In many homes, tiles count as maintenance. Especially if they’re not installed correctly. In the old days, most kitchen and bathroom tiles were impossible to remove or pry off because of how much material was used. Nowadays, since the adhesives’ volume has decreased, the tiles are more likely to loosen over time. Tiles fall and crack for several reasons. Heavy moisture, obscene material, poor installation, and the unevenness of the wall’s surface are all contributing factors. Tiles are typically neat and sleek, and the sight of damaged tiles is an eye-sore.
On top of that, water can penetrate the tiles and through the grout and the adhesive. The damp and lightless environment will make the perfect ground for mold growth when this happens. The mold, later on, can cause repertory problems. As a result, you must fix or replace your damaged tiles.
Fixing damaged tiles is your DIY project. It is easy to do and enormously satisfying. Let us share with you why tiles fall, how to fix them, and how to prevent them from falling again. After reading the instructions and know-howes below, we hope that you’ll feel more confident in the face of defective tiles.
Why do tiles fall?
High-temperature water can penetrate the grout and the adhesive. If water has managed to get under your tiles, you can expect all sorts of bulging, cracking, falling, etc.
Bumps and dips in the wall will make an uneven surface for tiles. If tiles are not installed entirely flat, a lower amount of adhesive will have to take on more weight, and the tiles will fall over time. Besides, water is much easier to get through the empty spaces on an uneven wall. As mentioned, the water behind the tiles will cause problems.
If necessary considerations are not made during tile installation, it’ll shorten their lifetime.
1) Dusty surface
Dust and debris do not go well with adhesives. If the installation surface is not cleaned correctly, the dust will absorb the glue and weaken its adhesion.
2) Long delay between applying the adhesive and placing the tile
Waiting too long before installing the tile on the adhesive can weaken the connection and cause the tile to fall sooner.
1) Week or wrong adhesive
If improper adhesive or mortar keeps the tiles on the wall, especially in the bathroom, it might make the tiles vulnerable to moisture. The expired adhesive material can also lose its effect and lead to the tiles falling.
2) Faulty grouting
Grouting the tiles before letting the adhesive dry is not a good idea. Similarly, after the tiles are grouted, they must be left to dry for at least 24 hours. If water touches the grout before it is thoroughly dried, you might end up with a mess.
3) Improper tile material
Tiles have a range of water absorption rates. If the wrong tile (higher absorption rate) is used in places exposed to heavy moisture, it’ll expand, bulge, crack, and fall.
How to replace a broken or fallen tile
Before you call in the family handyman, try replacing your damaged tile yourself. Here’s what you should do:
1) Remove the flawed tile completely
If the tile you want to replace is still fully or partially connected to the wall, you must remove it. You can skip to the next step if the tile has fallen or been obliterated.
Grab a hammer and chisel. Wedge the chisel under the tile and pry the tile off by hitting the end of the chisel with the hammer. While trying to remove a tile, be very careful not to damage the surrounding tiles.
A power drill could come in handy if dealing with an entire tile with a crack or chip. To make way for your chisel, drill a hole in the center of the tile. Stick a masking tape to the drill point to stop the drill from slipping. Goggles and gloves will protect you against sharp flying tile fragments after the hole is drilled; chip away at the tile with the chisel until it is entirely removed from the wall.
2) Clean the surface
Dust is the adhesive’s nemesis. After removing the defective tile:
- Remove the hardened glue with the chisel and hammer.
- In the end, get a brush and dust off the surface.
- Make sure it is spotless before applying any mortar or glue.
3) Install the new tile
Make sure you have the correct size tile. Measure the dimensions accurately or take the fallen tile to the store to buy an identical one.
Do your research on what adhesive to apply. Use water-based adhesives on tiles that will be exposed to water continually.
After you have the right tile and the material, apply a thin layer of your adhesive on the surface. Immediately, put the tile in place and press firmly for a few seconds. The glue will weaken if you wait too long before placing the tile.
Grout is what fills the gaps between the tiles after they’re installed. Grouting the tiles is necessary since it keeps moisture and dust away.
Wait a few hours for the adhesive to dry. Then, prepare the needed amount of grout.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to know the grout to water ratio. When applying, don’t worry about overdoing it. Excess grout can be wiped off if you do it before it hardens.
After applying the grout successfully and wiping off the excess, wait at least 24 hours for the grout to fully dry.
How to protect tiles against damage and fall
If you notice the grout has sunk in, looks stained, or is attracting moisture, regrout it to extend its lifetime. To regrout, remove the old grout using a grout removal. Then, spread the new grout over the tiles. If necessary, do this a few tiles at a time so you can stop to clean the grout on the tile surfaces before it hardens.
Re-stick loose tiles to prevent them from falling off
Re-sticking a tile has the same process as replacing one. The only difference is that you need to pry off the existing tile whole. It will not be as hard as it sounds since loose tiles come off easier. Use a powerful hairdryer to heat the adhesive while carefully pulling the tile off. Follow the earlier instructions for the rest of the replacement.
A fallen or damaged tile is hard to look at. If not attended to, it can damage the neighboring tiles. We hope that we can manage to help you feel more comfortable about fixing your tiles yourself in this article. Next time you notice the unsightly figure of a damaged or fallen tile, get your DIY suit ready and get to business!