same way that original plank did? The crack/bump will still be there. Sep 14 '21 at 1:54
  • @MemoryWrangler yes it will fail again if you don't fix the crack and smoothen it out. Alternatively you can round any edges in flooring and tuck in some underlayment, e.g. 1/16in or 1/32in sheet metal, then something soft like felt.
    – P2000
    Sep 14 '21 at 2:15
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    This is how to fix it. But, unless you repair the (literally) underlying problem, your efforts will be only temporary at best.
    – gnicko
    Sep 14 '21 at 13:27

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