Relatively infrequently does it happen that anyone buys a new home that is exactly what you want and doesn’t require any repairs or renovations; if you’re lucky, the repairs that your home needs will be ones that you can take care of yourself. One such “do it yourself” fix that you might encounter in your new home is for cracked or broken ceramic tiles. Ceramic tiles are hard and resilient to wear but are also brittle and prone to chipping or cracking if you are unlucky enough to drop anything hard and heavy on them.
If your tile is cracked but isn’t missing any pieces you can just fill the crack with some filler that has been colored to help hide the line of the crack. Get some tile filler from your local home improvement centre and some paint that matches the color of your tiles to mix with it. Using a small paintbrush or swab fill the crack with colored tile filler. Be sure to wipe the face of the tile with a moistened sponge so that it doesn’t leave a texture on the surface. This will make the filler less noticeable and ensure that the surface of the tile is smooth.
If the tile is broken and requiring more than just a cosmetic fix, then you might want to see about replacing the tile or tiles that are broken. Ideally, when a tile floor is installed you should keep a few of the tiles so that you have replacements in case you drop something hard on the floor that causes a broken tile. If you’ve moved into a home that has a broken tile or two, you might have some difficulty finding ceramic tiles that match, however.
Once you’ve found a match (or a close enough match) for your broken tile you will need to remove the old tile. You can use a drill with a masonry bit on it to drill some holes just through the tile close together to help break the tile into pieces to remove. You can also use a towel to cover the tile and a hammer to crack it into pieces to break it up. Be very careful to not hit it too close to the edges so that you don’t disturb the tiles around it.
Once the tile is broken into pieces, scrape the residue smooth from the subfloor and vacuum up any dust and bits so that the thin-set can stick to the floor. Follow the directions for the specific mortar that you’ve chosen to use so that the tile adheres properly to the subfloor.
Try to match the grout to the existing grout that is in the floor at present so that the patch is less visible. Remember that when you’ve replaced a tile, you should refrain from walking on that area for at least a day so that you don’t disturb it.
In an ideal world, we would all find the perfect home for our family in pristine condition; unfortunately in the real world many of the homes that we do buy need a little TLC; however, in a way, a house becomes more our HOME when we take care of it, even in little ways like repairing the ceramic tiles.
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