Would You Like to Be Able to Repair Your Ceramic Tile?

So often when I am in a client’s house I notice broken floor tile. Now I am not saying that it is everyone, but more often than not if there is a ceramic floor there are broken floor tiles. When you consider all of the traffic that a typical residential floor can get it’s not surprising, especially when tile is so common in high traffic areas like a kitchen or entrance hall.

Just the other day I was in a client’s kitchen. She has a beautiful home that is so well maintained except for the broken floor tiles. My client who I will call Linda has a newly renovated modern oversized kitchen. It has sliding door to the yard and all of the amenities. Linda has all of the latest high tech appliances including a washer and drier right in her kitchen.

Linda also has a beautiful off white ceramic floor that she always keeps immaculately clean. It is beautiful that is except for a couple of unsightly broken tiles. To make matters worse, the cracks look like jagged black lines.

Linda told me that she will have back me in the fall to repair these tiles, but I explained to her that she didn’t have to wait that long. I explained how replacing a couple of broken floor tiles is a job that most DIYer’s are capable of doing themselves. Do you have broken unsightly flooring tile like Linda?

Here is how to go about replacing ceramic tile,

Remove grout – begin by removing the grout that surrounds the tile. You can easily use a grout saw to accomplish this.

Remove tile – removing tile is easy, it is just a matter of carefully breaking the tile and chipping it out. I would recommend scoring the surface of the tile with a glass cutter first. Then using a chisel carefully, remove the pieces of broken tile one at a time. Always use safety goggles when performing this step.

Completely clean out the area – make sure to use your chisel or some other similar tool to completely clean out the area. Any remaining Thin-set Mortar or adhesive residue will keep your new tile from laying flat and look unsightly.

Install replacement tile – next using a notched trowel or putty knife, butter the back of the replacement tile with adhesive. I like to use Thin-set Mortar when doing an installation, but if you are installing one or two tiles in an area not exposed to water you can get by with using a ready-made tile adhesive. Press the tile firmly into place and wipe away any excess adhesive.

Grout – wait 24 hours before grouting around the new tile.

It helps if you have saved some extra tiles from the original installation. This way you will know that you have a perfect match.

However, do not get alarmed if you find that you do not have an exact replacement, there are a couple of ways around that.

Most tile stores carry such a large selection that you can usually find a close if not a perfect match. Also be aware that an experienced tile installer can often remove a tile from an inconspicuous area and use it as the replacement.

A final option is to have your tiles made to order. Although they can get kind of costly, North Prairie Tileworks in Minneapolis, can match your tile as long as the glaze color is in their collection.

By master