Replacing Loose Tile, Cracked Tiles and Missing Tiles
When wall tile is missing from a shower, or damage has occurred to a kitchen tile floor, it can sometimes be difficult to find replacement tiles. When this occurs, homeowners are left with few options. Retiling the entire area can be an expensive proposition, and poorly matched tiles can make a job look shoddy, instead of these options, try creating unique tile designs instead.
Bathroom Wall and Shower Tile
As homes settle over time, old tiles may come loose from their mortar, falling and leaving a hole behind. If the rest of the bathroom is in good shape, and the expense of a new tile job is out of the budget, it may be possible to repair the tile job in a way that looks unique and seamless.
Before starting any tile repair job, check to make sure that there is no water damage or more serious problems. Next, carefully remove a tile or two from the wall, near the missing tiles. Clean the tile of excess mortar and grout and bring it to a tile showroom.
Since chances are there won’t be an exact match available, try to find some complimentary materials instead. These can include glass tiles, mosaic tiles of all materials and sizes and similarly sized tiles to the ones being repaired, but in a completely different color.
To repair the tile job, a few more tiles will probably need to be removed first. This is done for a two reasons. One, if the tiles that are missing are all grouped together in one large area, tiles from around the room will be needed to help patch the job. Two, to make the repair job look deliberate and part of the original design, the new materials will need to be scattered throughout the entire room.
Remove tiles at random intervals around the entire area, making sure that enough loose tiles are available to help fill in large gaps. Next, if the complimentary tiles are mosaics, cut the mosaic sheets down to the size of the gaps, and use them to fill up the spaces left. This will give an interesting effect that can be contemporary if the tiles are glass or metal, or retro if the tiles are handpainted or ceramic.
Tiles of the same shape and size, but of a different material, such as glass, or a different color from the surrounding tiles can also be scattered through the wall tile for an appealing look that disguises the repairs. Do not use tiles that come close to the original wall tile; the patch will be obvious and it will look like what it is, a match that came close but failed.
Bathroom and Kitchen Floor Tile
Oftentimes contractors will try to save money on tile jobs by not tiling underneath cabinets and vanities. This works fine until a vanity or cabinet is removed and replaced. A new cabinet or sink may not have the same foot print as the old one, or may be elevated to reveal the floor. If replacement tiles of the original tile are available, then this is an easy fix. But if the tiles are not available, there is a way to fill in the missing area and make it seem part of the design.
For bathroom vanities, the best thing to do is to remove a few of the tiles in front of the sink or vanity, and a few to either side if applicable. Then, place a decorative border at the edge of the old tiles, where they will feed into the new ones. Finally, fill in the remaining area with a mosaic tile of complimentary color. This will create a tile “rug” that appears to go under the vanity and the person standing at the sink.
For kitchen floors, try using a large format border that goes all the way around the room in front of the cabinets, and in front of the missing space. Move the border out just a few inches from the other cabinets, and fill in the space behind it with a complimentary tile. Use this tile to fill in the area of missing tiles. This works particularly well if an island has been moved, or a desk area is being created where cabinets once were.
If cracked tiles or damaged tiles in the kitchen floor, and they are do to damage from above, not a substrate problem, then try popping out the cracked tiles, as well as a few undamaged tiles and replace them with a occasional decorative tiles. Porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles and stone tiles are all available in multiple sizes of decorative patterns. Using one in place of a plain tile can add a touch of interest to a floor, without making it look like a repair job.
Remember that if these issues were caused by a larger problem that cosmetic fixes will simply cost the homeowner more in the long term if the damage is left unchecked. Always have the integrity of the tile job checked before making repairs, and remember to spread the repairs around to make the pattern appear deliberate and part of the original tile job.
Think creatively and complimentarily about the job, and hide loose tile, cracked tiles and missing tiles with ease.