Say Good Bye To Damaged Tiles, Grouts and Waterproofing.
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As homeowners, we want our home to be beautiful and functional. Whether it is you living room, kitchen or bathroom, damaged tiles can make or break the overall outlook.
In this article, we will discover the types of tile damage such as cracked, loose tiles, grout damage and waterproofing issues.
You will also find out how this damages can lead to a bigger problems in future and what kind of tiling repair solution to solve your problems.
Damaged Tiles (Cracked Or Chipped)
Damages such as cracked and chipped tiles are common issue in Singapore. Tiles can experience different kinds of cracks and chips and their implications varies depending on the severity and location of the damage.
Types of Tile Damages
These are fine cracks and are seldom visible. While hairline cracks may not look so important, it can weaken the tile and making more brittle in future
This is when small pieces of the tile that have been broken off. It happens because of impact, wear and tear or other factors.
It be caused by heavy impact or poor installation as tiles on the corner can expand to the edge. Corner cracks can be problematic as they can spread to adjacent tiles.
They are usually more severe than hairline or surface cracks. It is usually caused by a heavy, sharp objects or wear and tear. Deep cracks will compromise tile structure and cause further damage.
Causes of Damaged Tiles
Heavy or sharp objects can cause tiles do crack or chip.
Bad installation practice
Improper surface preparation, incorrect adhesive application or grout application can cause uneven or unstable finishing surface that affect the tiles integrity.
When your tiles are exposed to extreme temperature changes, such as from direct sunlight or cold air it can cause expansion and contraction. Although Singapore’s temperature is quite stable, poor use of materials and minor temperature change can cause popped up tile which we will discuss shortly.
Poor installation, damaged waterproofing or grout can cause the tiles adhesive to become weak when water seeps into them.
Wear and tear
Over time tiles will wear down and become brittle. This can also happen due to the traffic or use of chemical. Broken tiles can be unsightly and dangerous when people step on them.
Repair Process For Damaged Tiles
The damaged tiles and adhesive are removed. Next the area is cleaned up and new adhesive is used to replace new tiles. This can be difficult if you do not have tiling experience. It is best to get a professional to replace them.
Popped Up Tiles
In Singapore, it is common for us to hear the term ‘popped up’ tiles. If you are at home when this happens, you may hear loud popping and cracking sound.
Causes of Loose or Popped Up Tiles
One of the most common reason is improper use of materials or bad installation practice.
For example, an irresponsible tiler might mix the tile adhesive with more normal cement to ‘dilute’ the adhesive or save cost. Since tile adhesive is a dense material, mixing with too much cement or water will cause tiny air pockets in them. When there are air pockets, any significant expansion can cause the tiles on top to become loose and popped up.
Other reason can be changes in temperature and humidity, water damage, and wear and tear due to foot traffic.
Risks of Not Repairing Loose or Popped Up Tiles
Popped up tiles can lead to several risks such as safety hazard, especially in high traffic areas, as they can cause trips and injuries.
When the tiles become loose, moisture or water can penetrate underneath the surface. In turn, this can lead to the growth of mold and mildew.
If this happens in your kitchen or toilet, the waterproofing membrane are likely to get damaged resulting to water leaking issue to the unit below.
Repair Works For Popped Up Tiles
The repair process involves chiseling out the old tiles if the affected area is small and not prone to water. Next the area is cleaned and new adhesive is used to secure the new tiles followed by grouting.
However, when loose tiles occurs on wet areas such as kitchen or toilet, it is advisable to hack all tiles and previous waterproofing membrane. Next, a new waterproofing compound and tiles are installed.
Proper use of materials and installation and is important to make sure your tiles do not become hollow or popped up. Besides using high-quality adhesive and grout, it is crucial that flooring contractors do not not take shortcuts such as diluting the adhesive or cement to save cost or laziness.
Therefore, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for installation and use.
Regular maintenance can also help prevent tiles from becoming loose or popped up. This includes regular cleaning, avoid use of harsh chemicals and address any signs of damage immediately.
Getting a professional tiler or contractor will ensure only correct materials and procedures are applied.
Grout and sealant are materials used in between the gaps of your tiles. They are important to protect those gaps from dirt, moisture and water.
It is a mixture of water, cement, and sand, which is used to fill gaps and spaces between tiles to prevent water from penetrating into the cement.
Over time, your grout lines are prone to get dirty or have mold and mildew growing on them. Proper maintenance will allow them to go on for a longer period of time.
You may be interested to learn how to clean grout lines yourself.
If the grout damage is minor you can repair them yourself with the right tools and materials. However, you may engage us to do a full grout repair if the damage is major.
Causes of Grout Damage
Some of the common causes of grout and sealant damage include:
- Water penetration
- High foot traffic
- Harsh detergent/chemical and improper installation
If you notice cracks or gaps in the grout or sealant, water stains, mold, or mildew, then it’s a sign of damage. You should inspect the grout and sealant periodically to identify any damage and take immediate action to repair them.
Step-by-Step Guide to Repair Grout, Including Tools and Materials Needed
Tools and materials needed for repairing grout and sealant include:
- Grout knife
- Mild detergent
- Grout float
- Damp sponge
Here is how you repair the grout:
- Identify the affected areas.
- Remove the damaged grout: Use a grout knife to scrape off the damaged grout.
- Clean the surface: Use water mixed with mild detergent solution to clean the surface.
- Apply new grout or sealant: Apply new grout or sealant using a grout float.
- Smooth the surface: Use a grout float or damp sponge to smooth the surface and remove any excess grout.
Tips on How to Maintain Grout
- Use a grout cleaner: Use a grout cleaner periodically to remove dirt and grime and prevent mold and mildew.
- Keep the surface dry: Wipe the surface dry after each use to prevent water from penetrating into the subfloor.
- Reapply sealant periodically: Reapply sealant every six months to maintain its effectiveness.
- Avoid harsh chemicals: Avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage grout and sealant.
With these maintenance, your grout will last for a long time.
Waterproofing And Leaking Issues
If you have waterproofing damage, your neighbour below your unit are likely to inform you about water leaking on their ceiling.
This usually happens in the kitchen or toilet.
Causes For Damaged Waterproofing
Age and wear
Over time, the waterproofing membrane can disintegrate causing water to seep through the cement below it.
Improper or stingy application of waterproofing compound.
Cracks on the floor, sometimes caused by drilling on it can cause the waterproofing cement and membrane to tear causing water to seep in.
Incorrect installation of drainage pipe after tiling works can cause water to slide through your neighbour’s unit below. Another possibility is having faulty concealed water pipes.
If you have waterproofing issue, it is important to get assistance immediately to prevent further damage to yours and neighbour unit below.
There are 2 types of water proofing repair services.
Hack And Reinstall Tiles With New Waterproofing
- The existing floor tiles, cement and waterproofing membrane needs to be removed.
- New waterproofing membrane is applied
- Water ponding test
- Waterproof cement are used for the subfloor screeding
- New tiles are laid
- Grouting between the tiles
If you are hacking the floor and wall, waterproofing membrane will be applied on shower area to a height of 1.8 metres.
The floor will be screeded with 3-in-1 waterproofing cement instead of normal screed before laying your new tiles.
Polyurethane (PU) Injection
PU injection is a common method for tile leaks and waterproofing issues. Through the process, a polyurethane foam is injected into the cracks and crevices of the tiled area, expanding and sealing the area from further water damage.
This is a cost-effective and reliable solution for tile leak prevention, as the foam quickly and securely fills in the cracks and crevices, preventing water from seeping in.
Water ponding test is still required after the treatment to make sure no water is seeping through the floor.
Prevention is key
Prevention is always better than cure, and the same applies to tiles. There are few things that you can do to prevent tile issues from occurring.
Next, be careful when handling heavy objects and sharp items. Be aware for any signs of tile damage. If you notice any broken tiles, address them immediately. Ignoring these issues can lead to more problems in future such endangering your loved ones or water damage if in wet areas.
Lastly, always get a professional to install your tiles. They will make sure that only the correct materials are used and install the tiles correctly.
What To Do If I Do Not Have The Same Tiles?
Sometimes, when we purchase a flat or it has been a long time, we might not have the tiles that are damaged. In this case, you may have to make a decision.
If this happens there are few options you can approach:
- Get matching tiles to replace on the affected area (Not advisable on wet areas because if waterproofing issue)
- Screed affected area and overlay with alternatives such as vinyl flooring (Not advisable for toilets)
- Create rows of different tiles to make it look it is designed on purpose
- Hack all the tiles and replace with a new one
Tips If You Are Choosing New Tiles
Ceramic tile is a popular and affordable choice in Singapore. There are also many kinds of design, size, and colour that you can choose.
Porcelain tiles are another type of tile commonly used in bathrooms.
Natural stone tiles, such as marble, granite adds a touch of luxury and elegance to any bathroom. However, this is a costly option.
Mosaic tiles are small, individual tiles layed in a pattern to create a unique and eye-catching design. They can be made from a variety of materials, including ceramic, glass, and natural stone.
Usually mosaic are placed on feature walls to give accent or complement your main tiles.
Points to Consider When Choosing Tiles For Repair
Here are several points you should consider, including:
- Slip resistance: Ensure floor tiles you select are slip-resistant to ensure safety on wet areas.
- Long-lasting: This will enable daily wear and tear from soap or cleaning chemicals.
- Water resistance: Select tiles that are highly resistant to moisture and water as this can prevent water leaking issues.
Choose The Right Tiling Repair Contractor
It can be stressful when your tiles break or something more serious such as waterproofing problems in your kitchen or toilets. You want to get rid of the problems and make sure they do not come back again.
Hence, engaging the right contractor is important for the repair works.
Here are few things to look out for.
An expert tilers with more than 10 years of experience can make a difference when doing tile repair works for your house. A good tiler is where nobody can tell the difference between existing tiles and the repair ones.
Make sure the proper materials are used. For a bathroom or kitchen, using quality waterproofing materials and waterproofing cement is important for the wet areas.
You already spent so much for your tiling works. As much as possible, you do not want to redo the tiling works unless it is the last resort. A direct tiling contractor Singapore is able to help on this.
When it comes to repair work, most of the time, you are already staying in the house. Therefore, a fast completion is important without sacrificing quality of the repair works.
Tile Repair Cost In Singapore
Factors that determines the tiling repair cost in Singapore are:
Type of Tiles You Choose
When you do not have access to spare tiles, you might need to purchase new tiles. There are many options for tiles and each have their pros and cons. On top of that, costing for tiles are different depending on quality, size and designs.
A normal ceramic tile cost can start from $2 per square foot to above $10 for more expensive natural stone tiles.
If the issue is minor such as scratches or replacement of few tiles, it might cost you from $180-$800 onwards. However, if there is any waterproofing issues, the severity needs to be investigated before planning the next step.
Complexity of the Repair Works
The most significant cost will be when you choose to hack and lay all the tiles. Sometimes, we want to save money but at times, the damage is so bad that you have no choice but to revamp the tiling works.
A good repair contractor will be able to provide sensible advice to get your tiles in its best condition again while helping you to save cost.
Hear from our happy customers
I got them to do tiling repair for my living room tiles that are hollow. Bill was prompt to come for our first meeting. He recommended me few course of action and I chose to redo my living room tiles as many tiles have hollow sound. When work start, the team and tiler always arrived on time. The tiler was also very careful in his work. End result was flawless. They provided me with great advice on how to maintain my tiles, which I found very helpful. I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a reliable tiling services.
Had my master toilet tiles pop out due to unknown reason. My friend recommended them so i asked to see my toilet and ask for a quote. Mr. Aaron came down and advise me to hack and change the flooring only and hack portion of the wall because they need to waterproof the area. He explained to me well and logical. Work took 4 days from hacking to the end and price was not so expensive. The workmanship is really good and they cleaned up the toilet after that.
Make Your Home Beautiful And Functional.
Where do I choose tiles in Singapore?
You may go to Hafary or Soon Bee Huat if you are looking for replacement tiles or matching ones.