Whether you have purchased an older house with poor tile, or simply noticed some of the tile in your bathroom is becoming damaged and unsightly, staying on top of bathroom tile repair or replacement is important.
Damaged tile and cracked grout can lead to a variety of issues under the tile itself. Not only can mold and mildew start to form in this dark and moist area, but other tiles can begin to come loose over time as well.
Doing some shower tile repair on your own is possible, but the process can be back breaking and time consuming for the inexperienced. In most cases, it is much easier and more cost effective to hire a professional to assess the situation. And decide on the best course of action for a quick and problem free repair or replacement.
Preparing for the Project
Before you begin chipping away at the tile and grout. Be sure you have your replacement tile and new grout on hand and ready to go. Some grout will need to be mixed before use. While other grout is ready to use straight out of a tub or tube.
Matching the grout color to your existing tile area can be difficult, so if you are worried about aesthetics be sure to test a small section of the wall first. Some grout can drastically change color when it is fully dried and cured.
You also want to have a small hammer and chisel, as well as a tile pry bar handy to use. These tools can be found at most home improvement stores, as well as almost all plumbing repair stores.
Removing and Replacing
If a tile is cracked but still in good condition, you can apply grout to the cracked area to help seal it. On highly decorative grout, this may be the only option as finding a replacement tile that matches can be extremely difficult.
For generic tile, however, replacement may be a better option. In this case, start by removing the old tile with a small chisel or tile pry bar. If the tile is still securely attached, use a hammer to break the tile in the center. Then chip away pieces using your chisel or pry bar.
Once the old tile is fully removed and the old grout has been scraped or chipped away as well. Place your new tile in the opening and secure it down with tile epoxy or securing grout.
Within 24 hours of replacing the new tile on the wall. Add grout all around the edge of the new tile. This will not only help seal the tile to the wall, but will also prevent moisture from getting behind the tile and causing future problems.
Before the grout dries, wipe away any excess that got on top of the nearby tile with a damp cloth. Leave the grout to cure for 24 to 72 hours before you expose it to normal shower use.