Tile is a beautiful finish for any bathroom, and it is highly resilient. However, every once in a while, tilework will get damaged, some tiles may work their way loose, and you may have sections that have to be repaired. Doing tile work can look simple enough, and there are a lot of how-to videos out there to guide you. But tile work is far more difficult than most people realize. Here is a look at some of the important things to know before trying a DIY bathroom tile repair job.
You will likely have to replace more tile than what you think.
It can look like only one small section of tile is damaged, but once you start pulling down damaged tiles, you can pull down a lot more than you mean too. The dislodging of tile in one area is probably going to cause others to work their way loose and fall down. A lot of homeowners assume a small tile job is going to be just that: small. However, once they get into the process, it can be far more work than what they realize, and they have to call a contractor.
You will have to work hard to match tile if you can't use the old.
Once you take out the old tiles that are damaged, you can have a really hard time finding the perfect tiles to match what is left. Even though tile manufacturers do offer a lot of the same styles, colors, textures, and designs throughout the years, there can be slight variances between the different tiles. Something you bought a decade ago can be substantially different than what you can find at the home improvement store now. Even if you find the same colors, they can be slightly different because age can change the hue of the tile.
You will have a lot of wait time between each step.
One of the downsides to tile work is that it cannot be rushed. There are certain things you will have to wait for in-between steps. For example, if you use a waterproofing medium behind the tile, you will have to wait for that to dry, and once you actually put tiles in place, you will have to wait for the adhesive to set. This can mean you will be dealing with a messy bathroom for a while, and you may have parts of the room that are unusable, such as your tub or shower.