Stunning tiles add a beautiful touch of texture and colour to your home, serving as a practical barrier against water damage. Yet, when tiles become chipped, cracked, or loose, they not only turn into an unsightly blemish but can also pose safety risks and contribute to water damage. Understanding how to repair these issues is crucial in maintaining your home’s value and appearance. 

Why Homeowners Should Prioritise Tile Repair

Tiles are durable, but accidents and the natural ageing of your home can lead to damage. This damage, whether to the tile itself, or around it, can expose subfloors and walls to water damage, leading to mould, mildew, and structural issues. Prioritising tile repair is essential for maintaining your home’s safety, aesthetics, and value. 

How to Fix Tiles with Chips and Cracks

Repairing chips and cracks in your tiles can significantly improve the appearance and integrity of your tiled areas. Here’s a step-by-step guide to fixing these common tile issues.

1. Preparing the Tile

  • Begin by thoroughly cleaning the area around the damaged tile. Use a soft cloth or sponge and a gentle tile cleaner to remove any dirt, grime, or debris. 
  • Rinse the area with clean water and dry it completely with a soft towel. The tile must be dry to ensure the epoxy adheres properly.

2. Mixing and Applying Epoxy

Mixing Epoxy:

  • Epoxy resin comes in two parts: the resin and the hardener. In a well-ventilated area, prepare the epoxy by mixing the resin and hardener in a small, disposable container. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct ratio.
  • Use a wooden stir stick to mix the components thoroughly until you have a consistent mixture.

Applying Epoxy:

  • With the epoxy prepared, use a toothpick, small brush, or a specialty epoxy applicator to carefully fill in the crack or chip in the tile. Apply the epoxy in layers if the damage is deep. Allowing each layer to settle slightly before adding the next prevents air bubbles and ensures a smooth, level repair.
  • Once the damaged area is filled, use a flat, smooth tool like a putty knife to remove any excess epoxy and level it with the tile’s surface. 
  • Allow the epoxy to cure as per the manufacturer’s instructions, typically for at least 24 hours, to ensure a hard and durable repair.

3. Color Matching and Painting

Choosing Paint:

  • To seamlessly blend the repair with the rest of the tile, select an oil-based paint or urethane that matches your tile’s colour as closely as possible. 
  • Test the paint on a small, inconspicuous area or a similar material to ensure the colour matches when dry.

Applying Paint:

  • Using a fine paintbrush, carefully apply the paint over the cured epoxy. If the repair is extensive, apply the paint in thin layers, allowing each layer to dry completely before applying the next.
  • After the final coat of paint has dried, apply a clear urethane sealer over the painted area to protect the repair from moisture and wear.

Addressing Drummy Tiles

Drummy tiles emit a hollow sound when tapped, indicating they are not properly adhered to the substrate. This condition not only compromises the integrity of your tile installation but can also lead to further damage if not addressed promptly. Follow these steps to fix drummy tiles:

1. Identifying Drummy Tiles

  • Tap lightly on the tiles with a small hammer or the back of a screwdriver. Drummy tiles will produce a distinct hollow sound compared to well-adhered tiles which emit a solid noise.

2. Deciding on the Best Course of Action

  • Minor Looseness: If the drummy area is small and the tiles are not cracked, you may opt for re-adhesion using an epoxy injection method.
  • Extensive Damage: Should a large area be affected or tiles are damaged, consider tile replacement.

3. Regrouting Drummy Tiles

  • Remove the old grout around the affected tiles using a grout saw or an oscillating tool with a grout removal blade.
  • Clean the seams thoroughly to remove any debris and dust, ensuring a clean surface for the new grout.
  • Apply new grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions, pressing it firmly into the gaps to ensure good adhesion and coverage.
  • Wipe away excess grout with a damp sponge and allow it to cure as directed.

4. Epoxy Injection for Minor Looseness

  • Drill small holes into the grout lines or through the tile if necessary, ensuring they penetrate to the substrate.
  • Prepare a tile adhesive epoxy according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The epoxy should be fluid enough for injection but sturdy enough to provide a strong bond.
  • Using a syringe, inject the epoxy through the holes to fill the voids underneath the tiles. Apply gentle pressure to ensure full coverage and adhesion.
  • Wipe away any excess epoxy immediately with a damp cloth.
  • After the epoxy has cured, fill the drill holes with colour-matched grout or epoxy.

5. Tile Replacement for Extensive Damage

  • Carefully remove the damaged tiles using a chisel and hammer, starting from the centre of the tile to avoid damaging adjacent tiles.
  • Clean the substrate thoroughly, removing old adhesive and ensuring a smooth, level surface for the new tile.
  • Apply tile adhesive to the substrate or the back of the new tile.
  • Place the tile firmly into position, aligning it with the surrounding tiles. Use tile spacers if necessary to maintain consistent grout lines.
  • After the adhesive has set, apply grout around the new tile, matching the existing grout colour and finish.


Final Tips

  • Ensure good ventilation throughout the repair process to avoid inhaling fumes.
  • If you’re unsure about matching the paint colour, consider consulting a professional at your local hardware store or opting for a tile repair kit that includes colour-matched paint.
  • Remember, patience is key to achieving a professional-looking repair. Allow ample drying time between steps to ensure the best outcome.
  • Safety is paramount. Wear protective eyewear, gloves, and a dust mask during the removal and installation process.

Contact us for tile repair services and solutions

While many repairs are within the reach of determined DIYers, some issues are best handled by professionals. TRIM’s tile repair methods, including the tile reglue injection technique, offer a reliable solution for fixing loose tiles without the need for complete replacements. This not only saves money but also minimises disruption to your daily life. If your tiles are beyond DIY repair, or you prefer the assurance of professional workmanship, Get in touch now for expert tile repair services. We’re here to help restore the beauty and functionality of your tiles with minimal fuss and maximum efficiency.