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The Most Common Tile Problems & How to Fix Them

Although we here at Oasis Tile know floor tiles are durable and able to withstand almost anything while still looking great decade after decade, we also realize problems arise now and then. Even with the best installation job and homeowners like you who are extremely careful, things can happen that can lead to your floor tile needing some TLC. If you want to know the most common tile problems and how to fix them, our Oasis Tile experts have taken the time to compile all you need to know.

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Chipped Tiles

Unless your home is one where nothing is ever dropped onto the floor, chances are you will at some point encounter chipped floor tiles. A common problem in homes that have stone, ceramic, or porcelain tiles, the good news is that chipped tiles are almost always the easiest and most affordable problems to rectify. To solve your problem and get your tile looking fantastic once again, a can of touch-up paint is all it takes. However, keep in mind that certain types of paint are made for specific materials, so make sure you buy paint that is made for porcelain, ceramic, or stone tiles.

Broken Tiles

If you have ceramic floor tiles in your kitchen or elsewhere, you may eventually find yourself dropping something heavy. When you do, you may not be dealing with chipped tiles, but instead tiles that are severely cracked or broken. While you may be lucky and have only one tile damaged, chances are multiple tiles will be broken. Unfortunately, this accident will mean the broken tiles will need to be removed and replaced. 

Before you start fixing this problem, we want to remind you that broken tiles can be very sharp, so always wear gloves when removing these tiles. To remove the tiles, take a chisel to break up the broken tiles into smaller pieces for easier removal. Also, you will need to remove the grout that was around the tiles, which is where the chisel may also come in handy when regrouting tile floor in bathrooms or kitchens.

 Handyman Removing Entire Broken Floor Tile With a Chisel

 

Cracked Expansion Joints

When you have tiles that keep popping loose, this often means the problem is a cracked expansion joint. The area where the tile meets and adheres to the floor surface, the expansion joint should always be filled with caulking or a similar type of adhesive. In doing so, this will help the tiles continue to stay bonded to the surface, even as your home contracts and expands over time.

As to why expansion joints crack in the first place, the most common reason is the area was filled with hard tile grout. When making your repairs, start by replacing all of the tile grout, not just the grout where the cracks were located. Once you've done this, replace the grout with caulking or sealant.

Water Stains

Since virtually all types of floor tiles are made to be stain-resistant, having tiles that show water stains is a clear sign something is wrong. Most often, you will find this problem on the tiles on your bathroom floor. If you are lucky, the problem will be caused by cracked expansion joints, which you now know how to fix. 

Should this not be the problem, you may then need to consider that a waterproofing membrane was not properly installed on the surface underneath the tiles, or was somehow not installed at all. If this happens, you may be in for a large repair job, since the remaining tiles may need to be removed so that the waterproofing membrane can be placed on the surface underneath. 

In some instances, the water stains may be caused by a problem with your plumbing system, such as a leaking drain line or water line. If you suspect this, contact a plumber as soon as possible.

Buildup on Grout

Once you get your tile installed, especially in your bathroom, you may start to notice a buildup of dirt on the tile's grout. While it may look unsightly, it is very easy to correct. Most of the time, you can use tile cleaners available at most stores to spray on the grout, then wipe off with a soft cloth. Once you get the grout cleaned, you can prevent a recurrence by applying a sealant. After doing this, your cleaning job will be much easier.

Hollow Tiles

After you have installed your ceramic tile flooring and start walking on it, you may start to notice some spots where you walk that have a hollow sound underneath your feet. If so, you have what are known as "hollow" tiles. Usually, this is caused by gaps within the adhesive on the floor's surface. While you may think this will mean the tiles will need to be replaced, the good news is that modern technology often lets flooring contractors inject adhesive underneath the tiles. However, since this is a tricky process, don't try this as a DIY project. If you do and mess up, you will be in for a big repair job.

Woman Walking Carefully Over Hollow Sounding Tiles

Tiles that get Dull in Color

On some occasions, especially with floor tiles that are located in high foot-traffic locations, you may begin to see tiles looking duller than they did when they were first installed. When this happens, it is probably because the grout residue was not removed from the surface of the tiles immediately following installation. To solve this problem, you can use a cleaner designed for grout and tile cleaning. If you have porcelain tile, you are more likely to experience this problem.

Order Floor Tile Samples

Now that we have put your mind at ease by telling you most common tile problems are easy to fix, it's time for you to visit us at Oasis Tile to find the tiles you need for your next flooring project. Whether you want affordable tiles like ceramic or porcelain or instead have a few more dollars to spend on natural stone tiles, we're sure you'll find the perfect tile to give your home the perfect look.

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