DIY Repairs To Stone Tiles
If your stone tiles have accumulated some damage, you may be able to repair them yourself without calling in a professional. Find out how. There are three main types of damage that can occur with natural stone tiles: cracks arising from movement in the substrate, scratches from something being dragged over the tiled surface and chipping when something heavy is dropped on the tiles are the three main causes of damage to tiles.
Fortunately, all of these can be repaired with basic DIY skills and a suitable repair product.
Prevention is better than cure; cracks to natural stone kitchen floor tiles due to movement rarely happen if the correct adhesive is used and the substrate is prepared correctly.
Whether you’re fixing limestone, marble, or travertine natural stone kitchen floor tiles, you need to use the correct adhesive to fix your tile to ensure your tiling project is a success. Failure to assess and prepare your substrate correctly and use the correct adhesive may result in the floor tiles cracking or the tile adhesive de-bonding from the substrate.
For natural stone tiles we recommend a high specification, white rapid setting, flexible adhesive, such as Kerakoll H40 Marmorex, formulated with powdered Carrara marble (instead of sand, like basic adhesives). Kerakoll H40 Marmorex is the very best adhesive available and was formulated specifically for use with natural stone tiles, which are susceptible to staining and marking with more basic grey adhesives.
Kerakoll H40 Marmorex is flexible, making it suitable for wooden substrates such as plywood, which by nature have movement, therefore a flexible tile adhesive must be used to absorb the bounce in the floor and reduce incidents of cracked tiles. Also, Kerakol H40 Marmorex is suitable for use with both water and electric under-floor-heating (UHF), as it flexes as the flooring expands and contracts.
Repairing Stone Tiles
Although natural stone floor tiles are hardwearing and durable enough to cope with normal daily use, when something sharp is dragged across the tiles the surface is prone to being scratched. This is likely to show up more on a polished tile, than on a tile with a honed matte surface.
Limestone and marble tiles are preferential over travertine tiles for high footfall areas such as kitchen diners, as limestone and marble are dense and durable making them less susceptible to damage.
Travertine tiles have a holey honeycomb structure making them more suitable for bathroom installations, as the grout and resin which fills the holes and pores can come loose making the tile susceptible to more damage.
The good news is that damaged tiles can be repaired satisfactory with DIY skills. If a surface is inherited and has been mistreated for a number for years, then hiring a professional restoration company such as the specialists at Tile Master may be your best solution, as they have the tools, products and know-how, to restore the surface to showroom condition.
All tiles, whether natural stone or manmade porcelain, are prone to chipping when something heavy and sharp is dropped onto them. In many cases the dropped object will come off worse, as tiles are generally very hard wearing, but on occasion the tiles will chip and require a repair.
Some customers are put off natural stone floor tiles due to the need to reseal and dress tiles to keep them in A1 condition. However, this needs to be weighed up against the ease of repairing cracked, chipped, or scratched natural stone tiles. Porcelain tiles cannot be readily repaired as, unlike natural stone tiles, the colour of porcelain tiles is only surface deep, and can be troublesome to make a repair that is invisible.
The solution to a DIY repair of cracked, scratched, or chipped natural stone tile is a restoration product such as Tilemaster Stone Repair Resin Filler. The stone filler is a mastic made of polyester resins, which is possible to polish to the current shine on your tiles. Supplied in two parts, a coloured filler and white hardener, the filler can be applied using the accompanying simple step by step guide.