DIY Fixes for Small Scale Cracked Tiles - J C Marble Restoration
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DIY Fixes for Small Scale Cracked Tiles

cracked porcelain tile

DIY Fixes for Small Scale Cracked Tiles

Repairing cracked tiles at home isn’t something we always suggest, but if the damage is minute enough, it’s something you should be able to fix on your own. Sometimes, accidents happen. Pots and other heavy things get dropped, and tiles break. Here are a few easy DIY fixes that we feel comfortable putting our stamp of approval on.

orche dirty tiles

Image by Wilhelm Gunkel on Unsplash

Types of Tile Damage

As you’re inspecting the extent of the damage done to your tile, it’s essential to determine if this is something that can be fixed at home, or if it should be fixed by a professional. If there is a case in which your tile has been shattered into multiple pieces or is coming up from the grout, we recommend replacing the tile altogether. We don’t recommend trying this by yourself. Replacing tile takes training and skill to do in a way that will make your tiled floor look good as new. If it’s a single clean crack or hole, and the tile is still sturdily contained within the grout, however, it may be something that can be patched up if the size of the crack and hole does not exceed 2 or 4 inches respectively.

Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

Supplies Needed to Fix a Cracked Tile

This one is a no-brainer, but make sure you have the proper materials before you begin working on the cracked tile backsplash, flooring, shower, or otherwise. These materials include:

  • A Putty Knife
  • A Rag
  • Tile Filler (regular tile) / Autobody filler (porcelain tile)
  • Activating Hardener
  • Matching Paint
  • Autobody Filler Kit (Optional- for porcelain)- Contains autobody filler, hardener, and paint

You can get these materials inexpensively at a hardware store near you.

cracked tile

Claire P./Flickr/CC BY-SA 4.0

Fixing Cracked Tiles (Non-Porcelain)

For the smaller cracks that are still contained in the grout, we recommend the following process:

  1. Clean the crack with a dry brush to get rid of debris.
  2. Use warm soapy water on a damp rag and clean the crack.
  3. Go over the crack or hole again with the brush once it’s dry.
  4. Find a paint that matches the color of your tile and mix it with a tile filler.
  5. Dab this paint and tile filler mixture into the crack with a cotton swab.
  6. After 10-20 seconds, wipe the cracked tile with a damp cloth.

Voila! The crack in your tile is much less visible now. We do recommend getting the cracked tile replaced eventually as its structural integrity is compromised and will be prone to breaks in the future.

cracked porcelain tile

Untitled Graziano Locatelli broken tile 2016

Fixing Cracked Tiles (Porcelain)

Our first suggestion to fix porcelain tile is to cover it with autobody filler and paint over it.

  1. Clean the crack with a dry brush to get rid of debris.
  2. Use warm soapy water on a damp rag and clean the crack.
  3. Go over the crack or hole again with the brush once it’s dry.
  4. Use a mixture of putty, autobody filler, and activating hardener and move them around with your putty knife to activate it. Follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you do this properly.
  5. If you buy an autobody filler kit, it usually comes with paints that will match the color and texture of your porcelain fairly well. You can go to a paint store to match the color as well, but the kit will save you time.
  6.  Scoop the filler and scrape it over the crack or hole until it is fully covered.
  7. Scrape the excess filler to smooth it down. Ensure that your patch is level with the rest of the tile.
  8. Wait 3-5 minutes for the filler to harden.
  9. Use a razor blade to get rid of the excess filler and sand the patch until it’s completely level. We recommend using 600 grit sandpaper.
  10. Mix porcelain paint or the paint that came with your autobody filler kit to match your tile, and paint over the patch.

You can also use a caulking gun to fill the crack or hole. This process is rather simple:

  1. Fill the crack or hole with silicone caulk that matches the color of your porcelain.
  2. Remove the excess with your finger.
  3. Wipe down the tile.
  4. Let it dry.
  5. You can paint it if you wish.
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