How to Match an Old Tile Color
LESLIE: Aaron in Florida has a tiling question. How can we help you with this project?
AARON: Hey, I’ve done a remodel in my kitchen and I’ve got some ceramic tile and we’ve removed some of the cabinets and then reset some of the tile around. But I’ve noticed on some of the other tile that we haven’t removed, that when I knock on it, it has a hollow sound to it.
AARON: And I was wondering if I needed to, you know, pull that tile up and then re-cement and then place the tile again.
TOM: Well, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if it’s obviously loose. This is the time to make that repair. Is it your sense that it’ll come up fairly easily?
AARON: No, it seems like it’s really secure down. It’s just that I notice the knocking sound. I mean – or like a …
TOM: So it’s only the sound? It’s only the sound?
AARON: Yeah, it – right.
TOM: Well, if you don’t see any movement and it sounds hollow it may very well be because a lot of tiles have ridges underneath and don’t completely, solidly connect to the subfloor. So it could sound hollow but still be adhered. If it’s adhered well, I wouldn’t mess with it.
AARON: OK. Alright, great. And any suggestions for matching existing tile or doing something if you can’t find a tile that’s going to match exactly?
TOM: A couple of things. This is floor tile, correct?
AARON: That’s correct.
TOM: Well, if you can’t find the exact matching tile, is it possible you could use a tile that has a pattern in it and make it look like it was supposed to be there?
AARON: Yeah, I could do that.
TOM: A lot of times in – for example, in bathrooms – when you have to, you know, replace a bathtub and you have a tiled wall and you end up tearing up like the bottom couple of layers of tile, we very often will recommend that people put a complimentary color there or one that’s slightly wider and make it look like it was a feature.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) To make it look like it’s designed on purpose that way.
TOM: Yeah, exactly.
AARON: OK. Alright.
AARON: Alright, that’s great. I appreciate it.
TOM: (overlapping voices) If you’re going to mess it up, you want the repair to look so good that people thought it was always supposed to be that way. (chuckling)
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) That it was all planned.
AARON: Yeah, yeah. Well, that’s the trick, isn’t it?
TOM: Alright, Aaron. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.