Along With Tips For Travertine, Granite and Laminate Countertop Repair
When one of the kids dropped a bowl on the kitchen floor, I wasn't sad about loosing the bowl as much as the chip and crack it left in the tile.
You'll never guess where I picked up this little trick, (no it wasn't MacGyver, but I love that show!) It saved me from having to hire someone to chop out the old tile and replace it, plus avoid discrepancies with old vs. new grout colors.
How much will it cost? Around $15. to $20., but you'll be able to use these materials again and again for other projects, including art. This technique can also be used to repair holes or chips in Travertine, Granite counter top repairs, and even formica counter top repairs.
Please don't skip the important safety tips at the end of this page and there's also a video demonstration too!
Buy a box of artist pastels at the craft store which cost around $10. to $14. for a large set, plus you need one tube of two part epoxy (small tubes run $6.- $8. & larger ones $15.)
Why use oil based artist pastels? Because they're blendable, and you will need that to achieve your perfect shade.
You start by picking the colored pastels that best match your floor, mixing two or more colors until you reach the closest to your tiles. You'll be shaving off a small amount from each of these pastel crayons with a razor knife or old steak knife being super careful not to cut yourself. A small ceramic tile crack repair job will take less shavings than in the point of the pastel crayon.
Next, crush your shavings into a powder using an old spoon, stick, etc. You should be using mostly epoxy with a small amount of your colored powder, just enough to tint it.
I like mixing my concoction on a piece of cardboard, while sitting on the floor tiles, that way I can really eyeball the color. Once you get the pastels mixed to what you think is the right shade, then you can start mixing your two part epoxy.
After the epoxy is mixed, then add your colored powder into it, keeping in mind that you only have a minute or two to fill in your crack or chip before the epoxy will harden. Make sure to clean up the edges of the crack or chip before the epoxy hardens all the way. A piece of masking tape around the areas you don't want to cover can make clean up easier.
If your tile has a shiny finish, burnish the epoxy after it hardens a little with the back of a spoon, and if you want it a little more matte, sand it lightly. If it doesn't look perfect the first time, you can go back and add another layer a few minutes later.
Another repair idea for cracked or chipped tiles I saw on you-tube. They used clear epoxy first, then painted it to match the tile color. After it dried, they put a couple coats of clear sealer on top of that. I think my ideas is faster, with less steps, and the color is all the way through.
So, where did I learn this trick? High school art class! We used this same epoxy mixture to make inlays for bracelets that mimicked stones like turquoise and jade.
They sell a pre-mixed product that is similar to the filler used in travertine, and it's gotten great reviews. It's around $20. for a huge contained, but it only comes in a buff color. If that that's the color you need, you're in luck, and you'll have enough to do your whole neighborhood. If it's not the right color to repair your stone floor, then try the idea above and custom mix your own.
Do you have some areas where your grout just keep cracking? I share your frustration and want to recommend trying caulk in those areas instead. For larger than 1/8" grout lines, sanded caulk is the way to go as it looks just like sanded grout. Tile stores usually carry a wide array of caulk in both sanded and non sanded that matches the popular grout colors. These are sold in big tubes, and you need to have a caulk gun to install it.
Use same technique as my ceramic tile crack repair above, but if the chip is on a corner or vertical surface, buy an epoxy made for that type of application. Recently I purchased some to fix a chip on the corner of a granite countertop, but after reading the instructions on the epoxy, I learned that it will yellow as it dries. This won't work for my project because my granite is already "filled" in certain areas with a clear epoxy, so I'll have to find a non-yellowing epoxy for vertical surfaces. If you're mixing color into the epoxy, then yellowing probably wouldn't be a concern.
When would you use clear epoxy as a fill for granite?
If you have complex patterns that go deep into the stone, as we do with our "Sea foam" granite, the clear will almost be invisible, letting you see through it and down into the layers of color in the stone.
You would want to add color to the clear epoxy if your granite is more of a solid color. Examine your stone and look to see what was already used as a fill. Is it clear? Beige? Black? If you can't see any fill, then pick the best color you can. If your granite is shiny you may want to burnish the dried epoxy or sand it with very fine sand paper (being careful not to sand the actual granite).
Purchase a repair kit from the manufacturer, or use try my ceramic tile crack repair technique above, and mix your colors from the pastels. I did purchase a kit once and it consisted of not one but several color tubes, that I then had to mix in the right proportions until it matched the laminate. The final step was to add the hardener and stir, but basically you ended up with a colored epoxy.
Safety Tips For Using Ceramic Tile Crack Repair
This ceramic tile crack repair and chip fix is for cosmetic purposes only, and it should never be used as a means to secure tile or stone.
If your tile or stone is not properly attached, or the grout has come off, then you're probably better off replacing it.
Follow manufacturers instructions for applying epoxy.
If you want to share the oil based pastel crayons with young children afterwards, buy the non toxic, Jr. Artist Version.
I hope these ceramic tile crack repair tips can help save you some cash next time you're kids drop something on your tiles floors. There's a lot more great info throughout this site, and accessing them is quick and easy through the links below.