How to fix loose floor tiles? Can Loose tiles be re-affixed? 3 min read.
We have recently been asked quite a few times about the best way to fix loose floor tiles. Can a loose floor tile be fixed? The answer is sometimes yes! But more needs to be known before any repair is undertaken.
Picture shows loose tiles and grouting compromised.
The problem is, every single case is different. There could be a serious underlying cause such as water escapement or one tile may be loose, but it may be indicative that the rest may soon follow! It may also be that the tiles were initially tiled badly. The preparation may have been sub-standard and the wrong materials used. Sometimes the adhesive may have been old and perished. Even tiling in too hot conditions and adhesive drying out could be a factor.
Sometimes the sub-structure is also a contributing factor such as floor movement or settling in. However, there may be several contributing factors to a tile becoming loose.
Normally, when tiles are laid correctly, they should last for many years. We would therefore advise to seek the advice of a professional tiler or builder to be certain that the problem is not major and is just a localised problem.
In some cases the tile/s may need to come off and may need to be re-bedded and grouted. In some instances this may be difficult for various reasons including a sink or toilet may have to be moved out of the way first or the tile was embedded straight on to an underfloor heating element. Certainly in the case of any under-floor heating type element or water system professional advice should be obtained.
We recently came across this problem ourselves in our own en-suite. We have 60cmx60cm white polished porcelain on the floor and a small area had become loose and the grout had dislodged. There was a small movement in four tiles, but the problem was spreading. The further problem was they ran under a toilet and under a fixed unit with a basin and to move the toilet and the unit would have involved getting a plumber in at additional cost. Thereafter, even if the tiles could easily be taken up, we have underfloor heating and if the the tiles couldn't be re-used, we would struggle to get a correct colour match. Again, we would then need a tiler so the whole cost would have escalated!
We spole to a few of our contacts who recommended 'fix-a-floor'. This is a tubed bonding adhesive for tile repairs and claims to be able to fix tile, marble, stone and wood floors. The method is slightly tricky, but can be handled by a competent DIY'er. It involves drilling a few small holes and then squeezing the liquid in to those gaps and letting dry before re-grouting. Seems simple? It was but we would suggest the following:
- Be careful and use correct size drill bit and avoid damaging the tiles.
- If grout can be scraped out, this may be better than drilling.
- Take your time as this is a slightly tricky job.
- IMPORTANT- Isolate all electrical heating elements.
- The liquid comes out very fast. Apply slowly and have plenty of builder type wipes and kitchen roll to clear immediately.
- Do not drill so deep to damage under-floor heating or damage sub-floor.
- Avoid damaging tile edges.
- Have something heavy to weight down tiles.
- The instructions say to leave 24 hours but in our case as we used a lot of liquid, it took longer to dry so leave as long as possible weighted down.
- We wouldn't attempt to use this product for walls.
What we can say is that the product seems to have worked. Months later, the tiles are still solid! So much so that we are thinking about adding this product to our range!
We can confirm that we do not have any affiliation or endorsements with the company so please read instructions carefully and ensure that this product is right for you. We used this product after having our particular problem assessed by a professional tiler.