How to Know if You Should Repair or Replace Your Floor Tiles
While some of us may love to hold on to old things and the memory that comes with them, your old and worn-down floor tiles must go—mainly for safety reasons!
But then, there’s still an option to repair your floor tiles, especially if there are only minor repairs or just a few damaged tiles.
Cost and Level of Damage
There are two main factors to consider when choosing between a full replacement or repair. The first is cost. Repairing instead of replacing your tiles will minimize your upfront costs, enabling you to save your floor tiles, even on a tight budget.
Though the level of damage is a factor, the second major consideration when deciding between replacement or repair is your budget.
Need Repairs Quickly
Whether you’re on a tight budget or your floor is located in a high-traffic area, you’ll need to do a quick repair of your floor tiles for safety reasons. Repairing quickly also saves your tiles and subflooring or any other structural components from further damage. Then, once you have the time and money, you can have a full replacement or a more comprehensive repair.
If your floor tiles need minor improvements, consider getting them repaired. But, if your floor tiles can’t be repaired, consider replacing them. So, the extent of the damage affects your decision of whether to repair or replace.
Tenting – This is when tiles actually come up or lift up. The most common cause is thermal expansion. When tiles, especially ceramic ones, expand as the room heats up, the substrate stays much cooler with a slower rate of expansion. The difference in the rate of expansion between the two, causes the tiles to lift up. Tenting is common for newly installed tiles.
Replace: Extensive tenting in most of your tiles.
Repair: If a few tiles have come up, you can remove the pressure build-up and allow the tiles to “pop.” After the pressure is released, you can lay the tiles back into place, then inject a tile restoration adhesive between the back of your tiles and your substrate. You’ll need to remove and replace your grout.
Chips and Cracks – The most common damage to tiles are the chips and cracks that accumulate over time—or sometimes even quickly after installation. These cracks look like hairlines and may not be that obvious on white or light-colored tiles.
Repair: A few hairlines on your tile can be easily fixed by using epoxy glue in just minutes.
Replace: Chipped-off tiles not only look unsightly, they can cause accidents and further damage to your other tiles due to the uneven surface.
Other Reasons to Replace Your Tiles
- You Need a Different Look. If you have just moved into an older home, you may have tiles that have reached or are near their service life. Ceramic tiles, depending on the quality, can last 50 to 100 years, while marble or granite may last 100 years and even more. Sourcing your tiles from reputable tile suppliers will save you more in the long run.
- Subfloor Water Damage. Water is a major cause of substrate or subfloor damage and can go undetected for months or even years. If you’ve got ruptured plumbing caused by frozen pipes or you’ve had a leak from your washing machine or dishwasher, you should check with an expert to determine the damage. When you have damaged subfloors, replacing your tiles is imminent.