Repair Natural Stone Tile
The elevated look and added luxury of natural stone tile has made this material a popular choice among homeowners nationwide. Known for its varying patterns, general durability and ability to withstand moisture-rich environments, natural stone tile isn’t, however, immune to damage. In fact, issues like scratches, chips and stains, as well as problems and deterioration of the tile grout are common in natural stone tile floors. This guide details the cost factors associated with repairing a natural stone tile floor or backsplash and compares those costs to the price of complete replacement.
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National Repair Natural Stone Tile Costs
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Table of Contents
- Natural Stone Repair Tile Cost
- Stone Tile Cost Repair Factors
- Common Stone Tile Repairs
- Common Solutions for Stone Tile Repair
- Repair or Replace Stone Tile
- How to Prevent Natural Stone Tile Repairs
- DIY or Find A Pro
- Find A Pro
Natural Stone Tile Repair Cost
The nature of the damage sustained by natural stone tile is the number one factor in determining the cost to repair it professionally. After that, two major categories determine the price to repair it: materials and labor. While material costs may be minor, especially if homeowners already posses replacement tile pieces or just need regrouting, labor rates can range from as little as $30 to more than $70 per hour, depending on the skills and experience of the flooring professional.
Stone Tile Repair Cost Factors
There’s a variety of problems that homeowners may encounter with their natural stone tile flooring, all of which require a different level of repair. For this reason, the single most significant factor in the final cost of a tile repair project is the extent and type of damage the floor has sustained. While minor scratches and chips are sometimes simple to take care of at the DIY level, major damage due to accidents, natural disasters and general wear are more complex to fix and may require some replacement work.
Tile floors that need regrouting also add significantly to final costs because grouting is a time-consuming and intricate process. In addition, the intricacy of the tile's pattern and the type of stone that the tile itself is made of can also affect costs because more delicate stones and more complex patterns take longer time and more expertise to fix.
Common Stone Tile Repairs
General wear as well as accidents and natural disasters such as flooding or fire can all impact the integrity of a natural stone tile floor. The damage that results usually falls into one of four categories:
- Scratches and Chips
- Cracked Tiles
- Stained Tile and Grout
- Loose Tiles
Common Solutions for Stone Tile Repair
For each of the most common stone tile repairs, there are specific solutions that homeowners can either take care of on their own or hire a professional flooring contractor to complete.
Scratches and Chips
Minor chips and scratches from something like a dropped object are possible to repair on your own using special natural stone tile repair kits that utilize an epoxy compound that matches the tile's finish. Deeper scratches and chips in the tile should be repaired by professionals who can reduce the area of damage by sanding the tile with diamond sandpaper and then sealing it. In extreme cases of deep chips and scratches, however, the best option is usually complete replacement of the tile itself.
Cracked natural stone tiles aren’t easy to repair. In the event that the crack is just on the edge of a tile, it may be possible to use one of the minor methods outlined for scratches and chips to make the tile stronger and prevent the crack from spreading. However, eventually, a cracked natural stone tile needs to be replaced.
Stained Tile and Grout
Most common stains on natural stone tile are easy to remove with general cleaning products as long as they’re gentle and won't scratch the surface of the tile. In the case of deeper stains, however, a stronger solution that includes products such as diatomaceous earth, hydrogen peroxide, rust remover or talcum powder may be necessary. In the case of extensively stained tile grout, a bleach-based cleaning solution is good first option. However, when that doesn't work, homeowners may need to consider regrouting the entire floor.
Loose tiles are a simple fix for most intermediate DIYers or professionals doing an overall repair. All loose tiles need is to be lifted up, regrouted and sealed back into place. This process can be messy and cumbersome, however, particularly if several tiles are loose and need regrouting.
Repair or Replace Stone Tile
Repairing a natural stone tile floor can be a pretty straightforward and simple job with many solutions that are easy for an avid DIYer. However, there are some cases, especially when extreme wear and damage are present, when repair isn’t enough. In this case, replacing the floor with a new natural stone tile floor may be the best bet for the overall value of the home as well as its long-term fitness. Replacing a natural stone tile floor is significantly more expensive than repairing it, however.
How to Prevent Natural Stone Tile Repairs
The best way to mitigate the cost of natural stone tile repair is to prevent it in the first place. Homeowners who routinely care for and maintain their stone tile floors are in a better position to keep them in good repair. These basic maintenance actions include:
- Using floor mats near all outdoor entry spaces to reduce the transfer of dirt and debris, which cause wear and scratch the tiles’ surface, onto the floor.
- Immediately cleaning up any spills that occur and using chemical cleaner as soon as possible, if necessary.
- Regularly cleaning with a product approved for the specific surface material of the floor — remember, some types of stone and stone aggregate are softer and more prone to breakdown than others.
- Having all stone tiles in heavily trafficked areas sealed at least once per year or once every two years for less-traveled rooms such as bathrooms.
DIY or Find A Pro
There are many stone tile repairs that homeowners can complete as DIY jobs if they have the patience and skills required to do them. Among these basic repairs are minor scratch and chip repairs and resetting and regrouting loose tiles. Advanced DIYers who have the patience for a cumbersome, messy process can also completely regrout their tile themselves.
In cases when a tile is cracked but not easy to lift, or when many tiles need repair and resealing, it’s better to hire a pro, however. Professional floorers have the materials and tools needed to safely and effectively remove tile without damaging surrounding ones. Plus, their expertise at handling and placing delicate or fragile tiles is something they’ve gained from years of experience, and homeowners may not possess these handling skills.
Find A Pro
Flooring contractors are the best resources homeowners have for more complex natural stone tile repairs and regular maintenance tasks such as resealing. Use our free flooring contractor lead generator today and get in contact with pros in your area who can help you out and give you a quote on all your natural stone tile needs.
Last updated on Jan 20, 2017
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