If you have a chipped porcelain sink or cracked ceramic tiles that need repairing, you may well be able to fix them yourself. Read on to learn about different types of damage and which materials you need to carry out the repairs yourself, quickly and inexpensively.
Knowing what type of damage you are dealing with is the first step to determining if the sink or the tiles can be fixed and which tools you need. Then you can follow some easy steps to repair your ceramic tiles or porcelain sink. Smaller cracks and chips can almost always be sealed to prevent further damage and water intrusion. For significantly damaged tiles, your best bet is to remove the entire tile and replace with a new one.
Steps to removing tiles
- Existing grout around tiles must be first removed using a hammer and chisel. Wear safety goggles and gloves to protect your hands and eyes. It is also a good idea to open the bathroom window.
- Tile removal. Depending on the extent of damage to the tile, you may need to completely remove the ceramic tile with a hammer or chisel and replace it with a new one. If you can save the tile and repair it, first attempt to remove the ceramic tile by carefully prying it away using a chisel, starting with one corner. Continue this process to the other corners and straight edges until it lifts freely.
- Remove backer and debris so you can apply fresh material under your tile. Providing a clean and level space for your new ceramic tile will allow it to adhere effectively and prevent the tile from lifting. Avoiding gaps under the tile ensures that the tile will not crack or break when pressure is applied.
Steps to repairing tiles
Once the broken tile or chipped piece has been removed, you can bond the pieces together. We will also tell you how to deal with sealing chips and cracks.
- Clean and prep the surface. Make sure the entire surface that once held the tile is level, dry, and free of debris and dust.
- Bonding. The separate pieces have to fit together perfectly. If not, you will need to replace the entire tile. To bond broken pieces, apply the adhesive and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Only use a small amount of glue and hold the pieces together immediately after application until a strong bond forms. For small cracks, apply a small amount of glue to the void and wipe away excess glue to prevent further damage.
- Wrap up. If you used an applicator, clean it with hot soapy water. The same applies for any spills or dips on the floor.
Steps for inserting tiles
- Do a test fit. Ensure the new tile fits perfectly by setting it in place before applying mortar. Use a level to make sure the tile sits a bit lower than the surrounding ones; this will account for the addition of mortar below the tile.
- Mortar application. This is best done by using a trowel. Add a thin layer to the empty space where the tile will go. Apply it to the back of the tile as well for extra adhesion.
- Insert the tile. Line up all the corners and slowly lower the tile into place. Apply light pressure to push out any air and ensure a tight seal. At this stage you should remove excess mortar, then let it set undisturbed.
- Grout the joints, once the mortar has been applied, by using a trowel or grouting tool. Wipe away any excess material with a damp sponge before the grout dries on the tile.
- Seal the grout with the proper tile sealant. Not sure what sealant to use? Read below to find the best sealant for the job.
To successfully repair broken ceramic tiles, your adhesive needs to be durable and able to fill gaps. For invisible bonds with a professional finish, go for LePage No More Nails All-Purpose
For all of your sealing needs, grab some LePage 2 in 1 Seal & Bond Kitchen and Bath as an all-around solution since it is specially formulated for kitchens and bathrooms.
For heavy duty flooring and high traffic areas, a great sealing option is LePage PL Heavy Duty Sealant, which is suitable for tiles and many other surfaces.