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Facing tile problems? Here's how to solve them!

By Editor Rachel , May 06, 2021
Facing tile problems? Here's how to solve them!

If you clicked on this, you must be a Singaporean resident with a tile problem looking to be solved. Though there are many flooring and wall paneling options available to us today, tiles are still one of the most versatile (and colourful options around). They come in many shapes too - from diamonds, fish scales, hexagon to the more commonly seen squares and rectangles.

As with all flooring options, tiles do present some frustrating issues that need to be dealt with before all of them go popping off and cracking from under your feet!

Don’t worry, you are on the correct page, and we’ll help you get the tiles problems solved by the end of this article.

Chipped or cracked tiles

cracked or chipped tile
Image from Reptileworks

Tiles can be pretty brittle with time, and sometimes, it may even chip if accidentally hit with a blunt object. When that happens, don’t be dismayed, you do not have to go on a witch hunt for one tile. However, we advise that you treat the “wound” immediately so it will not damage further.

Depending on the size of the chip, you can use a filler and then a nail polish to restore it to how it looked before. If it is a tiny chip, you can paint nail polish of a similar colour over it.

First, fill the chip or hole with filler. Then, ensure you level it out before allowing it to dry. After that, get a nail polish of similar colour to the tile and paint it over. You probably need a few layers if the filler and the tile colour’s contrast is obvious.

Allow it to dry and voila, no one will notice!

This method is perfect for ceramic, porcelain and stone tiles.

Debonded or Popped Tiles

debonded or popped tile
Image from The Construction Specifier

Have you ever mindlessly walked in a shopping mall when you suddenly step on a spot that seems hollow?

That is a sign that the tile is debonded (not sticking) to the concrete below it. There may be a few causes to this. Either the concrete substrate was not properly prepared, the bottom part of the tile was not properly cleaned before application, or the installer applied the adhesive in a spot-like manner, making some parts of the tile unattached to the cement below. Another possible reason could be that the tiles were arranged too closely together, and due to the lack of space to expand when there is too much heat, debonding happened.

Now, to settle this issue, you’d first have to take the tile out by hammering the grout out with a chisel (gently please, you would not want to crack your tile).

Then, clean the bottom of the tile, so it is free from dirt, cement or stain - do not wet it though. Use a tile adhesive that is flexible with strong bonding and resistant to the change of weather. Apply it by smoothing it thoroughly before tiling it back.

Tile Discolouration

tile discolouration
Image from Reddit

Life is messy, and the mess made by living life will stain your tiles. However, the kitchen tiles will definitely be stained in record time, as compared to other rooms in the home. If you have porous tiles like marble affixed in your home, it is important you clean it up quick or else it will be near impossible to get rid of the marks.

So, what can you do?

One-part peroxide and two parts baking soda will do the trick. Spray it on the stained tile and gently rub it with a used (and unwanted) toothbrush. Repeat until the stain has lightened or gone.

If your tile discolouration is caused by hard water, mix one-part vinegar with one part water. Pour it into a spray bottle and spray it on the tiles. You need to let the solution sit for a few hours before scrubbing it off with a brush or sponge.

What other tile problems do you have at home? Let us know, and we might be able to give you tips on how to DIY it. Or else, we’ve got professionals who can do it for you.

For all things related to your home, check out GoodReads. If you are looking for interior designers, we have Singapore’s best here!