How To Fix A Broken Tile Floor – Easily

Tile floors, while beautiful, are often rather delicate. One clumsy mistake, and you have a broken tile floor – which is just no good. Luckily, DreamyHome is here to help you figure out the next steps. Whether that means a full replacement or just a quick patch, we’ve got you covered.

The easiest ways to replace a broken tile floor are with epoxy or fingernail polish – though you can just replace the tile if needed.

Without further ado, let’s get into it! Keep reading to learn the best ways to fix a broken tile floor in as little as thirty minutes!

Broken Tile Floor – Method 1

First things first – the two leading methods we’ll recommend are not so much a fix as they are a repair. That is to say, if you look closely, you’ll still see cracks where the tile was damaged. The plus side to this is that you’ll be able to quickly fix the issue so that it can be addressed later down the line. The last method involves replacing the whole tile, which is… less than ideal, to say the least.

The first method that we’ll be talking about is using epoxy for hairline cracks that aren’t too wide.

Epoxy

Epoxy (or resin) is, in short, a hardening mixture used to glue or seal various materials. It’s used in arts and crafts as well as home improvement. There are two different types – 1-part and 2-part epoxy. The former is generally cheaper, though the latter is what you want for this particular project. While you can buy it from home-improvement or hardware stores, if you can’t find it, the link above will give you a high-quality, affordable alternative.

Now, just follow the steps to success! To fix a broken tile floor, you should:

  1. Using rubbing alchohol and paper towels, clean the cracked tile. Wipe the damp paper towel (covered in alcohol) over the cracked tile. If you don’t do this, you could have dirt or other gross stuff get into the epoxy, and we don’t want that.
  2. Mix your 2-part epoxy in equal parts (rougly 80 grams total). Do this on cardboard or something you don’t mind throwing away – it’ll harden once mixed properly and stick to the surface you’re mixing on.
  3. Use a popsicle stick or brush that you’re willing to sacrifice and brush the epoxy over the tile. Spread it evenly, covering the entire crack. Ensure it’s at least 1/2 cm down the crack itself, being careful to not get it on the undamaged tile sections.
  4. Wait for the epoxy to dry, roughly 10 minutes. It will be firm to the touch and not come off when touched.
    1. Do not touch the epoxy while it’s drying, and keep pets and children away from the epoxy. You don’t want anyone ingesting or touching the epoxy while it’s drying.
  5. Use a razor blade or box cutter to cut away any extra epoxy that’s dried around the crack. Try to slide the blade beneath the epoxy, rather than cutting it off at a vertical angle. You don’t want to further damage your tile.
  6. If you want, you can dye the epoxy to match the tile with powder dye for epoxy purchased from a craft or hobby store.

That’s it! You repaired your broken tile floor in less than an hour!

Broken Tile Floor – Method 2

The second method we’ll be talking about is using nail polish and wood glue to repair any larger cracks in a tile floor. This is generally recommended for large cracks – for a hairline crack, just use the above method.

As a note – this only works on glazed tile. Porous tiles will not like this method.

Nail Polish

Now, do the following to repair your broken tile floor:

  1. Apply a thin layer of wood glue on any crack larger than 1 mm with a popsicle stick (or your finger, you brave man). The wood glue will dry in roughly ten minutes, and is used because it can expand and contract without cracking. This is important for when temperatures change in your home.
  2. Using clear nail polish (not nail paint) apply the polish over the entirety of the cracks, going roughly 1 mm beyond them, as well.
  3. Wait roughly ten minutes for it to dry – it should not come off when touched. If the image of your finger print is in the polish still, it’s not dry.
  4. Remove excess nail polish with, you guessed it, nail polish remover. Use a cotton swab soaked in nail polish remover to easily dab areas that have too much.
  5. This will hold rather well. Keep in mind, though, that this is a patch job. If the tile is damaged again, you’ll need to replace the whole thing – which is method 3.

Broken Tile Floor – Method 3

Now we get to the more involved (and expensive) method of fixing a broken tile floor – replacing the entire tile. To do this, you’ll need a power drill, hammer, and chisel. You’ll also (obviously) need a replacement tile, and the grout, mortar, and putty to attach the tile.

If you’re not comfortable doing this, just call a professional. They exist to make your life easier, and you don’t want to accidentally damage other tiles or the floor beneath your tiles.

Replacing the Tile

Now, do the following:

  1. Using a power drill, drill several small holes in the tile. This will weaken the tile and make it easier to remove. Make the holes in a straight line to make this the most effective.
  2. Take your hammer and chisel and chip apart the tile in question. Place the blade of your chisel along the holes that you made and hammer with enough force to crack the tile, without applying massive force. You don’t want to damage adjacent tiles or the floor beneath.
  3. Scrape up all of the grout beneath your tile with the chisel by sliding the blade beneath the grout at an angle. Do not try to hammer and chisel this away.
    1. Dispose of the grout in an area that nobody (pet or child) can potentially consume it – grout is toxic.
  4. Apply the mortar evenly to the base where your new tile will go. Use latex gloves to prevent it getting on your hands, and ensure it’s no higher than ~1/3 cm thick. You don’t want mortar popping up around your new tile as it hardens.
  5. Gently apply pressure while putting the new tile in place. Too much pressure and you can either crack the new tile or squeeze the mortar up around the tile.
  6. Apply grout evenly, ensuring all gaps are filled. A grout float makes this easier, though it’s not necessary.
    1. Grout floats are cheap tools that you can purchase at any hardware store.
  7. Using a damp rag, wipe the edges of the tile before the grout dries. This will clear away excess and allow it to dry exactly as you want. If you forget this, you’ll have a much harder job ahead of you in the near future.

Final Thoughts

Replacing or fixing a broken tile floor can be stressful if you don’t know what to do. Luckily, since you just read this, you know how easy a temporary (or permanent) DIY fix can be! You can either use epoxy for hairline cracks, or wood glue and nail polish for larger cracks. If all else fails, replacing a single tile isn’t too hard to do yourself. But, as usual, if you feel uncomfortable doing so – make a drink, take a seat, and call a professional to help you out.

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About the Author Harry Thompson

Involved in home renovations throughout his life, Harry is an expert in everything to do with home and garden DIY. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and tending to his garden.