Repair Tile Countertops
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Tile countertops can be a beautiful showpiece in any kitchen or bathroom and a practical, cost-effective alternative to natural stone slab countertops such as granite or marble. The cost of repairing a tile countertop can vary widely depending on the extent and type of damage and whether a homeowner elects to hire a professional or attempt DIY repairs.
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Table of Contents
- Tile Countertop Repair Cost
- Common Tile Countertop Issues
- Countertop Repair By Tile
- DIY Or Hire A Pro?
- How To Repair Tile Countertops
- Tile Countertop Replacement Or Repair
- Find A Pro
Tile Countertop Repair Cost
The cost of repairing a tile countertop differs based on the extent of the repair needed. For example, a single broken tile or a small area of damaged grout may be quite inexpensive, while re-tiling an entire countertop may cost significantly more. For a DIY job, the cost is limited to materials: thinset mortar, new tile(s) and grout may cost as little as $30, depending on the type of tile used and the size of the repair. A professional repair includes all the costs of the DIY job, plus the cost of labor. The average cost of professional countertop repair is $399.
Common Tile Countertop Issues
Tile countertops may become damaged through normal wear and tear. For example, a tile may crack after something heavy falls on it, or, more commonly, the grout surrounding each tile may become stained from exposure to liquids or dirt, or it may chip and break away.
Countertop Repair By Tile
Although the steps for repairing tile do not differ based on the type of tile used in a countertop, the cost can vary based on the type of tile that is being replaced. For example, a plain ceramic tile can cost less than $1 per tile, while a single marble tile may cost $7 or more.
DIY Or Hire A Pro?
Repairing a single damaged tile or small area of damaged grout is a job that can be a reasonable DIY project for the homeowner with the right equipment. When considering a larger repair, or a complete countertop replacement, a homeowner is constrained by the time factor — the time it takes to learn how to repair a tile countertop as well as the time for the actual repair. For a handy homeowner who doesn't mind dealing with the disruptions of a repair project, DIY can be a good option.
For large-scale tile repair projects or entire countertop replacements, a homeowner may be better served finding a qualified and experienced tile professional to complete the job.
How To Repair Tile Countertops
Small tile countertop repairs can be a manageable DIY project, depending on the extent of repairs needed. It is important to understand the necessary steps for the repair, as well as the equipment needed ahead of time. Safety goggles should be worn during the repair process, as dust and bits of loose tile or grout may cause injury. Here are the steps needed to repair either damaged grout, or a broken tile:
How to Repair Damaged Grout
Some type of grout removal tool, new grout and a grout float are the materials necessary for this repair. Also, make sure to have safety goggles and a sponge.
- Removed damaged grout: Do this with either a manual grout saw or an oscillating attachment on a reciprocating saw or an oscillating tool. It is important to work carefully to avoid damaging any tiles.
- Clean the repair area: Remove all of the grout pieces and dust from the repair area before applying new grout.
- Apply fresh grout: Use a grout float to do this, pressing to ensure that the grout fills the tile gaps completely. Excess grout should be removed before it dries using a damp sponge.
How to Replace a Broken Tile
In addition to safety goggles for eye protection, the tools required for this replacement include a hammer, chisel, scraping tool, notched trowel, grout float, sponge and something to remove the grout. New materials include thinset mortar, new tile and grout.
- Remove the grout surrounding the damaged tile: Using a grout saw, oscillating attachment to a reciprocating saw, or an oscillating tool, remove the grout surrounding the damaged tile, making sure not to damage the tiles surrounding the repair area.
- Remove the damaged tile: Do this with a hammer and chisel, and scrape away the layer of mortar beneath the tile using a scraping tool such as a metal putty knife.
- Clean the repair area: Clear all of the dust and pieces of grout, tile and mortar from the area where the new tile will be placed.
- Place the new tile: Apply a layer of thinset mortar to the space where the new tile will go, using a notched trowel. Set the tile in place on top of the mortar, ensuring that the new tile lines up correctly with the other tiles in the countertop, and allow several hours to dry.
- Apply fresh grout: Do this with a grout float, and wipe off the excess with a damp sponge. Allow grout to set completely before using the repaired area of the countertop.
How to Repair a Broken Tile
Some home improvement stores sell kits for repairing a broken tile without removing and replacing it; however, it is nearly impossible to repair a cracked or broken tile and have it look like new again. It is easier to simply replace the broken tile with a new one, following the steps described above, or by hiring a qualified professional.
Tile Countertop Replacement Or Repair
Tile countertops are particularly suited to spot repairs because individual tiles can typically be removed and replaced, rather than requiring removal of the entire countertop. If, due to an extended lack of maintenance, most or all of the tile and grout are damaged, replacement of the entire tile countertop may be an option.
Find A Pro
Ready to get started on your tile repair? An experienced and knowledgeable contractor can repair tile countertops with a reliably professional look, and help prevent costly DIY mistakes. Contact a tile repair or replacement professional today by using our free lead generator.
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Last updated on Dec 16, 2016