An affordable material to use in most circumstances, tile is an important feature and can be an excellent way to add visual engagement to your place. Like most home materials though, it is susceptible to damage, wear, and tear. It is very important to find a reputable contractor and professional to help shed more light on a specific project for the best results. One of the most common concern to homeowners is the tile repair cost and predicting it could be tough – so a professional will come in handy and help one figure out what the best course of action would be. There are a couple of factors to consider regarding the cost of the maintenance and repair of the tiles.
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Factors affecting tile repair cost
Being susceptible to damage, wear, and tear, like most things, there are many factors to consider that would affect the cost to repair one’s tiles. For example, accidentally dropping an item on your tiles could chip or crack them. Tiles could crack or lift up if they were not properly adhered to the backing material. In this situation, the tiles will need to be fixed.
There are a lot of different factors that would affect the tile repair cost, and speaking with several different reputable contractors and professionals to find out how much they would charge to fix your tiles is definitely worthwhile. To ensure accurate tile repair cost quotes, one needs to be as thorough as possible when giving contractors and professionals information about the work that needs to be done.
Some factors that would affect the tile repair cost are:
- Tile Materials – there are various types of tile, with ceramic being the most affordable and commonly used tile variety. Other types of tile are travertine and porcelain, and there are still many other types out there. The type of tile used highly affects the tile repair cost. For example, ceramic’s tile repair cost will be considerably lower than when repairing a more expensive tile type like marble.
- Size of the Area – The size of the tiled area that needs to be repaired will be a large element of the cost to repair tile. For example, if only one tile has cracked or chipped, then a tile professional can simply replace that particular tile. If a large area of your tile has been damaged though, then the cost to repair tile will rise. However, one of the benefits of tile is that you most likely will not need to replace your whole tiled area. The repair/restoration will stay confined to the tiles that are damaged. The only exception would be if you don’t have enough spare tiles to fill in for the damaged area, or if the type of tile you have is no longer available. This might increase the cost to repair tile if you have to switch all of the tiles out for something new.
- Grout Repair – Cracked, chipped, or stained grouts have to be fixed. This is done by removing it and re-filling the tiles. A grout issue costs considerably less to repair than replacing the tiles in a whole area. Fixing grout issues can be done promptly by a professional.
- Future Maintenance – When talking about future maintenance, prevention of further repair comes first. One measure of prevention is sealing one’s tiles after they are restored or repaired. Sealing tiles helps protect the grout from staining, although this won’t need to be done with glazed tile. Another thing to do for tile maintenance is putting mats in areas where there is a lot of foot traffic. This also applies to other areas, like countertops for protection. Keeping your tile and grout clean is self-explanatory, and is necessary if you want your tile and grout to last longer. This could be done with a weak mix of bleach and water. To protect them from mildew, using a small scrub brush would be helpful.
Possible problems with the foundation
No one wants to think about and see cracked tile floors and/or other signs of foundation issues, so having a foundation repair contractor evaluate your home is always a good idea to be on the safe side. Cracked floor tiles may sometimes indicate serious structural issues, which are often a symptom of superficial damage. One necessary thing to do is inspecting the crack’s size and its pattern to discover its cause. Examining the structure’s subfloor and the exposed portions of the foundation and determining the floor’s prognosis will also help if one speculates foundation damage after an initial inspection. Another important thing is to gain understanding of the causes of tile damage as it helps you determine problems and discuss solution with building contractors. One reason for taking action is because the fractures of the tile could become bigger while also indicating that other parts of your home will soon become damaged. Areas where house foundations rests on expansive clay soil are common concerns and are susceptible to these types of things.
Foundations shift due to many reasons and one of them is soil or water movement. One of the indicators of hairline cracks are foundations affected by soil or moisture. Another thing that can lead to significant deterioration is poorly made drainage as it could allow water to enter the foundation. Crevices in other areas of one’s home may also be noticed in some instances. Fractures in flooring may be tiny at first and then eventually expand. Foundation repair or the installation of a drainage system may be required for tile gaps in order to stop the damage of this type of problem.
Being aware of the early warning signs of foundation troubles can eliminate problems that ultimately could cost thousands of dollars to fix. Identifying the potential problems sooner makes the repair easier and less expensive to fix. One has to be alert to warning signs as more dramatic changes could take place. Here are some signs of foundation problems:
- A door beginning to jam or failing to latch
- Cracks appearing in walls, especially over doorways, windows, or where walls meet ceilings
- Cracks opening in vinyl or ceramic tile over a concrete floor
- Windows (that used to open and close easily) suddenly beginning to stick or won’t close completely
- Improper drainage
- Water leaking under the concrete slab
- Tree root intrusions
Types of tile and their individual benefits
- Travertine – beautiful and classy. Travertine should be your top choice for any room in which you desire an elegant yet natural look. It also works well in entryways and living rooms.
- Ceramic – an eco-friendly material. It is an attractive option for both flooring and backsplashes. It can be very resistant to scratching if coated with the right glaze.
- Slate – long-lasting – it holds a timeless sense of appeal. Its ability to retain heat is one of its greatest benefits, especially for houses in colder climates.
- Porcelain – one of the most durable tile materials and resistant to spills, making it perfect for kitchens
- Vinyl floor tiles – affordable, versatile, comes in a great variety of styles, and are created with the technology that mimics the look of stone or hardwood’
Tiling mistakes and why you should use a contractor
For DIYers, tiling is not the most challenging DIY project, but it is easy to make mistakes. Proper preparation is necessary to make sure that one’s tile projects are completed without problems. One should always make sure that tile projects are completed without any mistakes, as mistakes can be expensive to rectify. To avoid the grief of ruining tiles during installation, we are laying out the most common mistakes DIYers could make during a tile project.
- Insufficient or erroneous planning – the worst mistake and the easiest to avoid, you have to carefully measure out the surface you need to tile.
- Mismatching the trowel size – one has to make sure that the trowel to be used for the tile project matches the size of the tile.
- Miscalculations with the number of tiles needed – it is good practice to get 10% more tiles than the minimum to account for breakages, miscalculations, and difficulties in cutting. It also allows for the replacement of cracked tiles in the future.
- Cracking the tile – tiles can easily crack and too many cracked tiles could lead to the project becoming expensive and wasteful. A diamond wet saw is the best tool to use when cutting tile while making sure to apply slow and even pressure in order to create a precise cut.
- Improper underlayment – tile underlayment must be installed correctly in order for tiles to lay flat. Cleaning and smoothing the surface before laying the tiles and being sure to remove any coatings prior to tiling is necessary. A stiff base will also help.
- Choosing the wrong adhesive – waterproof adhesives are a must especially in humid rooms like the shower.
- Not using battens – a batten is of great help to laying tiles in straight lines (both horizontal and vertical). Not using battens or a helper tool can result in positioning mistakes and a bad looking tiled surface.
- Bad grout – grout lines should be cleared and cleaned immediately not only to make the tile look great but also because it will be harder to do once it has dried up. Grouting unevenly or too quickly is a bad thing to do as it can lead to an uneven tiling result.
- Improper wall preparation – Smoothing the surface, cleaning off all grease stains and fingerprints, and removing any coatings prior to coating will help the adhesive and tiles adhere to the walls. Otherwise, they will not.
- Improper sealing of bath tops – water may leak into a gap between the bottom row of tiles and the bath top if it is not sealed correctly, so it is good practice to fill the bath first before using the sealant.
- Failing to install a backer board – the installation of a waterproof backer board is necessary especially if the tile is in the shower – an area with lots of water. It helps keep everything stiff, preventing water from seeping into tiny cracks.
- Messy caulk lines – caulking properly is important as it is one of the final steps of a tile project.
- Not back buttering – it is imperative to back butter when working with larger tiles. It ensures a strong bond between the tile and the wall.
- Not cleaning up – it is important to polish away the haze after the grout film has dried.
- Discovering and fixing mistakes too late – it is important to keep an eye to look over the tiling results within the first 6-12 hours. Problems spotted earlier will be easier to fix, unlike, for example, a misplaced tile identified after more than a day of tiling. It will be quite difficult to fix as the grout will already have hardened.
All these mistakes could easily be avoided by hiring a contractor to avoid the hassle on your part. Save time and save money, regardless of the size of your project.
The importance of tile grout
Tile grout is a mixture of sand and cement. It is used in construction to fill, seal, and buffer the area in between individual tiles in a floor, making the tiles appear as though they are set more evenly. Grout is a material that is resilient enough to withstand most stains, and yet is yielding enough to buffer the expansion and contraction of floor tile materials over time (tile flooring can cause cracking if the materials expand or contract against one another during summer and winter temperature shifts). Its thickness depends on the tiles being rectified or not. Rectified tiles have consistent dimensions while those that are unrectified have unevenness in the tile dimensions. Grout lines for rectified tiles can be as thin as 3 millimeters because the tiles do not need as much space in between them while the unrectified ones need thicker grout lines for the larger space in between the tiles. Without it, water, bacteria, and stains will be absorbed. Tile grout protects your grout so it’s waterproof and will repel moisture and germs. It plays an important role for all tile installations. Some other valuable benefits of grout are that it gives your floor a crisp finishes appearance, it helps keep dirt and debris from getting in between and under your tile, and it adds rigidity and durability to the tile installation.
Types of tile grout
By measuring the space between the tiles, you can get an idea on what type of grout to use. There are three types of grouts: sanded grout, unsanded grout, and epoxy grout.
- Sanded grout – sanded based grout is the most common type of grout and is the most commonly used. It is available in dry or pre-mixed forms. It is used for large grout joint and. Iis not advisable to use this type of grout with marble tiles as the sand will scratch the marble.
- Unsanded grout – unsanded grout is cement-based. The main difference it has with sanded grout is that it lacks sand for strength and filter. It is used for smaller grout joints with a measurement of 1/8” of an inch or smaller.
- Epoxy grout – unlike the more common cement-based grouts, epoxy grout needs no sealing and is not porous. It is less likely to crack over time and prevents the growth of bacteria.
- Urethane grout – urethane grout’s disadvantage is that it needs seven days to cure before being exposed to water, which makes it not advisable to use in the shower. They are expensive and are premixed in buckets.
Grout color types:
There are two types of grout color – monochromatic and dichromatic.
- Monochromatic – when you choose a grout color that blends the tile the best
- Dichromatic – when you’re looking for a contrast
A rubber tool known as “float” is used to put grout into the areas between tiles. Leaving joints stuffed merely below the surface, the excess is wiped away using a wet sponge. The grout cures rock-hard in some time, and when this happens, the tiles are polished with a soft material such as cloth to get rid of any residue from the grout installation.
Below are the steps and techniques on how to grout tile:
- Prep work – one should start to vacuum the grout lines, then scrape any grout sticking out and vacuum again.
- Mix the grout by hand – until all the powder is dissolved, mix the grout by hand– starting by pouring the water to adding the powder and mixing the two together using a material like a margin trowel. This should be done until the consistency is like that of a toothpaste.
- Load the grout float – tip the bucket towards you and scrape up a decent amount of grout onto your float.
- Load the joints – spread the grout diagonally across the tile joints to squish the grout into the joints.
- Clean off excess grout – remove the bulk of the grout by wiping/cleaning up with the float. Excess grout from the surface must be scraped.
- Sponge the surface – wipe off the surface with a damp sponge. Keep wiping until most of the excess is gone.
- Tool the grout lines – smooth and level the uneven grout lines by depressing the sponge with your index finger. The goal here is to have a consistent, even-depth grout joints.
- Towel off the haze – after Step #7, leave it be for around half an hour to let the surface dry and form a haze. Polish the haze away with a microfiber towel (or cotton towel) for best results.
- Caulk inside corners – choose a matching grouting caulk to coordinate with the grout you’ve used. Don’t overfill the void.
The importance of grout sealer
A mortar product used for filling cracks and gaps, grout is particularly used for the cervices between tiles in bathrooms. It is porous but resealing it annually will help counter its porous nature. It also helps lengthen the aesthetic, feel, and consistency of the grout. Grout sealers reduce the porous properties of the grout.
There are different types of grout sealer: penetrating, non-penetrating, and impregnating.
- Penetrating – soaks into the grout and coats the inside of the pores; moisture can still seep in but also escape
- Non-penetrating – prevents liquids from migrating past the seal; helps keep away the mold and mildew.
- Impregnating – soaks in and fills the voids in the cement. Impregnating grout sealers keep moisture and stains out of the tile joints – resisting permanent discoloring and deterioration.
Grout sealing is important. It is one simple step that can ensure the look of your grout lines and cohesion of one’s tiling assembly as a whole and can last for years.
There are also many benefits one can get when applying grout sealer, like:
- Preventing staining – grout sealer helps the grout maintain its color. It reduces the effects and appearance of staining – meaning you will never have to bleach stains of grout discolored by mold and mildew because once they get a foothold, they are harder to remove.
- Reducing moisture penetration – sealing the grout reduces moisture from making its way around and under the tiles – this is important especially in rooms which are in contact with steam and humidity. It is important to seal the grout as accumulated moisture can push tiles off the wall.
- Reducing your work – sealed tile and grout will reduce the need to clean it up by 50 percent. Dirt and debris on sealed surfaces could easily be wiped away without resorting to heavy scrubbing with harsh chemicals like bleach.
- Keeping debris and mold out of your grout – unsealed tile and grout can easily absorb debris while sealed tile and grouts do not.
- Keeping your investment beautiful – having tile work installed is expensive and can be considered as an investment. You will want to maximize the investment you had made and preserve the beauty by sealing the tile and grout so it would resist staining and discoloration. You will also not have to risk damaging the surfaces with chemicals or abrasive products.
While sealing the tile and grout has many benefits, it still needs ongoing maintenance with mild soaps and detergents. Also, all of the standard grout sealers require re-application from time to time, usually once per year.
Getting free estimates & quotes from competing contractors
A foundation inspection by a qualified repair specialist can be the best way to determine if the signs indicate foundation troubles. Save time and save money by getting free estimates & quotes from local competing contractors by filling out the form at the top of the page. At Contractor Quotes, we only work with screened bathroom and shower tile repair contractors to help your project be a success. Asking for quotes also comes with no commitment on your part and it’s 100% free! Let us help you get quotes regardless of the size of your project.