How to Repair Broken, Cracked or Stained Tile and Grout

If you have tile or grout that has become cracked, broken or stained, these tips will help you fix these issues and have your tile looking great again in no time at all.

Stains are probably the easiest problem to fix with tile. If your tiles have become stained, cleaning them up should be fairly easy. First of all, try to wipe the stain down with a traditional house cleaner for walls or floors, depending on where the tile is. This will work many times at taking off stains such as cooking grease, magic marker, and the like. If traditional house cleaners are not strong enough to take off the stain, try a solution of baking sod and water paste. Rub it on (two parts baking soda, one part water) and allow it dry completely. Then wipe well and buffer to a shine. If this does not work you may have to resort to an acid based cleaning product. Just make sure to use the last option only if nothing else has worked, and check with the manufacturer to be certain the product you purchase will not ruin the tile surface you are applying it to.

If you have stained grout, you can purchase a grout colorant to make it look brand new once again. They are easy to apply and inexpensive, making them an ideal solution.

If you have tiles that are popping off of the wall or the floor, and the substrate and wall or floor itself are in good condition, most likely your adhesive was not applied properly or the wrong type of it was used. Simply pry loose any tiles that are not adhering well, wipe the substrate free of any debris and existing adhesive, and reset with an epoxy or traditional thin-set mortar, or an organic mastic, depending on if the tiles are on the floor or wall.

If the tiles are popping off and parts of the substrate, wall or floor are coming off with it, you have bigger problems. You are going to have to find out where the source of damage is and go in and make the necessary repairs prior to retiling. Use tiles that were in excess when the original job was done to ensure or purchase new ones at your discretion.

If you have tiles that are cracking replacing them should be done only after determining the reason for the compromise. If you have the wrong type of tile in place (the wrong material for the particular job) you most likely are going to have to uproot all existing tile and start the job over with the right material. The cracking tiles will continue and create safety hazards if left unchecked.

If your tiles are cracking from simply wear and tear, you may just need to replace the damaged ones. This can be done by chipping away the cracked tile very carefully. Start in the middle of the tile and pry away loose tile pieces gently. Scrape the substrate well and wipe area free of debris. You are also going to want to remove the grout in these places and add anew.

If your grout is coming apart or cracking you need to replace it. You can purchase a grout saw to make this job easier. The grout, if damaged, should come out very easily but the time it takes to get it will be very time consuming, simply because there is so much of it and it is a relatively small space that it is put into. Clean up the area you are working in once the grout has been removed and dry it completely. Now you can reapply the grout, per manufacturer’s instructions. If the tiles are in good condition, the new grout job will undoubtedly liven up the existing tile job and leave the tiled area looking fabulous.

These simple repair ideas are all easy to master and inexpensive to administer, yet they all make a world of difference in the appearance of a tiled area. Upkeep and maintenance is important in tiled areas and really is not that hard to do, unless of course you must repair damaged work beneath the tile itself. Be sure to check your tiles regularly for stains, cracks or loose pieces so you can repair them as needed and avoid further damage to surrounding tiles.

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