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Residential tile flooring made of large gray tiles, with smaller pieces of tile set aside near tools used for tile repair and installation.

Tile Repair in Wichita: What Homeowners Want to Know

Tile repair is often needed in almost every home in Wichita and across the country. It is a favorite finishing material of homeowners and home builders alike because of its beauty, durability, strength, variety and protective qualities. Ceramic tile flooring is likely the most popular type of installation, but it's certainly not the beginning and end of your options—tile comes in a vast array of colors, shapes, sizes, patterns and materials, so it is an ideal opportunity to infuse your home with your own sense of style and personality.

But, as durable and long-lasting as it is, it isn't impervious to damage. Damage such as chips, cracks and even missing chunks can occur, and those issues aren't just unappealing cosmetic issues. They also cause a safety hazard and leave your home unprotected from the dreaded moisture damage. When that happens, you need professional Wichita tile repair services from a qualified handyman.

Whether you just need a chip repaired or it is going to take a complete installation replacement, you can count on the Wichita tile repair experts at Mr. Handyman of the Wichita Metro Area to get the job done correctly, efficiently and beautifully. Everybody on our Wichita handyman team prides themselves on delivering the highest standards of customer service and quality workmanship on every job—you've never seen grout lines straighter than ours!

Wichita Tile Repair Vs. Replacement: Which Do You Need?

This is right up there among the most frequently asked tile repair questions that we hear from Wichita homeowners, and that's understandable—after all, you don't want to deal with hassles like a total tile replacement if that is not actually necessary. On the other hand, if the damage is bad enough, tile repair may not be sufficient to get your home back in great shape and you will end up needing a replacement anyway. In our professional handyman experience, the age-old question of tile repair or replacement comes down to two factors: the severity of the damage needing repair and whether you have a spare piece or two available.

Damage is Severe or Widespread

If you are dealing with small chips or hairline cracks on one or a couple pieces of your tile surface, tile repair is our recommended solution. Your handyman can patch up your problem areas without needing to remove the entire piece. Or, if your grout is dingy or crumbling, we can take care of grout repair by removing and regrouting your installation without taking out your actual flooring or wall covering.

But, if there are widespread issues across a large number of pieces, or severe damage to multiple pieces, replacement is a better option. Numerous small repairs would be time-consuming work for anybody in Wichita, and the result would not be as good as a brand-new installation. When a piece suffers damage such as a hairline crack, even if it is repaired, that area will still be weak and need monitoring for future issues. If you've got tons of small repair issues, replacement is likely going to be the most cost-effective and satisfying solution.

No Matching Pieces Available

If just a couple sections have suffered severe damage like large cracks or missing pieces, but the rest are just fine, your handyman can simply remove your broken pieces and replace just those ones, right? Absolutely, yes—as long as you have extra matching pieces that we can slot into the existing installation. That is why it's so important to save several extra pieces whenever you get a new installation done.

But if you didn't or couldn't do that when your existing floor or wall was finished, it may be quite difficult to find a perfectly matching piece. That is because manufacturers and tile stores are constantly switching up designs, and there are so many choices available in Wichita. Finding the exact right one can be a big chore, if it isn't discontinued already. If the installation was quite recent, you may be able to find an exact match. If you can't though, you should consider having the entire installation replaced. One or two mismatched tiles, even if they are pretty close in appearance, will be very noticeable—and not in a good way. And if the texture or height is mismatched, it could create a tripping hazard.

Typical Causes of Damage in Wichita

Wondering how you ended up needing Wichita tile repair in the first place? As we mentioned above, tile is extremely durable—but not impervious to damage. Common causes of chips, cracks and other issues in Wichita include:

  • Accidental damage from heavy furniture being dropped on it, or something smashing into a wall

  • Damage that didn't seem that bad when it happened, like a small hairline crack, can weaken your installation significantly and sometimes even light pressure later on can make damage much more severe

  • Buildings shift and settle over time, or even begin to sink if they have foundation issues, which causes stress cracks in tile and grout

  • Most subfloors in Wichita are made of concrete, which can suffer damage itself from issues like your house settling. If your subfloor is cracked and uneven, it is sure to cause problems for your installation above

  • If the joists that hold up your floor were not installed correctly and are too far apart, your heavy flooring isn't being properly supported and can crack

Can Water Leak Through Tile Grout?

It makes sense to wonder if grout in places such as a shower is really waterproof, because grout is porous. Grout forms a strong masonry bond with the thin-set and backer board or subfloor underneath the tile, so it is more water-resistant than it looks. That being said, grout that is frequently exposed to moisture in a shower can deteriorate and crack or crumble. If that happens, it will let in moisture. The best way to deal with that is to use epoxy grout to form a watertight seal, or cover the lines with penetrating grout sealer. Your handyman should also caulk around tile edges where the installation meets another type of material like drywall, or where two intersecting planes meet. Is your tile repair part of a bathroom remodel? Here's what you need to know about bathroom remodeling in Wichita.

DIY Wichita Tile Repair or Leave It to the Pros?

If you are the type who likes to take care of repairs and maintenance around your property, you're probably wondering if you can handle this one yourself with careful tile repair techniques, or if you need to call in a professional Wichita handyman to get the job done. If you are dealing with a small tile repair in chipped ceramic or porcelain and know your way around a few basic methods, then you can probably handle it. Replacing one damaged tile is a bit more involved, but still a feasible project for a beginner. The type of tile repair matters as well—if you are dealing with more challenging types such as marble tile or large-format tile, you will save a lot of time and stress by letting our team take care of it.

That being said, if your installation has suffered more serious damage, you need a total replacement or you aren't willing and able to get down on your knees and get up close with the floor, no problem—trust the team of service professionals at Mr. Handyman of the Wichita Metro Area for expert tile repair that will restore your floor or wall finish to perfect condition.

Tile Repair for a Small Chip or Crack

Need to complete minor porcelain or ceramic tile repairs in Wichita? The steps for fixing chips and cracks are fairly straightforward:

  1. Clean the area thoroughly with soapy water and let it dry completely.

  2. Mix up clear or white epoxy, following manufacturer's instructions.

  3. Use painter's tape to cover up the surrounding grout lines so you don't accidentally get epoxy on them.

  4. Slightly overfill your chip with epoxy repair filler.

  5. Use a leveling tool to smooth out filler and blend it into your surface so it is even.

  6. Let it dry for a couple hours, then sand down filler with sandpaper to make sure there are no bumps or ridges.

  7. Apply two coats of paint in the same color as your tile over top of the epoxy with a small brush and let it dry. It could take anywhere from a few hours to a couple days to fully cure, so refer to the manufacturer's directions.

  8. Seal paint with a few coats of water-based urethane and make sure it is completely cured before letting anyone walk on your repaired area.

Replacing One Damaged Tile

Ready to attempt broken tile repair? Since this involves replacing an entire piece, it is trickier than just filling a chip with epoxy, and it requires some specific tools. You also need to make sure you have eye protection, because there will be grout dust flying around and you don't want that in your eye—or worse, a shard of ceramic.

Another important note: if you only have one extra piece for a replacement, you only have one shot at getting it placed properly. If this is your first time with this type of project and you aren't sure you're up to the task, it makes sense to get a professional in Wichita to handle it. If that one piece is ruined, you won't have a match and the entire installment will need replacing.

Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Place a dust sheet around the area, because this will get messy.

  2. Thoroughly clean the area with soapy water or a 1-to-1 vinegar and water mixture and let it dry out completely.

  3. With your safety goggles on, use a grout saw or carbide-tipped scoring tool to remove the grout all the way around the damaged area, avoiding damage to nearby tiles.

  4. When grout is removed, cover the damaged piece with a drop cloth and give it a few firm hits with a hammer to break it apart.

  5. Remove the cloth covering the damaged part and use a chisel to carefully pry the pieces up from the thin-set mortar that has bonded them to the subfloor. Don't gouge the subfloor, or backer board if it is on the wall.

  6. Use the chisel to chip away the remaining thin-set mortar, again being careful not to damage material underneath.

  7. Use a wet-dry vacuum to clear away any remaining dust and debris, leaving a smooth surface to place your new piece on.

  8. Apply pre-mixed thin-set mortar directly on to the subfloor or wall where the new piece is going to go, then use a notched trowel to create a ridged texture in adhesive. Repeat the process on the back of your new tile.

  9. Keeping the new piece flat and parallel to your floor or wall it is going to be applied on, carefully drop or press it into place. It is important that it hits the empty space as evenly as possible—putting one side or corner down first will make the thin-set, and by extension the entire piece, uneven.

  10. Give the thin-set time to dry. It generally takes 24 hours but quick-drying varieties can cure in a much shorter time.

  11. Mix up your grout, following instructions on your grout package label. Or better yet, use pre-mixed grout.

  12. Use a rubber grout float at a 45-degree angle to smooth grout into the spaces around the edge of your new piece.

  13. Allow grout to dry completely until it is no longer tacky, then use a damp sponge to wipe away excess grout from the lines or surface of your piece.

  14. Give your tile 24 hours before you walk on it or apply any pressure.

Call Your Local Expert Handyman for Wichita Tile Repair and Installation!

Whether you are in Wichita or a nearby area such as Haysville, Park City, or Benjamin Hills, you can count on Mr. Handyman of the Wichita Metro Area to deliver the highest standard of workmanship, along with customer care that goes above and beyond.

Pick up the phone and get in contact with us today at 316-285-1217 to book a convenient appointment time for home repair in Wichita, or to talk with our friendly customer service staff about the best way to handle your Wichita tile repair woes and get your property back in excellent condition.