Can A Bad Tile Job Be Fixed? 4 Expert Tips

Poor tiling jobs can be disappointing and a hassle to fix. After already paying a contractor to place your tile, you may find yourself unable to afford to get another one to fix the mediocre job. If this is the case, then you may be able to repair it yourself.

Poor tile installments can be fixed. If the issue lies in lippage, poorly fitting tiles or excess grout, then the job can be fixed yourself. However, if the problem is serious and potentially hazardous, professional help will be needed.

Tile jobs are capable of being fixed. Certain issues have easy fixes, however, some may need professional help or will require the need to replace and reset the tile.

1. Do Extensive Research

Doing extensive research on the contractor you hire and the tile you purchase can save you from having to fix a bad tile job. Although the research you do may seem unnecessary and redundant, the research is a pivotal aspect in the tiling process. Unfortunately, many people overlook this critical step and are left with a less than adequate tiling job. Thankfully, the steps below will be able to save you from the poor tiling installment.

Research On The Contractor

Contractors can claim to be an expert in installing tile even when they are nowhere near qualified. Contractors may not have the training when it comes to the installation of tile and it will not be evident until they are finished. Just because a contractor has installed tile previously does not necessarily mean that they have received the training to do so.

Although contractors may not be installing tile while being underqualified maliciously, they are doing so naively. Contractors may just want some extra money and overestimate their ability to properly install the tile.

Before hiring your contractor to put in your tile, ensure they have been trained to install tiling. Do not make the mistake of blindly trusting them, as you will then have a poor tile job on your hands, and it will be your responsibility to fix it.

Research On The Tile

In addition to doing extensive research on the contractor, do extensive research on the tile you are purchasing. While you are at the store, do not hesitate to ask questions.

While you are at the tiling shop, it is not a bad idea to ask the workers who they recommend to lay your tile. They will likely be able to recommend professional tilers as they are a part of the community and are aware of who the best-trained tilers are. The workers will be even more aware of the dangers of inexperience and will want you to avoid these dangers.

Do not purchase tiling that you know little about. Certain tiles have different specialties and purposes. Buy the tile that best fits the needs of your home.

Because research can be a lengthy and mundane process, you may not want to do all of the research at the tiling shop. Although you will still want to ask the workers at the tiling shop their opinions, below is a list of the most common tiling for every room it is used in:

For bathrooms, the best type of tiling to use is porcelain, stone, or ceramic. These tiles will provide your bathroom with traction that will help to cessate slips. In addition, these tiles are water-resistant and will provide your bathroom with a chic finish.

For kitchens, the best type of tiling to use is ceramic, marble, granite, or porcelain. These tiles will be durable and affordable for your kitchen. They will be sure to impress and you will not have to worry about them wearing out easily.

For laundry rooms, the best type of tiling to use is stone, ceramic, and vinyl. These tiles will be long-lasting and moisture resistant. These tiles will be easy for you to clean if there are any stains and is sure to satisfy your needs.

2. Fixing Lippage

Lippage is one of the most common problems when it comes to laying tile. However, this common issue can be fixed, or even avoided completely. Lippage is when one edge of a tile is higher than its adjacent counterpart. Minor differences in the height of a tile can be expected, however, the differences should be obscure.

The height difference of tiles should not be visible unless upon close examination. One edge of a tile should not be more than 1/32″ higher than the adjacent tile. If the height difference is greater than 1/32″, then the lippage will be obvious and unsightly.

Lippage can be irritating to look at, and depending on the location, can be hazardous. For example, if the lippage is occurring on the ground, then it can cause a tripping hazard. If this is the case, then an immediate fix is necessary. If you do not fix the lippage right away, it may be dangerous and cause injuries.

To fix profound lippage, remove and reset the tile. This is best to do as soon as possible. Once it is clear to you that the tile job was unsatisfactory, get to work. It will be easier to remove the tiling the sooner you do it.

Below is a step-by-step guide to fix lippage, in just five simple steps!

Step 1

The first step to fix the lippage in specific tiles is to protect the surrounding tiles. Painter’s tape can be used to avoid ruining the adjacent tiles. Next, remove the grout. A cutting blade can be used to remove the grout from the joints.

Step 2

Next, pry the tiles up without breaking them. If you can successfully remove them without any chipping, then you will be able to reuse them which will cut costs.

Step 3

The next step is to remove any adhesive cement from under the tiling. Clean any dirt and debris from under the tile, clean the tile that will be reused and remove the painter’s tape from the adjacent tiles.

Step 4

After you have removed all of the tiling, then you are ready to replace it. Apply a fresh coat of adhesive cement and start to place the tiles. Use a carpenter’s level to ensure the tiles are level in all directions. This will ensure lippage does not once again occur. Wait a full day before moving to the next step.

Step 5

Once all of the tiles have been placed, fill the joints with grout. Remove excess grout and then allow it to dry. Once you have finished this step, you have successfully fixed your lippage problem.

3. Fixing Poorly Fit Tiles

Another common issue when laying tiles is that the tiles do not fit properly. This can be a problem for your contractor if you do not provide them with extra tiles. The contractor will be forced to make do with what they are given and it could result in an imperfect finish.

To fix substandard tiling jobs, provide your contractor with at least ten percent more tile than is needed to cover the given space. If your contractor is highly experienced, then ten percent should be plenty. However, less experienced contractors may need up to twenty percent more tile to account for inevitable errors. This will ensure all your tiles will fit correctly in the given area.

4. Fixing Excess Grout

Removing excess grout is easiest if done as soon as possible. After a week, the grout may be much more difficult to remove. Remove the grout by scraping it out with a wooden stick. Use careful and precise movements to ensure the tile remains unscathed during this process.

Below is a step-by-step guide to fix excess grout with water and sugar, in just four simple steps!

Step 1

In a bucket, mix a gallon of hot water with a cup of granulated sugar, mixing the two until the sugar dissolves in the water.

Step 2

Take the water and sugar mixture and pour it over the grout that needs to be removed. Make sure to apply enough water that it can soak into the grout for an hour or two before you try to work any of the grout off.

Step 3

Using a wooden paint stick, gently scrape at the grout, removing the larger chunks from the surface of the tile. Continue this step until you remove all of the larger pieces.

Step 4

Trade out the wooden paint stick for a nylon scouring pad. Scrub at the remaining grout with a moist pad until removed. If the grout doesn’t appear to budge, apply more sugar to the grout or pad and continue scrubbing. The sugar acts as a gentle abrasive to remove the grout without damaging the surface of the tile. Source

If the excess grout is too severe, then you may need to replace the tile. However, it is important to know that too much grout does not cause any actual harm. Although it may be unpleasant to look at, it is not necessary to fix. Unless you want the tile to be more pleasing to view, excess grout is not a problem.

Ricky Kesler

With all of the projects I've done over the years, you'd think that I work on my house full-time. But I actually enjoy other things like spending time outdoors and time with my family.

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