How To Fix a Cracked Floor Tile Without Replacing It Entirely
Homeowners with tile floors may run into hairline fractures without knowing how to repair cracked tile. Here’s how to fix a cracked floor tile without replacing it.
Tile floors are a beautiful addition to any home, and, if installed correctly, they are a durable solution. However, tile isn’t impervious to cracking. A floor tile may break due to issues from the installation process, extreme changes in temperature, too much weight, or something as simple as dropping a heavy object in the wrong spot. Luckily, homeowners can easily mend hairline cracks in floor tiles with a few simple tools, including a popsicle stick or toothpick and a chemical compound known as epoxy.
The following steps will explain how to fix a cracked floor tile without replacing the tile entirely, including best practices to follow when dealing with cracked tile repair.
Time required: 2 hours to a full day, depending on dry times
Estimated cost: $10-$40
Before You Begin…
While hairline fractures and slightly larger cracks can be a simple fix, a shattered floor tile, a chipped tile, or a large crack in the floor warrant tile replacement. Replacing a tile will require extra steps, including obtaining a replacement tile. This extensive work may require a professional’s experience and skill.
Homeowners should take care when maneuvering around the cracked tile not to make the crack worse. Be sure to seal off the area when trying to fix cracked tile to protect bare feet (or pet paws).
Generally, epoxy and resin solutions are seen as non-toxic in small amounts; however, it’s best to keep the product away from bare skin. Always wear gloves when handling epoxy to avoid the chance of contact dermatitis or toxic eczema. The epoxy may also irritate the respiratory system, so it’s a good idea to wear a mask or face shield and ensure the room is well ventilated before mixing the solution.
Tips for Fixing a Cracked Floor Tile Without Replacing It
- Utilize a cardboard surface to mix the epoxy.
- Use a popsicle stick to spread the epoxy or even a toothpick if the crack is small enough.
- Wear proper personal protective equipment when mixing and using tile crack repair epoxy, including gloves and a mask.
- Ask family members and other house members to steer clear of the area while working on how to repair cracked floor tile.
STEP 1: Remove any debris and clean the cracked tile.
Before beginning to repair cracked tile without removing it, take care to get rid of debris, dirt, or grease from the tile floor. While a small amount of dust will not decrease epoxy’s effectiveness, it’s better to have the cleanest surface possible to ensure optimal results and a flawless final product.
Use dish soap and water or rubbing alcohol on a paper towel to clean the floor. Ensure the floor is completely dry before proceeding, so the epoxy adheres. You can wipe the surface with a microfiber cloth or paper towel to absorb excess moisture.
STEP 2: Mix a two-part epoxy, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Two-part epoxy combines resin and a hardener to bond and form an adhesive paste that holds the two tile pieces together. You can purchase two-part epoxy at a local hardware store or online. Two-part clear epoxy kits will vary depending on the brand, but many cost under $10.
Generally, it’s recommended to mix the epoxy on a piece of cardboard and work off of this surface. Ensure the solution from each bottle is thoroughly mixed for the chemicals to react and form a suitable adhesive mixture. Additionally, be sure to wear gloves and a face mask, and open windows during this stage.
Epoxy will remain workable for a considerable amount of time before it cures; however, it will turn inflexible if left alone for an extended period, so it’s best to move with some speed during this process.
STEP 3: Apply the epoxy to the crack and wait for it to cure.
Once the epoxy has been thoroughly mixed, transfer some of it to the crack using a popsicle stick or toothpick, depending on the size of the crack. Smaller gaps will benefit from the precision a toothpick can offer, while a popsicle stick will make it easier to transfer a larger amount of product to a wider crack. Spread the epoxy on the crack, creating a thin, even coat. Apply epoxy at least half a centimeter on either side of the crack, but be sure to avoid the grout.
The epoxy should be fully dry in about 10 to 15 minutes. Using a gloved hand, tap the epoxy after 15 minutes to ensure it’s dry and firm to the touch.
STEP 4: Use paint to match the existing tile color and seal the color once it’s dry.
Once the epoxy has dried, use an oil- or urethane-based paint that matches the existing tile color, and use a detail paint brush to paint over the epoxy. You can also utilize a powder dye specially made to dye epoxy, which can be found at a hobby or craft store. However, it may be harder to match this substance to the tile, and you might also have to touch it up with paint.
Finally, brush some urethane sealer over the final product once dry to protect the finished product.
STEP 5: Consider hiring a professional to repair large cracks or replace tiles.
The above method is perfect for how to fix cracked tile. However, if a floor tile has been shattered or the crack is substantial, the only option may be to replace the tile. A professional can assist homeowners with the replacement process and may even be able to repair large cracks without having to buy new tile. Contact a tile repair contractor or handyman to determine how to proceed.
Fixing a cracked floor tile with epoxy is a tried and tested method for how to repair cracked tile. If homeowners are unsure if the crack in their tile is too large for repair by epoxy, contact a professional to help address any concerns and jumpstart the tile repair or replacement process. Remember to wear gloves and a face shield when mixing and using epoxy and keep the area clear of house members, especially children and pets, while the epoxy is drying.