Sooner or later, you have to face the fact that everything breaks, including your tiles. You are then faced with a dilemma. Do you have to replace all your flooring for the sake of one piece?
Nope! It’s actually possible to replace or even repair that single tile. It will save you time and lots of money.
Read on for our guide to fixing damaged tiles in your mobile home.
Can you repair a damaged tile?
Yes, it is possible. But it depends on the degree of the problem. There is only so much that you can do once the damage has been done.
You can crack all kinds of tiles if you accidentally bump it with a heavy or hard object. However, it could also break because of manufacturer’s defects or because someone set it on an uneven subfloor.
That’s why it can be helpful to figure out why it was damaged so that you try to prevent it from happening again once you have fixed the tile.
It will be almost impossible to neatly repair wide gaps, chips, or cracks. Most of the times, you will only really be able to fill a hairline crack effectively.
In the end, it will be much easier to do it yourself if you can repair rather than replace it. So, if you are in doubt whether it will work or not, first try to mend the damage before you get rid of it.
Steps to repairing damaged tiles
1- Gather supplies
Before anything else, you need to get everything you need. You have to buy paint that is as close to the color of the tile that you can find. It should be high gloss. On top of this, you need to get some oil-based primer, Q-tips, paint remover, and some rags.
If you want to use filler you need epoxy putty, a carpet knife, and sanding paper too.
2 – Prepare
Next, you should clean the tile. Remove any dust or debris by vacuuming or dusting. Take a cloth and wipe it down with hot water and soap if necessary.
3 – Optional: Use filler
If the gap is too large, you need to fill it first. Break off a piece of epoxy putty. You can soften it by kneading it or popping it in the microwave for 10 seconds.
Press the putty into the gap. Cut off the excess that protrudes from it. Leave it to dry and then sand it until smooth.
4 – Primer
Now you should apply some primer to the crack or over the dried filler with the Q-tip. Depending on the specific product, you should leave it to dry for at least two hours.
5 – Paint
Finally, you can paint over the crevice with another Q-tip. Make sure that you smooth it over. Then leave it to dry.
Steps to replacing damaged tiles
1 – Gather supplies
It’s always a good idea to buy extra tiles when you initially install them. That way, you have back-ups on hand. Otherwise, you need to go buy a tile to replace the broken ones.
So for this, you need to get:
- Replacement tile
- Painter’s tape
- Safety goggles
- Scoring tool or knife
- Putty knife
- Mortar or another tile adhesive
- Grout smoothing tool
2 – Remove the grout
Stick some painter’s tape around the broken tile to protect its neighbors.
Safety first, so make sure that you put on your safety goggles. Then take the scoring tool and scrape out the grout around the tile. This will help you to loosen the pieces.
Be careful not to gouge the other tiles by accident.
3 – Loosen the tile
Next, you want to break the tile into smaller pieces that you can remove. Using a masonry or ceramic bit, drill holes into the surface to help loosen it.
Cover the tile with the cloth and break it with the hammer. Try not to overdo it and cause even more damage to the rest. Rather gently tap it.
4 – Remove the pieces
You can now remove the shards using the chisel. Once they are out, use a putty knife to rake out the remaining adhesive.
You need to make sure that everything is ready to pop in the new tile. So vacuum up all the dust and smaller pieces of debris.
5 – Place the tile
You can either apply the adhesive like mortar to the back of the tile or into the hole. But for the most secure set, you should use it on both. Scrape it into an even layer.
Put the new tile in place and press down to make sure it is snug and level. Check that it is sitting in the center of the space.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how long the adhesive needs to dry.
6 – Grout
Lastly, you can fill the surrounding gaps with grout. You can use a smoothing tool to level it out.
All that is left to do is to leave it to harden for about fifteen minutes. And then wipe down the area with a damp cloth or sponge to remove any excess.
Take it in your own hands
We tend to procrastinate when it comes to fixing tiles. It feels like it will be much more effort than it is actually worth. But the process can be pretty quick and painless if you do it properly.
Don’t stop there if you’re ready to take charge. Check out how to replace your mobile home hardware for a more modern look.