How to Repair Ceramic Tiles

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How to Repair Ceramic Tiles

Despite their somewhat durable design, ceramic tiles in the bathroom or kitchen sometimes crack or loosen over time. Rather than execute a large-scale replacement of all the tiles in a floor or wall, homeowners often engage in smaller repairs that address the individual damage to tiles. Whether they need to fix loose tiles or cracked tiles, homeowners can execute repairs by following a few basic steps. Before initiating repairs, they need to learn about the tools and materials necessary to make these types of repairs. Necessary items are typically available through online retailers like eBay as well as at traditional home improvement and flooring stores.

Repairing a Loose Tile

Loose tiles often turn into cracked tiles so addressing loose tiles to prevent a larger problem from developing is important. Loose tiles also let in moisture around the tiles, and this potentially leads to mould and mildew issues. Gathered moisture can also lead to additional loose tiles developing around an already loose tile. To replace a loose tile or a damaged tile, homeowners follow the same simple steps.

Gather the Right Tools

As a first step, homeowners should gather the right tools for the job. Necessary tools not only help with the installation process, but also with cleaning up after a repair and maintaining safety standards during the process.

Product

Description

Iron

Household iron typically used for clothing

Used to soften adhesive on small tiles

Tile Adhesive

Adhesion material used to secure tiles to walls or floors

White Spirit

Solution used to clean off old adhesive

Cleaning Cloths

Used after installation to clean off extra adhesive

Grout

Construction material used to seal spaces between tiles

Rolling Pin

Used to even out the tile after adhesion

Putty Knife

Dull, flat blade used to spread adhesive or grout

Consumers should select a container of grout or adhesive based on the size of the repair. Because repairing a loose tile is a small-scale job, homeowners can purchase small containers of tile adhesive for this purpose.

Remove the Tile

The next step is to remove the tile from the floor or wall. In order to do this, homeowners should first warm the tiles with a clothes iron. Setting the iron to a moderate temperature is a good idea. After warming the tiles and adhesive with the iron, homeowners can pry the tiles off with the putty knives.

For large floor tiles or tiles that do not come loose with the warming method, homeowners may need to turn to more powerful tools. Using electric drills and masonry bits, they can drill a series of holes along the diagonal on the tiles no farther than 2.5 cm apart. Homeowners should then use chisels and hammers to split the tiles along this series of holes, using light taps. Wearing safety glasses and protective work gloves is important when using this method.

Clean the Tile and Tile Area

The next step involves removing the leftover adhesive from the tiles. Using cloths soaked in White Spirit, homeowners should rub the surface of the old, dried adhesive on the undersides of the tiles if they plan to reuse the tiles and then repeat this process to clean the exposed tile areas on the walls or floors. Once the White Spirit softens the adhesive, homeowners can scrape it off with their putty knives. Large sections of grout and adhesive may require a chisel.

Re-secure the Tile in Place

After applying fresh adhesive to clean or new tiles and the tile areas, homeowners can then insert the tiles back into place. They use the rolling pin if necessary to ensure the tiles are flat and even, and this also releases air bubbles trapped underneath the tiles. Homeowners can then clean up any excess adhesive with White Spirit-soaked cloths. Finally, they should apply grout around all four sides of the tiles, scraping off any excess with the putty knives.

Repairing a Cracked Tile

In some cases, a crack on a ceramic tile is small enough that a quick repair takes care of the problem. To patch up a ceramic tile crack, homeowners should first find paint that matches their tiles. They also need to purchase tile filler. Homeowners then mix paint with tile filler to create fillers that match their tiles. Using a cotton swab, they then dab the mix into the cracks. Once the mix dries, which usually only takes a few seconds, they can use moist cloths to wipe off the excess tile filler from the tile surfaces.

How to Buy Tools and Materials for Repairing Ceramic Tiles on eBay

Everything from new tiles to putty knives and other tools are available on the online retail site eBay. Searching for items is a simple matter that consists of entering keyword terms that describe the desired products into the search bar found on any page. Consumers can review the results and click on the titles of any items that look appealing to review the details. They can easily vet sellers and review feedback by clicking on a seller's name to visit his or her information page. With its wealth of products and helpful features, eBay helps many consumers gather the supplies they need for basic home repairs and maintenance.

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