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How to Repair Cracked Tiles

One cracked tile doesn’t mean you have to retile an entire room. Repairing cracked tiles is fairly easy and can be done without professional help. Here are three DIY ways you can deal with a cracked tile.

How to hide or repair cracked tile

1) Paint Over the Crack

Appropriate for small, hairline cracks, this is the easiest method, but it’s more of a cover-up than an actual repair. You’ll need paint that closely matches the color of your tile, so this method won’t work for most textured, patterned, or stone tiles. Ask an employee at a paint store for help. He or she might even be able to mix an exact match of the tile’s color if you bring in a sample tile. Alternatively, you can paint your tile floor an entirely new color.

Use straight paint or a paint and tile filler mix. Apply it to the crack with a cotton swab. Allow it to dry for a few seconds before wiping away the excess with a damp cloth. This method won’t actually fix the crack, but does make it more difficult to see.

2) Apply Glaze

This method won’t fix the broken tile’s appearance, but it will fill the crack and prevent further damage. Combine this method with method No. 1 for greatest effect. This method is also a bigger investment, since you generally have to glaze all the tiles to match the repaired tile.

First, clean the floor thoroughly by sweeping and mopping. Mop more than once if necessary. Any remaining dirt will become permanently trapped under the glaze. Wait for the floor to dry before applying the glaze.

Most people choose a clear glaze because it goes with all colors of tile and grout, but colored glazes are also available. Open a window to avoid inhaling fumes, then apply the glaze quickly, before it dries. You might need to apply more than one coat.

3) Replace the Tile

If the crack in your tile is too large, this might be your only choice. Before you try this method, make sure you can find a replacement tile that is the same size, shape, color, and material as your existing one. If you don’t have one on hand from when the tile was originally installed, you can try to find one at a tile retailer. If you don’t see the tile you want there, you may have to search a few different places. If you’re still out of luck, this option might not work for you.

Once you have a replacement tile, you’ll need to break out the old, cracked one. Place a towel over the cracked tile, and hit it with a hammer to break it into small pieces. From there, you can chisel out the broken fragments. Scrape away the adhesive underneath with a putty knife, then clear the space of debris, making sure you have a clean, flat surface on which to lay down the new tile.

Apply adhesive to the new tile and set it in place. Once the adhesive dries, apply fresh grout to the cracks between tiles. Let that dry, then wipe your new tile sparkly clean.

These easy tile fixes can help restore your bathroom, kitchen, or outdoor tiles to their former glory with out replacing an entire floor. Make your surface look like new with the methods above.

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Have you repaired tile flooring before? What steps did you take?

(6) Comments

  1. I don’t think painting the tiles can be effective solution to repair broken tiles instead if we replace the tiles it can be a effective method.Applying glaze can fill the crack but that doesn’t looks much good.Re-grouting is very effective in such cases.

  2. Our shower TILE floor is app. 54 years old. We’re retired, my wife’s father built the house. The glaze appears to be worn off. I did tile work as the director of maintenance for 25 years among many other duties. It’s been 10 years since I did my last big tile job. Looking to see if there was a sealer for the tile itself. Have some stains out to about 12 inches from the drain. Short of just having to replace(would have this done now) The tiles in the entire shower. Which is oversized as well. Saw&heard mention of painting(?)
    the tiles. If so, is there now a special paint for tile? Thanks for any info.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Morris,

      Unfortunately there isn’t a type of paint for your tiles. Unless you are using a natural stone you will not be able to seal the tiles either. If you have porcelain or ceramic the only way to get the glaze back would be to change out the tiles completely. In regards to the stains, you could try some sort of grout release product to see if that would remove the stains.

      Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any other questions!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Gabriel,

      Thank you for your feedback and sorry for the oversight. We’ve updated the article to clarify that the paint and glaze methods are options for hiding cracks on tiles and that replacing a tile is the only way to do full fix.

      Thanks again!

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