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Can cracked ceramic tile be repaired?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ January 17, 2013 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

I have a few cracked ceramic tiles in a floor. I am trying to sell my house and this is definitely a turn-off to prospective buyers. Would you suggest I replace the tile or use laminate flooring?

Jeffrey Anderson

A good ceramic tile contractor can usually remove cracked tiles and replace them with new without too much of a problem. However, depending on how long ago the original tile installation was done, you may have a problem finding new tiles that match those used in the floor.

Tiles are manufactured in "lots" and each box is distinctly marked so installers know the tiles will match once a floor is complete. A beige tile from one lot may be a few shades different from a beige tile in another lot manufactured just a few days later. It can be difficult to tell just looking at a tile, but when that same tile is installed in a floor that's a different lot, it often stands out like a sore thumb.

If this type of problem exists with tiles manufactured a few days apart, you can imagine how difficult it might be finding a match for tiles made several years ago. Due to this issue, many ceramic contractors leave behind any tiles left over after their installations. I'm not sure if you are the original owner of the home or when the floor was done, but a quick search to see if this might have happened when your tile was done might be a good idea.

If you can't find any original tiles, I would suggest having a few local ceramic tile contractors look at the floor. One of them may have some partial boxes of old tiles on their shelves or know of a tile that might be a close match. Depending on where the cracked tiles are located, a close match may be a better option than putting in a new laminate floor -- not to mention that it would be much less expensive as well.

Another solution might be replacing the cracked tiles and a few others with some of a different color to create a pattern or design in the floor. I would think that this would also be less costly than installing a laminate floor.

A contractor may even have some suggestions on how the cracks could be repaired, but that is usually very difficult and may not last too long. If all of these recommendations fail, laminate floors are very nice and could even help sell your home.

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