Fix your broken tiles today

Tile chip repair: The DIYer’s guide

If you have tiles in your home, you should know a method for tile chip repair. You’ll save a lot of money and have the satisfaction of having taken care of it yourself. It’s easier than you think!

Tile chip repair made easy

If you notice a significant chip in a tile in your bathroom or kitchen, it can be fixed. Your choices are either to replace the tile (described below) or to repair it. Many home stores and supply houses offer tile chip repair kits. These kits are, essentially, an epoxy or other catalysed filler and a surface sealant, usually a spray.

Follow the manufacturer’s directions closely. Likely, you will have to mix the filler first. Then apply it to the chipped area and allow it to fully dry. You will need to lightly sand the repaired area without scratching the surrounding part of the tile. Once the chipped tile repair is smooth, you apply the surface sealant.

This method works well for minor chips and dings. For deep breaks or cracks in the tile, a more extensive ceramic tile repair will likely be needed.

How to fix cracked ceramic tiles: Step by step

For cracked tiles you will have a couple of choices. You can replace the tile or you may be able to glue it together. In either case, at least some of the broken tile will need to be removed. To remove a tile, follow these steps:

  1. The easiest way to remove an entire tile is to use a hammer and chisel and break it into pieces.
  2. Once the cracked ceramic tile is removed, scrape away the mortar or mastic that was holding the tile in place. Also, the grout surrounding the tile needs to be scraped away. It is important to have a fairly smooth and clean surface to reset the tile.
  3. Once you are ready, dry fit the new tile to make sure it will fit and that it sits just below the surface, because when you put the mastic down, the tile will be raised slightly.
  4. Put mastic or thinset mortar on the back of the tile and put it into place. Make sure to have an even gap between the other tiles on all sides and ensure that the tile is level.
  5. Once it is dry, put new grout around the replacement tile.

If you just want to repair the cracked ceramic tile, you will have to carefully remove the broken part of the tile and clean away the mastic and grout as above. You can then use tile adhesive to glue the tile back in place. If you can get it to bond tightly enough to the rest of the tile, the crack should all but disappear. Grout where necessary once the adhesive is dry.

Safety first! Make sure you wear proper protective gear when you are removing tiles. Wear work gloves and safety glasses. When you are breaking up ceramic tiles, they can shatter and send shards flying. Also use gloves when applying the mastic and grout. Nitrile or rubber gloves will suffice for this part of the project.

Finding the best glue for ceramic tile repair

For most ceramic tile work, mastic or thinset mortar will be used to set the tile. But for smaller repairs or tile that has fallen off or can be easily removed, your tile repair may be much easier.

If you need a quick, easy-to-use adhesive that can hold a tile firmly in place, try Loctite Stik’N Seal. This all-purpose adhesive is highly water resistant and will bond to brick, cement, ceramic, wood, glass, and most other household surfaces, so it’s perfect for tile repair.

Stik’N Seal works as a contact adhesive, so you would apply some to both surfaces, wait about 5 minutes, and then press the tile into place. It sets in about 10 minutes and is fully cured in 24 hours.