How to repair tile, in 5 easy steps

Although it’s one of the toughest and most durable ways to cover walls and floors, tile is by no means indestructible. Whether it’s made of ceramic, porcelain, clay (terracotta), or quarry stone, it can be subject to damage from any item strong or heavy enough to crack the enumerated materials. It can even crack on itself if it has an undetected manufacturer defect or it’s installed on an uneven floor. However, it’s not that difficult to repair cracked tile, especially when you benefit from tips & tricks from highly-trained experts. Without further ado, here are the 5 simple steps you have to follow:

1. Find a matching replacement tile. First of all, you have to find a matching replacement tile. Usually, flooring contractors leave a few spare tiles in your storage room or garage, when they’re done installing them. If this is not the case, search online for the most similar patterns (of course, this will be more difficult if the already installed tile has a complicated pattern). Our suggestion: if the two are not exactly the same, it’s better to be completely different (it will be much less annoying from an aesthetic point of view);

2. Choose a matching grout. Secondly, you have to find a grout that matches the tile, in terms of colors. To do this, we recommend borrowing colored grout samples from a well-stocked flooring supply store and bringing them home, before deciding which one to buy;

3. Completely remove the old tile. This is the most difficult step because you have to be careful, first of all, not to damage any of the surrounding tiles (the whole ones). We advise you to use an electric drill with a masonry bit, to make a few small holes diagonally into the cracked tile, about 1 inch apart. Then, split the tile, through the horizontal hole-line, using a ball-peen hammer to put a cold chisel through the tile. However, make sure you don’t crack any of the neighboring grout joints.

Then, scrape any of the remaining old mortar from the subfloor, using a stiff-bladed scraper. Last but not least, vacuum up any loose dirt or debris, before laying the new tiles in place;

4. Lay the replacement tile in place. Using a notched trowel, spread the mortar onto the subfloor and lay the new tile in. After that, use a level to make sure that the tile is perfectly flat and flush with the surrounding tiles;

5. Grout the area & you’re done. Finally, grout the area according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Of course, if this seems too complicated or you simply don’t have the necessary time or skills to repair the tile yourself, you can always call us! Ceramic tile repair is one of the handyman services we offer, together with cabinet installation, removal, or refacing; carpentry – molding installation; ceiling repair; drywall repair & installation; deck repair & fence fixing; door installation & repair; dryer vent installation & cleaning; flooring installation & repair; insulation installation; etc.

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