When to Replace Loose Tile
LESLIE: Tom in Florida has got a question about tiling. How can we help?
TOM IN FLORIDA: Hello. I have ceramic floor tiles with – it’s a new house and the tiles have hollow spots. Some of the tiles are hollow on three of the edges of them and I was wondering if there is a material that I can buy to inject under the tiles to seal them rather than pulling them up and resetting them.
LESLIE: Now when you say hollow spots, do you mean that the tile is moving and it’s …
TOM IN FLORIDA: No, the tile is attached enough that it doesn’t move but if you tap on it, it does move up and down.
TOM: So it’s a little loose.
TOM IN FLORIDA: Yes.
TOM: At this point, I wouldn’t create a bigger problem by trying to get any glue under it. I suspect it’s going to be a sloppy situation if you do that. If it physically loosens up enough to the point where you can actually remove it, then at that point I would just apply a mastic and reset it. But if you try to get glue under it now, I think you’ll probably end up getting some in the grout and everywhere else and it might not look that nice.
TOM IN FLORIDA: It’s loose enough that it causes the grout to crack and I’ve had to have it regrouted.
TOM: Well then, if you’re going that far, then take the tile out completely.
TOM IN FLORIDA: OK.
TOM: You shouldn’t put, you know, good grout against the bad tile, so to speak.
TOM IN FLORIDA: Right.
TOM: Because it’s only going to keep happening. So if you’re going to take all that grout out to regrout it, then pop the tile up and reglue the whole thing at that point and then once you grout it you won’t be – you’ll be done. You never want to regrout it if it’s loose.
TOM IN FLORIDA: I agree. I’ve been trying to get my tile setter to agree with me. (Leslie chuckles)
TOM: Ah, well. You know what? Just do it yourself. (chuckling) It’s a lot easier.
TOM IN FLORIDA: I’m of that opinion also, at this point. I appreciate your comments.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.