Common Floor Tile Problems and How to Avoid Them
Some mistakes at home are easy to fix. You can patch a small hole in your wall easily, and fill in scratches in your wood floor with a simple polish.
Some mistakes, like when you’re installing new floor tiles, can't be fixed nearly as easily. Yet, so many homeowners fall for the same slip ups.
Are you thinking about installing floor tiles in your home? Read on and avoid the potential stress and frustration on your next DIY floor project.
Common Floor Tile Mistakes
Floor tile problems can be an expensive headache if not addressed correctly. Here are some common mistakes to watch out for to avoid costly repairs from a bad tile job:
1. Loose tile from improper installation
Many flooring tile issues start with poor installation. It's up to the person designing your floor to use diligence throughout every step of the process - that means laying tile on a flat, solid surface, spacing tiles correctly and making sure they’re securely bonded to the base.
2. Not properly cleaning or maintaining the tile
Regardless of how well you install it, the life expectancy of a tile floor depends on how well it's taken care of. While they’re generally low-maintenance, tile of any kind requires at least some degree of cleaning from time to time.
This is especially true in areas that see a lot of foot traffic or water exposure - water damage on tiles can be much more difficult to rectify than other surfaces.
3. Using the wrong adhesive
From the bathroom to kitchen, tiles can be installed in a variety of places, and each has its own unique set of needs. It's important to use the correct adhesive for your specific needs - use the wrong one and you’ll be prone to grout cracking or warped tiles becoming loose over time.
4. Uneven subfloor
The key to avoiding tile installation problems in any room is a solid, even subfloor. The surface that you're laying your tile on should be free of dips or bumps.
5. Wrong choice of material
You may be in love with that particular blue shell tile, but sometimes it's best to let practicality have the final say. Delicate materials, as well as easily stainable ones, aren’t the best tile for bathroom floors because they’re not meant for damper rooms. The opposite is true for glass tiles - they're a great shower tile but are unlikely to weather the impact of regular foot traffic.
Bathroom Floor Tile Problems
The common problems in tiles that we just went over are nowhere near the end of ways things can go bad. Individual spaces - especially the bathroom - are vulnerable to unique issues.
Water damage on tiles can be a big problem aesthetically. But beyond that, improper installation or care can also physically impact a tile floor through expansion and even mold from pent up Moisture under tile pieces.
Mold and mildew can sneak up on you if you don’t care for your tiles. And where there’s mold, there are unpleasant smells. The wrong tiles or improper installation can make it easier for water damage to occur and a lingering smell that comes from moisture, mold, and mildew.
Shower floors are one of the few places in the home where it's okay to put your dirty feet. Well-installed tile can withstand it, but only to an extent. Dirty grout will often occur in the bathroom due to dirt, soap scum, and other particles that accumulate over time.
Floor Tile Problems in the Kitchen
The bathroom is not alone in tile issues. The kitchen also has its own unique set of problems with tiling, as the food and liquids present create a particularly hostile environment. Some basic kitchen tile buying best practices can go a long way in preventing concerns down the road.
Grease and grime
Grease can accumulate in hard-to-clean spaces like grout lines, leading to nasty stains and build-up. This can create an unappealing look for your kitchen while in many cases also wear away at the grout faster.
Food particles and stains
A little splash of oil here, a bit of spilled sauce there, and soon you'll have a kitchen floor tile idea that looked great online, but is now stained and discolored. This can be particularly hard to clean off, as most cleaning products are not strong enough to get rid of the stubborn stains tiles incur.
If you had a dollar for every time you dropped something in the kitchen, you'd probably have a lot more dishes. From bowls and plates to utensils and heavy pans, kitchen tiles can crack or even break with repeated blows. This not only looks bad but also creates instability due to the lack of support caused by missing pieces.
When to Get Your Tile Repaired
While tile installation problems are hard to fix, there are some cases where a little TLC can go a long way in restoring the look of your kitchen.
Visibly cracked or loose tiles
Cracking tiles aren't just unsightly - they're often unsafe as well. If you notice any cracks or tiles that are starting to come loose, it's best to take action sooner rather than later. You can try using a special epoxy or paint to fill in the gaps and secure the tiles back in place.
Visible water damage/stubborn stains
If you have tiles that are starting to look dull or discolored due to water damage, it could be time for a deep clean. Using a special stain-removing agent can help remove stubborn stains and restore the look of your tiles.
Some tile mistakes can be lived with - they're just a matter of aesthetic imperfection. Others necessitate tile repair and replacement immediately, whether because they are unsafe to use as is or are so abhorrently ugly that it's an emergency.
Avoid Common Tile Floor Problems Using Oasis Tiles
If your tiles are low quality, no amount of epoxy or stain remover will help. The simplest way to avoid common problems in tiles altogether is knowing how to buy a decent product. Oasis Tile is trusted by professional installers and DIY enthusiasts alike for the absolute best floor tile ideas, trends and products.