Repairing Damaged Ceramic Tiles

If a ceramic tile, typically in a kitchen or bathroom, is damaged it doesn’t mean you have to re-tile the whole room. Instead any reasonably competent DIY/home enthusiast can set about repairing damaged ceramic tiles by following the simple set of instructions below.

Exactly how you set about repairing damaged ceramic tiles will mainly be dependent on whether or not you have any spare tiles that are exactly the same as the damaged one(s). However, before getting started on this fairly straightforward task it is advisable to wear goggles and gloves when repairing damaged ceramic tiles.

Repairing Tiles if you Have Spares

If you should have some spare ceramic tiles that are identical to the damaged one(s) then the best way to effect the repair is to replace the damaged tile(s). First of all using a grout rake, remove the grouting around the tile.

Then using an electric drill, drill several holes across the diagonals of the tile; taking care not to damage the wall underneath. Next use a cold chisel and hammer to carefully chip away at the tile, as the pieces fall of you might want to protect the surface below with a dust sheet.

With the tile chiseled out, you can then chisel away on old fixing adhesive and prepare the surface for a new replacement tile. If necessary cut the new tile to size/shape and spread some tile adhesive with a notched spreader. Fix into place with tile-spreaders to keep it in line with the other tiles.

When you’re satisfied it is level and plumb vertically, hold a batten across the new tile and tap it gently into place so that it is flush with the other surrounding tiles. Wipe clean with a damp cloth then when the adhesive is dried you can re-grout between the joints.

No Spare Ceramic Tiles but Need to Repair

If the original tiling job was done a long time ago or before you moved into the property, chances are you won’t have any spare tiles, nor will you be able to buy exactly matching ones from your DIY store - if they’re anything other than standard plain white tiles. Apart from re-tiling the whole area the following is your only solution - go out and buy a ceramic tile repair kit.

The main key to your success here is finding one that is a good color match to your damaged ceramic tile(s). Having got the kit you want make sure the damaged tile is clean and any lose material is removed. The filling compound will probably need mixing as per the manufactures instructions and can then be applied with a flat bladed knife to the damaged area, just above the surface level of the tile. If necessary build up the compound in layers to achieve a profile slightly above the surface of the tile.

When the compound has dried it can be sanded smooth. Wipe with a clean cloth soaked in water to remove any debris. When dried, you can then apply the paint from the kit that is in the color to match the damaged tile, if any parts of the tile(s) were damaged by your sanding smooth action - you can also paint over those.

Having completed the job described above, you might not be 100% satisfied with the match in colors. Whilst that might be disappointing the fact is that by effecting a proper damaged ceramic tile repair you have restored the tiled area to full water-proofing and removed any hygiene threat, by not having a damaged area that microbes could be attracted to. One further thing you could do is to apply a ceramic tile transfer, in keeping with the general décor/purpose of the room, which will both look attractive and mask the poor color match.

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