How to Repair a Bathroom Tile
1) Know the different causes
To know how to repair bathroom tile, it is important that you first understand why they might have gotten damaged in the first place. Most often, damage will occur as a result of water leaking behind them, either due to cracks or because of condensation. If there is any sign of discoloration, mold or rust on tiles or grout, then you should be able to fix them. Another common cause for damaged bathroom tiles and grout is improper installation by an inexperienced contractor.
2) Remove loose tiles
Don’t start by grabbing for your hammer. First, remove any tiles that are loose from their position and tape them up with masking tape so they don’t fall into the hole you’re about to create. You can use a tile removal tool for help or your hand if you can fit it in there. Sometimes, it might just be easier to break them off with some well-placed hammer blows, depending on how badly damaged they are and what surface material they’re made of.
3) Clean any remaining adhesive residue
First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure any remaining adhesive is completely removed. Use an adhesive remover or mineral spirits on your tile grout lines; it may take several applications for all of the residue to come up. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready for repair work. The next step is tiling around another damaged tile. If you don’t have tiles with matching color and size, use a pencil or other sharp object (such as an awl) and outline where new tiles should go before removing them. Be careful not to damage surrounding tiles as you dig them out—you will also need new ones that fit into those spots in order for your repairs to be effective.
4) Clean area with bleach
First, you’ll want to make sure there is no further damage. Use bleach and wipe down your surface using a sponge or rag. Let it sit for 10 minutes before wiping off and rinsing with water. This will help disinfect and remove any residual soap scum or mildew from your bathroom tile.
5) Use Flex seal for minor cracks or joint failures
Flex seal has become one of those products that consumers love to watch infomercials for. It is an easy fix, and it can be used in a wide variety of ways. So why not try it? If you have any damaged tiles or grout joints in your bathroom, flex seal could be what you need. To begin with, clean out your bathroom tile and grout joints with hot water and soap. You can use a toothbrush on any areas that are too small for your hand brush or sponge. You will want to allow them to dry completely before continuing on.
6) Use Spackle for holes and gaps up to 1/8 wide
Spackle is one of those miracle all-in-one products that makes jobs easier. It’s a fast and efficient way to fix holes and gaps between tiles (up to 1/8 inch wide). There are some things you should know before you spackle, however. For instance, if your hole or gap is wider than 1/8 inch, you should replace it with new tile; simply filling in these areas will result in an unsightly patch job. To make sure you’re doing it right—and not just wasting time and money—read on for our full guide on how to repair bathroom tile with spackle. We’ll also explain how to remove old grout from tiles so you can reuse it when reattaching them.
7) For gaps between 1/8 – 3/4, use Polyester Resin Crack Filler
While it’s tempting to hop into your shower as soon as you finish repairing your tiles, resist that urge. Letting everything dry overnight before using your shower could save you a lot of headache and pain later on. Just think about how many germs are on those tiles and grout lines. When all that moisture is allowed to sit, it creates an excellent breeding ground for mold growth. If you’re not keen on leaving your bathroom in disarray for more than one night, find some way of protecting yourself from slipping in them (e.g., placing old towels around). Otherwise, wait until morning—you won’t regret it!
8) For large holes, use Epoxy Grout Mix
This is an essential tool in home repair projects, especially if you’re dealing with holes in tile. By mixing epoxy grout into existing tiles and grout, homeowners can fill in large gaps between tiles that have been chipped or broken. You can also use it to fill in holes where fixtures used to be and make your space look more uniform once again. Just be sure you mix it with water thoroughly for best results—tiling must occur within 24 hours of application. This way, though, you can quickly fix any damage to your bathroom without having to replace an entire area of tile and grout!
9) Use flexible caulk on floor joints where it meets walls
While there are a variety of ways to seal bathroom floor tiles, it’s important to note that flexible caulk is not one of them. While it’s great for sealing around bathtubs, sinks and toilets, flexible caulk won’t adhere well on floors. Your best bet? Use mastic instead. It comes in spray form, so it’s easy to apply and dries clear with little odor or mess. That way you can easily patch your bathroom tiles with minimal clean-up required!
10) Let everything dry completely overnight before using your shower
After you’ve used your shower or tub, it’s important to leave it dry before using it again. Otherwise, you risk spreading mold around your bathroom and house. You can avoid that by cleaning everything up immediately after using it (especially if you have multiple people in your household), and make sure there’s no standing water left in there once you are done. If any leftover moisture still persists on surfaces such as grout or cabinets, wipe them down with a towel and allow them to dry overnight before using them again. And make sure all mats, carpets, rugs, and other non-porous floor coverings are kept outside of your bathroom so they don’t collect any moisture from showers.